How to prepare for the death of your cat?

death of an old cat

Death is an unfortunate certainty of life. Your cat, not matter how much you love and care for it will eventually pass on. I am not going to sugar coat the fact that it will be a tremendous loss for any loving owner and will be a source of pain. I write this articles to hopefully offer a little bit of advice in these darker times of being a cat owner, to hopefully ease a bit of grief or at least make it a little more bearable when the moment comes to say good bye.

how to deal with the death of your cat

I lost my first cat very suddenly after being hit by a car, and even though we were only together for 6 months the loss hit me hard. Now I have a cat who is 13 years old and is starting to show the signs of slowing down. Her sight is nowhere near what it used to be and I just hope her hearing does not start to falter as well. She will one day leave me and that is a fact that that I understand, but I will still cry a bit when reminded of my limited time with her. Due to an injury sustained in her younger years she may also need to be put down earlier if the arthritis in her leg becomes too painful. In saying this, no matter how soon she will leave me, I know that I have loved her with all my heart and always strived to do the best that I could for her while she was alive. When she passes, I hope that she will have has a full life and that she is content.

What can I do to prepare for the death of my cat?

Well, the first step I would say is to talk to your vet while the pet is still alive. Ask questions and see what their standard procedures are when a pet needs to be put down. It will be a morbid conversation, but it will at least give you a sense of direction when the time comes to pass and you will not feel as lost with what to do. Some vets offer some type of burial or cremation, but not all vets offer these services. It is usually up to the owner to decide what to do with the remains of the pet once they have passes. Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind with yourself and your vet so that at least that painful conversation does not need to happen when you are far more emotional and depressed.

How do I decide it is time for my cat to be put down?

Dealing with the death of a cat

Well this is another huge grey area for vets and pet owners. Usually there will come a time that a pet is in so much pain or discomfort that it is cruel to keep it alive. I have seen the ugly side of this when an owner refuses to put down a beloved pet. The dog in question was blind, deaf, could not control their bladder and was allergic to everything. I cannot imagine the misery that was that poor dogs last year, every time I saw her I only felt sadness and pain. The owners are not entirely to blame. They loved her so much that they did not wish to part with her and did everything they could to keep her happy and alive. They went to ‘natural vets’ and had her on a vert strict diet to keep her allergies at bay. To their credit, she far outlived what the vet had estimated, but it did come at both a financial and emotional cost. The dog thankfully passes away at the end of last year, in the arms of her owners who loved her dearly. But here is the issue, from an unbiased outside perspective, the dog did not have a great last year of life. I understand the owner’s feelings but it would have been less cruel to put her down 6 months earlier and given her a more dignified end to her life. When my cat comes to this age, I hope I am able to see past my own love for her to be able to identify if she is in that much pain. I do not want her to suffer and I hope to be able to send her off before her pain becomes unbearable. The point I am trying to make is that it is hard to say when it is time to say good bye. The best person to talk to is a vet who is only looking out for the well being of your pet, even if it means to end their life. Please read plenty of peer reviewed articles and have discussions with your vet to see when that time will be right for you and your pet, and always try to put the health and happiness of your pet before your own pain of their inevitable death.

How do I heal from the death of a pet?

Again, there is no easy answer to this question. My advice is to look after yourself and your mental health. Take a day or two off work, watch a sad movie and cry your heart out, eat your favorite meal, and hug a loved one for support. The point is you have every right to mourn the loss of your pet. Take as much time as you need to cry and process this grief, but do not let it halt your life forever. Every day try take one step forward to acceptance and peace with yourself, once you are ready, you can go and help another animal have a better life. You could even look at becoming a foster parent and help multiple animals find a better home. The death of a cat (or any animal for that matter) is not the end of the world, just a bittersweet end to a chapter of your life that you one day will look back on and remember.

healing from the death of a cat

I hope this article offers at least a little bit of helpful advice when dealing with such a sad time in your life. Just remember you are not alone, you can always talk to friends, family, or even me, an internet stranger.  Just remember; you did your best, they are at peace, it’s okay to cry, and even more important, it’s okay to move on and heal.

Introducing a new Cat

how to introduce cats

Recently we got a new cat from the local shelter. He is a one year old rag doll cross and we are head over heals in love with our new ball of floof. My old cat however has only lived with dogs her whole life and her encounters with other cats were always on the street and not necessarily positive. These days my cat lives inside 100% of the time. The new cat will also be an indoor cat so it was very important for the two to get along.  This article is about how to introduce cats and aims to provide some good advice, insights and lessons that I have learned from this experience.

Bringing the new cat home

how to introduce cats

These first few days are going to be the most important for the introduction process. You don’t want your resident cat to see the new cat straight away otherwise it may feel that its territory is threatened. Its important to keep the two cats separated for a few days with the new cat living in say the master bedroom and the other cat the rest of the residence. You also want to stop any free feeding and start having a feeding schedule as food is the main tool used to introduce two new cats together. Once the new cat as scented a few items, take those items out and feed the old cat alongside the scented item. You are trying to get your old cat to associate the smell of the new cat with something they like (most often, food). You want to also do something similar to the new cat (although I’m sure the room they are living in will smell entirely of your old cat anyway). After the old cat eats quite happily near the scent of the new cat (which can take up to a few days, so be patient), start to move to the next phase.

Smelling and Hearing the other cat

Start to feed the cats opposite sides of the bedroom door. You want your old cat to be able to smell and hear the new cat, but without having full visual of them. If your old cat is very hissy and upset, move the food bowl away from the door until they feel comfortable to eat. Over the next few days slowly inch the food bowls closer to the door so the cats can get used to the sound of each other eating. If they start to act up and hiss again, move the food bowl away and start the process again. For us this particular stage of the process took the longest. A full 7 days. During that time we also let the new cat have small explores of the unit and the balcony with supervision. Once the cats can eat happily next to the door you can start the visualization phase

Making visual contact with the new cat

Start to leave the door cracked open during feeding. You want to let the old cat start to see more of the new cat. Again, you many need to move the food bowls away from the door and slowly inch them towards the door until there is no hissing and the cats are eating next to the cracked open door. Start to slowly open the door more and more until the cats have full visual of each other while eating. It could be useful to have like a large cage or some screen door so that if they do look at each other the wrong way they can’t fight. Hopefully, if they are used to the sound and smell of the new cat, it shouldn’t take too long for the old cat to be okay with the full visual of the new cat.

Finally living together

how to introduce cats

Once the cats are happily eating together you can start to let them interact with supervision. It’s a good idea to have playtime in the same room but separately (a second person is a must for this). You want them to be able to play and feel comfortable with the other cat in the room. If there are any fights, don’t yell, that will only make the cats more scared. Instead through a pillow or blanket next to them to startle them and make them forget the other cat is there. Also try to separate them here until they have calmed down and then can be reintroduced later in the day. After a few weeks they should be able to live together without much supervision.

Final Thoughts on Introducing Cats

Cats are on the most part fairly solitary creatures, but that doesn’t mean that they wont appreciate a new feline friend. Just remember to be very patient with your cats and where they are at in this introduction process. Some cats may be able to be fully introduced in a matter of days, some may take weeks (like ours did), just don’t give up on you cats and eventually you will all be one big happy family. If they start to fight again you may need to do parts of the introduction process again, but this shouldn’t take anywhere near as long as the initial introduction process. With that I wish you good luck. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an email through my contact page.

introducing cats

Choosing the Right Litter for Your Cat

which cat litter to use

Now that I have 2 cats choosing the right litter has become more important than ever. Before I could clean the litter once a day and leave it at that. Now, even with two litter boxes I need to be cleaning them both at least twice a day otherwise the cats can start leaving their faecal matter in places I don’t like. The past few months have been quite the cat litter journey and I am ready to share what I learned.

My Journey to find the Perfect Cat Litter…

Recycled Paper Litter

recycled paper cat litter

This was the original litter I had with my older cat. It was made from recycled paper and was biodegradable so it felt more environmentally conscious using the litter (as long as the litter tray liner was also biodegradable). The main downside is that after a week the smell or urine would be quite strong and could not last more than 7 days.

Due to the fact that I had to change the entire litter out every week this made it more expensive than some other options, but when I had just the one cat it worked well for me. The trouble came with the new cat (a ragdoll cross) who hated the paper litter and refused to use it. I would often find him peeing and pooping next to the litter box almost in protest. We had to change the litter and we had to change it fast.

crystal cat litter

Crystal Cat Litter

This litter worked fine in theory, however my older cat really didn’t like the crystals and would refuse to poo in it (but was still okay to pee). The newer cat didn’t overly mind it but it was clear he wasn’t comfortable with it.

While this litter may work with your cats it did not with mine so I had to move to the next one. This litter also required a liner so we could easily switch it out after 2 weeks.

Flushable clay clumping litter

This was our first ‘success’. Both cats were happy to poo and pee in this litter (for the most part) and the best part was it was able to be flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately however this litter was quite dusty which is terrible for a cats respiratory health and could potentially cause more issues down the line.

The litter would also stop clumping after a while as all the clumping clay would have been used up and the remaining litter would absorb the smells and v=be quite unpleasant. This litter also was the one that got everywhere and I was constantly getting out the dust pan to sweep it up and put it into the litter box. At least with this litter we were able to remove the litter liner on one of the litter boxes and at the end of the week combine the remaining litter and throw it out in one bag. The pros did not out way the cons for me so we had to find a new litter for us to us.

No-Dust Clay litter

Clumping clay cat litter

This is the actual godsend that works for both of my cats. No longer do they feel the need to poo and pee in the bath tub or shower. This litter is like the flushable clumping litter but has a higher ratio of clay and cannot be flushed. Despite being unflushable, it clumps like a dream. It is easy to scoop out the remains of my cat’s bowl movements and put them in the poo bin that sits close to the two litter trays. I don’t use a liner at all with this litter and at the end of the month I just need to give the litter trays a wipe.

Even through this litter is more expensive, it actually works out to be cheaper than the other options as I don’t need to completely empty the litter boxes at the end of the week and I can keep using the litter for up to 4 weeks. Like the other clay litter it does tend to get a little messy around the litter boxes and I do need to sweep them up once or twice a day when I am scooping out the clumped remains in the litter box. The biggest plus with this litter is the smell; since I am scooping out both cat pee and poo there is nothing left to stink up the bathroom.

This is the litter that worked best with my cats and I am very happy with the results. If you had an automatic cat litter box this seems to be the best litter to use with it as its great at clumping pee and poo together.

Final thoughts on my search for the perfect Cat Litter

Every cat is different and will have different preferences to cat litter. As you could see there was quite a lot of trial and error when trying to find a litter that worked for both my cats and my lifestyle. I encourage you to try and see what works best with your cat. It will be a lot of work at first (since constantly needing to clean the shower was a pain) but it will be worth it in the end and could even save you money in the long run. Good luck with your cat litter journey!

Renting with a Cat

how to rent with a cat

Looking for a place with a cat?

renting with a cat

In general it is far easier to rind a rental property with a cat than a dog, which makes them more accessible as a pet for people who are in the rental market.

So I am currently renting with a cat and while I love my fur-baby, it certainly makes it a little more difficult finding a place to live.

I have found in general that land lords tend to like older cats. The general idea being that older cats have less energy, are house trained, and are less likely to damage the property. I was lucky in this aspect as my cat was going on 11 years when I applied for my current place.

You may have more trouble with a cat under 2 years old since they will have much more energy and could be more destructive. In these cases, its great to have a written reference from a previous landlord/real estate agent since their word/opinion would be in higher regard.  I also made a little flyer for my cat that I submitted with the rental application with a cute photo and a little blurb about her age, background, and personality.

Talking with the Land Lord

Your landlord may have reservations about letting a cat into the property, and that is okay. Don’t be defensive and grouchy when talking to them, listen to their concerns and answer them calmly and respectfully. They may try to negotiate the rent amount, give you some stricter leaving conditions, or request to meet the cat themselves.

Just remember that you want to give you and your cat the best possible chance of success so you may need to be flexible. However, more and more properties are open to pets and it’s more likely for them to accept your pet than not. After all, they want to fill that space so they can make money too.

You got approved, now what?

finding a place to rent with a cat

Make sure that you follow the rental rules. If the place where you are renting has furniture, make sure your cat does not ruin it! This is best resolved by giving the cat scratch posts and scratch boards, and using rewards when they use them. If they are persistent with the furniture, you can take a spray bottle with some water and give them a small squirt. My cat hates water and even the sight of the bottle is enough for her to know she did wrong.

If/when they have an accident, especially if it involves carpet, clean it up as fast as you can. You can read my article about cleaning cat carpet accidents for more information on how to clean those messes. Essentially you are trying to be a model tenant not just to keep living in your current place, but by the end of your lease you can ask for a reference for both you and your cat and this is greatly help when looking for your next place.

Final Thoughts on Renting with a Cat

Thankfully in this day and age, renting with a cat is not as hard as it first might seem. Sure it can limit some of the place you can live, but in return you get to live with your favorite feline housemate and that in itself is a great reward! Just remember to be a good tenant, clean up after your cat (and yourself for that matter) and they rest should be easy!

How to get cat poop out of carpet in an emergency?

cat poop emergency

Did your cat do a bad poop, run from the litter box and leave a trail of poo throughout the house? Well mine has done this a few times and it’s always a panic to get it cleaned up before the whole apartment smells like poop. After a bit of trial and error, I present to you my method for cleaning up my cats poop using regular household products!


cat cleaning spray

  • 1 tbs Vinegar
  • 1 tbs dish soap (make sure there is no bleach!)
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • Bicarb soda

Also need

  • Wet wipes and paper towel
  • A glove
  • A spray bottle


  1. Pick up excess poop with a glove and flush, do not let it sit because it might stain!
  2. Use a wet paper towel or baby wipe to wipe excess poop off carpet fibres.
  3. Mix vinegar, dish soap, and water into a spray bottle and spray area liberally and blot area with paper towel until poop colour is gone.
  4. Wet area with cold water and blot it up with a cloth to get rid of cleaning solution.
  5. Once dried, sprinkle bicarb soda over area and leave for 10 minutes to soak up any bad smells and then vacuum up the last remaining memory of your cat’s bathroom disaster.

Keep any leftover cleaning solution in a cupboard out of direct sunlight and empty out any unused liquid after 3 months.


Always check solution on a small part of the carpet first to make sure it won’t affect the colour.

Also make sure there is no ammonia in the detergent as well because that will encourage the cat to pee there because it smells like pee.

Hopefully this article was super helpful, as my cat gets older I have noticed that these emergencies pop up a little more frequently and its helps to have a ready-made solution handy.

Adopting: Kitten vs Cat

adopting Kitten vs Cat

Adopting a cat for the first time is a fun and rewarding experience, but the first question that you should ask yourself is whether you want to adopt a kitten or a fully grown cat.

Adopting a kitten

Kittens are adorable balls of fluff that have high energy and high maintenance. Depending on the age of the kitten, you may need to spend more time housetraining it than an adult cat. House training involves:

  • teaching them to use the litter box
  • teaching them that the sofa is not a scratching post
  • boundaries (especially if they are not allowed to go outside)
  • not scratching or attacking visitors

The main tool for this training is consistency. Reward them for good behaviour and have some punishment for bad. Obviously this punishment is not physical abuse. Do not hit your kitten or cat since that will not reinforce good behaviour. The best bet is sternly talking to them or having a water spray bottle immediately after the event. It’s no use punishing them for something that happened an hour ago since there won’t be that instant connection in the cats mind. There are other methods of course and these are just the bear basics. The advantage to this is that you can train your cat from day one and with persistence and patience your cat will be the perfect animal companion.

In addition to the extra training, kittens require more attention than a grown cat. They need to be constantly stimulated with play time and affection. This isn’t much of a downside though since playing with your cat is the most fun an owner can have. It’s good to savour this while you can since older cats are not always as playful. Due the greater time commitment, adopting a kitten would not be suitable for someone who lives a very busy lifestyle, but if you have enough time per week to train and give affection to your kitten then go ahead.

Adopting a Cat

Unlike kittens, most cats come pre-trained and are in greater need of finding a home. Adult cats are less likely to be adopted and therefore more likely to put down, so buy adopting your cat from a local animal shelter you are literally saving a life.

Adult cats do also require some house training but that is more so to get them used to their new environment and their new boundaries. This transition period can take 1-3 weeks depending on the cat and requires the owner to gently push them to explore and get used to their new lifestyle. After that first introductory period, adult cats are great companions and require less training.

Adult cats are also more contempt to play with themselves. They have less needs than a kitten, but that doesn’t mean you can just ignore them. All cats need play time, especially if they are indoor cats. Play time is a great way to bind with your cat, as well and a good way to keep their bodies and minds healthy.

Remember: Everyone’s situation is different so be honest with the amount of time you can dedicate to your cat and always try to be as informed as possible. Regardless of whether you adopt a kitten or a cat, you are guaranteed to have a great fur-friend for many years.

How to Have a Cat in a Small Apartment

Indoor cat with cat teaser

Lets face it, house and apartment sizes seem to be getting smaller and smaller, which means our feline friends are having less and less room to play in. If your cat is a totally-indoors cat, then it is important to provide a good stimulating environment for them to live in. So here are 6 Tips in maximizing your space for your feline.

1. Perching

Having a good cat tree or cat condo is a great way to maximize the vertical space that you have. Buying a cat condo that has high platforms, scratching posts, and hidy-holes are a great way to increase the amount of play area your cat has. You can also get shelving specifically designed as a perch for you cat, that gives them a space off the ground where they can look at the world below them.

2. Toys

Play time will be an essentially part of an indoor cats lifestyle. They need a way to let out energy, and play time with cat toys is a great way to stimulate your cats mind, as well as giving them some exercise. lazer pointers are good in this respect since you can have your cat running up and down halls, trying to chase the tiny dot. Just make sure that you point the lazer at a toy towards the end so they can have some satisfaction in catching the darn thing. Other ideas are cat wands or cat dancers that have a wand like handle with an attachment. These are another good way to play with your cat as they try to catch the little teasers on the ends.

3. Feeders

Feeders can be another good way to exercise your cats mind. Some feeders work like puzzles, where cats have to work to get their food out of small holes. This also has a double advantage for cats that are overweight as it means they can only eat so much food at one time. There are also small balls that you can put treats inside that work similar to feeders as they slowly release the treats inside.

4. Balcony access and being outside

If you live in an apartment with a balcony, this can be a great way to give your cat some outside time. Just make sure that you put a harness on your cat, since they could try to jump if they think they can do so “safely”. Just sitting there while letting them wander is a good relaxing experience for you and your cat. There is also the possibility of walking your cat to stimulate them ever further, and getting some exercise in along the way.

5. Tricks

Tricks can be a fun way for you and your cat to bond. Teaching them a few simple tricks like ‘sit’ and ‘paw’ are fun, easy ways to stimulate your cat’s mind. Like with dogs, this is far easier to do with cats that are food motivated. But do not worry if this does not sound like your cat, a little patience can go a long way, you just need to find what your cat bonds with most (like a toy or catnip).

6. Litter box

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean and easily accessible is a vital part of living with your cat in a smaller apartment. First of all, it helps to minimize the smell, and it keeps your cat happier and healthier. Its also important to keep the litter box constantly accessible since that will avoid any “accidents”.

Just Remember

The most important thing here is to just have fun with it. Switch up the layout of your floor set-up every few months to keep it interesting. Introduce new toys and cycle through them to keep your cat stimulated. There are many things you can do but most importantly make sure to give them lots of love!

Can You Walk Your Cat?

How to walk a cat

Walking the cat

Cats are not often associated with being walked, however that does not mean that it is impossible. Cats, like dogs, do like a little bit of outdoor exploration and a cat on a leash is the perfect way to let your cat roam the outside world safely. Cats that are already raised to be outdoor cats may not take to the leash well since they already do plenty of exploration on their own. The leash is more a way for indoor cats, who do not spend time outdoors, to safely explore and roam with their human companion.

Training your cat with the Harness

The first step is just to let the cat wear the harness around the house to let them get used to it. Since the harness attaches to the upper torso (around the neck and shoulders), it may take a while for the cat to get used to walking in the harness. Just make sure it is not too tight. Once they are used to the feel of the harness, you can attach the lead and let them drag that along behind them so they can feel its pull. This first stage usually takes place over a few days. You want to cat to be as comfortable as possible in the harness and leash before taking them outside.

When they are ready, you can start by taking the cat outside into your yard (or closest outside area) and just letting them wonder around with you holding the leash. After a few days the next step is taking it beyond the confines of your home and onto the streets. Just be careful of passing dogs since they may try to “play” with your cat. Try not to pull on your leash, since most cats don’t like being told where to go, so let your cat wonder at their own pace, exploring their new environments.

The important thing to remember when training your cat is to let your cat gradually get used to the idea of walking outside on a leash. They may be quite resistant if you try to make them do too much at once, so slowly taking it step by step is a good way to increase your likelihood of being able to walk your cat.

Walking young cats vs old cats

It is generally easier to train a younger cat to walk. They are still learning about what they like and dislike and are more inquisitive about the outside world.  The important thing is consistency and letting the cat explore at its own pace.

Older cats may take longer to train since they are more reluctant to be on a leash and may already have mixed feelings about the outside world. It just means that an owner with an older cat will need more patience and you may need more encouragement from treats to get the cat feeling comfortable with the harness.

Just Remember

Not all cats will want to walk outside on a harness. If that is the case, just forcing them will do more damage than good. Respect their independence and you can always try again in a year when they are older and may be looking for more stimulating activities.