Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What should I feed my cat?

Cats were originally desert dwellers, and their system is designed to absorb moisture from the food that they eat. Therefore, it is best to feed canned food mixed with an equal amount of warm water, which will provide the hydration necessary to help prevent urinary blockages, renal failure, diabetes, and other serious health problems. Please read the labels on food to ensure that there are no preservatives or artificial colors, which can cause allergies and other issues for some cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and must have a viable source of protein in the first three ingredients, which includes fowl, beef and fish. In addition, fresh water should always be available for your cat-be sure to rinse out the bowl and change water daily. Adult cats should be fed a measured portion of food twice daily in order to ensure that they are eating the right amount to maintain a healthy weight, which means that you should be able to feel your cat’s ribs but not see them. It’s a good idea to supplement the diet of kittens with KMR when they are no longer nursing.

My cat is not eating-what can I do?

If your cat has experienced a stressful event, they may stop eating and need some help to start again. Set out a selection of foods to encourage them to eat. It will be easy enough to transition them back to their regular food later, so please do not feel that you are “spoiling” your cat by doing this, as it’s only temporary. Try any or all of the following: Churu or Delectables squeeze ups, Tiki Cat & Fancy Feast canned foods (tuna, chicken or turkey), canned tuna fish in water, plain cooked chicken, cottage cheese, and dried bonito flakes. Sprinkling some FortiFlora (Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets) on food can also serve as a very effective appetite stimulant. If your cat does not start eating after 24-48 hours, please consult a veterinarian.

What kind of litter box and litter should I use?

We recommend using a large, open litter box as some cats don’t like covered ones. One litter box for each cat in the household is recommended. Conventional clay litters produce silica dust, which can be inhaled by your cat while digging in the litter box. Small kittens have been known to eat cat litter, and clumping litter can cause death by blocking up the stomach and/or intestines. Two healthier choices are wood pellets (Feline Pine) and corn crumbles (World’s Best).  If you choose pellets, make sure to transition your cats gradually over 5 or 6 litter box changes, as it takes time for them to adjust to the texture of pellets. Start out using a small amount of pellets in the bottom of the box covered with regular cat litter, and gradually decrease the amount of regular litter and increase the pellets each time you change the litter box until you are only using pellets. Some cats do not adjust well to pellets, so use the corn crumbles if your cat doesn’t like them. Both litters can be purchased at pet stores and some grocery stores. If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box for no apparent reason, consult a veterinarian to rule out urinary tract or bladder infections. If nothing is physically wrong with your cat, try using Cat Attract cat litter.

Inexpensive litter alternatives. These are available at your local feed & grain stores, Tractor Supply Company and Agway: any horse (equine) bedding wood pellets are the equivalent of Feline Pine, and any non-medicated chicken feed labeled as “crumbles” are the equivalent of World’s Best.

How do I prevent my cat from scratching on the furniture?

If your cats have their own “furniture”, they will be much less likely to scratch yours, so make sure to have at least one cat tree. It is also important to provide scratching posts of various textures in a number of locations for your cat to scratch on.  Some popular surfaces are cardboard, sisal, wood, and carpet (Ocean State Job Lot has great prices on scratching posts and condos). Having several different textures is a good way to find out which one is your cat’s favorite. Sprinkling a bit of catnip on the scratching posts will make them even more attractive to your cat. Most cats prefer scratching posts to furniture, but if your cat develops a habit of scratching on a particular piece of furniture, cover the furniture with a sheet or something else with a texture that is no fun to scratch. You can also apply heavy duty double-sided carpet tape to the area being scratched as a deterrent.

How do I know if my cat is sick?

Some signs that your cat is not feeling well: diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, drinking a lot, frequent urination, straining in the litter box, blood in the stool or urine, greenish or yellowish discharge from the eyes or nose. Please consult a veterinarian immediately as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, as some of them can be life-threatening. Call the nearest pet emergency clinic if it is outside of normal business hours and describe the symptoms.

Should I let my cat go outside or take my cat outside with me?

It may seem that cats have more fun if they are allowed to go outside, but actually most cats are perfectly happy to stay inside, not to mention SAFER. There are many dangers lurking outside, such as cars, diseases, parasites, other animals, and worst of all-people who may not like cats. Your cat could be poisoned, shot, beaten or otherwise seriously injured or killed by someone who is tired of seeing your cat walk through their yard, hunt birds, defecate in their flower beds, spray, fight, etc. You may think that you can supervise your cat outside while you are in your yard or on your deck, but distractions (such as a butterfly or small animal to chase, or a sudden loud noise) can easily send your cat running out of your yard and out of site. It is nearly impossible to catch a cat once it has started to run. If you do manage to catch up with your cat, many cats will panic and may violently scratch or bite until they can get away. You may think that having a fence will keep your cat in your yard, but most cats can easily climb over almost any fence. Cats can become disoriented after being spooked out of their yard, and can easily be mistaken for a stray if they have no collar with an I.D. tag or a microchip. Cats will often find somewhere to hide and will be too traumatized to return home or even to leave their hiding place when their owner is standing in close proximity and calling to them. There is really no reason for a cat to go outdoors, as they can get all of the exercise they need inside the house. Make sure to have plenty of toys available for your cat to play with, and spend at least an hour playing with your cat every day. If your cat enjoys the company of other pets, having a friend to play with might be a good idea. You may think that it is safe to take your cat outside on a leash, but cats can panic and back out of a harness if startled, and may also become seriously injured if they get tangled in a collar, leash or harness. Taking cats outside may also foster an interest in trying to get outside, which will make it more likely that your cat will escape to the outside and disappear. If your cat escapes, the fastest way to get your kitty back is to leave your door open, and close any other pets into a bedroom or other room to prevent additional escapes. If you would like a pet to accompany you on walks, adopting a dog is the best option.