Cats peeing outside the litter box seems to be a common issue among cat owners.  As I was reading a fellow blogger's post on reasons why a cat may be toileting outside the litter box, I was reminded of my cat Maggie - and the one and only time her litter box skills experienced an Epic Fail.

John and I had just gotten engaged and we were elated!  It was something we'd been talking about for at least a year, and we had finally sealed the deal.  Everyone was happy for us, and excited for our upcoming wedding the following year!


Shortly after meeting John, I had been so happy - and a little bit relieved, to be honest - when I learned that not only did he love cats, but he quickly fell for my beautiful sweet Calico cat Maggie.    

And Maggie loved him right back!  Or did she??  On the surface, she seemed to adore John.  She loved when he pet her, she rubbed against his legs, and snuggled with him on the couch.  She sometimes even napped on top of his tummy!

When cats toilet outside the litter box, there could be a logical explanation.  Why do Cats urinate outside the litter box?
Tell me this isn't the body language of a cat who loves the owner upon whose tummy she naps peacefully?!

Maggie and I owned the home we lived in while John had been renting his, so it made perfect sense for him to move into our home.  Much of his "guy stuff" had to be moved into the basement because there wasn't enough room to accommodate our combined stuff.  OK, so part of the reason was that some of his guy stuff was just plain UGLY!  Ladies, you know what I'm talkin' about, don't you?

The move went smoothly and we happily settled into our new daily routine.  Nothing was amiss, until John went down to the basement one day to retrieve one of his ugly guy possessions ... and discovered that sweet little Maggie had apparently been peeing and pooping all over his stuff!   Anything that wasn't secured in a plastic container was ruined - YIKES!  

We could not believe our eyes, or the assault on our noses!  Maggie had never soiled outside the litter box before, how could she have done such a thing?! Was Maggie just a two faced feline pretending to love John while deep down resenting his intrusion on our previously perfect little world of two?  Or, was there a logical explanation for her pissy  hissy fit of suddenly urinating and defecating outside her litter box?  Was she trying to TELL us something?

Reasons why cats pee and poop outside the litter box.  Urinating outside the litter box.
If your cat is suddenly urinating and defecating outside the litter box, there's usually a reason!

Hmmm.  We thought about what might have prompted this bad kitty behavior, and the reason soon became clear.  Prior to John's ugly guy stuff invading a large corner of the basement, that space had belonged to Maggie alone.  It was her own little Fiefdom, her Cat Cave.  Her litter box was down there, along with some toys and a cozy bed.  She loved to creep up inside the rafters of the basement ceiling - I never did understand how the heck she managed to get up there - hiding and observing my laundry and crafting activities from her ceiling perch.

When the ugly guy stuff arrived it must have really cramped her style and stuck in her claw!  So she protested in the only way she knew how - by urinating and pooping all over the offending items!

Fortunately, my husband has a heart of gold and a soft spot for cats.  He didn't get angry or lash out at her (or me!), he simply dealt with it and we moved on having learned a valuable lesson!  You don't mess with the Cat's Crib.


MEDICAL ISSUE: A trip to the Vet can identify, or rule out, a UTI or other medical problem.

UNAPPEALING LITTER BOX: You've gotten a New litter box and she doesn't like it, her litter box isn't Clean enough, or you Moved the box to a location your cat doesn't like.

EMOTIONAL OR BEHAVIORAL ISSUE: Something is upsetting, stressing, or frightening your cat for some reason. It could be furniture being moved or changed, something outside a nearby window such as a scary animal, or as we found out the hard way, someone has moved Ugly Guy Stuff into their coveted space!

So if your cat starts to urinate and defecate outside the litter box don't get mad, do some detective work and Find Out Why it's happening!

Have you ever had to deal with the issue of cats toileting outside their litter box?  How did you handle it?  Tell us about it in the Comments!  We always appreciate hearing your thoughts & feedback.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

Have you been longing to add a feline to your family but won't because you're allergic to cats?  How I got Relief From Cat Allergies and Kept My Cats!

I got Maggie as a 9 week old kitten. While I was waiting for her to be ready for adoption I "accidentally" adopted another cat!  How my Accidental Pet Adoption turned out to be a joy and a blessing!

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If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know that we love taking our dogs just about everywhere with us!  We're always looking for great dog friendly restaurants, dog friendly activities and other destinations that welcome dogs.  We have recently discovered some great Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York!

Long Island's Wine Country

Yes, Long Island, New York has a Wine Country and it's pretty darn good!  The sandy soil and moderate climate found on Long Island makes it ideal for growing grapes.  Although grapes have been grown and vines sold on Long Island since the late 1600's, according to the Long Island Wine Council the first Long Island Vineyard wasn't planted until 1973.  

Quite a few wineries on Long Island allow dogs! Long Island's wine country, Pet friendly, Dog friendly
Several vineyards on Long Island, NY are dog friendly!
Upon visiting Long Island in 2,000, world renowned Australian viticulturist Dr. Richard Smart said that the soils of Long Island "are among the finest soils for grape growing that I have ever seen in the world"  Wow, that's quite a testament coming from a leading global consultant on viticulture methods!

Dog Friendly Vineyards in Long Island New York's, Wine Country.  Pet Friendly Travel, Dog Friendly Travel
Sandy soil and a moderate maritime climate are ideal for growing grapes that make the delicious wines of Long Island!

As you travel East on Long Island, the Island splits into two sections, the North Fork and the South Fork of the island.  This split begins at the town of Riverhead, about two thirds of the way to the Eastern end of the island.

The North Fork of the island is where most of the wineries are located in towns like Riverhead, Mattituck, Peconic, and Southold.  There are a couple of wineries on the South Fork as well, but the South Fork is better known for the beautiful regions of The Hamptons and Montauk.

Dog Friendly Wineries, North Fork Long Island

We've visited several vineyards on Long Island over the years, but this was the first time we visited wineries on Long Island that allow dogs!  It's the first time, but it will certainly not be the last.  We had a wonderful time at two of Long Island's pet friendly wineries, and so did our dogs, Icy and Phoebe!

For our first winery visits with the dogs we chose Pindar Vineyards  in Peconic and Macari Vineyards in Mattituck.  Visiting two wineries with dogs was plenty for one day.  We wanted to take our time and enjoy the wine and the beauty of the vineyards, and didn't want to tire the dogs out too much.  We'll be heading back out to visit a couple more pet friendly wineries on Long Island in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!

Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards, Peconic, Long Island NY

Our first stop was Pindar Vineyards in Peconic.  I did a tasting of about 5 different wines (don't worry, the tasting size is super small!) and John had just one glass of wine since he was our driver.  We bought a couple of cheese sticks and a small package of crackers to enjoy along with our wine.

They had a covered patio with lots of shade and a beautiful view of the vineyards.  The gentle, cool breezes off the water were delightful!  I had brought chew sticks for the dogs, but of course we couldn't refuse sharing some of our cheese sticks with them too!

Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York.  Dog Friendly places on Long Island, Pet friendly places on Long Island.  Wineries on Long Island
We had to share some of our cheese sticks with the dogs.  I mean, who could say No to that face!?

I really like Pindar's green initiatives, one of which is the use of wind in their wine production.  They installed a 156 foot tall Turbine that will power at least 80% of all winery operations.  We applaud their sustainability efforts!

Dog Friendly winery Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York uses wind in the production of their wine!  Dogs, Pet Friendly, Dog friendly wineries on Long Island
This wind turbine will power at least 80% of wine production at Pindar Vineyards 

There is a beautiful Sunflower Field on the property as well.  You can stroll through the field with a glass of wine in hand, admiring the bright, "happy" flowers.  You can even cut some sunflowers to take home for just a dollar or two per stem.  They provide the clippers, you choose & cut your flowers. 

Pindar Vinyard has a beautiful sunflower field. Sunflowers can be cut and purchased by the stem.

We left Pindar Vineyards with 2 bottles of wine in tow.  A bottle of Pythagoras red wine for my husband and a bottle of Winter White for me.  Delicious!!  

Dog Friendly Macari Vineyards, Mattituck, Long Island NY

Our next stop was Macari Vinyards in Mattituck.  I didn't do another tasting, instead I had a glass of a sparkling Cabernet that I really like and john had a glass of Merlot.

In addition to tasting flights, Macari offers a boxed cheese, cracker, and aged salami snack that you can enjoy with your glass or bottle of wine outside on the patio.  You can also buy these items a la carte.  

There was enough in the boxed "snack" to consider it lunch for two.  There was also enough cheddar cheese and salami left over for a delicious omelette du fromage the next morning!

Enjoying wine and cheese at dog friendly Macari Vineyards, Long Island NY.  Pet friendly winery.  #Dogs
Macari Vineyard offers a la carte or boxed snacks of cheeses, crackers, and aged Italian salami.  Yum!!

We enjoyed one of the boxed snacks with our wine on the covered patio overlooking the vineyard.  It was perfect, sipping wine and snacking on cheese and crackers while looking out over the beautiful vineyard.  The breezes that came off the Long Island Sound were so relaxing, even the dogs were loving the cool breezes!  

We made sure there was plenty of shade and kept the dogs well hydrated.  Of course, we had to share a little of our cheese and salami with the dogs!

Visiting Dog Friendly wineries on Long Island.  Pet friendly Macari vineyards, Long Island NY
Phoebe jumps up to catch a bit of cheese!

The Macari Vineyard started in the 1990's. The Macari farm uses an ecological and holistic approach to growing their grapes.  That includes a field devoted entirely to compost, with a composting program that utilizes a herd of Long Horn Cattle and a couple of horses.  


Dog friendly wineries, Dogs, Dog Friendly Activities, Pet Friendly, Long Island Wine Country

If you decide to visit wineries on Long Island, New York, there are lots of Long Island Vineyard Tours available.  I like the idea of a tour because you can visit several wineries and participate in wine tastings to your heart's content without having to worry about driving afterwards!  It's probably the safest way to do a wine tasting tour, don't you think?

Have you ever visited a dog friendly Vineyard?  If not, would you like to?  Leave us a comment and let us know, we LOVE hearing from you!

A Simple Trick To Give Your Dog A Pill By Mouth

My dogs don't have to take pet medications very often, especially in pill format.  The occasional need for an antibiotic and their monthly heartworm preventative medication are the only medications my dogs need, thankfully.  However, I wanted to share a creative way to give a dog a pill with food your dog probably already eats.  My cousin's Veterinarian shared this pill giving tip with her and now I'd like to share it with you!


Even if it's infrequent, giving your dog a pill can be a struggle.  You slather it with peanut butter or cream cheese, you hide it in their food, you may even stick it in the very back of their throat or use a "pill dropper", hold their snout closed and tilt their head back trying to get your dog to swallow the pill. 

Even after those stealth pill giving attempts your pet may eat all the peanut butter or cream cheese around it and spit out the pill.  Or your dog might remain stark still while you practically wrestle him to the ground trying to get the pill to the back of his throat, but then find a way to gag or spit the pill out anyway.  Or you think you've hidden the pill in your dog's food but he smells it immediately and refuses to eat at all.

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How to give a dog a pill by making a "Pill Meatball Pocket" using canned dog food.  Pet health, Dog health, How to pill a dog or cat.
Make giving your pet medications in pill form easier!

It's difficult when there's an occasional need to give your dog a pill, but imagine how hard it must be for dogs or cats who need daily medication in pill form long term! 

What's a Dog Mom to do?  

Pill Pockets you buy in the pet store may make it easier but they can be expensive. For ongoing daily pet medication administration of pills that's a lot of extra cost and calories added to your dog's diet.


My cousin Grace shared a tip with me that her Veterinarian recommended when her pill hating Scottish Terrier needed 10 days of medication.  He suggested making a simple Meatball Pill Pocket using canned dog food she already feeds her dog. 

🐶 Place a can of dog food in the fridge to harden and chill.  Make sure it's a canned food your dog likes to eat, and one you can scoop out and roll into a ball!  It shouldn't be too wet or have gravy in it.

🐶 Scoop out 4 tablespoons of the canned food and roll each one into a ball in your hands, just like making a meatball.  Make 4 of these dog food "meatballs".

🐶 Insert the pill you need to give your dog into the middle of one of the "meatballs".  The other 3 meatballs won't have a pill inside.

🐶 Start by giving your dog one of the meatballs that doesn't have the pill in it.  Then give him a second meatball without the pill inside as soon as he swallows the first meatball.  Make it fun like you're giving your dog a special treat, and praise him!

🐶 As soon as he swallows the second meatball, give your dog the third meatball, which should be the one with the pill inside it.  After scarfing down the first two yummy meatballs and being praised for it, your dog will be anticipating the third yummy meatball and happily gobble it up!

🐶 Finish by giving your dog the last meatball without the pill in it.  That will end your pet medication session on a fun and positive note!

Make giving your pet their pills easier by making a Pill Pocket Meatball  w/ canned dog food.  How to give a dog a pill, Pet medication.
My dog Phoebe thinks Pet Medications are no fun!

This technique can be used for cats as well as dogs.  Just adjust the size of the meatball, making it smaller for small dogs or cats.


You may also enjoy some tips on how I handled my allergies living with two cats  and the Dangers of Tick Borne Illnesses to Dogs

Have you ever had to give your dog or cat medication in pill form?  Was it easy or did you struggle?  Tell us about it in the comments, and if you have a pill giving tip, please share it!