Cat Behavior Articles
Looking for information about your cat’s behavior? We have tons of information for you – click on a topic or browse through our articles.
There are several reasons cats hide, and and most cats include hiding as a normal, healthy activity in their repertoire of behaviors. First, cats are both predators and prey in the wild - they are instinctually driven to hide and conceal themselves when they are sneaking up on a prospective prey item, and avoiding being prey for other predators (i.e., any carnivore that is larger than they are). Second, hiding in the home can be a stress-reducing, relaxing thing to do. Third, cats may hide when they are ill or not feeling well. If your cat all of a sudden decides to start hiding for long periods of time or changes her hiding behavior, you will want to make a trip to the veterinarian to make sure everything is ok.
Whether you're traveling for the winter holidays or any other time of the year, it's always smart to plan ahead when it comes to figuring out your cat care options while you're away. Pet-sitters get booked up very quickly weeks (and sometimes months) before holidays, so your options will become more limited the longer you wait to decide what your kitty will be doing while you're away from home. There are a number of options to consider depending on several factors: how long will you be gone, what is your budget, and perhaps most importantly, what will be best for your cat? Is your cat friendly, outgoing, and likes the attention of new people; or is she shy and skittish, and most comfortable in familiar surroundings? You'll want to answer all of these questions when deciding what to do, but here are some choices to guide you when you're figuring out what to do.
Indoor cats, even though they're safer and generally live longer lives than outdoor cats, don't get to be, well, cats. We love cats for what they are, and that's a result of thousands of years of evolution and development of behaviors that have allowed cats to adapt to their environment and niche as both predators and prey. What it comes down to is this: indoor cats have the potential to miss out on a lot of things that cats evolved to experience. And when indoor cats aren't given the opportunity to act like cats, they get bored, stressed, and behavior issues can start to crop up.
Is your cat bored? Does she sleep ALL day, or does she beg for your attention? Is she mischievous, getting into things that she shouldn't? If so, you may need to give your kitty something on which to focus her attention and energy. Even if you have toys around the house, she may be bored with them, or she might not like playing with those particular toys. Mental stimulation is essential for kitties because without it they can become bored, stressed, or even depressed...all of which can lead to behavior problems. Enrichment, which is defined as "any artificial or natural item that stimulates a pet physically, mentally, or socially", is a necessary part of your cat's day and is important to keep mind and body healthy. But what can you do besides give your fuzzy mice toys and a cat tree? Enter: food puzzles for cats!
Think that behavior training can only be done with dogs and birds? Think again! You'll want to include cats in the list of "trainable critters" after reading this article, and with just a little inspiration, I'm hoping that you will use what I'm going to share with you to start on a cat-training adventure. Whaaaat??? Yes, you can train your cat! And it's a lot easier than you might think - you just need to find out what motivates your cat and use that to reward desired behavior.
Each June is recognized as National Pet Preparedness Month – a reminder to all of us to think forward and plan ahead for what might happen. What could we do to help ourselves in a given situation? What supplies or resources can we to gather now that could make life safer and more comfortable if disaster does strike?
I get it – cleaning out the litterbox is not the most fun part about living with one or more cats. But consider this: toilets were made for humans. Humans sit on toilets, do their business, and flush the toilet to get rid of our waste. Toilets were not designed for cats, and in fact, I can’t really think of a more unnatural potty experience for a cat than training it to sit on a toilet to urinate or defecate. Why do we want our cats to do this? If you have a dog, you walk your dog, you clean up after your dog…why is that any less gross or inconvenient than cleaning a litterbox? Yet, we would never consider training dogs to use the toilet, right? It just sounds ridiculous!
Next to cats going outside of their litterboxes, scratching furniture and other inappropriate surfaces seems to be a problem that provokes most cat guardians into a state of high annoyance. How can something so cute and lovable as your kitty be so dang destructive? Do you really have to redefine your decor as "shabby chic", feline-style (meaning, shredded to bits)? No! And you can fine a solution that will work for both you and your feline family member - you CAN stop scratching without the need to declaw your cat, which can have unintended and detrimental consequences for everyone.
Do you have a move coming up? Moving can be one of the most stressful things we do in our lives, but it can be even more stressful if you have fur-kids to worry about. But don't despair - moving with cats doesn't have to be another thing to be stressed out about. I've got a moving plan for you and your cats that will take the worry out of this part of your move, at least!
My cat Jesse recently turned 17 and, while he has slowed down in the past few years, he's still a relatively healthy kitty and I'd say he's doing pretty good for an older gentleman. Cats are considered “senior” between the ages of around 11 and 14, and “geriatric” by age 15. If you're like me, you've noticed that your senior cat might be sleeping more and moving around a little less and that's pretty normal. However, it's really important that you pay special attention to your older cat and make sure his needs are met. And of course, a cat's physical, mental, and emotional needs change over time. But if you keep a few simple things in mind, your kitty can enjoy a long and healthy life!
Even though we usually associate pumpkins with autumn and feasting holidays (pumpkin pie, anyone?), pumpkin is actually available year-round for our dining pleasure...and health. This is great news for your kitty, because even though cats are obligate carnivores, pumpkin is a supplement you can easily incorporate into your cat’s diet that can help with several issues. Which means, as you may have heard, pumpkin is good for cats! The primary benefit of pumpkin is its naturally high dietary fiber content. If your kitty has occasional digestive issues, pumpkin can help with the following...
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I mean, come on: Costumes + Candy = PAWesome! But honestly, it's probably not one of our pets' favorite days - lots of noise (including fireworks and firecrackers in some areas), unfamiliar people wearing masks, and potential hazards abound! On a holiday that is meant to be playfully creepy, if we don't keep the safety of our pets in mind, Halloween can be a truly frightening experience for them. But it doesn't have to be! Here are a few tips to keep your cats safe and spook-free throughout the week prior to, and following, Halloween.