Morsels April 2022


Yes, The Scratching Post Looks Ugly.
That’s How Cats Like It.

Scratching post” and “interior decorating” do not go together, which is no doubt why many

people keep their scratching posts in out-of-the-way places — behind the couch or in a back hallway. But doing that only invites scratches and tears in the fabric of your upholstered and wicker furniture. That’s because aside from leaving an olfactory mark when scratching, cats also like to leave a visual mark. Hide the visual evidence, and the allure of the scratching post fades next to the allure of a piece of furniture that’s out in the open.

Sometimes it works to start by putting the scratching post in a spot that’s easy to see and access, then very gradually moving it an inch or two every couple of days to a place that’s more to your liking. But sometimes that doesn’t work.

Bottom line: If you love your cat, a torn-up scratching post is most likely going to be in your everyday line of vision.

Have You Picked Up Your Kitten Today?

If it so happens that you will be bringing home a kitten from a new litter, choose one that is picked up and handled by people for at least 15 minutes a day. Forty-five minutes is optimal for getting kittens younger than 7 weeks old used to having people in their lives, but 15 minutes will still go a long way to reduce a very young cat’s fear and anxiety — not just of people but also of dogs and other animals. The more a cat is handled when very young, the more confident she will feel in general.

When Hairballs Become Dangerous

Most of the time, hairballs are harmless. Nobody likes to see their cat retching uncomfortably, but it’s just part of feline life. And expelling a hairball is over pretty fast. In rare cases, however, a hairball can become a life-threatening emergency by causing an intestinal blockage. How can you tell the difference between harmless hairballs and harmful ones? Look for these signs:

  • Vomiting, gagging, retching, or hacking that keeps going without
    actually producing a hairball
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If any of these signs don’t go away on their own within a day or so, bring your pet to the veterinarian. They can be symptoms of many conditions other than hairballs that won’t dislodge, but whatever the problem, it needs tending before too much time is lost and the cat is in real danger.


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