Sometimes when you pet your cat she seems to enjoy the affection – she purrs, she stretches, maybe even gives a contented little meow. But in an instant, it’s as if a flip gets switched and the predator within her pounces out! All of a sudden she latches on to your hand and chomps down on you with her teeth…hard. She may even wrap her paws around your hand and “bunny kick” your arm with her back feet, raking her hind claws against your skin. Ouch! How can a cat be so sweet one minute and such a ferocious ball of fury the next? You’ve fallen victim to what’s known as petting aggression, my friend.
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.
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?
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.
Catios have been all the rage lately, and if you’re not thinking about building one for your indoor kitty, she might be missing out on a great opportunity for enrichment and entertainment! And because catios are easy to build, come in many sizes and price ranges, and are completely customizeable, there’s probably a catio out there that will suit both you and your cat purrfectly.
Funny story. I live with 5 cats, volunteer regularly with a no-kill cats-only rescue organization, and am a cat behaviorist. So, I come into close contact with a lot of cats on a consistent basis. And guess what…I’m allergic to cats! Oh, the irony of life sometimes! I wasn’t always this way, but as we age, our immune system changes and sometimes people find themselves with allergies that they never had before. In my case, I met my husband. Not that he’s entirely to blame, but I had a perfectly reasonable number of two cats when I met him, and he had three cats. After about a year of living in the same house with five cats, I realized that (while I had never had allergies before), my “seasonal” allergies (that I assumed were the result of me moving to the Pacific Northwest) just weren’t going away. I joked that I was probably allergic to cats.
Dr. Marci is a certified feline behavior and training consultant, with specialized and advanced certificates in Feline Training and Behavior. She started Feline Behavior Solutions to keep cats in homes and out of shelters as the result of treatable behavior issues. She believes that the number of cats in shelters can be greatly reduced if guardians better understand cat behavior, and learn how to work with their cats to encourage desired behaviors instead of unwanted ones. Dr. Marci’s family includes her four feline companions and her very patient, understanding, and supportive husband.