Cats

Help for cats not getting along

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Dear Cathy, Last year, I adopted two male cats who were not previously paired. Fred is about 10-years-old, is mellow, and sleeps all day. Casanova is two-years-old, a sweet and affectionate cat, but also a stinker towards Fred. When Fred is sleeping, Casanova suddenly pounces on him. Currently, Fred is missing some fur on his […]

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How to discourage cats aggressive behavior towards dog

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Dear Cathy, We recently got a cat from our local Humane Society. He is a three-year-old male. His cage card said he wasn’t good with other cats. It wasn’t until we got home that we saw the paperwork also said he doesn’t like dogs either. We don’t have cats, but we do have a five-year-old […]

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Stressed cat not using litter box

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Dear Cathy, I have four indoor-only cats. They range in age from two- to six-years-old. Our problem child is a five-year-old female cat named Trinity. Before we adopted her at four months old, Trinity lost a leg before from a dog bite. When we brought her home, she didn’t use the litter box. She used […]

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How to help your cat overcome anxiety

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Dear Cathy, We got our rescue cat in October 2015 as a seven-month-old kitten.  As soon as she got in the house, she went under the bed and came out only to eat and use the litter box.  A year later, she still hid under the bed but came out more often to snoop around […]

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Is my cat grieving?

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Dear Cathy, Our seven-year-old cat started licking his front paws. He has always been afraid of everything, but it has progressively gotten worse. He jumps at the slightest noise – a loud bang sends him running and hiding. We’ve always treated him with love and cuddling. Our other sixteen-year-old cat died a couple of months […]

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Why is my older cat not using litter box?

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Dear Cathy, We have a 17-year-old cat who over the past few months sometimes neglects to use the litter box. Sometimes, he’ll leave a surprise right next to the litter box and sometimes elsewhere. It seems to happen whether the litter box is completely clean or not. What’s the reason? – Rich, Rockville Centre, New […]

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Question about cat with nodule above his eye

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Dear Cathy, My older cat, Sonney, has a bump or nodule above his left eye. I have attached a photo. I don’t know how he got it; it could have started from a scratch from one of our other cats. He did have a small scratch close to the bump that healed before I noticed […]

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How to reduce aggressive behavior with cats

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Dear Cathy, I have two cats, Foxy and Florence, ages 8; they are brother and sister from the same litter. They had a bit of a rough start. Their mother was killed by a car before they opened their eyes. But a kind soul took them to a veterinary clinic where they were bottle-fed and […]

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How to introduce a puppy to a home with two cats

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Dear Cathy, We have two cats, and we’re thinking about getting a puppy. The cats are two years old. What suggestions do you have for introducing a new pet into a home with other pets? – Leslie Mallard, Norcross, Georgia Dear Leslie, The good news about bringing a puppy into a cat home Introducing puppies […]

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Introducing new kitten to older cat

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Dear Cathy, We have a three-year-old domestic cat. She has always had a picky appetite, and has times of affection and aloofness. We recently acquired a ragdoll kitten. For the last month, our older cat’s appetite and playfulness have diminished appreciably.  The two of them interact very minimally; the older cat seems to allow the […]

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Does the cat have hairballs or something else?

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Dear Cathy, Riya, my cat, has been doing this weird gag/cough/puke thing quite often the past few days. At first, I just thought it was a hairball she was working to get out, but yesterday she threw up a little food. Most of the time she doesn’t throw up, but then again in the middle […]

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Pilling a cat who only eats dry food

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Dear Cathy, I have a cat who is five years old that we rescued from the Humane Society.  He is a Russian Blue and a great cat, except he will not eat any wet foods. The only thing he will eat is dry food. My vet has no answer. He is very healthy, but wonder […]

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“Leave it” solves a host of doggie transgressions

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Dear Cathy, I have some new neighbors that moved in with an outdoor cat. The cat uses our yard as her potty box. Our two dogs have found this cat poop delectable and they eat these deposits before I can remove them from the yard. Is there something I can do to dissuade my dogs […]

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Feral friend may be happier staying outside

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Dear Cathy, I have been feeding a very feral cat since last March. Gradually, he has progressed to living on my deck.  In July, I trapped him and had him neutered and treated for fleas, worms, and mites. He has gained weight and is extremely charming. He was a skeleton when I first saw him. […]

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Reader takes right steps towards dog/cat introductions

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Dear Cathy, We just took in a five-year-old dog from a family friend who could not keep him anymore.  All is going somewhat well, but he does not get along with my three-year-old cat at all. We have tried to introduce them with him being held back on a leash, but he constantly keeps going […]

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Books on pet care ideal gift for pet owners

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Dear Cathy, I read your great pet column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal every Sunday.  It’s always interesting. I am writing because our son has four cats, and seems to be very adept at their overall care. My question is, can you recommend a good cat medical guide, which would be a handy thing for […]

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How cat got feline leukemia baffles one family

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Dear Cathy, My husband and I went to a no-kill shelter to adopt a cat after I became disabled and had to retire early. I was adopted by a beautiful Lynx point Siamese who had been brought to the shelter 14 months prior as an orphan. He immediately jumped on my lap, rubbed his face […]

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If you feed feral cats, please sterilize them too

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Dear Cathy, I started feeding a few stray/feral cats in my back yard last year, and now they’re reproducing, including a litter of four in my shed. The other house tenants are angry and don’t want any cats around at all. I know there are TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs, and it is illegal to abandon them elsewhere. […]

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Helping a grieving cat

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Dear Cathy,  We had two cats who were litter mates and adopted as kittens. One of the two cats disappeared and hasn’t returned. The other is still mourning his lost brother. Is there anything we can do to comfort him or help him get over missing his brother? Would a new kitten help? – Mundy […]

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To drive or fly pets on a long-distance move

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Dear Cathy, I was reading your column regarding preparing a pup for a long-distance car ride, and I have a similar question regarding cats.  We may be relocating to Florida from New York, and my wife is extremely hesitant to give our cats (two to three) to anyone like an airline or service that would […]

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Elderly cat started howling at night

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Dear Cathy, I have a problem with our cat who is roughly 18-years-old. She started howling at night around five months ago. This is an issue because she hangs out in my daughter’s room upstairs (she is away at college, second year). My 22-year-old son who lives at home is also upstairs. Last night, she […]

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Helping new adopted cats get along

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Dear Cathy,  Last year, I adopted two male cats who were not previously paired. Fred is about 10-years-old, is mellow and sleeps all day. Casanova is two-years-old, sweet and affectionate cat, but also a stinker towards Fred. When Fred is sleeping, Casanova suddenly pounces on him. Currently, Fred is missing some fur on his side. […]

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Fostering as flexible opportunity to love and help animals

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Dear Cathy, I am writing in response to the woman a few weeks ago whose cat died “in God’s timeline,” and she was grateful she didn’t have to euthanize her cat. I had to make the decision twice in the last 20 years, and swore I would never do it again either. But I missed […]

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When a cat won’t poop in the litterbox anymore

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Dear Cathy, Our six-year-old house cat stopped pooping in the litter box, but she still urinates in it. We find poop all over the house, but never urine.  She doesn’t have a favorite place to evacuate; it’s on rugs, hardwood floors – she isn’t hiding it.  We find it out in the open and it […]

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Helping feral cats when person feeding them moves

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Dear Cathy, I have five inside cats, and feed three stray cats in my yard, which has woods behind it. I have been feeding these cats for five months. There have been others in the past that I have trapped, had neutered/spayed, and rehomed. The problem is, my family and I are moving to another […]

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Separating bonded pair of cats easier while still young

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Dear Cathy, My son, a second-year veterinary student, and I adopted two cats. They are brothers, about 13 weeks old. We adopted them three weeks ago. My son is returning to school with one of the cats. I work full time in Oceanside. Will the cats be okay once separated? Is there anything we can […]

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Cat loves to eat plants and other things too

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Dear Cathy, My four-year-old male orange tabby has a taste for weird stuff. He eats plants, but particularly loves pineapple leaves. If he gets out, he’ll run to eat grass and whatever plant he can find. I can’t keep live plants in the house. Even worse, he eats strings and fabric, including my bathing suit […]

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Drawing a cat back to the litter box

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Dear Cathy, I got a Manx female kitten from my daughter’s barn when she was six-weeks-old. Her name is Lil Bit. I watched her use the litter box in the barn. The first night bringing her home, we stayed in a motel, and I took her litter box out of the carrying crate and let […]

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Cat’s punctual evening screaming

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Dear Cathy, I have two Himalayan cats, Tango and Cash.  These three-year-old brothers are very healthy indoor cats. However, at 9 p.m. every night, Cash starts screaming bloody murder for about two minutes. I can’t figure out what is wrong with him. Any ideas? Tango just looks at him in awe! — Carol Freburger, Aventura, […]

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Dealing with the prospect of euthanasia

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Dear Cathy, When we lost our last kitty, I was so thankful God took her in his timeline. For me, the guilt feelings of deciding when was the “right” time was overwhelming. I pray I never need to make that decision again. – Donna B. Tampa, Florida Dear Donna, If you have pets, then you […]

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Kitty’s incessant night meowing

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Dear Cathy, I have a ten-year-old Ragdoll cat. She is very sweet, but since I am a light sleeper, she keeps me up most of the night with her incessant meowing. I don’t recall how long this has been going on, but I don’t think she has any health issues. Do you have any insights […]

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Cat food not good for dogs

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Dear Cathy, Is it dangerous for my five-year-old poodle/Shih Tzu, Babou, to eat cat food? I am babysitting my daughter’s 16-year-old cat, Cinnamon, for the summer, and he is eating her food. I finally put the cat food high up where Babou can’t reach it, but wondered. – Jeanine Szajna, Bayport, New York Dear Jeanine, […]

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Lost cats can get trapped in garages, basements

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Dear Cathy, Could you please warn people about lost cats getting closed in people’s sheds, garages and basements. I know someone whose cat went into a neighbor’s basement. Since the man never went into his basement, the friend’s cat wasn’t found for three months. He couldn’t walk when they found him, but believe it or […]

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How to handle your dog or cat’s bad breath

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Dear Cathy, We rescued our golden labs – a six-year-old brother and sister – three months ago, and they are great fun, and just the best. However, they have horrible breath. Despite giving them a ‘greenie’ a day, it is still bad.  We know and have kept other dogs and have never had complaints, like […]

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Cat pees only on our bed

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Dear Cathy, We’re having a huge problem with our cat. We bought a new bed a few months ago, and she has peed on it five times. My poor husband washes the sheets and mattress covers, and we get the quilt cleaned. We had no choice but to keep her out of the room unless one […]

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The message is, “Adopt, Don’t Shop,” for your next pet

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Dear Cathy, I read your recent article about research showing people are not more likely to return pets acquired during the winter holidays. I work for a rescue group, and our concern has always been with potential stress for a newly-adopted animal caused by large family gatherings, travel, visitors, unusual schedules and foods during this […]

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Couple rescues former housecat living on the street

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Dear Cathy, My wife and I subcontract for several local banks, performing property assessments of foreclosed properties. We recently came to a property that included an abandoned cat. We needed another (third) cat like a hole in the head, and while we could have dropped her off at the shelter, she ingratiated herself so quickly […]

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Calming a difficult rescue cat

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Dear Cathy, My cat is 17-years-old and very frail. I rescued a kitten last Thanksgiving in part because I wanted to soften the blow for myself when my older cat dies. What a big mistake. This kitten, now 13 pounds compared to her three pounds, constantly terrorizes my older cat. I have to take my […]

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Night-time vocalizations keep cat owner awake

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Dear Cathy, Our six-year-old neutered male cat has a behavior that disturbs our sleep. He will meow, run across the bed, push the rugs around, and jump off the chest of drawers onto the bed. He has gone for periods of time (weeks, even months) sleeping contentedly at night. We don’t understand what brings on […]

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Pet- and kid- proofing the Christmas tree

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Dear Cathy, I read your column in the Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun, and I enjoy it very much. You asked for stories about keeping a Christmas tree upright when animals are present. Here’s mine. I am a retired art teacher, but many years ago I also had some private students. One of my students was […]

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Pet-proofing all around the Christmas tree

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Dear Cathy, I am a professional cat sitter plus I have three cats of my own. I’ve been lucky when it comes to Christmas tree disasters. We always get a live tree but put it up without decorations until the cats lose interest in it. Then we add decorations. We put unbreakable ornaments on the […]

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Cat-proofing the Christmas tree

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Dear Cathy, We had a Persian cat that loved to bring down our holiday tree – glass ornaments and all. Our tree was typically displayed near a window, so we hit on the idea to use high-strength fishing wire from the top of our tree to the curtain rod.  It’s synthetic and relatively invisible. Problem […]

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Should you worry when your cat goes from shy to friendly?

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Dear Cathy, We have a female cat named Polly who we believe is about 17 years old. She’s always been shy; no one has ever been able to pet her or get close to her. We adopted her with her twin sister Molly. Both of them hid under the china cabinet the first year we […]

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SSSCAT Spray pet deterrent

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Dear Cathy, SSSCAT Spray by Petsafe has kept my two cats away from the Christmas tree for years. I just put batteries in, and the motion sensor detects curious kitties and emits a harmless shot of air. They quickly get the hint. It’s available at many online retailers, and costs about $30. – Stacey, Nashville, […]

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Resetting the feline alarm clock

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Dear Cathy, We rescued our cat from our local shelter two years ago. She’s the sweetest cat in every way except for one. She wakes us up at 4:00 a.m. She is relentless and does not give up until one of us gets up with her. When we come downstairs with her, she lies down […]

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Animals associate pain with where they experience it

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Dear Cathy, We have two nine-year-old cats. Charlie and Stella have been together since kittens and are both fixed. They get along fine. In the last six months, Stella has been going outside the litter box. I took her to the vet, and she checked out fine, just a little constipated. She now eats a […]

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Cat gastric distress and reining in the vet bills

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Dear Cathy, I have three one-year-old cats, all littermates. One of the girls, Mona, throws up from time to time; sometimes it’s just liquid. We haven’t discovered the cause, but it’s better since we switched to a limited ingredient diet. Sometimes I think its “scarf and barf” because it looks like undigested food. Other times, […]

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Redirect energy to keep kitten from chasing cats

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Dear Cathy, I recently adopted a nine-week-old kitten we named Sonny. I have two older female cats- Dolly, we have had ten years, and Charlotte, we have had eight years. My problem is, Sonny chases after the female cats, and they run from him. He has tried to jump on their backs, but they are […]

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Trimming cat’s nails all about personality

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Dear Cathy, I love all the reader tips about getting a cat to cooperate with nail trimming. I have tried all those suggestions at one time or another with my cats, but to no avail with nail trimming. So now, I take one of my guys to the vet (he was banned from the pet […]

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Cat’s nocturnal nature and getting some sleep

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Dear Cathy, In regard to the woman whose cat keeps her up all night, the only thing that worked for us was to put our cat to sleep in the basement every night. She had her food and toys down there and a nice ottoman to sleep on. She was fine until my husband woke […]

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What to do when a cat stops covering its poop

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Dear Cathy, My four-year-old male cat, Max, has developed an unusual habit. While he always uses the litter box, he no longer bothers to cover his poop with litter. Have you heard of this before and do you have any thoughts as to why this might be happening? — Martha, Long Beach, New York Dear […]

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The strangest cat in the world

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Dear Cathy, I must have the strangest cat in world. I take out nail clippers, call him and he comes running. He lets me cut each nail and for some reason loves to eat the clipped nails. Maybe that is the distraction? — Jeff, Henderson, Nevada Dear Jeff, You not only have one of those […]

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Slightly feral cat not adjusting well to new home

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Dear Cathy, We recently adopted a 2-1/2-year-old orange tabby cat from our local TNR rescue. He was rescued as a feral kitten and neutered at three months of age. Since then he has been at the rescue. Before we brought him home, I spent time with him over a three-week period. Although not overly friendly, […]

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Separating bonded animals

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Dear Cathy, My sister and I started our own cat rescue a little over a year ago and this is our first official “kitten season”, and we are struggling with the issue of bonded pairs. My question to you is, at what age do you think it would be unwise to separate a bonded pair? […]

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OCD cat licks everything

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Dear Cathy, My husband and I have four cats and a dog. One of these cats is a female, spayed, 9 years old, and licks everything. Floors, walls, bags, especially me. She lays on the keyboard tray while I am on the computer. If my hand is anywhere near her face, she licks me. She […]

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Why pets must be supervised with their toys

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Dear Cathy, I look forward to your weekly column in my paper, however, I’m afraid I must disagree with your mention of foam and aluminum foil as good toys for our cats to play with. Foam is easily bitten into and swallowed, as is aluminum foil, both of which can cause intestinal problems and blocked […]

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Calming a cat for nail trimming

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Dear Cathy, I have a six-year-old indoor cat. He was rescued from the shelter several years ago by my daughter. He is incredibly sweet and affectionate and very attached to me. However, clipping his nails is almost impossible. He just won’t allow it. I must bring him to a pet store to have it done. […]

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Cats with the gift for gab sometimes drive owners crazy

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Dear Cathy, My dear friend has a seven-year-old rescue cat that never stops meowing. She tried using a collar for this purpose to no avail. She loves her cat, but the meowing is driving her crazy. Can you offer any advice to stop the constant meowing? – Marilyn, via email Dear Marilyn, Cats use “meow” […]

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Understanding your cat’s sound world (Music hath charms…)

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Dear Cathy, I recently adopted two small kittens and am curious to know if keeping a clock ticking near where they sleep somehow imitates their mother’s heartbeat and would make them feel more restful. – Mike, Garden City, New York Dear Mike, What a thoughtful question. People don’t often think about the sound world around […]

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Does my cat really want us to watch him eat?

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Dear Cathy, Oliver is our three year old cat. He was rescued at about eight weeks old. He has grown to become a happy, healthy and very playful adult cat. However, he has one odd behavior that we don’t understand. Before he approaches his food bowls, he will meow at whatever family member is nearby […]

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Treating an over-grooming cat

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Dear Cathy, Our 15-year-old male cat has started pulling tufts of fur from his legs with his teeth. He pulled fur from a two-inch spot. Any suggestions? – Mike, Tucson, Arizona Dear Mike, Poor guy! Cats may pull out fur because they itch. Do you use a monthly flea preventative? Sometimes people don’t treat their […]

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Sleep-deprived mom needs help with wide-awake cat

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Dear Cathy, I am a cat lover and have had several cats over the years. I have a three-year-old Russian Blue that I adopted from a shelter. She is very sweet and smart. The problem is, she sleeps all day and is up all night. I wouldn’t mind it if she would just play, but […]

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Cats make toys out of almost anything

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Dear Cathy, In response to your column on cat toys, both of my cats go nuts over small paper balls made from shopping receipts or old lottery tickets. As soon as I take the receipt out of the bag, they run to me and anxiously wait for me to crumple it into a ball and […]

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Feeding ferals and discouraging intruders

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Dear Cathy, I have two feral cats. Pigeons are trying to take the cat food. I have to bring it in before the cats can finish. Also, do you have any suggestions for better food? I give them “complete” dry food twice a day. When I give them canned food, the cats suck out the […]

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Microfiber can dissuade cats from scratching

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Dear Cathy, I read your recent column on how to get cats to stop clawing the couch and wanted to share my solution. As a woman in her 70s, I have had two cats in my home at all times for decades. I am very much against declawing cats. To me, it’s amputation. It’s illegal […]

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Reader wants to clarify the benefit of keeping cats indoors

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This references another letter in the post “Helping a grieving cat” Dear Cathy, In your letter to Mundy Rado from Lawrenceville, Georgia, why didn’t you take the opportunity to tell the owner that cats should not be loose outside?  You could have given her stats on the longer life of housecats at the very least. […]

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Sweet talk, distractions and other “magic” tricks for cutting cat’s nails

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When I opened my email, I was pleasantly surprised to find a slew of reader tips on how to cut a cat’s nails. I am impressed with so many soft-spoken cat parents who have mastered the art of distraction to get their felines to pay attention only to them, and not the approaching nail clippers. […]

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Try trimming nails on cat with a full belly

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Dear Cathy, Recently, a reader asked you how to relax her cat, so that she could clip the cat’s nails. My sister has had many cats over the past 30 years. She has always waited until the cats finished eating and then cut their nails. She has said that they are more lethargic after eating […]

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Options for cats scratching furniture

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Dear Cathy, I read the recent column about cat scratching furniture.  My cats would never use scratching posts. They love and use the cardboard scratching boxes that sit on the floor. You can buy them at most cat supply places. I think it must be the feel of the cardboard and that they can sink their claws in […]

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Why kitty stops using the litter box

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Dear Cathy, Our cat stopped using its litter box. She will now target a left-out blanket or coat.  – Carl, Oak Park, Illinois  Dear Carl, You don’t leave me a lot of bread crumbs to follow, but I think I can still help you. Litter box problems are common and often the result of several […]

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Build trust with cats through play and slow blinking

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Dear Cathy, I have a seven-year-old cat named Squeaky. She was fixed as a kitten and is an indoor cat. She was the only cat for two years before we inherited a second kitty from my son. The second cat really brought Squeaky out of her shell. Both cats get along fine, but Squeaky is […]

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Going on vacation leaves some pets feeling very sad

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Dear Cathy, Nani is our 15-year-old cat. We lost her brother four years ago. She was depressed for two years, but then improved. When the family is all gone at once, I have someone come in every day to check on Nani, change the litter, and feed her. In December, we were gone for 13 […]

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Cats can be distracted and redirected towards better behavior too

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Dear Cathy, I have a four-year-old American short-hair female cat. I got her at eight weeks old from a friend. The problem is, she scratches my upholstered furniture and rugs. She only does it when I am in the room. I have tried sprays, tape, and correcting with a spritz of water. I have various […]

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It takes a lot of time for rescue cats to adjust to new home

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Dear Cathy, I have a three-year-old female cat. She was a rescue cat and is fixed. Ever since I took her in she has been residing under my couch, for eight days. She only comes out in the middle of the night to eat and use the litter box. I purchased the calming spray because […]

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Cats will miss you but will be okay with proper care

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Dear Cathy, My husband and I will be going away for a month, and we have two cats. We will not be taking them with us. Is it okay to leave them at the house for that time with someone coming in daily to feed, change water, and clean their litterbox? They do not have […]

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Getting a feral cat to use the litter box

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Dear Cathy, Regarding Gloria in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, (who was trying to get a feral cat to adapt to a litter box), tell her to cover the regular litter with outside dirt since that is what the feral cat is used to. It is not that difficult to get a feral cat to adapt to […]

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Helping a traumatized cat trust his environment again

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Dear Cathy, After seven months missing, our indoor cat was found by a neighbor. The poor cat suffered through below zero temperatures. We are assuming he lived in a garage or barn. Our neighbors were not aware our cat was missing. They found him eating out of one of their cat dishes in the middle […]

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What to do when a cat licks and chews clothing

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Dear Cathy, I have a rescue kitten that was born June 2017. He was picked up on a freeway underpass. He weighed about 1-1/2 pounds and was five to six weeks old. I adopted him in July. He is thriving and uses the litter box, but he “eats” clothing. He started with shoe laces. He […]

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Getting a visiting feral cat to use the litter box

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Dear Cathy, How do I get a feral cat to use the litter box?  He comes in the house and is very affectionate, but one problem- he will not use the litter pan. He goes on my carpet. Help! – Gloria, Center Valley, PA Dear Gloria, It can be difficult to get a feral cat […]

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Why do some cats have a ridge of fur along their backs?

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Dear Cathy, I rescued a six-year-old part Siamese female about six months ago. I started noticing she has a long ridge of fur along her spine when she is relaxed or sitting, similar to that of a (Rhodesian) Ridgeback dog. I don’t know if there is a connection, but she is also polydactyl on all four […]

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Rescue cats drag toys to the water bowl

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Dear Cathy, I have two rescue cats that I spend a lot of time playing with. One of our games is playing with a string that I drag around the floor, and they chase it. My question is, why do cats drag the string or toys to their water bowl? It’s cute but curious. – […]

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She created a low-profile litter box for her cat

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Dear Cathy, I read your column where Rich from New York wrote about his 17-year-old cat pooping outside his litter box. You suggested the cat could be arthritic. My mom experienced this problem with her cat, and found that a Rubbermaid container lid turned upside down with litter in it worked wonders. Her cat could […]

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Reader requests more cat-focused content

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Dear Cathy, Each week, I read your column and rarely find postings about cats. Your column is mainly about dogs. I love dogs, but I have a cat and would like you to post more information about cat behavior, medical information, problems, etc. – Gloria, New York Dear Gloria, Over the last few months, I […]

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Sewing thread is a threat to pets

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Dear Cathy, I just wanted you to be aware of a danger concerning cats swallowing sewing thread. A friend took her cat to the veterinarian because she was afraid the cat had swallowed a needle. X-rays showed no needle, so the cat was sent home. The next day, the cat was much sicker. Emergency surgery […]

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Bonded pets grieving and a spring burial

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Dear Cathy, You recently wrote a column, which appeared in the Naperville Sun, about felines forming strong bonds, and it reminded me of my two cats. They were sisters, just weeks old when I acquired them. After sixteen years, one died, and the other one searched every corner of my Chicago apartment for more than […]

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Prepare pet for baby’s arrival

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At the shelter the other day, a young couple was waiting to adopt a Labrador retriever puppy. The puppy was bouncing around and the couple was smothering him with attention. I was distraught over this possible adoption. The woman was pregnant and only a few weeks from having a baby. I guessed she was adopting […]

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Why does a cat bite after petting

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A readers says, “Sometimes when I pet my cat, he starts twitching his tail and then bites my hands. This is very distressing for me. I love him, but it really hurts me when he does this. Am I doing something wrong? How can I make him stop?” This is actually a very common behavior. […]

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Why do some cats "knead" and some do not?

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Kittens knead their paws on the belly of their mother to stimulate milk production. Because this action brings immediate rewards and comfort, it’s not unusual for cats to continue this behavior with their human loved ones as adults. When a cat kneads your belly, he feels emotionally secure and happy. In fact, the action is […]

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Cat to Dog / Cat to Cat Introductions

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Sara recently wrote to me to tell me that her cat Oliver had passed away. She plans to open her home to a new kitten — maybe two — when enough time has passed. However, she has two Lhasa apsos already and was wondering how to integrate a new cat into a home with resident dogs. When my feline, Miss […]

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First H1N1 virus confirmed in a cat

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Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine has confirmed the first known case of the H1N1 virus in a cat.  Up until now, the virus has only been found in humans, pigs, birds, and ferrets. Apparently, the feline got sick after being exposed to several household members who had flu-like symptoms. The feline will recover. According […]

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Nora the piano playing cat wins Feline of the Year

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Back in February, the Pet Pundit featured a story on Nora the Piano Playing cat. Watch her first video here. Today, she has been named Cat of the Year by the ASPCA who said they picked her not just for ability to paw out a tune, but because she was an adopted feline and what […]

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Top ten wild animals that most commonly attack pets

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Wild animals can and do attack our pets, leaving lacerations, bite wounds, puncture, and soft tissue trauma — and a trip to the pet emergency room for you. Snakebites, which are the most commonly reported injuries, may require anti-venom whereas scorpion stings may cause allergic reactions requiring antihistamines. Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the attack and […]

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What a cat must do to get his owner's attention

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If you have ever had a cat, you will laugh at this short film that shows what a hungry cat must do to get his owner’s attention. Cats communicate with us, but we humans aren’t always great at listening to our pets.

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Study shows majority of pet cats neutered

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A new study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association reports that the vast majority — at least 80% — of pet cats in U.S. households are neutered, with middle-to higher-income households reporting rates of over 90%. The peer-reviewed study, based on data collected for the national nonprofit organization Alley Cat Allies by Harris […]

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Visit with a cat in a Japanese "cat cafe"

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Sarah Marchildon, a blogger on the Hollywood North Report, is attending a university in Japan and has discovered the neatest new thing for felines in Kyoto that I have heard about in a long time — a “Cat Cafe.” A Cat Cafe is a place where you pay the equivalent of $5 to go in and sip coffee in a cafe-like […]

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Cat groomer recycles cat hair into purses

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When Danelle German sees a Persian Cat come into her grooming salon, her heart skips a beat. That’s because  many people want their Persian cats shaved for easy maintanence and Danelle uses the leftover hair in a lucrative recycling business. She spins the cat hair into a silky yarn to produce one-of-a-kind handbags that sell for between $45 and $400. She apparently has sold […]

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A simple guide to cat talk

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Whenever I ask people how many words they think a cat can understand, they often guess “0” or “3”. I am amazed because some of these people actually have cats in their lives. I guess they figure cats can’t comprehend a single thing we humans are trying to say, so don’t really expect much of a […]

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Adapting to the rhythms of cats

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Very often, we make concessions for our feline friends that we would never consider making for dogs or even our human family members. For example, you probably can’t tell, but I am typing this column with my left hand because my cat has fallen asleep on my right arm. I don’t wake her because I […]

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New Year's resolutions learned from dogs and cats

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While everyone is pondering their New Year’s resolutions, I have decided to venture forth this year as if my dogs and cats were my closest advisors. Here’s what pets teach about the important things in life. There’s always time to stop and smell stuff. Sticking to your diet means eating only what’s on your plate, not the plate itself. Ice cubes can be good […]

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10 tips for finding the right cat – for you – at an animal shelter

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Most people don’t think of an animal shelter when looking to adopt a cat. Very often, a neighbor has a litter of kittens she needs to find homes for or a stray feline wanders up to the front door. But the animal shelter can be a great place to find your next feline friend, since […]

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Tips on finding your lost dog or cat

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Losing a pet is very stressful and a cause for anxiety. As you worry about your pet’s whereabouts and safety, you might not be thinking straight, so it can be helpful to have a handy “to do” list to make sure you cover all your bases. By following a few simple tips, you will stand a […]

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Top 10 most popular–and unusual–dog and cat names of 2008

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When you can name your pet after anything from good fortune (Lucky) to food and drink (Muffin and Brandy), you would think that we would be much more original with the names we select for our pets. But, it turns out, that most people select the same names over and over again. When my sister […]

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Top 10 reasons people give for giving up their cats

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It’s a myth to think that most cats end up at shelters because they have behavior problems. The truth is, most cats are turned into animal shelters because of changes in people’s lives, which means there are lots of great cats waiting at shelters for a new home. Here’s a top ten list of why cats […]

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Poor economy hurts dogs and cats too

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A poor economy means that more pets are ending up in animal shelters than ever before. Shelters all across the nation report rising populations, as people surrender their dogs and cats in record numbers. And, as people hold on tighter to their purse strings, shrinking donations are leaving animal shelters with fewer resources to care for this […]

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A cat battles with new technology

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Normally my cat perches on the desk leaning over the keyboard to bat my fingers as I type. Or, she stretches and then sits in front of the computer monitor, so I have to type and look over and around her to see the screen. So naturally I was amused at watching this cat try to figure […]

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The truth about cat people and dog people

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Among the many burning questions that perplex our society today, none is more debated in low whispering voices than whether or not you are a dog or cat person.  Cat people claim to love the independent nature of their pets, while dog people go with the loyalty factor as a reason for their partiality. Cat people […]

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Cleaning tips for people with dogs and cats

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Cleaning up after your pets has never been easier, thanks to the new pet cleaning products available today. You don’t have to settle for dark stains on the carpet, pet hair all over the house, or an obnoxious odor. In fact, many of today’s cleaning products can remove any trace “an accident” ever happened. It’s just […]

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