What cat owners think of Dr Jo's Book...
Review: Cat Toileting Problems Solved
by Helen Nolan, Cat owner
Cats. Moggies. Felines. We love them and they love us in their own unique way. One of these ways is to ‘head bunt’ in order to leave scent marks on objects and you! This kind of ‘creating a communal scent’ is a good thing representing affection and bonding. Spraying, on the other hand – another form of communication for cats – is not great. In fact it downright stinks. Literally. Stinks. In my experience, the pungent, lingering odour is near impossible to remove and can drive one to exasperation and tears of frustration. I’ve spent hours Googling, researching, cleaning and spending money on expensive products that just don’t quite do the trick.
Recently, whilst Googling at my computer (through gritted teeth and the distinct stank of cat spray permeating my hallway), I came across animal behaviourist Dr Jo Righetti who has 18 years experience helping people and pets, and regularly features on radio and television. My timing couldn’t have been better as Dr Jo has just published a book on the very smelly problem I was having. ‘Cat Toileting Problems Solved’ is a neat and concise publication that not only explores reasons why a cat is spraying, but also helps cat owners ‘understand and implement long-term solutions to their cat’s toileting problems’.
The book’s layout is clean and straightforward and features lists, tables and even case studies to help the reader understand their cat’s behaviour.
The content is delivered in a no-nonsense way and I felt like Dr Jo was actually talking to me...with care and concern. I particularly liked the section on self diagnosis; rather than blame or even punish the cat (don’t do this), ask yourself what you may or may not be doing that is contributing to your cat spraying problem. From separation anxiety to placement and cleanliness of your litter trays, everything needs to be considered in order to be ruled out. Dr Jo even suggests keeping a diary or videoing your cat’s activities which I tried and found most helpful. I also took her advice and took my cats to the vet for checkups.
In the end, I discovered that one of my cats (Noah) was suffering from anxiety due to neighbouring cats coming in through the cat flap for midnight snacks. I solved this problem by installing a microchip cat flap so that only my cats may enter my apartment. This is turning out much better than the reams of tin foil wrapped around my furniture. My vet also prescribed some anti-anxiety medication (for the cat, not me!) which seems to be helping gradually. After reading Dr Jo’s book, I agree that a toileting problem can be helped if you truly understand your cat’s behaviour. It will take time, but if you are observant, patient, consistent, as well as persistent, you can solve your cat toileting problem. A very helpful book indeed.
"The content is delivered in a no-nonsense way and I felt like Dr Jo was actually talking to me...with care and concern."
Review: Cat Toileting Problems Solved
by Janet Camilleri, Middle Aged Mama and crazy cat lady ;-)
A couple of months ago we adopted an older cat, Seth, from the animal shelter; we already have Miss Fleur, a 3 year old female.
Despite being neutered, Seth is a sprayer - which has definitely not endeared him to the family! I’ve been tearing our hair out over it, so Dr Jo’s book, “Cat Toileting Problems Solved” came along just at the right time.
It seems that cat toileting problems are common in multi-cat households. Dr Jo’s book has given me a deeper understanding of cat behaviour, and I have realised that Seth is definitely stressed by having another cat in the house, despite a very gradual introduction (according to our vet we’ve done “everything right”).
Dr Jo’s book has given me some new tips to try when I was at the end of my tether. I’ve started keeping a diary to help me work out when the behaviour occurs, and have started feeding Seth in some of his favourite places to spray – as apparently cats don’t like to toilet where they eat! With perseverance and lots of TLC, we are hoping that Seth will soon feel truly at home – and stop spraying!