CAT OWNERSHIP

Managing Territorial Aggression in a Multi-Cat Household

Cats are by nature territorial animals. They work hard in the wild to carve out their own space because, as solitary predators, they rely on their own abilities to catch prey rather than acting in groups. They also try to avoid chance encounters with other cats in order to sidestep fighting and injury. What that means is that even if two cats claim the same territory and forage in the same general vicinity, they dont forage at the same time.
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Why It Takes Patience to Teach a Cat Tricks

When it comes to teaching tricks to a cat, it isnt that theyre not smart or cant learn, says the head of the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM. They actually can be quite good learners. But you have to teach them how to learn.
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Litter Boxes to Suit Every Cats Preferences

Kicked litter, spraying, onerous clean-up of not only the box but also the surrounding area…no wonder litter boxes are often a source of vexation for cat owners. But what if you could find a model that best suits your cats proclivities, making her elimination time easier and more pleasant - which in turn could make your life more pleasant as well?
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Dear Doctor: Catnip Concerns

Is it really okay to give your cat catnip? My husband and I are teetotalers and also would never smoke marijuana, so Im wondering if its okay to make my cat high. He does seem to like it and I dont want to take away something he enjoys, but am I inadvertently turning him into a drug addict, with attendant harmful effects? Also, is it just plain wrong?
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Dear Doctor: Cat eyes

I think one of the things that makes cats so attractive is their large eyes. But are they really large, or do they just seem that way because of their relatively small heads?

Why Writing an Obituary For Your Cat May Be a Good Idea

People who lose a cat often experience what social workers have called disenfranchised grief, says veterinarian Karen Fine, a graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts. By which she means that the grief one feels upon losing a pet often is not considered socially acceptable and is given short shrift by others. Youre still upset? people will ask cavalierly, Dr. Fine says. That was a couple of weeks ago. They dont realize that people often have a closer bond with their cat than they do with many of the other loved ones in their lives, caring for their pet every single day and developing a daily rhythm through feeding the animal, perhaps sleeping in the bed with her, enjoying quiet kneading sessions, goofy antics, and being greeted by their pet when coming home from work.
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Dear Doctor: Dandruff flakes

My cat has always been a fastidious groomer but has developed dandruff. Are the flakes something I should be concerned about?
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Feline-Focused Vacations

Tourists who enjoy far-flung locales from Roman ruins to the palm trees of Hawaii, but who miss their snuggly, purring companions while traveling, can now have it all. Vacation spots around the globe offer opportunities for petting, cooing over, and connecting with cats. Some even permit adoption, opening up the possibility for the best souvenir ever. Heres a sampling of cat-themed travel destinations.

Can Your Cat Become a Therapy Cat?

Youve most likely heard of therapy dogs, who offer comfort to hospital patients, stressed out college students, children with disabilities, and others in need. But therapy cats? Yes, therapy cats spread cheer to strangers, too - and these interactions not only enrich the lives of the people they visit but also those of the cats themselves.

Counter Conditioning

Its understandable that cats like to jump onto kitchen counters; our pets enjoy high places. And while not everybody minds it, some people dont like their pet jumping up on surfaces where food is prepared. But how can you stop it? The Animal Humane Society (animalhumanesociety.org) has some tips.

Brushing Your Cats Teeth

Your cat has the same risk for oral disease you do, and theres no reason to believe she doesnt feel the same pain of sore gums and toothache. Thats why you want to keep her teeth in good shape by brushing them. Every single day is ideal, but you can do it every other day if your cat will accept that interval better. Every three days isnt frequent enough because it takes two days for soft, sticky plaque that collects below the gum line to turn into hardened calculus. Once plaque hardens, no amount of brushing will remove it. It requires a scaling under anesthesia by your veterinarian.

Why Your House Cat Needs an Identification Collar

It might seem ridiculous to put a collar with identification on a house cat who never goes out. After all, you already know who your cat is and who he belongs to. But you absolutely should put an identifying collar around his neck, because cats do manage to make their way past your door. The UPS man comes and delivers something. Someone house sits while you are away and forgets to keep the back door closed.