You May Have Only One Bathroom,
But Your Cat Prefers Two For Herself
Many homes have just one bathroom. But your cat still needs two — in the form of two litter boxes — both to feel secure and to address her requirements for fastidiousness in toileting.
It’s best if the two litter boxes are in separate areas so your cat can relieve herself more easily wherever the need strikes. That might be difficult in small residences — few people would want a second litter box in their bedroom, kitchen, or living room. In such cases, two litter boxes in the bathroom right next to each other is a reasonable second-best approach.
The world will not come to an end if you have only one litter box for your cat (or one per cat in the home). But having one more litter box in your home than the number of cats you have really does enhance a feline’s emotional comfort.
Why Some Cats Dip Their
Paw in the Water Bowl
Have you noticed your cat dipping her paw into her water? There are a number of potential reasons:
- She might prefer licking the water off her paws to spare herself the discomfort of her whiskers bending backwards when they hit the sides of the bowl; the whiskers have a lot of sensitive nerve endings. (Try using a wide, shallow bowl rather than a narrow, deep one to keep the whiskers from touching the sides.) If your cat doesn’t lick the water off her paw after she wets it, she might just be trying to ascertain the depth of the liquid before dipping her head.
- She might like to see the water move before she drinks it. To a cat, if the water ripples, it’s fresh, not stagnant.
- If there are other cats in the home, she may not want to lower her eyes below the rim of the bowl. That would interrupt her ability to keep vigil over herself. (Try putting several water bowls in different, private areas.)
- She might be trying to amuse herself, the way little kids love to step in puddles. Maybe she’s bored and needs a little more play time with you.
Dogs Make Cats Sick (And Not Just
in the Ways You Think)
We tend to think of the disease known as kennel cough as an illness that befalls dogs, but cats can get it, too — and dogs can pass it to them.
Kennel cough is an infection from the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. It’s highly contagious. If your dog catches it and then brings it home, your cat becomes susceptible.
Symptoms in felines usually include mild sneezing and coughing and discharge from the eyes and nose. A cat may get a fever as well, but the symptoms typically resolve on their own in a week to 10 days. In more severe cases, antibiotics may be prescribed.