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Subtle Signs of Feline Fear

“People think hiding is just what cats do,” says the head of the Tufts Animal Behavior Service, Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM. “But hiding is a sign of fear. Cats that generally avoid contact are afraid.” There are a number of other signs of fear in a cat that are also easy to misinterpret — or at […]

Is Your Cat a Psychopath?

Human psychopaths, according to one model, are said to have three distinct traits: Disinhibition, which reflects a problem with impulse control. Boldness, an outlook where social dominance aligns with a lack of compassion for others and a willingness to tread into situations that are risky or dangerous. Meanness, specifically, aggressive seeking of resources without regard […]
Jackie Dobrovolny wonders if her two cats, Ebby (left) and Pumpkin, can be left alone at home longer than a cat by itself.

Dear Doctor: Can two cats be left alone longer than one?

Q.  In your article “Home Alone, But For How Long?” (November 2021 Catnip), you said that even though the rule of thumb for how long a cat can be safely left alone is 24 hours, cat owners should definitely have someone at least come in to check on and pay attention to their pet two […]
There are certain parts of the body where cats really liked to be touched.


C stands for giving a cat Choice and Control. A stands for pay Attention to your cat’s reactions. T stands for thinking about where your cat likes to be Touched. That’s what experts in feline behavior and welfare at England’s Nottingham Trent University found in their observation of 100 cats. When it comes to choice […]
It is a really bad idea to let your cat regularly eat dog food rather than her own diet.

Myth/Fact Round-Up

Here are a lot of urban (and suburban) myths about cats that throw off people’s understanding regarding feline behavior. In some cases, they can...
If your cat is aggressive with you, your own behavior may be influencing hers.

Are You Making Your Cat Aggressive?

It has been posited that kittens taken from their mothers too soon and need to be bottle fed are more likely to turn out...

She Loves Having Me Around, She Loves It Not

Dogs loved having their owners home with them during the COVID pandemic. Among cats, however, the reaction wasn’t uniformly positive. In a survey that...

Bunting: Why a Cat Does It

Your cat rubs her cheeks against your legs or the furniture. Or she gently bumps her head against your face. What’s that about? The behavior...
With his tail held high, chances are this cat’s in a good mood.

Telling Tails

While cats don’t speak our language, there is the language of their bodies, and it can tell us a lot about how they’re feeling....
High up is where they like to be, even from a very young age.

Why They Like High-Up Places

Why are cats always jumping up onto things — kitchen counters, tables, the top shelf of a linen closet? The answer becomes clear when...
Looks like the zoomies may be about to begin. Hard to say.

The Zoomies

Almost every cat parent has seen it — their perfectly relaxed pet suddenly jumping up out of nowhere in a seemingly random burst of...

They Do Not Like Fireworks

For a cat, loud noises signal danger, not an Independence Day celebration. So when the fireworks begin, many cats feel incredibly stressed. To help...