Some helpful cat advice.

Via the Cat Channel, "What I Really Wished People Asked Me About Cats."

This is a useful article, and the author's points echo the questions we like our clients to ask when they are having cat troubles or when they are contemplating making the leap and bringing a cat into their lives. Here are some other questions I might add to her list:

-"My cat keeps peeing on the furniture- what might be causing this, and how can we work towards addressing it?"

This is very similar to the "cat clawing the furniture" question, in that such behavior often causes owners to surrender their cats. However, inappropriate urination (while it may be related to behavioral issues) can also be caused by underlying medical problems like urinary tract infections, which are often fairly simple to treat.

-"I get along really well with dogs, but cats just don't seem to 'get' me- what can I do to make myself more cat-friendly?"

Ah yes, the "cats are just little dogs, right?" conundrum. One of the most useful things I've learned working in veterinary medicine is just how to assess cat body language and alter my approach to dealing with cats OUTSIDE of work. Dogs often like their butts and bellies scratched or petted; with cats- especially a cat you might not know all that well- it's much safer to restrict your petting and scratching to around their ears and chin. A dog who's grumpy with you might drop its head, tuck its tail, and back away- cats will often just flatten their ears and swish their tails, which are definitely subtler signs that may go unnoticed.