NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: I recently wrote in about our two cats. The first cat had a bowel problem, and you asked us to write back with the type of food we switched to that fixed it.
We were feeding him Friskies, but after reading your book on why cats have trouble processing many dry cat foods, we switched him to Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance. We used the green pea and chicken variety.
There is no recurrence of the bowel issues with either the canned or dry food.
Our other cat developed a problem of urinating in our basement. We lived in this house for four years before the problem started. The concrete floor was painted when we first moved in.
We took the cat to the vet to have him checked for any urinary tract issues. We cleaned the entire floor with a safe, homemade cleaning solution that we read about in your book. We used a black light to try to detect and clean up after the urinating, but this did not help.
We also used a pheromone room diffuser, which made the problem worse. We tried a pheromone spray, added extra litter boxes, tuck-pointed the walls (we were afraid that the slight crumbling of mortar was confusing and might be seen as cat litter) and repainted the floor.
We would welcome any suggestions or ideas you might have to stop this behavior.
— C.P., St. Louis
Dear C.P.: I always appreciate feedback from readers who have found my advice helpful (or not) in dealing with health or behavioral problem in their dogs and cats. You have really done all that you can to solve your cat’s unwanted behavior, and I commend you for your endurance.
Many cats develop a habitual place-fixation of evacuating outside their litter boxes on the basement floor.