Morsels November 2022


Put the Scissors Down!

If a stubborn mat develops in your cat’s fur that can’t be groomed away, you may be tempted to cut it off with a pair of scissors. Don’t! A mat can pull skin into it, and the skin can all too easily be cut in the process, causing great pain. Only a veterinarian or a professional groomer should remove a mat that needs to be trimmed off.

15 Minutes

© Somjachnyj | Bigstock
A daily dose of snuggling 
will help a kitten mature 
with confidence.

There are the proverbial 15 minutes of fame, but infinitely more important are the 15 minutes of daily cuddle time you give to a newly adopted kitten. More time is even better, but being picked up and handled by you for at least a quarter of an hour a day will help her feel more confident and less fearful — of you, of other people, of other pets in the home, and of unusual situations that arise from time to time in any household.

Toxic Masculinity?

A Japanese study has found that cats with relatively high levels of the male hormone testosterone (which females also have) were less likely to get along with other cats in their vicinity as those with lower levels. They were also more likely to try to escape their confines. And cats who had higher levels of the hormone cortisol were less “affiliative” with other cats — less tolerant and less willing to hang around together.

You can’t do anything about your cat’s testosterone level. But cortisol levels can rise in response to stress. Theoretically, at least, if you help keep down your cat’s cortisol level by letting him live a calm, relaxed life with all he needs to feel comfortable — scratching post, clean litter box, high-up perches, places to hide, no arguing in the house, and the ability to seek you out when he feels like it — it could mean that he will be more likely to get along with any other cats you have in your home.

Cat No Longer Underfoot?
She Could Be in Pain

Your cat is one of those who is always there — following you around, jumping in your lap, walking all over your papers. But recently you’ve noticed that she has been making herself scarce. If nothing has changed in your household — no new pets, no rearrangement of furniture, no alteration in the daily schedule — take her to the vet. She could be in significant pain. Withdrawing as well as hiding was found to be a significant indicator of both low- and high-level pain by an international panel of 19 veterinary experts.


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