A Truly Grape Solution for the Kitty Litter Blues

By Lila Devi, Founder/Director of Spirit in Nature’s Flower Essences since 1977
(originally appeared in Vibration Magazine: The Journal of Vibrational and Flower Essences, December 2000 issue)

Note: This is an excerpt from Lila Devi’s book, Flower Essences for Animals: Remedies for Helping the Pets You Love. It was released by Beyond Words Publishing Inc., and is reprinted here with their permission.

Felines are supremely hygienic by nature. Eliminating outside the litter box is an unequivocal demand for attention to issues that cats find deeply disturbing. They deliberately employ this maneuver as a sign of their outrage with our behavior, usually for some way that we have been insensitive to their needs. In fact, the location where cats soil or spray is the most significant clue as to why they are doing it.

Punishment for this behavior is one of the worst things an owner can do to the feline species. Especially if reprimanded more than three to five seconds after the soiling occurs, cats cannot associate their behavior with the punishment. Instead, such actions may backfire, and the cat may begin to fear both the owner and the environment.

With a little detective work of our own–analyzing what changes occurred in the cat’s life at the time the problem began–we quickly learn that there is no such thing as an “accident.” Litter box problems are not arbitrary; there is always a reason. The root cause can easily be traced back to something happening in the home. We may accurately generalize that litter box problems indicate an unacceptable behavior by the cat’s owner.

Spirit in Nature’s Grape is an excellent all-purpose essence to have on hand for your pet’s range of behavioral challenges reflective of some aspect of neediness–jealousy, whining, loneliness, clinging, or its opposite, aloofness. For the blending of households when your cat is no longer “top dog” and loses interest, for withdrawn or bullying behavior when other pets are brought into the home, and for pets who cry for no apparent reason, Grape is highly recommended. Also for those pets who behave in an overly or inappropriately territorial manner, this essence calms them almost immediately.

One man, himself fastidiously tidy, recently reported a serious problem with Junior, a two-year-old neutered cat. Junior had begun urinating everywhere in the house but on the bed. Junior’s new behavior contrasted strongly with his initial integration into his new home as a loving, affectionate cat, delighted with his new circumstances and attentive owner.

When questioned, the owner said that nothing had changed in his life at the time the rampage began. The man had started a new relationship a few months ago at about the same time he brought Junior into his home. At least superficially, this did not seem to follow the standard pattern of a cat feeling replaced or displaced.

And yet as the love relationship progressed, the owner began to focus more time and energy on his new partner than on Junior, who, by the way, was fondly accepting of the woman. A cat does not so much mind his owner extending love to other animals or people; what irks him to the point of soiling is feeling replaced.

Junior’s owner had even begun affectionately referring to his girlfriend as “Kitty Number One.” The cat was then relegated to the role of “Kitty Number Two.” Apparently this conveyed a clear message to Junior that he had been bumped. In addition, the man noted that Junior’s play had grown increasingly more aggressive; he used his claws and teeth in a vicious rather than a fun-loving manner.

I suggested to the owner that he give Grape essence to Junior. I also suggested that he apologize and explain to him that he was in no way being replaced; and, through his eyes, voice, and mental pictures, that he communicate to his feline friend that he was still “Number One” in the owner’s heart. After following my suggestions, the owner reported by phone, “Junior’s really turned the corner. He’s happier, more secure again, and just a jovial little fella.”

Grape and Raspberry are Spirit in Nature’s most commonly used essences for litter box problems–both addressing hurt feelings and highly emotional issues, to which cats as a species are prone. Raspberry strengthens the cat’s natural tendency toward compassion, its capacity to bond with others, and the ability to forgive.

Other essences, naturally, may come into play from time to time, but essences alone cannot solve the problem if it begins in a strain in the relationship. Flower essences, combined with behavioral changes on the part of the pet owner, are a virtual remedy for success.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lila Devi is founder and director of Spirit in Nature’s Flower Essences since 1977, the oldest essence line outside the UK.