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Cats + Behavior + English

  • Unfortunately, our pets do not live as long as we do. When the time comes to say goodbye, we experience feelings and emotions that sometimes embarrass us, and often confuse us. These feelings actually follow a well-recognized cycle, with stages of mourning and grief that are universal and are experienced by everyone to a greater or lesser extent following the loss of a loved one, be it a person or a pet. If you feel particularly vulnerable or feel that you are having difficulty with the mourning cycle, do not be afraid to discuss this with your family doctor or your veterinarian.

  • Do dogs and cats instinctively understand right and wrong? Do they understand they've done something wrong when their owners get upset, and they subsequently act guilty?

  • Pain is very difficult to detect in older cats. It is important for cat owners to monitor their cats for subtle clues including changes in grooming, litter box behavior, and degree of activity. If changes in these behaviors are observed, your cat should be evaluated by your veterinarian and a pain management plan devised.

  • Inappropriate elimination generally refers to a cat is urinating and/or defecating in the house in places other than its litter box. Most successful treatments rely on a combination of behavior modification techniques and drug therapy.

  • Counterconditioning and desensitization are powerful ways to change behavior. They are usually used in combination. Desensitization provides a means of safely exposing the pet to the stimulus at a level at or below which fear is likely to be exhibited.

  • Most cats by nature prefer to use a soil type surface for elimination. By providing a litter box with an appropriate and appealing substrate (material), few cats will need to be trained to use it. At about 30-36 days of age kittens leave the nest to search out a loose substrate for elimination.

  • Play is a very important part of the feline world and kittens need the opportunity to play in order to learn vital adult skills both for communication and for hunting.

  • Cats can suffer from hearing loss due to increasing age, chronic ear infections, or may be born with a defect. Deafness in cats can present some challenges but overall, they can have a fairly healthy, normal life. It is possible to teach your cat household routines by incorporating hand signals and body language into your communication with your cat. It is important to take their deafness into account when considering their safety.

  • Sedatives are prescription medications that should only be administered to healthy animals. If your cat's veterinary appointment is for a routine wellness examination, your veterinarian may prescribe a sedative if your cat's stress is severe.

  • Moving into a new residence may be one of the most stressful events in anyone's life. It is important that you prepare your cat prior to moving into a new home to reduce their anxiety and minimize the problems that can result. Cats are very territorial and may have problems accepting a new house as their home.

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