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Dear Doctor: A clowder of cats?

Q. I just read that a group of cats is called a clowder. Where does that term come from? Susan MaleMadison, New Jersey Dear Ms. Male, A. “Clowder” is an early 19th-century variant of the word “clutter,” which comes from the Old English word “clott,” meaning lump. If you think that doesn’t sound so good, […]

Dear Doctor: When rough play is too rough

Q. My cat likes to play rough and sometimes scratches me in a tussle. My wife says the scratches are not safe and I should stop encouraging such play. I think she’s overreacting. Can you help us put this matter to rest? Otis Curtin Mobile, Alabama Dear Mr. Curtin, A. Yes, we can. Stop encouraging […]

Dear Doctor: Cat leaks urine while sleeping

Q. My 10-year-old cat has begun to leak urine while sleeping and sometimes when she is awake but close to dozing. This did not happen when she was younger. It’s not like a full release of urine, just a dribble. She is not at all bothered by it and in fact is totally unaware when […]

Dear Doctor: Why Kneading?

Q. I know my cat feels good when she kneads on my chest because she purrs gently and also does it rhythmically and calmly. But why kneading? How did that develop in cats as a go-to for expressing relaxed contentment? Rhea Gowers Brooklyn, New York Dear Ms. Gowers, A. You’re definitely right that your cat […]

Dear Doctor: Watery Eyes

Q. Why have my cat’s eyes been watery lately? Angie Slomanson Carlisle, Massachusetts Dear Ms. Slomanson, A. If your cat’s eyes have a watery discharge, it’s quite possible she has a respiratory illness. In many cases, the culprit is a virus. There aren’t any great drugs to kill viruses, so often the best option is […]
Black cat

Dear Doctor: Adjusting feral cats to life in your home

Q. I adopted three feral cats from a shelter when no one else would — a mother and two of her kittens. The littermates, 5 months old at the time, were a boy and a girl. It’s now almost 3 years later, and the girl has become my best friend. She and I have bonded […]

Dear Doctor: For most reliable advice, .com, .org, or .edu?

Q. If I’m looking for information about how to care for my pet on the Internet, it’s better to go with a website that...
Cat with blood clot

Dear Doctor: Throwing a clot

Q. My veterinarian said my cat has heart disease and has to take a blood thinner so he doesn’t throw a clot. What does...

Dear Doctor: Readying a cat for the new arrival

I am about to have a baby and wonder how that will affect my 6-year-old cat. My husband and I have had her since she was a kitten. Anything I should know or do in advance?

Dear Doctor: Pushing back on the diagnosis

My beloved cat, Tigger, has died of cancer at the age of 19, and his death has left me feeling somewhat guilty. He enjoyed going outdoors, and I would follow him around the yard to make sure he was okay.

Dear Doctor: Cat Scratch Fever

My cat scratched me on my arm, and a few days later I developed a bump there. But then I went on to develop a fever and also felt very tired. I went to the doctor, who said I had cat scratch fever and that it would resolve on its own. Does that sound right?

Dear Doctor: Bringing a Deaf Cat into your Life

I have fallen in love with a shelter cat that is deaf and would like to adopt it. Should I have any concerns?