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How does she know I’m pregnant?

Q: I am just entering my second trimester of pregnancy and not showing yet, but I’m sure my cat knows. How can that be? Tamsin Nasberg Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Dear Ms. Nasberg, A: Your cat does not know you’re pregnant, although she might very well know that something is different. Cats are acutely sensitive to changes […]

My, Kitty, What Narrow Pupils You Have!

You’d think the pupils of house cats would be similar to those of the big cats in the wild, like lions and tigers. But their slit-like pupils are actually more like the pupils of snakes and crocodiles, researchers found when looking at the pupil shapes of 214 different types of animals. Why is that? It […]

What Animal Does Your Cat Like to Hunt?

Most cats display a preference for a particular type of prey, says the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. For instance, some cats may very much enjoy chasing mice, while others might be into catching birds — or bugs. Finding out just where your cat’s predatory instincts lie will help you buy or make […]

Why Is Your Cat Always Sleeping (Except When You Want To?)

While we sleep about 7 to 9 hours a night, a cat sleeps roughly 12 to 16 hours out of every 24. Why is it, then, that they often seem to be underfoot and jonesing for action just when we want things calm? You’d think that with all that time snoozing, the chances would be […]

Have You Gotten Too Familiar With Your Cat?

While it would seem logical to assume that self-proclaimed cat people are more likely than others to physically interact with felines in ways that best suit their desires and temperaments, cat welfare scientists have found that those who rate themselves as knowledgeable and experienced with cats are more likely to touch them in ways they […]

Peeping Tom Cats

What is it about you turning on the shower or drawing a bath that makes your cat burst through the door with a wide-eyed gaze as you try to have a few minutes to yourself — or plaintively scratch and meow from the other side of the door if you keep it closed? There are […]

Cat-atomy

Were you aware that cats walk by moving the front and back legs on one side, then moving the front and back legs on the other? It’s thought that allows them to progress more quietly and escape predators’ notice; each hind paw steps almost exactly where the forepaw stepped, minimizing noise and footprints. There are […]

Help For the Velcro Cat (and You!)

So many people lament that their independent-minded cat doesn’t want more together time with them. But at the other end of the spectrum are those whose cats are so attached to them that they never have any peace. They can’t walk around the house without the cat weaving tight figure-8s around their legs. They can’t […]

Fostering a Cat When You Already Have One

Perhaps you’ve thought about saving a cat facing euthanasia at an overcrowded shelter by taking it in until a permanent home can be found, or fostering a cat for a rescue group that doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar facility to house it. But you’ve nixed the idea for fear that your own cat would hate sharing […]

The Way Cats Mourn When a Fellow Cat Dies

One of your cats dies. How does your other cat feel about it? Is he wondering where his housemate has gone and when she’s coming back? Is he taking it in stride? Is he beside himself with grief? He can’t tell you in words, but there are a number of other ways he can make […]

When One Cat “Bullies” Another

One of your cats appears to be lording it over another one. She won’t let him near his food bowl and growls at him if he so much as tries to cross her path, while the cat under assault spends a lot of time hiding, doesn’t try to claim what’s rightfully his, and avoids eye […]

How Cats Point — If You’re 
Paying Attention

When people (and chimpanzees) want to draw your attention to something, they point with a finger. But what if you’re a species that doesn’t have hands per se? If you’re a cat, you use your eyes, looking successively back and forth at the object and the person whose attention you want to get. Researchers made […]