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Ask Boo

Dear Gentle Readers:

Remember Fitz, Jingo, Santiago and Santana, the four cats I wrote about in the last newsletter whose cat mom became too ill to care for them? Good news! Fitz scored a new home, and the word on the street is he loves his new digs and is doing very well. However, the rest are still in need of forever homes. Here’s the scoop on them:

Jingo, 13, is a black female. She’s still a little shy (the poor thing!), but she’s coming along nicely and she enjoys being petted. She has not had any significant health problems, other than very early-stage kidney insufficiency, which is pretty common for cats of a certain age, ahem, and she just had a dental where she lost more than a dozen teeth! But I have it on good authority that she never missed a beat or a bite of food following the procedure. What a trouper!

Santiago, 7, is a beautiful black­ and­ white long­haired male who loves to watch birds—he spends hours every day observing our feathered friends hovering around the feeder outside the Cat Hospital entrance. He also welcomes tummy rubs and a bit of play time. One of my confidential informants inside Cat Hospital tells me that this dear boy will make a wonderful companion for someone!

His roommate, Santana, 15, is a very friendly black male, but unfortunately, he has an intestinal disease. As a result, he has become rather skinny, but the good doctors here have started him on medicines that are helping him to maintain his weight. Santiago and Santana are best buds—they cuddle constantly and groom one another—and because of Santana’s age and illness, they need to be adopted together. We wouldn’t want to stress Santana in what are probably his twilight years with the loss of his BFF!

So, Jingo, Santiago and Santana will need patient, understanding owners, but I can purrsonally assure you that they will be great additions to homes of Treats & Tidbits readers.

Humans interested in these cats should call Cat Hospital at 773­-539­-9080 and speak with Angie. If she’s not available, they can talk to Lauren, Amber or Jen. They also can email


Now, on to a reader question....

Dear Boo:

My human family has moved around a few times. The changes of scenery have been great, because I’ve had a chance to learn about various Chicagoland architectural styles and I’ve been able to scratch my claws on many different types of carpet. But I do have two questions. At each new home, my litter box winds up in a different location—they’ve put it in a garage, a laundry room and a bathroom. Why can’t they make up their minds? And what do you think is the best place for it?

– ReloCat

Dear ReloCat:

These are very good questions, my well­-traveled friend. I mean that, litter-ally!

First, I can tell you from experience that it’s not always easy for humans to pick where they want to put our litter boxes. Most don’t like to put them near a front entrance (something about giving houseguests an unwelcome surprise) or in the middle of a family room (that scent apparently can interrupt the TV viewing experience).

And the location can be dictated by the layout of your house or apartment—so one home might have suitable space in a bathroom; another might have a mud room that works well. But I have a few hints you can share with them next time you’re sitting on your humans’ computer:

Never near the food. Some families designate part of the home as the “cat area” and put the food, water and litter box all in the same place. Not a great idea, though, because it’s in our nature as cats to avoid doing our “business” too close to where we eat. It’s a survival mechanism from the outdoors, but we feel the same if we’re inside, too.
Avoid the noise. In some cases, well­-meaning humans set up a litter box in the garage. Yes, we like the privacy a garage can offer. But it has two problems: One, it can be far away or tricky to get to—we like convenience, after all. Two, if the garage door opens or a car drives in or out while we’re in there, the surprise and the noise can make it a scary experience for us. (That’s also why my cat buddies prefer not to have litter boxes in the laundry room—those dryers can make a racket and shake the whole room!)
See and be seen. It sounds nutty, but even though we like our litter box privacy, we also want to be able to anticipate potential threats (read: other cats!) and to be able to escape in a hurry if we’re using the litter box. So underneath furniture or in a dark closet aren’t ideal locations—we’d rather be somewhere we can see what’s coming. And, by the way, this is one reason that many cats don’t like litter boxes with covers on them.

Some of these tips might sound trivial, but you and I know that litter box location is important. When we kitties have concerns about where our box is placed, it can lead to problems like eliminating in the wrong parts of the house or even serious stress that can lead to severe health problems!

For more human-­friendly litter box tips, point them to this article on the Cat Hospital website or the LitterBox Guru website.

For now, I hope the box in your new home is in a great, safe spot, and thanks for writing!


– Boo

Email your questions to Ask Boo.

And the Winners Are

As many of you know, February was National Pet Dental Health Month, and in recognition of it, Cat Hospital held a special drawing for its current clients. Bella, Cat Hospital’s office cat, supervised the selection of the winners.

First prize went to Happy, a 12­-year­-old gray tabby. A Cat Hospital client for 11 years, Happy will receive a free oral assessment and treatment procedure.

Winning second prize—a custom cat bed with a fleece liner—was Lexie, who is almost 6. This gray feline has been coming to Cat Hospital since she was a kitten.

Finally, third prize, which was a cat treat jar with C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews for Cats, was awarded to Muffin. Almost 14 years old and gray as well (it seems we had a theme for the winners this year!), Muffin has been treated by Cat Hospital veterinarians for a decade.


Everyone at Cat Hospital would like to congratulate the winners and thank all of those who participated!

Cat Care Tips

Flea and Heartworm Medicine Reminders

Spring is just around the corner, and that means sunshine, warm weather and flowers. It also means it’s time to start giving your cat(s) monthly flea and heartworm medicine.

Both indoor and outdoor cats need flea and heartworm preventa medicine every month. For more information about heartworm disease, see Treats & Tidbits Spring 2010 or the Cat Hospital library article Preventing Heartworm Disease.

For more information about fleas and flea control, see Treats & Tidbits Spring 2012 or the library article Flea Control for Cats.

Support Your Favorite Charity with AmazonSmile

Do you buy from Amazon? Did you know that you can automatically support your favorite charity—at no cost to you—every time you shop?

The program is called AmazonSmile, and whenever you buy an eligible product through it, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly a million eligible charities, including Tree House Humane Society.

Shopping through AmazonSmile is just like shopping through Amazon—you’ll find the exact same low prices and vast selection, and everything about your account stays the same, including your username, password, wish list, registries, credit cards, etc. The only difference is instead of logging onto, you log onto

To get started, go to and pick a charitable organization to receive donations from your eligible purchases. Amazon will remember your selection, but you can change it at any time. Then, be sure to log on through the AmazonSmile web page when you shop. Bookmarking the page will make returning to it easy.

For more information, visit About AmazonSmile.

Did You Know?

Did you know that contrary to popular belief, cats cannot see in total darkness? It’s true that our feline friends can see six times better than humans in low light because of the size and shape of their irises, but they still need some light to see. So how do cats get around without bumping into things when it’s pitch black? With their whiskers! The nerves at the base of cats’ whiskers are so sensitive they pick up even small air movements, such as air flowing around furniture. This helps cats detect objects and determine their distance without even seeing them, even in total darkness.

“There is something about the presence of a cat...
that seems to take the bite out of being alone.”
– Louis J. Camuti (1894 – 1981), veterinarian and
author of All My Patients are Under the Bed

Back issues of Treats & Tidbits are available here.

We welcome referrals! If you refer someone to Cat Hospital, you’ll get $20 off your next visit!

2851 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 539-9080, fax (773) 478-0605

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