I know, Hector “Love?” Not sure what is going on with this bird in her older age, she’s 30 now, but she has really been seeking out attention lately. It’s so nice! Hector is definitely most comfortable on her cage. Ideally she likes her door open so she can climb around on top and watch the world from up high. She gets nervous away from her cage. A couple of times a week, I’ll pick her up and bring her upstairs with me while I fold some laundry, or I’ll bring her on a walk to get something in another part of the house. I’ve been trying to acclimate her to other areas for years, but for the most part she’s happiest on her cage.
I should say that her cage is in our office which opens to the kitchen, so she keeps me company while I work from home during the day, and she also has the benefit of seeing the kitchen, and all that goes on in there. She likes to observe everything going on.
This morning, Hector was looking for attention, I was trying to work. I went over to her cage to give her a treat, and she put up her foot like she wanted to step up, so I let her. I brought her over to my desk chair, and she happily climbed up on the back. She spent a good half hour on the back of my chair making cute little burping noises in my ear! She doesn’t usually last away from her cage that long without getting upset, so I brought her back and gave her a treat before she had the chance to get upset. Maybe the old girl is mellowing out a bit?
Other than all the bird poop that needed cleaning up after her visit, it was really nice having a Hector on my chair!
If you want another Hector story, you can check out my latest Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=petmomma.co to read about the watermelon incident.
If anyone is interested in an automatic/robot litter box, now is the time. I just got word that Catlink, the company that made the litter boxes I use, has a new “basic” model available. The new launch price is $359!
I haven’t used this exact model, but I have two of their other models and I’ve been super happy with them. You can see my review if you look back in the blog.
Check it out, and if you get one, let me know what you think: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/catlink-lite-new-gen-premium-affordable-litter-box?secret_perk_token=75f5b927#/
Happy Hiking Dog! Cali may be little, but she loves hiking through the woods. I was so thankful the weather warmed up a bit last weekend and we got out for a nice hike. Now I just need to find time to give her a Spring haircut!
Before I talk about my new eufy pet fountain, an update on the Catlink boxes now that they are a regular part of my life. I LOVE THEM! They aren’t cheap, but they are worth every single penny we spent on them. Scooping litter boxes has become (mostly) a thing of the past. If I didn’t have a sick cat*, I wouldn’t be scooping boxes at all!
We have two Catlink boxes now, one upstairs in our laundry room, and one all the way downstairs under the staircase. I check the boxes once a day, honestly, sometimes every other day. I check to make sure there aren’t any clumps stuck to the top of the box, if there are, I just scrape it off with a litter scoop, and push the button to run the clean cycle, so easy! Once every 5 days or so, I check the bottom compartment to make sure it isn’t too full. When it gets full, I remove the bag, close it up tight, throw it away, and add a new bag. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. One of the Catlink boxes will tell me when the bottom is full, but I’ve found if I wait for it to tell me, it’s actually a bit over full. Easier to check it every few days and change as needed. All of the cats have adapted to the Catlink boxes. I will say that the “optional” step really isn’t optional. It makes a huge difference. Not only does it make the box much more accessible for the cats, but it also helps keep any litter mess in check. Speaking of litter, cheap, scoopable, clay litter is all I’m using, most often TidyCat. The Catlink needs a litter with a little weight. TidyCat is cheap and readily available.
The only negative about the automatic boxes, and I think this is true of Catlink or any of the other brands, is that they are large. I’m very lucky I was able to find space for them where they aren’t in the way.
One more word of advice on the Catlink box, for reliability, attach it to a UPS/battery back up unit. They don’t deal well with power flickers. We lose power a few times a year usually, and often before the power goes out, we get flickers. Unfortunately, the Catlink box doesn’t deal well with the flickers and it sometimes stops working. We were having to reset the box with every power flicker, but that problem has been solved by plugging the boxes into a battery backup.
Another product I’m super excited about is the eufy pet water fountain P940. I’ve been using this fountain for a couple of months now, enjoying the simplicity of it. It’s easy to clean, and easy to use.
The eufy fountain is super simple to put together. It’s got a water basin, a tube for the water fountain, a filter and filter base, a stainless steel drinking surface, and the fountain spout.
It’s super simple to set up, just stack the pieces together and it’s good to go. The filter should definitely be rinsed before use so that there isn’t extra charcoal in the drinking water.
The tiny dot in the center of the white base is actually an LED light. If it’s red, the water level is too low and it’s time to refill. The water tank and everything on top of it easily lift off the base to refill. I pick it up, remove the spout, drinking tray, and filter tray, rinse everything and refill. Once a week, I do a more through wash of the whole thing before I refill it. With three cats and a small dog in the house, I am refilling every day, so I do wish the water storage was a bit bigger, but it works.
The unit plugs into an AC outlet, so there aren’t any batteries to worry about. For me this works out great, but if you don’t have an outlet near where you want to keep the fountain, it might be an issue.
Following are some visual from the box so you can see the setup diagrams:
Overall I’ve been really happy with this eufy fountain. I like that there is a stainless surface for the pets to drink from, so they aren’t drinking directly from plastic. I have had issues in the past with one of the cats breaking out on his face and chin, and the vet said it could be from a bacteria that gets into plastic surfaces, so now I only use metal food and water dishes. Refilling and cleaning are easy and quick. The filters are available to purchase on Amazon, or directly from the eufy website.
If there is one thing I would fix, I’d like a larger water capacity. Filling the fountain every day is fine, but it would be nice to have a large enough capacity to fill every other day. For most people, the capacity would probably be fine, but when we have four cats and the dog in the house, it takes more refilling than normal.
Martin is here visiting again, and he approves of the Catlink litter box and the eufy fountain! Anyone else use a pet fountain? What type do you use? What features are your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know or just say Hello!
*The reason I still have one litter box to scoop is that Logan, my old lady cat, is still living in her cat condo. She is lose for a few hours every day and uses the Catlink box, but she also has a regular box in her condo.
Hector never fails to surprise and amaze me. If you’ve been reading here for awhile, then you know Hector isn’t a cuddly bird. She likes her cage, and feels most comfortable perched on her cage, with the door open. She likes the freedom to go in and out, climb around, chew up some cardboard, or go in her cage for a snack. She lets me pick her up, but she gets nervous if I bring her to another room and she can’t see her cage. Whenever I’m home, Hector’s door is open. She very rarely choses to leave her cage on her own.
Well, the other night I was in the living room watching a movie. I heard this soft little voice say “Hello?” and I looked down to see that Hector had walked into the room. Usually when Hector leaves her cage, I know about it. She doesn’t fly well, so I’ll hear the commotion. This time I didn’t hear a thing. Stealth Bird snuck into the living room! I’m glad my feet were up or she probably would have nibbled on my toe to let me know she was there.
She let me pick her up, so I got a towel (she poops constantly like all birds) and sat back down on the couch with her. Usually when I sit on the couch with her it takes about 23 minutes before she starts screaming and I bring her back to her cage.
This time was different. She seemed to want to hang out. She watched the TV, and she even put her head down like she wanted scratches.
I gave her head scratches, and she liked it! She was hanging out on my hand, and while most birds tend to move up to higher ground, like a shoulder, Hector is usually most comfortable perched on a hand, but this time she moved up my forearm, almost to my elbow.
Another thing Hector usually doesn’t do, is talk while I’m holding her. She usually likes to converse while she is safely on her cage, but she said “Hello” and she whistled, and made some other various noises, while she was sitting on my arm.
When I pulled out my phone to record this historic moment, she was very curious. She didn’t try to bite my phone like she usually does, instead she checked out the pretty bird, and even whistled at herself.
None of this may seem like a big deal to another bird owner, but Hector is different. Seeing her seeking out attention is HUGE. I think this old bird can learn new tricks!
While I’ve been writing this, I have many sets of eyes on me. Cali is watching from the floor while she snoozes. Bean is lurking, and then there’s the dragon. She starts by staring at me, then she starts banging on the glass with her little foot. Next thing I know she is trying to climb the screen on the top of her tank.
I opened her tank. Usually she climbs up to the edge, hangs out, and happily watches what is going on. Not today.
Today she leaped down onto the dog crate and visited with Bean. I love Bean of course, but I don’t trust him. So now Wena is hanging out on the back of my chair instead.
Logan is doing well. While I feel bad about having a cat in a cage, she is embracing her new cozy home. The other night I was letting her roam, like i do every night, and when I went looking for her, I couldn’t find her. I finally found her outside her new cozy home waiting to be let in! I think she feels safe and secure in there. She is away from the bossy boy cats, and she has her own space. I think most of us can relate to having our own safe and cozy space!
Lots of travel lately has kept me playing catch up with the pets. Thankfully travel is over for a bit and I’m home to settle in and get back on top of things.
Martin is happy and settled in his new apartment with my son. He travels back and forth when my son comes home for the weekend, and has been doing well with the change. It took Puck and Bean about 3 minutes to remember Martin and then they were all running and playing again. Nice that he is such an adaptable cat!
Hector misses me when I travel. I wouldn’t ever say she is a “sweet” bird, but she definitely puts up with more head scratches and demands to talk to me more now that I’m home again. Love my crazy bird!
Recently I realized how protective I am of Hector. When people want to come visit her, I’m always worried. They picture the Greys you see in the movies, friendly, snugly, full of tricks, and having conversations. That’s just not Hector. She’s not a cuddler. She doesn’t even really like being picked up. She likes her cage door open, and she likes the freedom to climb around on her cage. Her cage is her safe place, and she isn’t a big fan of going anywhere else in the house with me. I force it on her every so often because I think it is good for her, but I am careful not to stress her. I try to interact with her at her comfort level. If she wants to be on her cage, I feed her treats there, I interact with her there, and her cage is near the kitchen and my desk, so I can talk to her often.
I’m always worried people will come over to see Hector and expect to hold her, see her do tricks, and have a conversation with her. The truth is that she is beautiful to look at, she may or may not chose to step up on a stranger’s hand, and she definitely won’t cuddle or perform tricks. If you look away and ignore her, she may decide to talk or whistle, but don’t expect her to talk when you want her to.
Logan is my current worry. It’s always got to be one of them, right? I bought a cat cage. I hate it, but she can’t live in the bathroom forever, especially since we are planning some remodels. The crazy part to me is that she seems to actually like her cage.
It looks like a bunch of milk crates with shelves. It’s much wider than a normal milk crate. It’s got rectangular space inside, not just square. There are “shelves” on every level to make it easy for her to go up and down. The bottom now has her litter box, food and water.
Our current routine is that I check her in the morning, clean up her box, check her food and water, and of course give her lots of pats. I check on her several times during the day as I’m walking around the house.
At dinner time, I let her out, she comes to the kitchen and eats canned food with Puck, Bean, and sometimes Martin. She stays loose for a few hours while we eat dinner, and she hangs out on the couch with us while we watch TV. At some point between about 9pm and when I go to bed, there is sometimes some hissing between Logan and the boys, so I bring her back down to her cage. She goes in happily.
I cover the top part of her cage to give her a cozy, safe space.
It took a little while to get the anxiety medicine from the vet, so I just started her on that yesterday. I’m not sure how much it will help, but we’ll see. How do I even test that? I don’t want to leave her free-roaming in the house again and risk her peeing again?
Part of me feels terrible keeping a cat in a cage, but she seems happy about it. Honestly, I think what Logan needs is to a quiet home, maybe with a senior that would love a nice lap cat. I don’t think she would have any litter box issues if she didn’t have the stress of the boy cats and the dog.
I’ve thought about trying to find someone to take her, but I’ve had her since she was two weeks old and I can’t imagine not having her. I think the best option would be if I could find someone who wanted a cat, but not the responsibility. I would be willing to take care of Logan’s expenses, vet, food, etc. in return for a quiet space for her to live, and maybe visiting rights? I don’t know if that is possible.
I’m a little embarrassed with myself for this, but I ordered some cat diapers. I wouldn’t use them all the time, but I thought the combination of a cat diaper and her cage could maybe give me the chance to offer her move freedom without sacrificing my carpets and leather couch? I’ll let you know how it goes. It doesn’t seem like it would be easy to put a diaper on a cat, and I’m not sure Logan wouldn’t quickly find a way out of it! Wish me luck with the cat diapers!
Bean and Cali went to the vet today. Bean for his annual check up. He’s all good, weighed in at his almost 16 lbs, and got his rabies shot.
Cali got her Cytopoint injection to help with her itchiness.
Mostly we talked about Logan. We’ve decided to try her on medication to try and help her anxiety. I don’t love the idea of medicating, but I hate the idea of having our couch peed on all the time even more.
We’ll start her on meds next week after my weekend trip when I’m home to monitor her for a while. Fingers crossed it helps!
Anyone else have cats with litter box issues? How did you solve it? Leave a comment.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster with Logan lately. The X-ray didn’t show anything wrong which is a good thing, but also frustrating in the lack of answers.
She was doing OK, then we traveled again. This time the litter boxes were fine and we JUST came home to urine on the couch. Fun, NOT! I was hoping it was just the stress of our trip, but two days later we found more urine on the couch. Logan went back into quarantine.
The thing is, she seems really happy on her own. So happy, that when I open the bathroom door to visit, she doesn’t try to leave.
My very unprofessional opinion is that she is stressed out by the other two cats. I’m not sure what changed, but it could be so many things: Marty (my son’s cat) coming and going, our travel, her age?
The vet recommended a prescription food that might help, but it is going to be pricey to put all the cats on the prescription diet, and there really isn’t a good way to put just Logan on the prescription diet unless I keep her locked up which I don’t want to do forever.
Bean has a check up tomorrow, so I plan to talk to the vet more and see if it is possible that medication might be an option to help her.
Poor Logan is back in quarantine. If you read the post from a couple of weeks ago, you already know we thought she had some kind of urinary/bladder infection and treated it, but apparently there is something else going on.
After the “Sh*t Show” I’ve been cleaning up the aftermath, and making sure the Catlink boxes are working properly, but two days ago I found fresh urine by the fireplace. With three cats in the house (Marty moved with my son), I had to do a little detective work to make sure I had the right cat. Since Logan had recently been ill, I guessed it was her, and moved her to a nice big bathroom on her own. No more accidents in the house, so it was time to call the vet again.
Last time they told me bladder stones were very unlikely for whatever reason, but since the antibiotics didn’t completely clear up whatever Logan has going on, they think that might be the problem. Monday morning she’ll go back to the vet for an abdominal X-ray to see if we can figure this out. I’m hoping it isn’t anything too serious. Logan isn’t super old, but she is almost 1`5. For now, she is enjoying a break from the boy cats, eating and drinking well, and she seems to be acting fine. I’ll update after the vet on Monday.
Puck loves his heating pad in the colder weather, actually all year round!
I wish I could share the info on this pad because I love it, but I can’t find it on Amazon anymore. This particular pad stays safely plugged in all the time. It turns itself on with pressure, so when a pet climbs on, it heats up, and when it isn’t being used, it shuts down. It’s auto controlled not to overheat, it gets warm, but not hot. I’ll keep looking for something like it and post if/when I find one.
In Hector news, she took a bath this morning! I’ve posted about Hector hating baths before, so just wanted to update. I think I mentioned the green litter box that Hector has decided is OK for bathing in. She has a great bath routine now. About once a week, I fill her box with warm water and put it on top of her cage.
She doesn’t always touch it right away, and she didn’t use it at all yesterday, but this morning she decided it was bath time. She climbs in her box and splashes around, then chirps happily and I know it is time to go spray her. I have a fine mist spray bottle that I fill with warm water, then I stand there and spray her while she plays in the water, until my hands get sore, then I spray her some more!
She flaps her wings, dips her belly, and dunks her head in the water. It makes me so happy to see her enjoy a bath! It has been a very long road with lots of trial and error to find a bath system she likes!
Where to start… I’ve been traveling. We headed to Italy to visit my daughter. Absolutely amazing trip, but of course had to deal with the hassle of pet care while I was away. Cali to a friend, and a pet sitter to the house.
I still love my Catlink automatic litter boxes, but learning to live with them is definitely a learning experience, traveling definitely added to the learning curve.
A friend took Cali for me, so that was easy. I prep her food in individual containers to make it super easy, no measuring! Just add a little water and Cali is fed.
The rest of the crew, Hector, cats, and dragon, stayed home to be checked on daily by a pet sitter. As usual, very detailed instructions were left, but I hadn’t traveled since we got the new automatic litter boxes. I figured it would be super easy! I taught the pet sitter how to change the bags in the bottom every few days and I figured all was good. I even left extra litter in case the boxes ran low. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about power outages because we have a generator, but there are still short power outages as the electricity goes out and the generator comes on.
The problem is that the new litter boxes are pretty picky about the power supply, and with the power flickers we had from a storm, the litter box goes went into some kind of LaLa land and didn’t auto clean.
Well, we came back from being away and found both of the automatic litter boxes had not been cleaning themselves. The poor cats clearly tried to use the dirty boxes, but picked our living room as their new “Box” when they couldn’t stand the mess anymore. They made a lovely poop circle all around the living room rug. Thankfully, they mostly peed in the boxes, but there were a couple of spots that I’m still trying to remove the smell.
I had to figure out why the boxes weren’t automatically cleaning anymore, and customer service at CatLink was excellent. I used their chat feature in the CatLink App and someone helped me right away. They emailed me directions on recalibrating the boxes which took a couple of tries, but now they are working perfectly again.
Lesson learned. We bought battery back-ups for both litter boxes to help eliminate the power flickers. I’ll also leave better notes for the pet sitter about checking and cleaning the “automatic” boxes if necessary.
Hector D. Byrd hatched 30 years ago today! I feel so lucky to have her in my life. Her cage is in the center of our living space, halfway between the kitchen and my desk space, so I spend a lot of time with her every day. She’s sort of become my therapist. She’s always there for me to talk to, and she’s a great listener. She’s not a cuddly bird, but she loves to whistle, destroy anything made out of cardboard, and eat nuts! Her happy chirps and whistles have become part of our home. Love my red tailed Jungle Chicken!
My Logan girl has had a rough couple of weeks. About two weeks ago, she jumped on the back of the couch and peed a couple of drops, yikes! The boy cats had been chasing her, so I thought maybe they had just made her really nervous and I didn’t worry too much about it. Then I found a cat bed covered in pee. Hmmmm something wasn’t right. That night, Logan went over to scratching toy, climbed up on it, and peed a couple of drops again. The next morning I took her to the vet. Poor baby has some kind of urinary infection. The good news is that we caught it. A simple antibiotic shot seems to be clearing it right up, and she is back to her old grumpy self.
Since I got the CatLink boxes, I haven’t been using Pretty Litter, but I do have a couple of bags of it. When I had to confine Logan for a couple of days, I used the Pretty Litter in the extra litter box for her. I have to say, the crystals were turning red, a sign of infection. This morning, a couple of days after her antibiotic shot, the crystals are back to normal yellow. I guess they do work!
Speaking of the CatLink boxes. I still love them. It is truly life changing to not worry about cleaning cat boxes all the time! About once every five days, I open up the bottom, take out the waste litter in its easy little bag, throw it out, and put in a new bag, so easy! When I change out the bottom, I usually add some more clumping litter, and that’s it. Worth every single penny we spent on those boxes! With the optional step in front of the box, there is even very little litter tracking. Truly cat owner heaven!
Time to bring Hector more nuts and some new cardboard boxes, a perfect birthday for my feathered friend!