Ollie

As a cat owner, you will appreciate they are amazing animals that have their own individual personalities that are quirky and entertaining.  Unlike dogs, they need to have a different approach when training as they will rarely listen to you telling them what to do.  Rather than damaging your relationship by scolding your cat (which they will not respond to) below are some tips on retraining your cat to not ‘door dash’, one may work or you may need to use a combination.

WHEN LEAVING THE HOUSE

1. Use an alternate exit. If your cat is constantly hanging out by the front door, waiting to make its escape when you leave, try exiting out a different door.  For instance, instead of going in and out through the front door, try using the back or garage door.

2. Create a distraction.  Before you leave, say goodbye to your cat and give him an absolutely irresistible treat. Your cat will probably be much more interested in eating his yummies than in running out the door.  If your cat insists on following you to the door, keep a stash of cat toys in a place that’s easy for you to reach but hard for him to access. Toss the toy across the room as you leave.

– Offer puzzle feeders before you head out the door.  A puzzle feeder will provide your cat with entertainment while getting a food reward for their efforts.  Divide up their daily meal portion so you can set out a couple of puzzle feeders before you head off to work in the morning.

– If you have children, keep a box of cat toys beside the door and teach the kids to throw a cat toy for the cat to chase when exiting the house.  If the cat is too busy chasing toys, it won’t be darting out the door.

3. Deterrents. You may also use smell deterrents to keep the cat away from forbidden doorway zones. Cats dislike citrus smells, so orange or lemon scents sprayed at the bottom of the door may help.

WHEN ARRIVING HOME

1. Distract your cat. Keep a spray bottle filled with water just outside your door. When you open the door to come in, open it just a crack so that you can see your cat waiting to run outside. Put the nozzle of the bottle through the crack and spray your kitty with a well-aimed ‘mist’ of water (not a squirt) and don’t aim at its face. It might take a few sprays before your cat backs up.  After a week or so of doing this, your cat will associate the door with getting sprayed by the water bottle and avoid going near the door.

This method, should only be used when you’re entering the home, not exiting.  If you do it when exiting, your cat will associate you, not the door, with the irritation of getting sprayed by the water bottle and it could have a negative impact on you and your cat’s relationship.

2. Don’t give your cat any attention at the door.  If your cat thinks that being near the door is a place where you will pet or play with it, your cat will gravitate toward the door.  If your cat is in the habit of greeting you and getting a friendly hello right when you walk in, break yourself of that habit.

3. Play it extra safe. Post bright neon coloured signs reminding all people entering and leaving the house to stop and look for signs of your daring cat before reaching for the door knob. When you have guests over, put your cat in another room until the festivities are over. This way, when people come through the main door, your cat won’t be around to dart through it.

GENERAL

Part of a cat’s ‘environmental enrichment’ is allowing access to a safe enclosed outdoor area. This will assist with meeting your cat’s natural instincts of feeling sun on their face and having another area they can relax and play in. If this ‘need’ is being met, it may assist with the cat wanting to dart out the door.

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cat litter tray and scoop

Litter tray issues are one of the most common concerns with cat owners but in many cases, can be easily solved and is often one of the first signs that something is not right with your feline family member. Cats are very clean animals and will naturally use a litter tray so if your cat is not using their tray, there’s always a reason.

It can be frustrating for cat parents but please DON’T ever punish a cat for urinating or defecating outside their tray. This will just make the problem worse and increase their anxiety and stress. Patience and perseverance is key!

The first step is to thoroughly clean the area where your cat has urinated. You want to make that place less appealing to toilet. Try moving a water bowl, bed or toys onto the cleaned area, place double sided tape or foil on the surface to discourage them returning to that spot.

Make the litter tray more appealing by following the steps below. With patience and a few changes, you should see an improvement. If you are unable to rectify the issue, please ensure your cat has visited your local vet to rule out any health issues.

KEEP IT CLEAN – Scoop soiled litter at least once a day and replace litter regularly to keep clean and odour free. Scrub the tray with hot water and unscented soap at least once a week.

TRAY TYPE AND SIZE – The tray should be appropriate to the size/age of the cat. A large cat will not feel comfortable using a small tray. Older cats might struggle to access a high sided tray. Many cats do not like hooded trays, particularly those in multi pet homes who can be easily snuck up on and surprised.

TYPE OF LITTER – The litter type depends on your cat’s preference. Use a shallow bed of litter about one to two inches deep. Cats are sensitive to smell so avoid scented litter and liners. You could try 2 litter trays with different types to establish which one your cat prefers. Avoid crystal litter for kittens, who can easily ingest crystals while grooming.

LOCATION – One litter tray per cat plus one extra, and placed in different areas. Choose quiet but easily accessible areas. You don’t want to eat next to the toilet and neither does your cat! Avoid placing food/water bowls near litter trays.

Converting an outdoor cat to a litter tray? Try placing a tray at the door where the cat previously exited and gradually move it to a more suitable location. If you’re able to provide an outdoor enclosure attached to the house, you can use timber or brick to frame a large sand box or loose soil box where the urine drains away and you just need to remove the faecal matter.

PAIN/FEAR/STRESS – Your cat will avoid using the litter tray if he/she experienced pain urinating. If you suspect this may be the case, please contact your vet immediately. Your cat may also avoid the litter tray if it is being bullied by another cat or if he/she had a fright while using the tray. You may need to move the tray to a different location and always ensure you have enough litter trays in different positions for multi cat households. Cats can react to even slight changes in the household or to the normal routine so events such as moving house or a new pet/family member are particularly stressful.


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Paws Up

This week 21-27 May is National Volunteer Week and what better time to say THANK YOU to all our dedicated and hard working volunteers who make what we do possible.

Cat Vollie (2)

You may have helped out once as part of your workplace giving program or you may be one of our dedicated regulars, on behalf of all the BAWCS shelter and sanctuary animals, we thank you for helping to make a difference!

While you definitely get your hands dirty caring for animals, it is such a rewarding experience. In the spirit of this years theme…Give a little. Change a lot….why not check out our Volunteer page and find out how you can get involved.

 


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Earlier this year, BAWCS was delighted to receive a Victorian State Government grant to allow us to run our 2017 Feline Desexing Program. The program was made available to concession card holders, who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.

We had an overwhelming response to the launch of our program and it has been a great success. Just over 100 cats were not only desexed, but the majority of those were also given a free vaccination and microchip as part of our program.

The funding for this program also allowed us to provide an Education kit, covering information and advice on keeping a happy indoor cat, addressing common issues and options for providing a safe and secure outdoor space.

Not only are all of these cats now healthier but they will also no longer be able to contribute to the huge amount of unwanted kittens born every year.

A huge shout out to Kangaroo Flat Veterinary Clinic, who partnered with us to deliver this program and of course the Victorian State Government for providing the funding support for this important work.

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birdman 2

Would you jump into the Yarra River for a good cause?

On Sunday 12th March, Moomba’s brave Birdman Rally participants will take the leap for charity, as part of the annual Moomba Festival. For the first time ever, BAWCS is being represented!

Stef
BAWCS Volunteer Stef and Miss Kitty

Only 12 entrants were selected to take the plunge into the Yarra River on the day, which includes one of our very dedicated volunteers. Stef is all set to make a splash with her homemade wings, to raise much needed funds for BAWCS.

Stef has been volunteering in our Adoption Cattery for 2 years and has helped play an important role in keeping our cattery areas clean and our many felines happy and healthy. Without people who are willing to give their time, we would not be able to change the lives of the many animals that come into our care.

We are chuffed to be part of this great event and wish Stef all the best as she plunges into the Yarra.

Like to show your support for Stef and help BAWCS continue to care for animals in need?

You don’t have to jump into the Yarra, just click here to make a donation. (No splash required)

Click here for more information on the Birdman Rally.


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vet-exam-area

vic_gov_logo_black_-_state_government-003We are so excited to announce that the construction of our new BAWCS vet building is now complete, thanks to the State Government Animal Welfare Fund grant that we received earlier this year.

The project would not have been possible without the funding, which has enabled us to build a dedicated veterinary care building and to upgrade part of our existing facilities to include heating/cooling, repainting and new flooring.

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Framing of the new vet building

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During construction of the new vet building

The new building will allow for visiting veterinarians to assess and treat animals onsite, minimising stress on animals and reducing travel time for our volunteers.

We are now better equipped to care for sick animals with a specific isolation area and greater capacity to care for animals in need, including those in emergency situations.

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Vet cages in the new building

We look forward to expanding on our  work assisting disadvantaged pet owners with plans for our new facility to provide these clients with vaccination, microchipping and desexing of their pets at a reduced cost.


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