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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

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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.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

Ask-the-Cat-Doc-with-Dr.-Lynn-Bahr

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?

why-do-cats-like-catnip

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.

SONGMICS Cat Trees and Condos

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This post is a sponsored post, and it contains affiliate links*

Creating an environment that stimulates your cats’ senses and gives them opportunities to exercise their natural instincts is critically important for their mental and physical well-being. Cat trees and condos meet your cat’s need to climb, perch, hide. Environmental enrichment not only makes cats happy, it can also prevent serious behavior problems ranging from scratching and inappropriate elimination to aggression toward other cats in the household.Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado: Cat Is Destroying Screens, Fighting Cats, Cats Eliminating Outside the Litter Box, and More

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Welcome to our regular “Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado” segment. Once a month, we’ll post a reminder for you to post your questions for Mikel. She’ll answer as many of them as she can each time, and I’ll publish her answers in a subsequent post.

Mikel is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant at Feline Minds, offering on-site consultations for cat guardians, shelters, and pet-related businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, and remote consultations around the world. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at UC Berkeley, where she studied animal behavior and human-pet relationships. Mikel is co-author of Jackson Galaxy’s newest book, Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat.Continue Reading

Mews and Nips: A Follow Up on Accidental Cat Dad

paris-zarcilla-cat-kittens

Last month, we told you about Paris Zarcilla, a film maker based in London, who went upstairs to get a sweater out from under his bed. He found a tuxedo cat and her four kittens where the sweater should have been. And she wasn’t his cat. Zarcilla is documenting his find, and subsequent experience of falling in love with the little family, on Twitter in a series of adorable and funny tweets accompanied by precious photos and videos.On his GoFundMe page, he writes “Their purity, their majesty. It’s magic. Frankly, they’ve pulled me from a dark place and into their light. The daily lessons I learn from them are illuminating, infinite and far reaching. And these lessons are not just about cat fatherhood but also aspects about myself. I’m going to love and protect them until they need me no more and that’s the least I can give them.” I find myself visiting Zarcilla’s Twitter feed whenever I feel I need a little lift in my day.

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

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado: Problems with New Cat Introductions, Cat No Longer Wants to be a Lap Cat, and More

ask-the-cat-behaviorist

Welcome to our regular “Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado” segment. Once a month, we’ll post a reminder for you to post your questions for Mikel. She’ll answer as many of them as she can each time, and I’ll publish her answers in a subsequent post.

Mikel is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant at Feline Minds, offering on-site consultations for cat guardians, shelters, and pet-related businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, and remote consultations around the world. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at UC Berkeley, where she studied animal behavior and human-pet relationships. Mikel is co-author of Jackson Galaxy’s newest book, Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat.Continue Reading