Dear Doctor: Readying a cat for the new arrival

I am about to have a baby and wonder how that will affect my 6-year-old cat. My husband and I have had her since she was a kitten. Anything I should know or do in advance?

How to Talk to a Young Child When a Pet Dies

There are literally dozens of books about grieving over the loss of a pet. Its an industry unto itself. But Fred Rogers book, When a Pet Dies, stands out among the others, even though it was first published more than 30 years ago. The book is meant for preschoolers as well as those in the early grades but, of course, also for their parents, who will go through the pages with their young ones.

How Cats Defy Physics When Landing On Their Feet

You fall out of a 19th-story window, and the word splat is in your very near future. A cat falls 19 stories, and she glides earthward to live another day. It really happened several years ago when a white fluff ball named Sugar dropped out of her owners high-rise window and walked away to enjoy her eight remaining lives with only some minor bruising on her lungs but no broken bones, no lacerations, no anything. What is it that makes cats nimble enough to be able to land safely, even from great heights?

Are Essential Oils in Household Products Safe For Your Cat?

Your new diffuser emits the calming scent of lavender, your counters and floors gleam from a cleanser suffused with the uplifting odor of peppermint, and youre thinking of placing a diffuser in your house-maybe with the cheering scent of lemon. But did you know that products like these, all made pleasing with the aromas of essential oils that have taken off in consumer use, could be toxic to your cat, and in some cases even lead to life-threatening reactions?

Insuring a Cat-Safe Holiday

A Christmas tree to a cat may seem like a laser beam on steroids - lots of lights to chase, lots of other shiny objects. Which is why you should always anchor your tree. It can too easily tip and fall over onto a curious cat who views it as a fully outfitted play space, perhaps with fragile glass ornaments breaking into shards as they hit the floor and causing even more potential for your pet to harm herself as she scampers away.

Age-Related Dementia

Does your 12-year-old cat seem, well, a little different than she did when she was younger - perhaps not seeming to recognize you or other familiar people, or unable to maneuver around obstacles she used to find easy to navigate? Is she less interested in interacting with you, or perhaps more clingy, or anxious? She may have feline cognitive dysfunction, the cat equivalent of Alzheimers disease. And if she does, shes not alone.

Your Cats Age in People Years

Its pretty well known that for a medium-size dog, every year is equivalent to about seven human years. But what about cats?

They’ll Take It On the Chin

Poor cats. While theyre still hardwired to think more like African wildcats than domestic house pets, often preferring solitary lives to social ones, their human caretakers have evolved to be social animals. They go for closeness and touching to display affection.

Weight Keeps Creeping Up

Its well known that cats dont need to keep putting on weight once they transition from kittens to adults at about one year of age, but data on 19 million cats published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association reveal that pet cats tend to keep putting on weight until they are about 8 years old.

Before You Take In That Stray…

Perhaps youve already started leaving out bowls of food for a stray cat who comes near your house. Maybe she has even let you pet her, and you decide to go the distance and have her come to live with you inside. But before you do:

The Best Cat Nutrition Websites

To help you in your Internet search for reliable nutrition information for your cat, we have compiled a list of the very best websites out there, divided into categories for your convenience.

Its You They Want

Pop quiz: What do cats prefer most? 1. Food. 2. Interacting with you. 3. Batting around a toy. 4. Sniffing desired scents.