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CAT OWNERSHIP

Yes, But Which Cat Should You Take Home?

You can’t decide to bring home the one beautiful cat from the shelter because, as you already know, all cats are astoundingly beautiful. Besides, you shouldn’t be choosing a pet based on looks. You should choose one with the personality that will best suit your household, considering such things as whether you have a rambunctious […]

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 […]

Cats for Senior Citizens Who Can’t Afford Them

Many elderly people live by themselves and feel isolated, which leads to depression and sometimes even a decline in physical health. Having a cat significantly decreases the loneliness and also connects people to the wider community; pets beget interaction and conversation. The problem is that a lot of senior citizens can’t afford the added expense […]

A Halloween Tail

Black cats have long been associated with Halloween, and stories abound that they are in greater danger than cats of other colors during that holiday because people steal them and subject them to all kinds of abuse. Evidence is lacking. But cats of every stripe are at risk for various dangers at Halloween. With that […]

Cats on a Shoestring

Like all pure creatures, cats are practical,” said American Beat Generation author and feline fan William S. Burroughs. That means you can be practical, too, cutting costs without cutting into your cat’s health or contentment in your home. You’ve already got the advantage over dog owners. According to figures compiled last year by the ASPCA, […]

It’s Happy Cat Month. How Will You Let Your Cat Know?

In some circles, September is considered Happy Cat Month. Of course, you always try to make sure your cat is happy. But what can you do to emphasize your desire to bring her joy? Here are some ideas. Fresh grass indoors. Your indoor cat doesn’t have an opportunity to chew on grass, but if she […]

Ways Not to Modify Your Cat’s Behavior

You can’t keep your cat from jumping on the counter, but you can get him to jump back down by spraying him with a water pistol. Still, we advise against it. It’s an aversive tactic that involves physical punishment. Not only will it fail to teach your cat what you expect of him, it will […]

Do We See What They See?

Cats can see better than we can in the dim light of dawn and dusk, but the anatomy of their eyes puts them at a color deficit. Like a colorblind person, they are not good at distinguishing red from green because their eyes don’t have the number or types of cones to differentiate those hues. […]

If You Die Before Your Cat

Because cats live an average of about 18 years while our life- span averages closer to 80, we don’t generally expect to go first. Yet more than a half million pets are orphaned each year due to an owner’s death or disability, according to at least one estimate. Shelters are full of pets whose owners […]

Dear Doctor August 2022

Helping at a shelter — virtually Q: I would love to be able to volunteer at my local cat shelter, but my schedule makes it really hard to get over there when they need me. Is there anything else I can do to help that doesn’t involve physically being on site? Johnna Owens Taos, New […]

Dementia, Heart Disease, Less Likely Among Cat Owners

Death from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia increased by 16 percent during the COVID pandemic, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. But people with pets, including those with cats, may be protected from cognitive decline. Investigators from the Universities of Michigan and Florida made the finding when they combed through data on almost 1,400 […]

Allergic to Love

Cats are thought to be the third most common cause of indoor allergies (after pollen and house dust mites). Yet few allergic cat owners are willing to part with their pets. In one online survey, 84 percent of respondents reported that they would ignore advice to give up their cat to help manage allergies.  The […]