Reasons for Urinary Problems in Cats – They are Serious

Are one of your cats showing signs of urinary problems?  There are several reasons and they can be very serious.

Reasons for Urinary Problems in Cats They are Serious A year ago I started to have problems when I had to go to the bathroom. I just hated thinking about using the litter box.

It was hurting and then after I left the box I felt like I needed to right back. I just couldn’t empty my bladder. It didn’t make me feel very good at all. Now Oscar is struggling with this problem.  We had urinary problems.

Fortunately Mom noticed how frequently I was in the litter box and when I was there it was for quite a while. She checked and noticed there wasn’t much urine left behind when I left. The next thing I knew I was in a carrier and at the Vet Clinic where there were many unusual smells and new people trying to get their hands on me. I was a feral cat and don’t let anyone touch me not even my human family. So, they had to relax me to take care of me. Mom was afraid I had a urinary blockage. Fortunately it was not that, but an infection. They sent me home with some medicine. It still took awhile to make it easy for me to go to the bathroom.


1. Straining to Urinate

Like I mentioned, I was having trouble when I went to the litter box. If this situation is not addressed it continues to
get worse and the crystals that form eventually can create a blockage of the urethra. This is life threatening for us,
and more common if we are male.

2. Frequent Trips to the Litter Box

I would go right back to the litter box after leaving, because I had not emptied my bladder. When this is happening we are not getting rid of the toxins that normally are eliminated through urination. This will make us very sick.

3. Painful Urination

When you know you have to pee, but you also know it hurts to do it, it becomes frustrating. There seems to be no way to relieve that pain. You may find us licking our privates to help soothe that pain. We also may be more cranky than usual.

4. Bloody Urine

Finding blood in our urine or noticing it is darker and discolored is alarming! Females can be more apt to have blood tinged urine than males. But, in our household Joe Boo Boo, a husky male, occasionally has blood in his urine.  He has been to the Vet and we have a post about that situation.

5. Urinating Outside the Litter Box

When we do this it is our way of letting you know we are having a problem. For example, Joe Boo Boo will leave some bloody urine in the bathtub to let Mom know he is having a problem. Oscar used the mat around the litter box when he was beginning to have a problem. If you find us doing something like this PLEASE pay attention and get us to the Vet.

6. Lethargy, vomiting or crying out in pain when in the litter box are emergency situations!

if this is happening we are in extreme stress and may already have a blockage of the urinary tract. It is life threatening and it doesn’t take long.  The Vet needs to drain our bladder immediately.


This is the technical term for the bladder inflammation of the lower urinary tract that causes straining when urinating.

Crystals are formed that build up and eventually without treatment will cause a blockage in the urinary tract. There are two types of crystals. One is struvite which means the urine is too alkaline. The other is calcium oxalate meaning the urine is too acidic.


Low quality dry pellet cat food! That is the answer to that question. A few years ago companies making perscription dry cat food added acidifying substances to so called healthy food to combat the struvite crystals. Now this has created more of the calcium oxalate crystals. If you read what is in the cat food stay away from those that mention “byproducts”,fillers, grains, food colors and chemicals that work against our health.


Go to the Veternarian.

When they have determined the cause of the problem the Vet will perscribe an antibiotic, Amoxicillin or Cephalexin.

It is suggested that if you are taking an antibiotic you should add a probiotic or some live culture yogurt to your food to create the good bacteria in the GI tract that is being destroyed with the antibiotic.

There is a caution about antibiotics and cats who experience chronic infectons. It is not recommended that you give me constant doses of Amoxicillin to prevent me from having recurring infections. This will keep the antibiotic from truly working the next time it needs to. There are some holistic treatments that can help prevent this from recurring.


Now we are getting somewhere. Here are some immediate things you can do to help us.

I swear by Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 1 – 3 tsp. apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. Try to get about 1/8th of the cup into the cat with the problem and follow up every hour with some. Now, you know it isn’t going to be easy. Oscar is really hard to get cooperation from when it comes to getting a dropper full of anything into his mouth. One suggestion may be to dip his paw into the water mixture and hopefully he will lick it off. You can put a dropper full on our food as well. Again, Oscar has such a good “smeller” that he won’t eat his food if there is vinegar on it. We tried that before. I got used to it in my food.

Cranberries are naturally good to keep the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. You can use the cranberry juice like the vinegar. It can be added to our water bowl or on our food. Just be sure it is natural and unsweetened. You can also use fresh or dried cranberries. Blueberries will do the same thing.

Coconut Oil is very healthy. Add a pea sized amount to our food.

There are several herbs that can help with Urinary Tract infections.

There are some herbs that will help soothe and give long term good urinary health.

Echinacea ~ This will help with acute infections and will help with UTI

Uva Ursi ~ Especially for bladder and kidney infections. It may serve as an antiseptic to clean the urinary tract.

Horsetail ~ We need to try this with Joe Boo Boo. It is especially helpful if there is blood in the urine.

Marshmellow ~ This is soothing for the inflammation experienced by the forming of the crystals.

Tumeric ~ This is a natural anti-inflammatory. Add 1/8th – 1/4th tsp. to our food once or twice a day. You can find this in the spice section of the grocery store.

Parsley ~ This has a healing effect to the bladder. Put 1/4 tsp. on our food or make a parsley tea and give it in place of our water. Add 1 teaspoon of parsley to 1 cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 15 minutes then strain theparsley. Cool and put it in our water bowl.

Corn Silk ~ This is good for bladder problems. It can be mixed with the food, or mixing 1/4 tsp. of corn silk tincture and 3/4 tsp. water which can be given by syringe orally twice a day.


Immediately begin giving us canned food instead of the dry pellet food. Canned food has more moisture in it and consequently will add moisture to our system.

Find a better dry commercial cat food. Do research on what is in the food you choose.

Make homemade cat food. There are many good websites that have recipes and good information about the nutrition you need to be aware of to take on this project.

Clean fresh water daily. Please give us fresh, cold water everyday. We aren’t happy with water that has things floating in it.  Even cats who live outdoors will find a source of fresh water to drink. We need the fresh water to flush out the toxins in our bodies and keep our bladder healthy.

You can make a bone broth for your furry friends, too. To do this boil chicken bones in water for several hours. Strain, then pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Each day you can take a couple and put in the water bowl.


We have delicate systems and need attention from our human family. Joe Boo Boo is mostly an outdoor cat in the nice weather and you can see him trying to go to the bathroom occasionally. He will be sure you see him and that he is staying for awhile or going back soon after leaving. Those of us in the house, watch to see if we are there more often or just sitting there. Check the box, too.

This does not have to be a death sentence. As long as you are observant. Thanks for taking good care of us!

We suggest these websites for more information and

Save Black Cats

by Suzy U. Scamper

My friends and I are not bad luck!  We do not attract the nasty things that go on in your life!  My human family are not witches or the devil!

This superstition is most prevalent in western civilization – in the United States.  Personally I blame the pilgrims.  They came here with the belief that some women were witches and they used black cats to do their bidding.  “Tell me, have you ever known a cat to do what any human wants them to?”  

black cat, one eyed cat,
Suzy Scamper is the only female feline in the household and she rules the roost

The belief that Black Cats are Bad Luck

To be honest the belief that black cats are bad luck can be traced back to very early times.  There is the story in Greek mythology about Hercules.  He was the son of Alcmene and Zeus, the King of the Gods.  Zeus’ wife, Hera,  found out about his upcoming birth and tried to prevent it.  Hera was tricked by a servant to stop her plan to prevent Hercules birth.  It is believed that Hera turned the servant into a black cat and sent to serve Heeate, the goddess of death and witchcraft.  You did not mess with the gods so from that point on black cats were bad.

In the Middle Ages, 1233 AD to be exact, Pope Gregory XI wrote a document “Vox in Rama” concerning worship of the devil.  It was claimed that black cats were the incarnation of the devil so killing of them was encouraged.

People believed that the bubonic plaque was the result of witchcraft and so they believed killing the familiar of the witches, black cats, would take care of the disease.  When they did that the rat population exploded and consequently the plaque got worse.  Still blaming us!

Do I look like a pirate?  One eye?  Well, pirates of the 18th century had a complicated belief of bad and good luck concerning black cats.  If a black cat walked toward them it was bad luck,  the cat walked away from them it was good luck, and  if a cat walked onto the ship and walked off again the ship was doomed.  It was going to sink.

Black Cats are Good Luck

Have you seen images of the Egyptian goddess, Bastet?  Take a look at this picture.

Elegant, right?  She became a prominent figure in the twenty-second dynasty.  It was believed that a black cat became part of the goddess’ spirit and it would bring riches and prosperity to the home.  I’m sure that my black cat friends and I have brought riches and prosperity to our home.  We are writing this blog after all.  Some of us aren’t black, but we won’t hold that against them.  In Egypt black cats were so revered that if they were killed, even accidentally, the punishment was death!

Part of my human family heritage is Norweigan.  So, I was happy to learn that the Norweigen goddess, Freyja, loved black cats.  She even had a team of them to pull her chariot.  This goddess was associated with magic, beauty, and love.  That describes me and my friends quite well, thank-you very much!


Part of our cat family many, many years ago was a tough little black cat called Blacky.  Original, I know, but as it turns out quite appropriate.  He also had a distinctive white smudge on his chest.  This is the description of Sith, a black cat that roamed the Scottish Highlands.  It was believed he was either a fairy or a witch that could transform nine times.  Take a look at me, would you say we might be related?  My white spot on my chest is not as predominant, but it is there!

In the early 20th century a black cat was considered good luck in connection to football.  So the Panthers must be a good luck team!  They used black cats in cartoons as the result of a black kitten being kept in a pocket during a game and the team was successful that day.  “Go Black Cats”!

Reasons to Own a Black Cat

black cat
“What ya looking at?”

Black cats are very beautiful.  All cats are beautiful, I agree, but black has many different reflections.  We had our Velvet for a long time.  She was totally black with dark eyes.  She had longer hair that was very soft and silky and shiny.  Oscar and I have shorter, courser hair.  It is not as shiny as some, but definitely soft.  Oscar has dark eyes as well.  Did you notice mine is golden?  The other one was the same color!

At I laughed when I read one of their reasons for having a black cat and had to share it with you — black cat hair doesn’t show up on your clothes (if you are into black clothing that is).  Everything else shows up on black, doesn’t it?

Also from they thought if you had a multi-cat household and they were all black you couldn’t count how many cats you had.  Or, other judgmental people can’t count how many cats in your household!  Go Black Cats!

Black cats are healthier.  The strongest and smartest have survived through the ages.

Save Black Cats

Because of these silly superstitions black cats continue to be at risk.  People can be cruel and for many reasons will try to harm a black cat at Halloween or other times of the year.  I understand that many pet adoption places will suspend adoption of black cats at this time of year to protect them.

There have been a few wonderful black cats that have been a part of our household through the years.
We kindly remember Sophie, Velvet and a few we helped but didn’t have names.  Keep our black cats safe at all times of the year.

black cats hugging
We Look Like Twins


Kitten In Our Home According to Sapphire

5 Tips on bringing a new kitten into your home

  1. Have a designated space away from other animals and too many people when first bringing the kitten home.  This may be a separate room or a pet carrier or pen.
  2. Introduce the kitten to each of the other pets slowly and carefully.
  3. Try to keep the other animals from experiencing too many changes in their lives with the addition of the new kitten.  Keep their sleeping arrangements the same.  Also their feeding arrangements.  Give them the same attention as they had before.  I will admit that my nose was a little out of joint at first.  I guess it was jealousy and so I avoided Mom for awhile.  But, she came after me and praised me and gave me extra hugs and soon I knew that I was still loved the same.
  4. When the new kitten tries to take over the spaces of the other cats or their food bowl, gently move the kitten to its own space or bowl.  Protect the rights of the resident cats and make a new space for the kitten.
  5. Humans, be sure you can care for another animal.  Remember especially with a kitten they don’t take much food at first or space.  They don’t contribute much in the way of cat hair, dander or waste.  But they will grow up and require more food, Vet services, and space for everything.  Be sure you have the resources to care for a new cat!


baby kitten

This tiny kitten has come to our home to live.  It has been here a few weeks now and we have all (except for Boo) welcomed this little bundle of joy!  No, really, I am serious.  I was reluctant at first.  We did not need another mouth to feed, another space for another cat!  Sure, right now it does not take up much space, but it will grow up and then where does everyone sleep on the bed?  More cat hair, more litter box users, another cat to get attention from Mom and Dad!

I was told that “Bug” was found away from its Mom a couple of times.  We don’t know if it was choosing to go or was kicked out, but a friendly person picked it up, and knowing what a softy Mom is, brought it supposedly for the day to be cared for.  At the end of the day Bug stayed!  Forever!  It was so tiny.  You can see in the picture it fit in Mom’s hand.  It needed to be fed with a dropper for awhile.  One or another of us sniffed it a few times, but really didn’t want anything to do with it.  I stayed clear!

black cat with kitten
Oscar let Bug sleep close to him

Oscar was the first to let Bug come close to him for warmth and a sense of security.  I think Oscar understands how alone Bug was feeling away from it’s Mom and siblings especially at such a  young age.

kitten laying on a black cat
Bug using Oscar as a pillow

Oscar let Bug lay on top of him.  He had so much patience for the little one.  Bug used Oscar as a replacement for his Mom.

black cat hugging kitten
Oscar hugging Bug

Oscar has a very kind nature.   Sometimes if we couldn’t find Bug we had to look under Oscar.  He would nearly cover the little kitten to keep him warm.  His instincts remind me of the stories I have heard about Charlie who was a good caregiver to several batches of kittens.

two black cats and kitten
Oscar and Scamper share Bug

It didn’t happen overnight.  Once Oscar showed that this little fur ball was not a threat Scamper decided to help take care of it, too.  Now, you may remember that Scamper is not very friendly with ANY other cats, but seems to understand the needs of this small kitten and has found her maternal instinct.

kitten and friends
all the cats love the kitten

Rusty is an old hand at raising a kitten.  You may have read his story of how he was trapped and rescued along with a young kitten we called Oreo.  It appeared that Rusty had been caring for this young kitten for quite some time.  When Oreo passed away Rusty was lost and reverted further into his feral ways.  Now, he has found another kitten that needs his attention and skills he can pass on like defending itself and playing games.

Bug exploring Sapphires tower
Bug exploring Sapphires tower

Kittens are very curious and have no sense of danger.  Bug is no different.  This is MY tower.  Everyone else knows that but Bug has to check it out and I’ve found her on top of the tower in my place.  Maybe this is one of the reasons I have been so reluctant to accept this little one.

Siamese and friends
Sapphire includes Bug

OK, so I caved!  It is hard to resist that cute little face and cuddly warm body.  And she needed a bath.  I couldn’t stand it so I helped.  When Bug first arrived she was put in a room alone when there was no adult at home.  It was important to keep her safe from us.  After all she was very small at first and even without intending harm we could have hurt her.  Mom kept her very close and slowly each of us realized it was going to be OK to be around the new kitten.  Even the dog, Snuffy, who lives with us has been very careful and kind to the kitten.


Benefits of Cat Hugs and Cuddles

by Jacky Sapphire benefits of cat hugs and cuddles


Oscar could be called “needy”. He enjoys it when someone cuddles close to him and holds him close. He will wake from a nap, make a run to the bathroom, get a drink of water and get a bead on Mom. Nothing, and I mean nothing will prevent him from making his way onto the couch or the chair, up onto her lap and up to her shoulder. That is his comfort zone for a given period of time. Then all of a sudden he will decide it is enough and “BAM” he is gone again. He really likes to cuddle with Scamper when they take their nap, too.

black cats hugging

Our black twins – well almost. When they are all wrapped up together you can’t really tell one from the other. There is a difference in the feel of their coat and of course when they are standing they are quite different in build. Scamper is not always friendly with cats or humans, but she has a special feeling for Oscar Bob. You will find her cuddled up with him where ever they are choosing to take a nap. I am sure she works on keeping him warm. He has been weak since the day he arrived in our home and Scamper has certainly helped to make him well.

cat hugs
You’ve met Joe Boo Boo. He more or less lives outdoors except when it is truly winter. He can get SO cranky if you try to delay him going back outside after he has quickly wolfed down his meal. But, when it gets too cold for him to be outside he grudgingly gives up the fresh air and stays indoors. He does enjoy cuddling and hugging one of us. The best hug for Boo is when Dad holds him. Joe Boo Boo knows that Dad needs the hug from him, too.

It is a proven fact that pets can help humans be healthier. They can help lower blood pressure, release tension and help relieve sadness. The love from us, your furry friend will make you happier. Of course it is a two way street. We need your love and attention to be happier and healthier, too.  I use Oscar as an example again. He was so very sick, nearly died when he came to be with us, but with lots of love and attention, lots of time being held in Mom’s arms and since he has learned to know and trust Dad, he has had a strong will to live and be healthier.

This image is a miracle! Rusty getting a hug from Dad. Amazing. Rusty was truly a wild, feral cat. Never around humans until he was captured for a spay/neuter clinic. When done it was too difficult to let him go so he was slowly incorporated into our household. It took years to get him to this point. Now, he comes to be held and cuddled by Dad. It is comforting for both of them. And a feeling of accomplishment for Dad to have managed to calm Rusty and build trust with him.

We in the cat world have a sixth sense for what others need. Our feline friends need to be held by us. We need the closeness of another breathing being. Feel the heartbeat of another. It is very comforting to have that touching closeness.  It isn’t any different from humans.

cat hugs

You need to know that this closeness we have in our home did not happen overnight. As each of us has come into the home there was a period of adjustment. It is the same for humans and relationships, too. You don’t go up to a stranger and give or take a hug, do you?? Well, it is the same for us. We need to learn that we can trust you, depend on you to be here for us, provide our meals, warmth when it is cold,
a doctor or medicine if we don’t feel well. We need to know you aren’t going away and we will be alone again. Give it time if you have a new cat or a new human in your home. We need to take a little time to know each other.

There are numerous benefits from cat hugs for all concerned. We look forward to your coming home from work, an errand, a trip, or whatever.  Having you near us physically makes us much happier and content. We can “feel” when you are needing comfort and love as well and we try to give you what you need. Let us help you when you feel like no one cares. Because, if you have a cat, a dog, or whatever kind of pet, one of our reasons for being here is to give you comfort.

Thank-you for taking care of us!

Why Does My Cat Roll in the Dirt?

cat rolling in dirt.
“It feels good to roll in the dirt.”
black cat outside
The Smell of the Outdoors

I’m an indoor cat, but one day the back door was open just a little and I decided I wanted to explore. So, I stepped out onto the cement step. There was grass and dirt! I smelled the ground. It reminded me of my youth. I started out in the wild. All I knew was outdoor smells. But for a long time I haven’t had to experience that. . . the cold, wet, predators, or loneliness. I’ve had warmth, safety and love.



5 Reasons a Cat Will Roll in the Dirt

1. I rolled in the dirt and when I finished I smelled different. Finally there weren’t those indoor smells I was so familiar with. There was a fresh, earthy smell. It brought back so many memories of my siblings and my Mom.

black cat in the yard
Rolling in the dirt makes me feel good.

2. A roll in the dirt is a great way to get rid of fleas if you have them or any other parasites lurking in your coat.


3. I’m not into it anymore, but before I was spayed I would have been rolling in the dirt for any male that walked by. When I was in heat I was a wild one. I was a loose kitty. But, isn’t that what nature is all about?                                                                          

cats outside
Boo Boo can roll in the dirt whenever he wants to.


4. One more reason cats enjoy rolling in the dirt is to get a great back massage. The uneven ground, small rocks, clumps of dirt, grass all feel wonderful on the back. It gets the blood flowing again.


black cat in the dirt
This looks like a good place to roll in the dirt



  1. The dirt puts bacteria onto our coat so we have a chance to get it back into our system. When we are grooming we use up that bacteria. The loss of that bacteria can give us nervous habits, too. When it isn’t in our system we can have digestive problems.


How can indoor cats get the benefits of rolling in the dirt?

I understand that being an indoor cat is a safety issue. There are so many dangers out there for us. We like the safety, too. It is nice to have a good, warm, loving home with no concerns for where our next meal is coming from. One idea I like for getting the benefits of rolling in the dirt would be to have an outdoor screened in area maybe attached to the house so we could just go outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, the smells and get a good roll on the ground. This outdoor cat sanctuary is on my wish list. I see it is available at Amazon. My friends and I could really enjoy this space for three seasons out of the year.


If I have diarrhea, like I do sometimes, or I’m passing gas (you’ve picked up on that), or like Rusty he is vomiting soon after he eats, or like Jacky Sapphire he seems constipated or is nearly hooked on hairball medicine you need to consider a solution.  You need to be adding a supplement to our diet to help us have a healthy digestive system. There are supplements that have probiotics and enzymes that will help us with these problems.  The probiotic will give us good bacteria in our intestines to make it all work better. I see that you can buy a good probiotic MADE IN THE USA if you shop here.


black cat
Thanks for letting me outside

Hey, Mom,

I enjoyed my time outside, actually I was out a couple of times. I like my inside space and feel very safe and secure, but it was a great adventure.