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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.

Socializing: Cats Can Take It or Leave It

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat to survive. But they are also what some scientists have called a non-obligate social species. Group living is not obligatory for their survival. Yes, they have come to be able to tolerate, and sometimes even appreciate, the company of other cats, and also people. But “Do they need us?” Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic head Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, asks rhetorically.

Why has she stopped grooming?

Q: My cat used to be incredibly fastidious, licking herself until her coat gleamed. But that has dropped off precipitously, and we can’t figure out why. She is on the older side — we think about 9 or 10 — but certainly not near the end of life. Why would a cat who used to be so particular about self-grooming let herself go?

Turn Down the Television! And Other Ways to Keep Your Cat Happier

Sounds, scents, sights — all of these are much different for a cat than a person because they hear, smell, and see things very differently than we do. Moreover, they often perceive things through their senses more acutely than we do, meaning that what’s just right for us may be too much for them. Here’s a look at some of the differences, along with how to accommodate your cat’s exquisitely tuned sensorial attributes so that your pet will feel more comfortable and relaxed in your home.

Your Cat’s Got the (Weird) Moves

We know cats are sleek and graceful, but the way they move or even just hang out can look a little, well, odd. Here’s why they do it.

When Your Cat Starts Napping in the Litter Box

Your cat, normally so fastidious, has started lounging in her litter box. What’s going on? One possibility is that she has developed a condition that makes her feel the urge to relieve herself very frequently, so she’s trying to stay close to the “toilet,” so to speak. Illnesses that can increase the urge to urinate include a urinary tract infection, urinary crystals or stones, kidney disease, and diabetes. It’s important to rule out any of these diseases. Certainly if your cat is trying to urinate but not getting much out or seems to be in pain while “going,” she should be seen by the vet. Appropriate treatment should help solve the problem.

With Summer Comes Territorial Urine Marking

There are four main reasons cats will urinate outside the litterbox. The first is litterbox aversion, meaning that a cat finds her “toilet” unacceptable....

Let Your Cat Go Outside — Safely

We often have it drummed into us that to remain safe and live as long as possible, our cats should remain entirely indoors at...

Softening the Blow for a Cat Mourning the Loss of Another Cat

The average number of cats in American homes with feline pets is 1.8, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. In other words, many...