Paws and Effect

Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:

My 1-year-old male kitten and I recently moved to a new home. In the past few days he has been meowing day and night — the only time he stops is when he’s sleeping. I don’t know what’s changed; we spent two weeks in this house almost a month ago and he did fine. I know he’s not bored because I play with him an hour or two every day, and I know he isn’t lonely because he went from being the only animal to living with another cat (female) and small dog (female) and I’m home all the time right now because I’m 6 months pregnant and unable to work. His caterwauling is keeping my roommate and me up at night, and because of my pregnancy and her full-time job, we both need to sleep! What I can do to help him stop? By the way, he hasn’t been fixed yet; could this have something to do with it even though the female cat is spayed?

kitten meowing at the door

This photo was taken just before kitty went to get fixed at a low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Low-cost programs are available all over the U.S. and Canada. Photo CC-BY-NC-SA by Laura via Flickr

~ Paige

Siouxsie: Hi Paige, thanks for your question! We’re almost certain that your little boy’s howling and carrying is due to the fact that he’s not fixed yet.

Thomas: Even though the female cat is spayed, cats have an extraordinary sense of smell, and if there’s another lady cat in heat somewhere, I know he can smell it. I mean, I smell unfixed lady cats all the time!

Bella: But because Thomas is neutered, it doesn’t bother him. After all, we have each other, so what do we need all those other cats for, right?

Thomas: Awww, of course, Bella; you’re the only girl for me.

Siouxsie: Oh, jeez, you guys. Get a room!

Thomas: You don’t have to be so mean, Siouxsie. I’d snuggle you too, if you’d just let me.

Siouxsie: Really? … I mean, yeah, whatever. Now, as I was saying: the best way to stop your little guy fromn crying all night is to have him neutered.

Thomas: If he hasn’t started spraying yet, you’re lucky. Humans usually get grossed out by spraying because the aroma of tomcat urine is so strong and so hard to get out of things.

Bella: But if he has started spraying and you just didn’t mention it in your letter, don’t worry: there are some products out there that can help you get rid of the stench without being toxic to you, your cats or your unborn baby.

Siouxsie: Fizzion comes VERY highly recommended, even by celebrity cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. It’s just a tablet you dissolve in water, and it removes the odors with carbon dioxide, and nothing else.

Thomas: Enzymatic cleaners are also pretty effective,  but not quite as much so as Fizzion. Mama’s tried all kinds of these products and she says Anti-Icky-Poo is the best among them.

Bella: Don’t bother with deodorizers, though. They don’t do anything to remove the source of the odor, and all you’ll end up with is a house that smells like artificial flowers  and cat piss.

Get your kitty fixed now: www.whentospay.orgSiouxsie: Now, on to this issue of neutering. We’re sure that since you can’t work while you’re pregnant, finances are an issue for you. But don’t fear: there are a lot of options out there to help you get your little guy fixed without breaking the bank.

Thomas: The ASPCA has a searchable database of low-cost spay/neuter clinics throughout the U.S. and Canada, as does the Humane Society of the United States. If you don’t see anything listed in your area, call your local animal shelter or rescue group and find out if they know of anything — these listings may not be completely up to date.

Bella: Good luck, Paige. Please let us know how things turn out for you and your little kitty. Purrs!

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