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BEHAVIOR

The Dilemma of Rehoming A Cat

Wise owners understand how even seemingly insignificant changes can affect their cats and disrupt the groups harmony. They also know how important it is to address the effects of changes positively and immediately. If you obtained the cat from a shelter, you might choose to ask the organization if theyd be willing to take the cat back. Obviously, a lot depends on the particular shelter, their management practices and philosophies and how you feel about the shelter. But if youre comfortable with the shelter, and feel that the cat has a good chance at finding a more suitable home through them, this can be a comfortable option.

Planning to Adopt a New Cat?

Sometimes, the motivation to adopt a new cat arises out of loss. The owner feels that a new feline companion would be just the thing to lift a grieving survivor cat or owner out of the dumps after the loss of a long-term companion. And its true that the arrival of a fresh feline face can work wonders, giving middle-aged and older cats a new lease on life. But constant, exuberant overtures from an energetic youngster - however well-intended - can really wear on an older cat, threatening the equanimity of even the most tolerant, settled oldster.

Providing the Perfect Playtime for your cats

One of the most delightful aspects of our domestic cats is their lifelong love of play. Inside every cat - no matter how pampered, sedentary (or even downright lazy) - beats the heart of a mighty hunter. Many cat owners assume that their adult cats dont want (or need) regular playtime, because they typically show so little interest in the toys that are available to them, or because they spend so much time just lazing…

Cats That Love Too Much

When youre walking around the house, hes weaving tight figure eights around your legs. If youre trying to take a catnap or watch some prime-time television, hes happily draped across your neck, purring away. When you close the bedroom door at night to get some well-deserved sleep, he claws at the door and wails piteously. And hes always between you and whatever youre trying to read or eat. …

Signs That Your Cat May Need Your Help

According to Dr. Dodman, the line between clinginess and separation anxiety can be fine. Any of the following signs can indicate that your cat is becoming dangerously dependent on your constant presence: Refusing to eat unless you are present. Spraying or urine-marking on your belongings, especially things you leave near the door by which you ordinarily leave the house. Clawing at door frames and window screens. Frantic attempts to escape if confined away from a favorite human, to the…

Clicker Train Your Cat

Most people - including many cat owners - think its impossible to train a cat. While cats are certainly more challenging to train than dogs, they are trainable - especially using a method called clicker training. First popularized in the 1990s by dolphin trainer Karen Pryor, clicker training works by use of what behaviorists call operant conditioning. Animals initially learn to associate the sound of a metal clicker with a reward, and can eventually be taught…

Interpreting Aggression in Your Cat

Petey, a much-loved, six-month-old kitten, has been able to hold his own in a family that includes two active boys and two dogs. Peteys owner, Mindy, was a long-time dog owner; Petey, adopted at just seven weeks of age, was her first cat. One morning, little Petey purred and squeaked in delight as Mindy played with him - rolling him over on his back, and letting him grip her forearm as she stroked his tummy. But…

Strange Habits Explained

Have you ever witnessed your cat scratching around the food bowl, attempting to cover the food or plop a toy in the water dish, and asked yourself: Whats happening here? You may have even wondered whether your cat is suffering from a medical condition (the answer is maybe; well explain in a minute). But first, lets take a closer look at some of the most common, albeit odd, food-related behaviors cats may exhibit. …

Do Cats Experience White Coat Effect?

The white coat effect (i.e. increase in blood pressure as a result of the measurement process itself) is well-documented in people. The name comes from the increased stress some patients experience upon seeing a white coat-wearing doctor enter the exam room. Although the prevalence of white coat hypertension is hard to gauge, it does present a significant problem in the interpretation of blood pressure measurement in cats. …

Dear Doctor – A young cat who suckles

Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - A Tuna Fish Diet, Suckling Habit

A Little Cat TV

I moved from New York City to western New York about four years ago, and said goodbye to my rent-controlled apartment and the various stresses of urban life. I packed up all my earthly possessions and my four cats, who had lived their entire lives in our two-bedroom apartment. Up in the Finger Lakes, I bought an Arts and Crafts-style house, over 100 years old, with an expansive sun porch and a mudroom in the back.…

Dear Doctor – A gastrointestinal disorder in cats

Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - A Twitching Cat, Stool Problems