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Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: Aggression after Vet Visit, Biting Cats, and More

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Dr. Marci Koski is a certified Feline Behavior and Training Professional who received specialized and advanced certificates in Feline Training and Behavior from the Animal Behavior Institute. While Marci has been passionate about all animals and their welfare, cats have always had a special place in her heart. In fact, Marci can’t remember a time when she’s been without at least one cat in her life. She currently relies on her five-member support staff  to maintain the feline duties of her household.

Marci’s own company, Feline Behavior Solutions, focuses on keeping cats in homes, and from being abandoned to streets or shelters as the result of treatable behavior issues. Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: Spraying Cat, High Energy Tortie, Redirected Aggression, Cat Obsessed with Bread, and More

Ask-the-Cat-Behaviorist-Marci-Koski

Dr. Marci Koski is a certified Feline Behavior and Training Professional who received specialized and advanced certificates in Feline Training and Behavior from the Animal Behavior Institute. While Marci has been passionate about all animals and their welfare, cats have always had a special place in her heart. In fact, Marci can’t remember a time when she’s been without at least one cat in her life. She currently relies on her five-member support staff  to maintain the feline duties of her household.Continue Reading

Play Aggression in Cats: How to Prevent and Correct It

play-aggression-cats

Cats need to play. Play is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation, and the best way to accomplish this is with play. In the wild, when lions, tigers, and other wild cats aren’t sleeping, they’re either hunting or teaching their young to hunt. And play is nothing more than channeling your domestic tiger’s hunting instinct into play.Continue Reading

Non-Recognition Aggression in Cats: A Case of Forgotten Identity

non_recognition_aggression_in_cats

Your two cats are best friends. They play together, groom each other, and sleep curled up with each other. Then one day, you take one to the vet’s for a check up. When you return from the clinic, instead of receiving a warm welcome, the cat who stayed home hisses and attacks the other cat. Your two former best friends have turned into sworn enemies, and your formerly peaceful home has turned into a battle zone.

Aggression between cats is always a distressing problem for the cats and the humans involved. Whether it’s play aggression, petting aggression, or redirected aggression, dealing with feline aggression is stressful and requires commitment, staying power, and the help of experts such as your veterinarian and/or a feline behaviorist.

The cause of on-recognition aggression is not entirely clear, and the bad news is that it’s not easily fixed.Continue Reading

Redirected Aggression in Cats: Recognition & Treatment

Redirected aggression in cats

We recently covered petting aggression and play aggression in cats. Today, I’d like to address one other form of feline aggression, and it’s one that can be very frightening, as well as damaging, for cat guardians. This form of aggression is called redirected aggression, and it happens when a cat is agitated by an animal, event, or person it can’t get at. Unable to lash out at the perceived threat, the cat turns to the nearest victim. This may be another cat or pet in the household, or it may be the cat’s humans. These attacks happen seemingly out of the blue, and they can be fairly damaging to the victim.

Redirected aggression is not unique to cats. The human equivalent is the man who gets so angry he wants to punch someone, and ends up punching a wall instead.Continue Reading

Petting Aggression in Cats: Why Cats Bite the Hand They Love

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Guest post by Harry Shubin

This stuff always seems to come in clusters. I spent some time counseling the first foster about why his cat was biting him. I spent even more time counseling the second foster. Then I worked with the adopter who had the same issue. It finally took Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet doing an episode where every cat bit his or her person, for me to see the, ah, cat scratches on the wall. Or bites on my arm.

Why does my cat attack me?

I can’t tell you how often I hear “why does my cat attack me?” Let’s start with full disclosure – I have a cat with “petting aggression.” “Aggression” isn’t really the right word, though that’s what it’s generally called. It’s not really aggressive – nor is it mean, nor is the intent to actually hurt someone.Continue Reading

Calico vs Tortoiseshell Cats: How Are They Different?

Calico vs Tortoiseshell cats

Calico and tortoiseshell kitties both have a striking appearance, thanks to their lovely combination of colors and unique markings. Many people don’t realize there is a difference between the two, though. Some people may not even realize that tortoiseshell is a type of cat but instead think that every cat with orange patches is a calico.

It’s also not common to realize there are differences in personality between these two kitty colors. People who own tortoiseshell cats will tell you all about “tortitude”, and calico cats also have a temperamental reputation. There are definitely distinct differences in both appearance and temperament with these two coat colors.

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Can Neutering Your Cat Increase Their Life Expectancy?

cat wearing elizabethan collar after neuter surgery

Neutering your cat is one of the most important procedures in your male cat’s life.1 Every cat owner knows how bad male cat pee smells, and unneutered males tend to spray once they enter puberty. Aggressive behavior ensues; your male cat will wander and roam, become territorial, and will become a less-than-desirable cat to have around. But what about your male cat’s health? Can neutering your cat increase their life expectancy? I can answer that question with a resounding yes!

Having your male cat neutered will undoubtedly increase his life expectancy. Join me in deciphering this subject to better understand why you should neuter your cat if you haven’t already.

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What’s Up with the Cute Fuzz Inside Your Cat’s Ear?

cat ear close up

We all know cats are cute and snuggly. They even have fuzzy ears. But what’s up with that cute fuzz inside your cat’s ear? Does it have a purpose? Or is it just extra hair? I have always wondered about this, so I decided to investigate!

As it turns out, that fluffy bit of fur inside your kitty’s ears is called ear furnishing, and it serves a much greater purpose than just making your cat look cute. Let’s find out more!

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