1. Finding a stray cat
2. Help! My male cat is harassing my female!
3. Why is my cat not using the litter box?

1.  Finding a stray cat

Q.   I found a stray cat in my apartment complex.  Can Cats’ Angels put her in your adoption program?

A.  Due to lack of space, Cats' Angels is unable to take the cat.  However, here are some suggestions that will help you find a good home for this cat.
  • First, check for a microchip. Any vet can scan the cat for a microchip, as will Banfield at any Petsmart store. 
  • If no owner is found, have the cat tested for feline leukemia and FIV, neutered and, if the cat is healthy, vaccinated.  You can get this done at low cost at Emancipet.
  • Take several good pictures, head and shoulder preferably. Do not use a flash.
  • Write a description of her personality, how she interacts with people, children, other cats, and dogs. Is she playful? Does she use the litter box? Is she a lap cat? Etc.
Contact all the rescue groups in your area and ask if they can either put the cat in their adoption program, or post it on their website and on Petfinder.com as a complimentary posting (Cats' Angels can do that for you.) If you have a Facebook account, post the pictures and information on your timeline and share with all your friends, asking them to in turn share with their friends.

Never give a cat away for free to someone you don't know very well, as there are people who specialize in getting so called "free to good home" cats advertised on Craig’s list and then do horrible things to them, like use them as bait in dog fights or torture them. Cats' Angels can help you screen potential new owners.

If you have found a stray cat and have other questions,  please click here to contact Cats' Angels.

2. My male cat is harassing my female.

Q. Hello. I am trying to find a new home for my young Siamese cat Otto that I adopted last year. He is acting out and terrorizing my other female Siamese. I took Otto to the Vet yesterday for his annual check up and shots. She recommended he be re-homed as soon as possible for the health and wellness of both cats. Any help would be appreciated. -Melissa

Our recommendation:

Re-homing may seem an easy and expedient solution to many. It is not. I'll first discuss why Otto is acting as he is. Otto is not mean or aggressive, he's just a young male full of energy looking for a playmate, and his behavior is normal for his age and gender. It wasn't advisable to place Otto in a home with a female cat, especially one that is older and favors a comfortable nap on a pillow over a wrestling match with a teenager. Another playful young male cat or a playful dog would have been a better match for Otto. Melissa may try to restore peace in her household using Bach Flower remedies. You will find a description of those flower essences and how they are used for behavioral problems here. In your situation, I would recommend Vervain for Otto, and Larch for the female being harassed.

One solution would be for Melissa to adopt another young male cat to satisfy Otto's need to play and roughhouse, but only if she has a large enough home. Her female will need sufficient space to get away from the two rambunctious kitties. Finding a home that's right for Otto would be ideal, but it won't be easy. There are just too many homeless cats, and not enough homes for all of them.

In addition, re-homing through a shelter or rescue group can be tricky: if a cat is used to a loving home, he will not accept to be kept in a cage waiting for an adopter. Finding a new home may take months. A hyperactive cat will develop further behavioral issues and may become aggressive if confined in such a way, becoming unadoptable. If your cat has a behavioral problem, e-mail us with a description before you take him to a shelter where he may not survive. We'll share our experience and try to guide you toward an alternative solution.

3. Why is my cat is not using the litter box?

I receive several mails every year about cats who stopped using the litter box. It is your cat's way to communicate to you that something is very wrong. It could be a health problem or a behavioral problem. A health problem could be a very painful urinary tract infection; a rotten tooth in his mouth; or any other painful health issue all the way to a brain tumor.

Recommendation No. 1: If kitty stopped using the litter box, take him/her to the vet for a thorough check up immediately.

Next, the vet checked your cat thoroughly and didn't find anything wrong. The problem is probably behavioral in response to a change that upset your kitty. Your vet may have recommended Prozac, but that should be the last resort. Ask yourself what has changed in the cat's environment (use the survey questions below to guide you.) Then, 1) restore the environment to its previous state. 2)Thoroughly clean the soiled area, using a special product for cat urine such as Zero Odor. Do not use bleach. 3) Use a special cat litter called "Cat Attract" by Dr. Elsey, available in pet stores.
Using Bach Flower Remedies, we have been able to correct this situation in some cases submitted to Cats' Angels. See flower essences for animals.
If you would like a free consultation and a recommendation for your unique situation, you may copy, fill out, and email us the questionnaire below and we will attempt to guide you on what to do to address the problem.

Questionnaire: Cat not using the litter box
Please think about each question and answer with as many details as possible.

1.     When did the problem start?
2.     Where outside the cat box does the cat urinate?
3.     How often do you clean the cat box?
4.     How often do you change the litter in the box and thoroughly scrub the box?
5.     What litter do you use?
6.     What size is the cat box? Is it covered?
7.     What do you feed your cat?
8.     What chemicals do you use to clean the area where your cat urinated?

9.     Has there been any change in the following: location of the cat box, food you feed your cat, type of litter used, cat box itself
10.  Any change in the following: diarrhea? Constipation? Does the cat stress or take a long time when s/he urinates or poops?
11.  Any change in the house: new furniture, new carpet, did you move, new cleaning product used, did you get your carpet cleaned recently, new pet in the house, new baby, new person moved in, new noises in or around the house?
12.  Did you notice a neighborhood cat hanging around your windows?
13.  Did you go away and leave the cat with a pet sitter, or take the cat to a kennel?

14.  Any change in the cat’s eating habit? Lack of appetite? Vomiting? Weight loss?
15.  Any change in when you feed the cat?
16.  Any change in the cat’s activity level?
17.  Is the cat less affectionate? More? The same?
18.  Did you take your cat to the vet to look for possible physical illness?
19.  What did the vet check for:
·       Did he collect urine and do a urine analysis?
·       Did he collect blood for lab analysis?
·       Did he inspect his mouth? Does your cat have bad teeth that need to be removed?

·       Did he check on anything else?

Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Feel free to contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.