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cat jumping and landing on it's feet

You’re a good cat parent, right?

You know what your cat’s saying with his various meows and squawks. You know when he likes a quick petting and when to back off. But do you know how your cat manipulates the laws of physics?

Neither did we! So we decided to do some research to find out.

Cats are known for being able to somehow always land on their feet, even from the most awkward falls. And we finally figured out just how they do it.

Special Equipment

People used to think that cats were such great fallers because of their tails. But not so! Even tailless cats are able to pull off this stunt.

Cats have special equipment that most other mammals - humans included - don’t have. Cats actually have a special internal gyroscope located in the inner ear that allows them to detect their position in space.

To give you some perspective, imagine your evil friends blindfold you and spin you around and around and around. Without the use of your sight, it’ll be a few moments before you can figure out which way is up and how to avoid crashing to the ground.

Now imagine the same scenario, but when your friends finally let you go you know exactly where you are. No dizziness. No awkward stumbling. Just graceful awareness.

That’s your cat.

While most mammals have to rely on sight, your cat’s internal gyroscope gives your cat a Yoda-like awareness of all things physics.

Cat Physics

cat physics

www.infogrades.com

Newton’s the one who said “an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an external force.” If Newton were alive today, we’d point to our feline friends and say, “Nuh uh!”

Somehow cats are able to change the physics of their fall despite having no external force (like a human, a diving bird, etc.) help them adjust their position.

Thanks to Dustin the human and Gigi the stunt cat at Smarter Every Day, we got a slow-motion look at the trick cats use to pull off this feat.

If you’ve ever been a kid on a playground (or maybe even as an adult, we’re not judging), you’ve probably hopped on the spinning platform of death. It’s a rotating (usually metal, of all things) platform that you can stand on and adjust your spin speed based on how tightly you hug the platform. Hang off as far as you can and you’ll slow down; tuck your arms and legs in and you spin faster and faster to migraine-inducing speeds.

Cats use the same principle of physics to pull off their perfect landing.

As a cat falls, his body wants to stay in the same position the whole way down. So in order to generate enough momentum to twist his body so his feet end up beneath him, your cat pulls his front paws in close to his body and extends his back legs out as far as possible. Now the front half of his body is falling faster than his back half.

Once your cat’s front legs and head are facing the direction he wants, he pushes his front legs out and tucks his back legs in. This allows him to stop the spin of his front body and allows the back half to spin faster and catch up with the position of his front half.

To watch the whole thing in slow motion, check out Dustin & Gigi’s video.

We’re pretty jealous of this innate talent cats have. What other tricks does your cat have up his sleeve that you wish you could master? Let us know in the comments below!

cat wuth bad breath

We humans brush our pearly whites every day for the sake of good breath and a glistening smile.

Sadly, your cat isn’t as good at keeping up with oral hygiene as you are.

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a big yawn or exhale from your furry friend, you’ve likely picked up on this fact: cats don’t have the greatest smelling breath.

However, there’s a difference between “that’s not very nice” and “Phew! That’s rancid!”

If your cat has knock-out-a-buffalo breath, here are a few potential causes and what you can do about them.

Causes of Cat Bad Breath

As you’ve likely noticed, your cat uses her mouth for everything - eating, drinking, carrying things around the house, grooming, and chatting you up at 4:30 in the morning. That little mouth gets quite the workout, so it’s no wonder that things can go awry from time to time.

Cat bad breath can be caused by a number of things. To sleuth out the source of your cat’s halitosis, rule out the following possibilities.

Stuck Food

While your cat may not get spinach stuck in her teeth like we do, she can get other bits of goodies trapped between those pearly whites. Check your cat’s mouth to see if she has a piece of kibble or critter (pardon the crudeness, but cat’s are natural hunters) wedged between her teeth.

Simply dislodging it and letting her mouth return to a clean state can be all you need to do to solve the cat breath issue.

Injury

Given how much use your cat’s mouth gets, it’s common for her to suffer an occasional oral injury. Take a peek inside the jaws of the beast and look for any red or swollen areas. If you notice an injury and there is pus or discharge, take your cat to the vet. She may need help beating back that infection.

Plaque Build Up

This one should sound familiar - it’s what we hear about any time we go to the human dentist!

Cats can get plaque build up, too, and it can cause some serious feline halitosis (that’s a real condition, by the way).

If you or your vet notice significant plaque build up around your cat’s gum line, it may be time to start brushing Fluffy’s teeth.

Trouble Troubleshooting?

If neither of these two issues is present, it’s possible there’s an underlying cause to your cat’s stinky breath that you can’t see.

Other causes of bad cat breath include:

  • Allergies - your cat may be allergic to something in her food.
  • Trapped baby teeth - if your cat is on the younger side, she may be having an issue with a kittenhood tooth.
  • Periodontal disease - the most common problem associated with bad breath, according to veterinarians at Cornell University.
  • Gingivitis - inflammation of the gums.
  • Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs) or Tooth Resorption - 28-67% of cats will suffer from tooth resorption and bad breath can be a clear indicator that something’s wrong in your cat’s mouth.
  • Chewing mishaps - if your cat chews on an electrical cord or something else harmful, it can cause serious oral issues.
  • Diabetes - a sweet smell on your cat’s breath could indicate diabetes.
  • Gastrointestinal problems - your cat’s diet and digestion play a major role in the odors emanating from Fluffy’s mouth.
  • Organ malfunction - dysfunction of the liver, kidneys, and even respiratory system can contribute to bad breath.

To find out which of these many issues are truly to blame for Kitty’s bad breath, see your vet right way. Many conditions can be treated or even cured if they’re caught early.

Cat Breath Solutions

cat breath solutions

The most common cause of cat bad breath is periodontal disease – inflammation of the tooth, which can spread throughout your cat’s mouth.

To prevent periodontal disease and several other bad-breath-causing conditions, it’s critical to monitor your cat’s oral hygiene.

Start by making sure your cat always has plenty of water to drink. A healthy, hydrated cat with a moist mouth is better able to fight off infection and prevent the growth of bad bacteria.

Next, check with your veterinarian to make sure the food and treats you’re giving your cat aren’t causing gastrointestinal distress or an allergic reaction.

With proper hydration and diet checked off the list, it’s time to focus on maintaining a clean mouth.

Get in the habit of brushing your cat’s teeth once per week. It may take time to build up to this frequency, but it will be well worth it to avoid needless pain and suffering for your cat and expensive vet bills for you.

Does your cat have a winning smile? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram with #PrettyLitterCats!

 

chelsea and cats image

No matter what the psychologist says, we firmly believe our cats are like our children.

With Mother's Day just around the corner, your cat may need help showing some love.

So cat dads and siblings, listen up!

Here are some of the best gifts for showing Mom how much you care and how well you know her and her cat obsession.

And don’t forget to sign one from the cat, too.

A Heart-Warming Card

cat pop up cards

lovepopcards.com

Find yourself Googling “When is Mother’s Day?” forty times between February and May? Us too. That’s why we love Lovepop.

Not only does this creative company make some of the most impressive cards you’ve ever seen, but they also remind you of all the important holidays.

Stop wasting time at the grocery store looking for a generic card for the feline-loving mom in your life. This Mother’s Day, give her the perfect card, like this pop-up featuring a momma cat and her babies.

Founded by naval architects Wombi Rose and John WIse, Lovepop brings the beauty and precision of engineering to every special occasion. And they caught our eye by featuring cats in several of their artful options. We’re ga-ga for this Love Cat 3D card.

Flowers, Of Course

cat mom mother's day flowers

1800flowers.com

We know you’re here for some creative Mother’s Day ideas, but you also have to deliver on the classics. Every mom deserves flowers on Mother’s Day, right?

Right. But we don’t want to give the lovable cat moms in our lives just any ol’ flowers. Mix things up this year by giving her a beautiful potted catnip plan.

The catnip plant - also known as Nepeta cataria - produces lovely lavender-colored flowers. As an added bonus, catnip plants thrive indoors, repel insects, and give off an aroma that’s relaxing to humans.

The fact that it’ll provide hours of laugh-inducing entertainment while your whole family watches Fluffy twitch, drool, and roll around in ecstasy means you’re also giving Mom the gift of laughter. That’ll surely earn you an extra special place in her heart.

Can’t Forget Candy

cat candy for cat mom's day

etsy.com

Does the cat mom in your life have a sweet tooth? We’re betting on “yes.”

But more than candy, we bet the cat mom in your life would love some quality time with her favorite two- and four-legged kiddos this Mother’s Day.

Give Mom the gift of quality time by making some cat-themed candy together this spring. We love these adorable cat candy molds - and these and these. Just melt some chocolate over a double boiler, pour into the mold, and let cool. Then enjoy together!

Cozy Cat Wearables

cat carrying hoodie

amazon.com

The best way to remind Mom all year ‘round how much you love her is by giving her something she’ll use again and again. Make Mom happy this Mother’s Day with some goodies she can enjoy while she cuddles with the cat all year long.

First of all, no cat parent’s closet is complete without a cat-carrying hoodie. So make sure to complete Mom’s collection and get plenty of pics with her and Fluffy snuggled up together.

Then, for all occasions, Mom just has to have the funniest Pusheen cat-theme tshirts. Top it all off with these ultra fashion-forward cat socks from ModCloth and you’ll quickly become mom’s favorite.

If your cat mom already has a wardrobe full of cat-themed clothing, we get it. It can be pretty hard to shop for the cat lady who has it all.

In that case, give her something she won’t expect, like these cat-ear pillow cases and matching duvet cover.

And for the woman who loves all things that sparkle, we’re going cat crazy over these adorable cat-in-the-moon earrings and matching two-tone necklace.


While you’re celebrating a happy Mother's Day on May 13th, don’t forget to take plenty of pictures with you, Mom, and the cat. Then post on Instagram and tag us with #PrettyLitterCats. We’ll be sure to pop over and wish you all a joyous day.

It was time to buy new cat litter.  I was a huge fan of Scoop Away and had used it for years. I would get so many compliments – “I didn’t even know you had a cat! I can’t smell cat litter at all!” It truly was a joy to hear. No matter how clean someone’s house is, there is always that… ick factor when you smell soiled cat litter. I was a HUGE fan of Scoop Away. I would tell people in the cat litter aisle about how well it worked. I told all my cat owning friends and family to switch to Scoop Away because they wouldn’t be disappointed.

And then it happened.

The bright sticker on the Costco sized package of cat litter “Now LOW DUST!”

My heart sank. They had changed the formula.

Sure enough, Scoop Away, Multi-Cat, Scented had let me down. My house smelled gross. Sure, it still clumped well, and it was nice not having all the dust – but the most important factor in cat litter to me is the odor control.   Desperate, I purchased a new cat box, scrubbed the floor where the cat box sat with enzyme sprays, and even gave Biscuit a bath (much to her disgust.) But it didn’t help.

Biscuit is a rather sensitive cat.  She gets very defensive and territorial to any change (read: will leave a territorial signpost dropping outside the box) so I had to be cautious. I tried Scoop Away Complete and it too was a disappointment in trapping the odor.

Fresh Step Multicat Extreme was similar in color and grain shape so I hoped it wouldn’t be too big of a change for Biscuit. But it too was a disappointment. It didn’t clump as well and the odor control was much worse than Scoop Away. I tried adding in the Arm and Hammer deodorizer – it smelled lovely at first… but then, the vile odor of cat fees and urine just mingled with the faux floral scent for a rather decrepit combination. Tidy Cat clumped better than Fresh Step but it too just couldn’t tackle the odor.  I really liked what I read about Worlds Best Cat Litter, but it was quite possibly the worst one of the bunch – and Biscuit was not very happy with how starkly different the litter was texturally.

Biscuit’s litter box is in my office. I spend a lot of time in there. It’s the only room I can keep a baby gate up to ensure my toddlers don’t try to play in the *sand* box. I had to find a solution. So during my desperate search, I saw an ad for  PrettyLitter. I was very hesitant – it didn’t look much like the beloved old scoop away, and I was concerned that the color changing pellets would send Biscuit into a nervous state – but it has worked out quite well.

I started out by pouring a fresh box of half Scoop Away and half Pretty Litter – to ease the transition for my sensitive cat. And a week later, I gave her a fresh box of only PrettyLitter.  She didn’t display any signs of distress. She doesn’t seem to notice any difference in her litter at all.

After two weeks with the litter and removing the clumps daily, it still works great. It clumps very well with both solids and liquids. To my great relief, and downright amazement – there is no odor at all. None. Not the stench of soiled litter or of the nauseating added scents so many other litters had.

Over the weekend, I decided to put this new gem of a litter to the test. My family went out of town for the long weekend. That meant three days of not removing the soiled clumps. But I was hopeful! When we got home, there wasn’t a wave of stench greeting me at the door. I did notice a slight odor when I hovered over the box – but after that many days of not removing the clumps it was quite remarkable. I am thrilled with PrettyLitter!

 

cat avoiding litter box

Despite what people say about cat litter boxes, you really can’t ask for a better set up.

The cat goes in, does his/her thing, and everything is contained in one little manageable box - rather than spread all over your yard, a cage, or an aquarium.

That is... when your cat actually uses her litter box.

If your cat is struggling to go to the bathroom where you want her to, start by taking her in for a checkup. Several cat illnesses can cause painful urination and discomfort during potty-time, which can cause your cat to avoid the litter box.

However, if you’ve ruled out any medical condition as the cause of your cat’s reluctance to get with the litter box program, you may be dealing with one of the following issues.

Here are the most common reasons your cat will ditch the box and the solutions for getting her back onboard.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

PrettyLitter multiple cat in litterbox

Have multiple cats in your house? Bingo! This is the most likely reason why your cat isn’t using the litter box.

Cats are territorial by nature and they’re in a constant battle for dominance and their self-esteem.

If you have multiple cats, there’s bound to be a time when both need to go potty at the same time. Most cats don’t like to soil the same spot right after another cat. Another reason may be that one cat is dominant over the other, so the more submissive cat feels unwelcome to do his or her business in the dominant cat’s claimed space.

Solution:

Get another litter box. While most veterinarians suggest that multi-cat homes have one box per cat plus one more, this is usually not something pet parents are willing to do. However, having at least two litter boxes in a multi-cat household can be the simplest solution to the “peeing out of the box” problem.

OCD Problems

PrettyLitter Obsessive Cat

If you only have one cat in the household and she’s still refusing the litter box, examine the situation for any patterns.

Is she urinating in the litter box but depositing solids outside the box? Or vice versa? Does she only go #2 on shag rugs while she’s comfortable going #1 in the litter?

As awkward and unpleasant as it is, pay attention to what your cat’s bathroom habits are telling you. They can reveal the answer to your problem.

Solution:

Get another litter box. Sound familiar?

Some cats are very particular about how, when, and where they do their business. In fact, some cats will only use the litter box for one form of bathroom deposit and require a completely different setup for the other half.

Start by getting a second litter box for your finicky cat. If she continues to have trouble staying within one or the other box to do her business, see if there are any other details emerging from her bathroom pattern.

Some cats prefer to do their business on a particular type of surface, like a smooth, cool bathtub or on a furry shag rug.

If that’s the case, try lining one of the litter boxes with the material your cat prefers (for instance, you can pick up a $2 bath mat from the dollar store and line a litter box with it). If your cat starts using the makeshift “litter” box, you’ve found the true cause of her issue.  

Too Much Attention

Cat using litter box in private

In addition to being clean freaks, territorial, and OCD, cats are also very private creatures.

Cats feel extremely vulnerable when they’re using the facilities, so they like to know that they’re alone and out of sight of any passers by.

If your cat’s litter box is in a high-traffic or noisy area, this may be keeping her from using the litter box.

Even placing the litter box in the laundry room can be problematic as some cats will be scared away from their box if the washer or dryer are running.

Solution:

Move your cat’s litter box from the noisy or busy location to a more private area. If you don’t have a place where you can hide your cat’s litter box from sight while also providing her with a private, peaceful location, you may need to get creative with your litter box setup.

But for the sake of saving your rug, give Fluffy some privacy.

Claustrophobia

cat in undersized litter box

Even if your cat is small, she needs room to actually do her business in the litter box. Cats like to go in, sniff around, kick their litter into place, turn around a few times, then make their deposit.

This requires space.

Also, if your litter box is too small or if it’s covered, it may start to develop an offensive odor. If there’s not enough ventilation and your cat is turned off by the smell, she’ll avoid going in and using her box.

Solution:

Upgrade. Get your kitty a bigger box. Yes, it may take up more space on your floor, but your furry friend will be grateful for the added space and will actually use her litter box like you wish she would.

If your cat’s litter box is covered, remove the lid. Pick up a litter box with higher sides if you’re worried about litter being kicked out of the box or your cat’s stream being unconfined.

The important thing is for your cat to feel comfortable going into the litter box so she’s encouraged to use it every time.

Cats are special animals – and we say that with the utmost love... and an eye roll. It can take some time, patience, and creativity to figure out your cat’s unique idiosyncrasies.

But remember: she’s not doing it to spite you. So keep calm, keep lovin’ on your fur baby, and keep trying different options until you find the solution that works best for you and your little one.

Have you gone through this process with your cat? Tell us the most valuable thing you learned in the comments below!

cat cafe

Image: www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Nowadays, it’s commonplace for people to bring their dogs to work and to do yoga with goats.

But our favorite four-legged creature remains the cat.

Luckily, we’re not alone!

Want to hang out with cats in public? Us, too!

Here are the most cat-friendly businesses and road-trip-worthy destinations around the country.

Nine Lives Cat Café

nine lives cat cafe

Image: www.ninelivesindy.com 

Coffee + cat cuddles...what could be better? How about saving cats from shelters?

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. In fact, these cat cafés are popping up all over the country.

nine cats cafe - customer playing with cat

Image: www.ninelivesindy.com 

In Indianapolis, the Nine Lives Cat Café is a coffee shop that doubles as a cat rescue shelter. With so many shelters at or beyond capacity, cat lovers around the nation are marrying their love for cats and caffeine to bring customers a creative, awwww-inducing experience.

It’s more than just a spot to grab a hot cup of java in the company of some adorable felines, though. All of the cats at Nine Lives are adoptable. Patrons are welcome to come in, relax, read, knit, write, or do any other stress-reducing activities while getting to know some adorable cat companions in a safe, laid-back atmosphere.

In shelters, cats are often overwhelmed, scared, and even traumatized by all the chaos around them. But at Nine Lives and other cat cafés, cats are free to be themselves so you can go ahead and fall in love with your perfect feline match.

Kimpton Boutique Hotels

cat lounging in a hotel room

Thankfully, many hotel chains around the country are beginning to adopt a more friendly attitude toward pets in general. However, of all the pet-friendly hotels, Kimpton goes above and beyond.

For no extra charge, you can enjoy some purrfect cat company while enjoying a vacation in one of these luxurious hotels. Not only will you get impeccable treatment and amenities, but so will your feline companion.

As a company, Kimpton is so dedicated to cat comfort - and the comfort of all pets, for that matter - that they actually have a position called Kimpton Director of Pet Relations at each location.

Stay at Kimpton and your cat will not only enjoy a pet-sized bed during your stay, but you’ll also get the inside scoop on all the best local pet stores and veterinary offices (just in case). Plus, rumor has it that Kimpton Hotels even provides cats with a goldfish in a bowl upon request - purely for entertainment purposes, of course.

Kimpton Boutique Hotels are in 35 cities with a total of 66 locations. Find the perfect destination for you and your cat here.

Pet Airways

 

pet airways image

Image: www.travelagentcentral.com

While you’re planning your trip to Indianapolis to visit the Nine Lives Cat Café and stay at a gorgeous Kimpton Boutique Hotel, you may be wondering how you’ll get there. We recommend Pet Airways.

Pet Airways isn’t just cat-friendly; it’s cat-centric.

cats in cargo

Image: catnips.co.uk

Whenever you’re traveling long distances with your feline friend, Pet Airways is the way to go. Not only does Pet Airways insist on transporting all pets in the main cabin - and never in the cargo hold below - but they also take every precaution to make sure scaredy cats and tom cats alike are comfortable.

Pet Airways specially designed their airplanes to safely and securely transport pets in the most comfortable way possible. They insist on only top tier care for their “Pawsengers,” which dramatically reduces the risk of stress-related illnesses for their four-legged travelers.

Heading out of town this summer? Add one of these hot spots to your travel itinerary and let us know when you get there! We want to hear all about your cat adventures! Tag us on Facebook @PrettyLitterCats.

How to Clean Your Cat's Ears

Cats seem pretty self-sufficient when it comes to grooming. After all, that is how they spend half of their waking hours.

Yet, one of the hardest places for a cat to reach is inside his or her ears.

Outdoor cats, especially, are at risk for serious ear hygiene problems.

Whether your furry bundle of love is an indoor-only princess or an adventurous outdoor tomcat, proper ear maintenance can make for a happy, healthy, comfortable cat.

Perfect Cat Ears

Perfect Cat Ears

They’re cute, fuzzy, and perfectly pink, which explains why they’re all the rage on Snapchat filters. Here’s what to look for when you take a peek at those cute things perched on top of your cat’s head.

On the outside, your cat’s ears should have no bald spots. If your cat’s fur is light in color, you should be able to see the skin, which should be light and pink. If you see any redness, swelling, sores, or bald spots, take your furry friend in for a check up.

Inside of the ears, you should be able to see that the skin is all one color - a nice healthy pink. Your cat shouldn’t have any visible ear wax, dirt, or insects trying to catch a ride. If you notice any of these or if your cat’s ears are giving off an odor, it’s time to see a vet.

Routine Maintenance

Weekly Checks

Ideally, you should do an ear check with your cat once per week. Now, before you go looking for your “Ain't nobody got time for that!” gif, let us clarify: this ear check should take you about 20 seconds.

Your feline friend may be up for several hours of lap time each day, but chances are he won’t have much patience when you start touching his ears. So you want to make this process quick and as deceptively affectionate as possible.

If you don’t already, start adding head rubs to your shows of affection toward your cat. Most cats love a quick swoop over the head and a nice scratch behind the ears. When you pull off this maneuver, add a bit of wrist and thumb action to get a good look inside your cat’s ears.

It shouldn’t take long, and the more often you do it, the more familiar you’ll become with the way your cat’s ears should look - which means you’ll be able to spot irregularities quickly and easily.

Monthly Maintenance

Now here’s where things get tricky. Depending on how rambunctious your cat is, he may need an ear cleaning once per month.

Outdoor cats are especially prone to getting dirt and hitchhikers in their ears. If your cat likes to roam outside, he may need an ear cleaning more often. However, for most cats once per month is enough.

When the day comes, prep your tools before bringing your cat into the mix. You can either add a bit of ear cleaning solution made for cats (like this) to a cotton ball or soft cloth, or you can use pre-moistened wipes (we like these). Avoid using cotton swabs as they can easily slip into your cat’s ear canal and cause damage.

Once you’re ready, sit with your cat in a comfortable position either on your lap or somewhere you both feel secure. Use one hand to support your cat’s head and the other to gently dab away any dirt, debris, or excess ear wax. Try not to wipe, as this could cause the debris to scratch your cat’s skin and he surely won’t like that.

Stay outside of the ear canal and only clean what you can see. Probing into your cat’s ear too far can cause damage or even an infection.

Tick & Mite Checks

Cat ear mites image

Another thing to look out for - again, especially for outdoor kitties - is the occasional unwelcome insect. Ticks and mites love to live in cats ears since they’re small, warm, and offer easy access to blood supply.

If your cat picks up a tick or has an ear mite infestation, visit your vet straight away. Ear mites are very difficult to see on cats, but the symptoms of them are easy to spot. Your cat may have ear mites if he:

  • Paws at his ears excessively
  • Shakes his head often
  • Experiences hair loss on his ears
  • Has any irritation, swelling, or inflammation in the ear
  • Has any dark discharge in his ear
  • Accumulates debris in his ear that resembles coffee grounds
  • Develops ear odor

Both ticks and ear mites are rather quick to treat, but it should be left to a professional. You may need an ear mite treatment for cats to get rid of any persistent pests. Ticks can often be removed quickly by expert vet hands.

Maintenance Prevents Problems

Luckily, the vast majority of cat ear issues are curable. However, it’s best to avoid the problem all together and the key to that is regular maintenance.

Get in the habit of looking inside your cat’s ears whenever you get the opportunity and you’ll be able to spot any abnormalities before they turn into problems.

Have a question about your cat’s ear health? Leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to find an answer for you!

Of course, if you just want to show off how cute your cat’s ears are, post your adorable pics on Facebook or Instagram using #PrettyLitterCats!

It’s a myth that cats can’t be managed or trained. In fact, if your cat is laying waste to your favorite piece of furniture, there are a few quick tricks you can use to train your cat to scratch safe surfaces and leave your comfy sofa alone. Here’s your step-by-step guide to saving your furniture.

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We’re all familiar with anxiety. Whether you feel that tightening in your chest several times per week or only when you see flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror, it’s a reality for all us humans.

But did you know cats can get anxiety, too?

It’s true. In fact, feline anxiety can actually manifest in the form of serious medical problems.

Here’s what you need to know about feline anxiety, how it affects your cat’s health, and how it may show up in your cat’s PrettyLitter.

Cat Anxiety

Cat anxiety is, unfortunately, rather common. Cats are highly emotional creatures and they’re prone to getting stressed out when things don’t go their way. In particular, cats can begin to experience anxiety if:

  • Something in their environment drastically changes, like living with a new baby or animal
  • You move and your cat has to get used to a whole new environment
  • Your cat feels threatened, such as by a visitor, new pet, or an animal outside
  • Your cat is upset by loud noises or violent weather
  • Your cat doesn’t get enough attention
  • Your cat doesn’t get enough peace and quiet
  • Your cat suffers a traumatic experience such as a house fire, an attack from another animal, or abuse
  • Your cat develops an illness or disease
  • Your cat has gained weight due to overfeeding, unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, or an underlying medical condition
  • Your cat was recently spayed, neutered, or underwent another medical procedure

Cat anxiety can take on many forms depending on your unique cat. Be sure to look out for signs of anxiety including:

  • Urinating or depositing feces outside of the litter box
  • Destroying furniture or toys
  • Excessive scratching, beyond what’s normal for your cat
  • Becoming extremely vocal (meowing, wailing, or hissing)
  • Hiding more often or staying secluded for long periods of time
  • Unusual aggression
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of energy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Over-grooming or pulling out fur
  • Neglecting grooming altogether

Anxiety can affect cats at any age, so be sure to look out for the signs and help your cat as soon as possible.

Separation Anxiety

Despite your cat’s cool-kid attitude, it is possible for him to suffer from separation anxiety. Some cats become so accustomed to living with their human counterparts that your absence can be stressful.


Cats are most at risk of suffering from separation anxiety if your schedule suddenly changes. If you normally spent your days at home but recently got a new job, or if your work hours dramatically shift, your cat may not like the change.

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

Feline idiopathic cystitis (also known as FIC or feline interstitial cystitis) is a type of urinary tract disease. FIC is caused by the presence of inflammation, but veterinarians are not entirely sure what causes the inflammation or subsequent problems.


Many vets believe it’s a condition caused by stress, but it’s difficult to measure and test for stress in cats. If bacterial infections, viral infections, and other diseases have been ruled out, your vet may diagnose your cat with FIC.

Signs & Symptoms

Both male and female cats and old or young cats can develop FIC. Signs of the illness include:

  • Difficulty urinating or painful urination
  • Urinating outside of the litter box (many cats will urinate throughout the house trying to find a place that’s comfortable)
  • Blood in the urine (you may not be able to see it in the urine itself, but your PrettyLitter will turn red)
  • Going to the litter box more frequently
  • Howling while trying to urinate
  • A blocked urethra, as evidenced by a full bladder or no signs of urination for several hours or days

One of the most dangerous symptoms is a blockage of urine. A blocked urethra can cause the bladder to become full and the kidneys to become backed up. This is an extremely serious and lethal condition.


If your cat has not urinated for several hours, seems unable to urinate, or seems to have a full bladder, call your doctor immediately for an emergency visit.

Possible Treatments

Because veterinarians are not entirely sure what causes FIC, your veterinarian will likely recommend a constellation of trial-and-error solutions, including:

  • Helping alleviate your cat’s stress and anxiety (more on that below)
  • Playing with your cat more often
  • Cleaning your litter box more often or getting an additional litter box
  • Putting your cat on a canned food diet to increase his water intake (as dry food contains virtually no liquid)
  • Putting your cat on a special prescription food
  • Increasing the number of water bowls around the house to encourage more drinking
  • Adding a glycosaminoglycan supplement

Cat Stress & PrettyLitter

Because cat anxiety can actually cause changes in your cat’s physical wellbeing, you may notice changes in your cat’s PrettyLitter.

Stress can cause urinary tract disease and changes in your cat’s pH. Most often, you’ll notice your cat’s PrettyLitter has turned blue, which means your cat’s urine is more alkaline than normal.

In some cases, stress can lead to the development of bladder stones or crystals, which can cause bleeding in the bladder or urethra. If this is the case, your cat’s PrettyLitter may turn red.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s PrettyLitter color, please call your vet right away. PrettyLitter is designed to alert you to any health problems with your cat so you can catch and fix the problem early. Don’t ignore the warning signs.

What To Do

First and foremost: talk to your veterinarian. Because anxiety plays such an important role in your cat’s health, your vet should be aware of it. Also, stress and anxiety can sometimes be caused by illness. If your cat isn’t feeling well or has developed a medical condition, she may be feeling anxious because of it. Your cat’s anxious behaviors could be a sign that something is wrong and a vet can diagnose your cat.

If your cat’s anxiety seems to be without a cause, your vet may prescribe medications. However, there are natural remedies for anxiety, such as the Homeopet supplement or the Feliway oil diffuser. Always talk to your doctor about what’s best for your cat before choosing any treatment method.

Oftentimes, though, your cat’s anxiety can be solved with some simple changes. Some cats need more stimulation, in which case we recommend toys like the Doc & Phoebe Indoor Hunting Feeder, Tower of Tracks cat toy, and the Catit Food Digger.

Take a look at your cat’s environment, as well. Make sure she has plenty of places to hide, climb high, and access food and water without being bothered by other cats or animals.

Above all, make sure to give your feline friend plenty of love and attention. Sometimes a few minutes of lap time and a gentle scratch behind the ears is all your cat wants. If your cat walks away, don’t force her to stay. Just remain open and let her know she can come to you anytime she’s stressed.

We love seeing kitties relaxed and happy. Share with us your favorite snapshot of your chill cat on Instagram @PrettyLitterCats.

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