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Behavior

Appropriate Scratching

Punishment doesnt stop cats from scratching things. Its like yelling at a cat for doing something as natural as grooming, says Dr. Bruce Kornreich, CatWatch Editor-in-Chief and associate director of the Feline Health Center. Instead, be smarter than the cat. Give her an appropriate, comfortable, sturdy scratching surface, such as flat horizontal scratchers, and toys covered with sisal rope, fabric, or cardboard. Sprinkle some catnip on the surface to attract her attention. Once shes interested, its time to place possible deterrents where you dont want scratching. Here are five tricks that can work:

Serial Cat Killer

Newsweek, The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting that someone is mutilating and killing cats across Washington state.

Feline Lymphoma

Lymphoma is the most common feline cancer. Over the years, however, with increased testing and vaccination for retroviruses like feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the exact type of lymphoma seen in cats has changed.

Head Games

Its a feline social thing: Rubbing against your leg or on other objects. Head rubbing (also referred to as butting or bunting) is a normal social behavior, says Dr. Leni Kaplan, DVM, MS, Lecturer in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Community Practice Service. Head rubbing is one way cats can deposit their scent on objects which signifies comfort and familiarity and is a way to communicate with other cats.

Nuts and Bolts of Anxiety

While some feline behavior problems can be resolved at least partially with environmental management strategies, sometimes medication becomes necessary. This is often due to behaviors that pose a risk to the cat, owner, or other pets in the household, or may be to simply break the cycle of a very stressed cat. Before you ask for an anti-anxiety medication, you should understand what the drug does and how to use it.

Pheromones May Calm Anxious Felines

You may have seen pheromones advertised to calm anxious cats. Feline facial pheromone is precisely what your cat releases from the scent glands on his face.

When That Bite Abscesses

Your sweet, peace loving feline companion sneaks out between your legs as you take the trash out. Despite searching, there is no sign of her, so you are thrilled to hear her meowing at the door the next morning. She fusses a bit when you pick her up, but you figure she is just upset at being out all night.

Feral Cats Rest Most of the Day

If youve used a webcam to keep an eye on your cat while you were at work, chances are most of the footage shows your cat snoozes away in various locations. If you felt bad about her boring life, think again.

Managing the Mess

A beloved family cat who becomes incontinent can raise the household stress level immeasurably. After years of dutifully using the litter box, your cat seems to go wherever she is. The truth of the matter is that shes not happy about it either.

Play Biting Is Not Fun

Its cute, at first, when that tiny little kitten leaps at your ankles, swats you a few times, then runs off. But as he grows, this play biting/ scratching can injure you.

Myth Buster: Canned vs. Dry Food

We want the best for our cats, and nutrition plays a vital role in any animals health. But advertising and lay opinions can leave a cat owner wondering whether to feed canned food or dry foods.

Myriad Causes of Mouth Sores

An oral ulcer is almost always a reason to visit your veterinarian. While causes can range from treatable to serious, it can be difficult for you to determine at home. Your veterinarian may do a swab to examine under the microscope or possibly sedate your cat for a thorough oral examination.