He can’t learn to read music, but you can still teach him a lot of other fun tricks. 

Cat’s got rhythm

Q: My wife and I have noticed that when we put on soft classical numbers, our cat seems to settle in and become calmer. Are we imagining this, or might she actually be responding to the music?

A very scared cat might do better at the veterinarian’s office if she gets a dose of gabapentin beforehand.

New Drug for Cats Terrified of Vet Visits

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug called pregabalin to alleviate a cat’s anxiety and fear associated with veterinary visits as well...

How to Make Your Cat Smarter

People tend to rate their cat’s intelligence by how much their pet interacts with them. Cats deemed smart are often those who spend time connecting with their people. But it may not just be a perception on our part.

Older Cat Less Active? Maybe Your Floors are Too Slippery

Laminate and tiled floors and even wood flooring can prove very slippery for an old cat who’s not as steady as she once was. And that, in turn, can make her less likely to be active. If your cat is avoiding a particular room or space in the house that she used to frequent, consider putting a runner there. You might be happily surprised to find her confidently making her way across. 

Can Cats Use Facial Expressions to Signal Friendliness to Other Cats?

There has been a fair amount of research on the faces cats make to communicate with people, along with research on their expressions when they are in pain. What hasn’t been well studied are their facial expressions to communicate their feelings to other cats.

cat depression

Mental illness in cats

Q: Is it possible for cats to have mental illness, or is it always just a matter of behavioral issues?

Keep Your Cat from Climbing the Feline Ladder of Aggression

There are 12 steps on the Feline Ladder of Aggression, a graphic devised by veterinarian and behavior consultant Sally J. Foote, DVM. But a cat who is feeling particularly threatened can scale the entire ladder in little more than a second, Dr. Foote points out. And some cats will skip steps as they escalate and suppress their body language as they go, taking someone who is handling a stressed, frightened cat even more by surprise.

The Brain-Bladder Connection in Cats Can Cause Disease

Your cat starts urinating more frequently and often does so outside the litter box, straining while he relieves himself.  He also has started over-grooming “down there” and may even have blood in his urine. Is it a urinary tract infection? Nope. The vet checked for that. A bladder stone? No, not that, either. In fact, the doctor has screened for a number of conditions that fall under the umbrella of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), and all the tests came back negative. So what is it? Is your cat just being difficult?

Increase Your Cat’s Clicker Training Success Rate

Like dogs, cats can learn tricks with clicker training. The sound of the clicker comes super fast, faster even than the short amount of time it takes for you to get a treat reward from your hand to a cat’s mouth for doing something right. In that way, the clicker lets your pet know that a treat is coming and keeps him motivated. There’s literally no time for his attention to wander. Here are some ways to optimize the training.

Morsels November 2023

A Second Reason Your Cat May Jump onto the Kitchen Counter

3 Ways to Help a Scaredy Cat

Cats in general like a fair amount of alone time, but if your cat’s “MO” is one of almost complete avoidance of you and others in your home, something’s wrong. A cat should not want to spend his entire day under the bed, behind the bed skirt, or at the far reaches of some other piece of furniture. He should not consider it a risk to walk across the middle of the floor and instead always slink around the perimeter of a room in order to try to avoid being noticed. 

Feline Arthritis Pain: 
The Signs Can Be Subtle

Some 90 percent of cats develop arthritis over time, research suggests, with about half of them actually suffering from arthritis pain. That comes to almost one out of two house cats in pain, yet people often aren’t aware. They think their cat isn’t as nimble simply because he’s getting older. Or they believe that if a cat had arthritis, he would start limping. But while dogs limp from arthritis pain, cats work to hide their discomfort. They like to mask their vulnerability so predators can’t see their weakness. No matter that there may be no predators in your home. That feline tendency is genetically built in.