socialization

Why Cats Climb Curtains and Scratch the Sofa

Cats can seem soft and gentle, but beneath the fur and the purr are claws that can rip and teeth that can bite into furniture, clothing, carpet and more. Scratching is the most common type of feline destructive behavior, but it can also take other forms. Cats may chew plants, climb curtains or knock over objects because they are playing and exploring, seeking owners attention, or trying to get outside, says Pamela Perry, DVM, Ph.D.

Whats the Cause of Wailing And Howling at All Hours?

Cats can be very vocal creatures, and they are very good at getting their owners attention, often at inconvenient times of the day or night. There are a number of reasons that a cat may vocalize in this manner, ranging from normal to indicating disease, and I hope that I can provide some advice regarding the next steps to take in determining what is causing her to behave in this way.

20 Inspirational Ideas for Cat Owners

At the close of each year, do you find yourself writing a list of ambitious resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more? Perhaps you decide to eat more kale and spend more time at yoga and less lounging on the couch. We often craft New Years resolutions with good intentions but rarely fully achieve them.

When Cats Demand Nonstop Attention

When your cat walks between your legs, paws at your ankles or edges into the space between your neck and the sofa, he has one goal in mind: He wants to get close to you. The behavior can help further your bond - theres no need to stop it. But when he walks over your keyboard while youre trying to work or meows nonstop, attention-seeking behavior becomes annoying or even destructive - for example, if you lose work that you hadnt saved.

Guilty of These Mistakes in Training?

Youve probably seen those clever cats on the Internet praying, rolling over and high fiving and wonder how they do that. All you want is for your cat to stay off the kitchen counter. It may come as a surprise, but you can train your cat to demonstrate a variety of behaviors. The biggest misconception people have about cats is assuming that they cannot be trained. They usually can if we avoid common mistakes in training.

Download the Full July 2016 Issue PDF

Last year the diagnostic center and the University of Wisconsin analyzed hundreds of samples to identify the influenza strain in the Chicago area that caused illness in hundreds of dogs. The ability of the avian origin H3N2 canine influenza virus to infect cats was clearly demonstrated in South Korea and China prior to its arrival in the U.S. early in 2015, Dr. Dubovi says. The initial report on the susceptibility of cats to H3N2 was based on a significant outbreak of respiratory disease in an animal shelter housing both cats and dogs. Experimental studies also confirmed the ability of H3N2 to infect cats.

In the News: Kitten Kindergartens Trending at Shelters

A growing number of animal shelters and veterinary clinics around the country are offering kitten kindergartens in an innovative way to socialize kittens and increase their adoptability. Australian veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kersti Seksel developed the program about a decade ago.

Night Stalkers and Bedtime Howlers

At the end of a long workday, you look forward to uninterrupted slumber, but your cat has other plans. In two hours, he jars you awake by leaping on the bed - knocking the air out of you. An hour later, he swats a book off your nightstand. And 30 minutes before your alarm sounds, he begins loud, demanding meows.

From Barn to Bedroom; Sleeping With Pets

An article in the February issue on alternatives to relinquishing pets to shelters featured a dashing photo of Rascal, a feral cat who was neutered, vaccinated and adopted to work as a Rodent Ranger. A small study by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., suggests that owners sleeping with their pets can experience positive effects. Replies to a questionnaire from 150 consecutive patients found that nearly half had pets; 41 percent had several.

6 Ways to Get Your Cat Off the Counter (And Other High Surfaces)

Your curious, agile cat effortlessly leaps and lands on the top of the refrigerator, deftly missing your glass serving bowl. Your first instinct may be to scold him, grab his front legs and oust him off the refrigerator. Such a response could bring you face to face with an angry, frightened cat who may lash out or bite you during the tussle. In your attempt to shoo your cat, he could also lose his balance, falling hard on the floor and injuring himself.

Cats ARE More Independent Than Dogs

We followed a small study that assessed the bond between children or pet dogs and their caregivers when theyre in potentially threatening or unfamiliar environments. The researchers observed the relationship between 20 cats and their owners with the cats in a new environment with their owner, with a stranger and on their own. They assessed the amount of contact the cats sought, their level of passive behavior and signs of distress when the owner was absent.

Cats’ Behavior Affected Crucially Early in Life

Most of us recognize obvious signs of stress and anxiety in our cats - taking up residence under the bed being high on the list - but we may not be aware of more subtle signs, such as lowering the head and eyes, lifting a paw and staring at middle distance. These are among nearly 40 behaviors that may require intervention, according to the American Animal Hospital Associations 2015 Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines, published this past summer. Behavioral problems affect more dogs and cats than any other medical condition and are one of the most common causes of euthanasia, relinquishment or abandonment of pets, the association says, adding that their management is essential in veterinary practice. It urges a culture of kindness that avoids the use of forced restraint.