Health FAQs for Your Animals

Cats

How often should my cat urinate?
Answer

Cats typically urinate two or three times a day, while others may go two or three times a week. You should monitor your cat's habits over the course of a week and use that as a gauge. If her habits change suddenly, contact your veterinarian.

One of my cats uses the litter box just fine. But the newer one leaves accidents. She refuses to go near the litter. What can I do?
Answer

Cats are territorial, private, and fastidious, which is why we suggest separate litter boxes for your cats. Your new kitty may be detecting odors that indicate the litter box has been "marked" by your first cat. Try giving her a litter box of her own in a quiet place, with a hood for added privacy. Gently introduce her to the box. See Tips

My cat makes strange gravelly sounding mews when she's using the litter box. Is that normal?
Answer

You should contact your veterinarian immediately. This could be a symptom of illness, possibly Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which affects 10% of pet cats seen by veterinarians. Crying during urination, bloody urine, excessive licking of the genitals, and a strong ammonia smell coming from the urine are just a few of the symptoms. If your cat is straining to urinate without result, she may need urgent medical care.

My cat has diarrhea all the time, and leaves it on the side of the litter box. Ugh! Help?
Answer

Feline diarrhea is common and can be caused by a number of things. Often, intestinal parasites and viruses are the culprits. If you are serving your cat milk, stop. Many cats, like humans, have trouble digesting lactose as they mature. Dog food is not formulated for feline nutrition, so feed your dog separately. Overeating and abrupt diet changes may cause diarrhea as well. And of course, ingesting toxic substances, foreign objects or vermin can trigger an outbreak.

Because your problem seems to be prolonged, we recommend contacting your veterinarian who will check your cat for intestinal parasites or viruses and prescribe appropriate medication and diet.

If your cat is cured and still goes on the side of the box, he may need a larger litter pan. Make sure he has plenty of room inside to turn around.

One of my cats covers her poop like a lady, but the other one just leaves it as is. Is she trying to tell me something?
Answer

While most cats instinctively cover their waste, some just don't bother. Don't take it personally!

My cat licks her paws a lot after using the litter box. Could the pellets hurt her feet?
Answer

Yesterday's News® is non-abrasive and has no small particles that can get stuck between your cat's paws. Check her paws for cuts, torn claws, or foreign matter embedded in her paws. If they seem healthy, she may simply be a neatnik who wants a good grooming after she relieves herself. If in doubt, contact your veterinarian.

How can I tell if my cat has a tapeworm?
Answer

Tapeworm is common, in cats who have ingested fleas and who hunt and eat rodents. If you find dried rice-like grains in the litter box or under your cat's tail, your cat may have a tapeworm. Contact your veterinarian with your concerns.

I caught my kitten eating a piece of Yesterday's News®. Should I be concerned?
Answer

Kittens are very curious and prone to eat almost anything that looks interesting. That's why it's a good idea to kitten-proof your home and keep an eye on her. Yesterday's News® is non-toxic and will not harm your kitten. However, a persistent desire to eat litter might indicate a medical problem that should be discussed with your veterinarian.

My oldest cat drinks all the time. I even caught her drinking out of the toilet! And I have to clean her litter box twice a day. Do you think her food is making her thirsty?
Answer

Excessive thirst and urination coupled with weight loss could be a sign of medical conditions such as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, Diabetes Mellitus or Kidney Disease. Please see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Also, do not let your cat drink from the toilet! Toilets can be hazardous to your cat. We recommend keeping the toilet lid down when not in use.

My 8-month-old male cat is spraying all over my things, even though I keep the litter box spotless. What can I do?
Answer

If you haven't done so already, it's time to have your cat neutered. He's showing tomcat traits by marking his territory. Neutering usually diminishes the urge to spray. If he has been neutered, he may feel threatened by the presence of another cat.