Sign Up for Cat Talk
Get the latest health and behavior news and
advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

June 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

June 2018 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

 

Editor's Note

Communication Styles

When I was a little girl, my dad brought me to a local animal shelter to adopt a kitten. The shelter worker reached into a cage full of kittens — how delightful! — and pulled out an especially tiny white kitten, who was literally lost in the crowd of furry playfulness.   More...

Feature

The Eco-Friendly House Cat

We love our cats and would do most anything for them. Unfortunately, our pets leave quite a paw print on the environment. From adding litter to landfills, to polluting the water with unrecyclable plastics, we may unknowingly be contributing to this paw print. By making the right choices, however, there are ways to decrease this paw print and lessen the impact on the planet. It can be as simple as choosing a different type of litter or repurposing an old suitcase into a chic cat bed.   More...

Non-Recognition Aggression in Cats

Like many cats in a multi-cat household, Ivan and Natasha live together bound by a mutually agreed-upon peace treaty. Indeed, there’s an occasional breach when one crosses the other’s claim to a toy or cherished napping spot — but that doesn’t terminate treaty relations. However, there is one major treaty violation that makes it clear that this isn’t a non-aggression pact: the veterinary visit. It doesn’t matter if they go to the vet together or separately. Once back home, there are no consoling purrs. Natasha lights into Ivan with a barrage of aggressive behaviors as if she doesn’t recognize her peace partner.   More...

Teaching Your Cat to ‘Sign’Subscribers Only

Dr. Doolittle would be intrigued. Can we actually use American Sign Language to talk to the animals, and they to us? Videos that have gone viral would suggest yes. Whether it’s cats seated attentively in a row, responding to American Sign Language taught by their human “mom,” or a polite cat gently touching her owner’s arm as he’s eating and then placing her paw to his mouth to indicate that she wants some of the food, the possibilities such images suggest leave us filled with wonder.   More...

When to Stop TreatmentSubscribers Only

Factoring the ‘quality of life’ remaining for your cat versus the prognosis — and cost of treatment — can be a difficult and emotional decision.   More...

Keeping Shelter Cats HealthySubscribers Only

Researchers recently discovered that upper respiratory infections in shelter cats can be dramatically decreased by doubling cage sizes and providing the cats with two compartments. Funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, the UC Davis team of researchers published their findings in the journal PLoS One.   More...

Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor: Effects of Drug Exposure

I am the director of a small-town animal shelter, and we recently took in a two-year-old Bengal who was living with his owner in a meth house. This poor cat was subjected to his owner’s drug use for most of his life, and he is now suffering the consequences.   More...