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Walk This Way

A cat, a giraffe, and a camel walk into a bar…in exactly the same way. These are the only three species who move the front and back legs on one side, then the front and back legs on the other.

Play Therapy for Our Pets

Aprevalent myth about house cats is that felines are low-maintenance pets (or an even worse assumption: no-maintenance pets!). Perhaps their reputation as easy keepers is based on the idea that cats require far less attention than canines; but this misconception is actually far from the truth.

Teaching Your Cat to Sign

Dr. Doolittle would be intrigued. Can we actually use American Sign Language to talk to the animals, and they to us? Videos that have gone viral would suggest yes. Whether its cats seated attentively in a row, responding to American Sign Language taught by their human mom, or a polite cat gently touching her owners arm as hes eating and then placing her paw to his mouth to indicate that she wants some of the food, the possibilities such images suggest leave us filled with wonder.

Non-Recognition Aggression in Cats

Like many cats in a multi-cat household, Ivan and Natasha live together bound by a mutually agreed-upon peace treaty. Indeed, theres an occasional breach when one crosses the others claim to a toy or cherished napping spot - but that doesnt terminate treaty relations. However, there is one major treaty violation that makes it clear that this isnt a non-aggression pact: the veterinary visit. It doesnt matter if they go to the vet together or separately. Once back home, there are no consoling purrs. Natasha lights into Ivan with a barrage of aggressive behaviors as if she doesnt recognize her peace partner.

Communication Styles

When I was a little girl, my dad brought me to a local animal shelter to adopt a kitten. The shelter worker reached into a cage full of kittens - how delightful! - and pulled out an especially tiny white kitten, who was literally lost in the crowd of furry playfulness.

Dear Doctor: Never See my Cat Drink!

I am writing in hopes that you may have a suggestion regarding my three-year-old Persian cat. I adopted her through an agency when she was about two years old, but nothing was ever mentioned about her eating issues.

Domestic Abuse and Pet Safety

The statistics speak for themselves. Over seventy percent of pet-owning women who find safety in a womens shelter report that their abuser had also injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to gain psychological control. Furthermore, 32 percent of the children who end up in shelters to escape domestic abuse had themselves harmed or even killed pet animals; the lessons modeled by the offending adult seep in insidiously.

Let it Be the Cats Idea

Most mornings, I like to start out at my computer to catch up on emails, read some news (thats a bad idea, many days), enjoy my cup of coffee and plan the rest of my day.

Dear Doctor: Improving Feline Intelligence

I recently read the Short Takes in Catnip (March 2018 issue) about dogs being smarter than cats. What can be done to increase the neuron count in cats, if anything?

Feline Cognitive Dysfunction

According to census figures from the Humane Society of America, well over 90 million cats currently reside in U.S. homes, a record high for the nations domestic feline population. Much of the dramatic and steady increase is due to the pleasure that a rising number of people derive from having a cat around the house. However, the increase can also be attributed to the fact that cats are living longer nowadays than they did in the past.

Are Dogs Smarter Than Cats?

According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, dogs possess more brain power than cats. This was determined by researchers, who counted the number of neurons in the cerebral cortexes of the brains of a number of animals, including cats and dogs.

Managing Cat-Dog Introductions

A sideways hop here, a play bow there. Thats how the head of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, describes the way in which her cat and dog initiate play with each other, but it doesnt always work out so delightfully.