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Cat Camp NYC 2019: A Celebration of Cats and the People Who Love Them

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The third annual Cat Camp NYC took place at the Metropolitan Pavillion in New York City this past weekend. The event brought together cat lovers from all over the world for a weekend of fun, learning, and inspiration. The focus of Cat Camp is, and always has been, on empowering attendees to  realize how powerful each individual is when it comes to improving cats’ lives – whether it’s their own cats, cats in their community, and cats in general. And it’s so much fun!Continue Reading

Mews and Nips: Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Butts Before Pouncing

cat-ready-to-pounce

We’ve all seen it: our cats get ready to pounce on a toy, and just before they take off, they crouch and wiggle their butt a little. While there hasn’t been any formal research into the origins of this common behavior, a professor of evolutionary biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College in London has some theories. One is that it might provide an aerobic warm up of sorts for the cat. For more about what might cause this behavior, visit LiveScience.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day, on Tuesday, we featured Bootsie’s Bunk Bed and Play Station, on Wednesday, Dr. Marci Koski answered behavior questions, and on Friday, we featured a colony of feral cats outside a famous music venue. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win a Cat Pocket Tote Bag from Triple T Studios!Continue Reading

Is There a Genetic Basis for the Unique Behaviors of Siamese Cats?

siamese-cats

Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

The dark horse wins the race”. “Our hero strides forth on a shiny white steed”. Humans have long been mystified over animal behaviors and coloration. Albinos have been alternatively feared or revered. Black cats summon up dark arts imagery. But is there really a connection between a cat’s fur and their behavior or is this just superstition? My research is aimed at unraveling at least a small part of this enduring mystery.Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: Cats Who Don’t Get Along, Marking Behavior, 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. Marci believes that the number of cats who are abandoned and/or euthanized in shelters can be greatly reduced if guardians better understand what drives their cats to certain behaviors, and learn how to work with their cats to encourage appropriate behaviors instead of unwanted ones.Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: Cat Acts Like a Guard Dog, Cat Bites When Overstimulated, and More

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This post contains affiliate links*

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

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: How to Handle “Love Bites,” Cat Obsessed with Wand Toy

Ask-the-Cat-Behaviorist-Marci-Koski

This post contains affiliate links*

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

Ask the Cat Behaviorist: Cats Bringing Toys into Bedroom, Cat Wants to Play at 4 AM, New Cats Not Warming Up to Humans, 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

Mews and Nips: Your Cat’s Tongue is a Pink Engineering Marvel

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The cat’s tongue is one of nature’s perfect designs: it allows cats to groom and to consume their prey. In a new study, researchers sought to untangle the mysteries of cat tongues. A previous study reported that domestic cat tongues are covered in cone-shaped bumps that were used as brush bristles, whereas this study’s team found that the protrusions are actually claw-shaped hooks with hollow U-shaped tips. For more about the fascinating findings of this study, and how they might be applied to create a better brush, visit the Smithsonian Magazine website.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Doc: Why Is My Cat Overgrooming, How to Get Rid of Fleas on a Kitten, Senior Cat With Kidney Disase, and More

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Welcome to our regular “Ask the Cat Doc With Dr. Lynn Bahr” segment! Once a month, Dr. Bahr answers as many of your questions as she can, and you can leave new questions for her in a comment.

Dr. Bahr graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Unlike most veterinarians, she did not grow up knowing that she would become a veterinarian. “It was a cat who got me interested in the practice and I am forever grateful to him,” said Dr. Bahr. Over the course of her veterinary career, Dr. Bahr found that the lifestyle of cats has changed dramatically. As the lifestyle of cats has changed, so did Dr. Bahr’s client education. In addition to finding medical solutions, she also encourages owners to enrich their home environments so that their cats can live long, happy, and healthy lives.Continue Reading

Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

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Catnip is a member of the mint family. Scientists are not sure how or why catnip affects cats the way it does, but they have identified the part of the plant that causes the euphoric reaction. The substance is a non-poisonous chemical called nepetalactone, an aromatic oil found in the stem and leaves of the plant. Researchers believe that cats react to the smell of the leaves rather than the taste.

Varied reactions to catnip

Reactions from cats will vary based on the strength and quality of the product. Cats who do respond to catnip will typically roll around in it, jump and run around, rub their faces in it, drool, and purr. Typically, a catnip “high” last about ten or fifteen minutes. Once the energy dissipates, most cats will be very relaxed and ready for a nap.

Not all cats react to catnip

Only about 50% of cats are affected by catnip, and not all cats react the same. Whether or not cats respond to catnip appears to be genetically determined. Kittens are not affected until they’re about two months old (if they fall into the category of cats that do respond). If a kitten hasn’t shown a reaction to catnip by the time she’s six month’s old, she falls into the non-responsive category.

Catnip can be used to train cats

For cats who do respond, you can take advantage of their reaction to catnip and use it for training purposes. Sprinkle catnip on scratching posts to attract them to use the post, or on cat beds or mats where you want your cat to sleep. If your cat reacts by becoming relaxed and mellow after use, use it before car rides, trips to the vet, or other stressful situations.

Some cats react with aggression

Some cats become so stimulated by the herb that they may release their excess energy by picking fights with other cats in the household, or by attacking their humans.

You can freshen up old catnip toys by dampening them with water. This will release a new wave of catnip scent.

Quality of catnip

When buying catnip, take a close look at the packaging. You’re going to want brands that use only leaves and blossoms rather than stems. Organic cat nip is best, especially if your cat is going to ingest it. Catnip is easily grown, but use caution: unless you want every cat in your neighborhood to visit your yard, you may want to grow it indoors.

If your cat initially doesn’t react to catnip, try a couple of different brands. Your cat may not react because the quality of the catnip is not very good.

Catnip comes in a variety of forms, including as a fresh or dried herb, liquid, spray, and, of course, in catnip filled toys.

The euphoric reaction to catnip is perfectly safe for cats, and cats won’t become addicted to it.

This article was previously published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.