Reduce Cat Aggression with a Healthy Cat Environment

When I’m consulted about cat aggression, I first turn to the Five Pillars of a Healthy Feline Environment, which were developed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and International Society of Feline Medicine. The groups wrote in the 2013 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery that “a cat’s level of comfort with its environment is intrinsically linked to its physical health, emotional wellbeing and behavior.” For this reason, they contend that “addressing environmental needs is essential for the optimum wellbeing of the cat.” The five pillars are: provide a safe place provide multiple and key separated … Continue reading Reduce Cat Aggression with a Healthy Cat Environment

Enriching the Lives of Dogs and Cats

I’m in the process of becoming certified by the International Association of Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and taking a course called Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practice. The setup of the course consists of teaching videos by animal experts, instructional handouts, a weekly online mentoring session with the teacher and all students, weekly quizzes, and a major assignment. Each week I’ll share highlights here from my studies. Jumping back to the eighth week of my Principles and Practices course, animal welfare science was the focus. The module consisted of a definition of animal welfare science and then an exploration of enrichment … Continue reading Enriching the Lives of Dogs and Cats

Review: Cats on the Job

Before I started to blog, if you had asked me to name jobs that pets do, I could have named several … and all of them would have been related to dogs. Should I have even thought of cats, I might have pointed out their ability to catch rodent. Yet cats are much more clever and versatile that most of us give them credit. You just need to read Lisa Rogak’s Cats on the Job to discover not just one or ten but fifty ways that cats purr, mouse, and even sing for their supper. In her colorful and photo-rich … Continue reading Review: Cats on the Job

Cinder’s Advice: How Do I Teach My Cat to Use a Scratching Post?

In December 2013, my husband and I adopted a one-year-old tortoiseshell cat from Hearts United for Animals. Cinder has taught us so much about cats that it seemed proper for her to have her own advice column. QUESTION: How do you introduce a new cat to a resident dog? “Cinder, look what we brought you!” Allison exclaimed, entering the spare room where I was resting on the window ledge. Andy placed a post covered in rough material on the carpeted floor. I sat up and stared at the new object, uncertain why it should interest me. Then because they said … Continue reading Cinder’s Advice: How Do I Teach My Cat to Use a Scratching Post?

Low-Cost Fun for Cats

  Enrichment for cats makes their living space more interesting and enhances their quality of life. It’s beneficial because it stimulates their mind and even their body. In doing so, it also wards off boredom that can lead to bad behavior and obesity. Enrichment can be one of the most fun parts of being a pet owner. Many pet owners enjoy dreaming up new ways to engage their pets and seeing the reactions of their pets.  What follows are examples from pet owners whom I interviewed online about low-cost pet enrichment they have provided their cats. DISCLAIMER: All information is … Continue reading Low-Cost Fun for Cats