Cat Project Archives for May 28 to June 1,
28, 2018: "Cats' hearing apparatus is built to allow
the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other." -
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "I don't know what this is but IT. MUST. DIE!"
Cat Mewvie: More new "Simon's
Feline Art: "Untitled"
by Ilya Brezinski.
By Alma Gaul
Q: I have a 6-year-old cat and live in a townhouse, but am moving soon
to a retirement home. My cat goes in and out as she wishes but always
spends the night inside. My problem is that once I move, she will never
be able to go outside again. We are very attached, and I don’t
want to find another home for her, but I am afraid she will get depressed
or worse? What should I do?
A: All pets could experience some change in their personality or behavior
when undergoing a major change like moving to a new apartment or house.
Like people, some will find it exhilarating and others may initially
experience some anxiety to the new surroundings.
To help your cat adapt, make sure you have made the new place as cat-friendly
as possible. As we have discussed in the past, environmental enrichment
with plenty of scratching posts, cat perches and places to hide will
Of course the litter box needs special attention; at least two large
litter boxes in quiet places with frequent cleanings will be appreciated.
Sprays or plug-in diffusers that contain calming pheromones can also
Outside cats are typically hunters. You can simulate this predatory behavior
inside by hiding treats — or your cat’s entire daily meal — in
toys or designated areas around the home. This will provide an outlet
for the hunting behavior and may keep your cat in good shape as the same
Have you considered taking your cat for a walk? Many cats do great with
a harness and leash and enjoy a stroll with their owner. All cats should
be micro-chipped; this is especially important for cats that do go outside
and even more critical for a cat that has moved to a new neighborhood.
The move to becoming an entirely inside cat can be more of an issue for
some cats than for others. If your cat is not responding positively to
the changes, an anti-anxiety medication may ease the transition. Your
veterinarian can discuss the pros and cons of this therapy.
The good news is that your friend will be free of the many dangers outside
cats face, and we have every reason to believe he will not only adjust
to your new home but live longer as well!
29, 2018: "Prowling his own quiet backyard or asleep by
the fire, he is still only a whisker away from the wilds." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Yeah, we're related. How'd you guess?"
Cat Mewvie: Roof-Ridin' Kitty.
Feline Art: "The
30, 2018: The mathematical probability of a common cat
doing exactly as it pleases is the one scientific absolute
in the world." - Lynn M. Osband
Gratuitous Kittiness: New security cam.
Cat Mewvie: Cat correspondence
Art: "Business Cat", by Ilya Kushinov.
31, 2018: "Cats do not have to be shown how to have
a good time, for they are unfailing ingenious in that respect." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Pleeeeeease take us home!"
Cat Mewvie: The Bad Mystic
Feline Art: "Baymax
meets Grumpy Cat" by
1, 2018: "Meow is like aloha - it can mean anything." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: When you learn you're pregnant.
Cat Mewvie: Parkour cats.
Feline Art: "Untitled" by
Training Your Cat Wrong... Probably.
By Linda Lombardi
Training has always been part of the deal when you own a dog, though
methods have changed a lot over the generations. Cats are a different
story—but they shouldn’t be.
“People don’t traditionally train cats because they think of cats
as ... independent and full of free will,” says Sarah Ellis, co-author
of The Trainable Cat. (Read how everything you think about cats may be wrong.)
“What they don’t realize, though, is that they are subconsciously
training their cats on a daily basis.”
The bad news is that you’re often training your cat to do the opposite
of what you want. How many times have you yelled "No!" and
run over to scoop your cat off the kitchen counter? And yet, it never
seems to learn. There’s a reason for that.
You think you’re scolding, but you’re “inadvertently
giving the cat attention, which, in the cat’s mind, is better than
nothing, and so it’s rewarding,” says Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral
fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California,
It’s a basic principle of training: If a behavior results in something
the animal likes, it’ll do it again. (See our favorite photos of
So, stop letting that principle work against you and get it to work for
you instead. “Reward what you like and ignore what you don't like,” says
THE POWER OF POSITIVITY
Training gives you a more effective way to communicate—and you
may even find your cat communicates back.
Delgado saw this when she taught her cat to use the scratching post instead
of trying to teach her not to scratch the couch: “When my cat wanted
a treat, she’d go to the scratching post and put a paw on it and
look at me like, 'Hey, are you going to give me a treat for this?'”
When you start ignoring undesirable behavior, you’ll need to hold
your ground through the “extinction burst,” as trainers call
it. (Learn surprising things you never knew about your cat.)
“Initially the animal will try harder, so if you stop getting up to feed
your cat in the middle of the night it'll probably meow louder and walk on your
face,” says Delgado. “You have to be very consistent in not responding.”
To start teaching your cat to do things you want, Ellis suggests training
it to come when called. Stand two or three feet away, call your feline
friend’s name to get its attention, then say, "Come," and
hold out a treat.
If necessary, reach out with the treat then move it closer to your body
to get the cat to follow it. Repeat until the cat starts to respond consistently,
and then gradually call to your cat from farther and farther away.
Once that makes a believer of you, you can start training you cat to
do more challenging but useful behaviors, such as tolerating nail trims
or going willingly into a carrier. (Read what cats are really trying
to tell us.)
Always break the process down into tiny steps. For nail trimming, start
by rewarding your cat repeatedly for just allowing a paw to be touched.
Once your cat is comfortable with that, give it a treat when you press
its paw gently to extend a claw. Step by step, work up to trimming one
nail, then more than one at a time. The process may sound tedious, but
it’s worth it for a lifetime of not struggling with the routines
of basic care.
Make sure you’re using food rewards that your cat is enthusiastic
about: If kibble isn’t exciting enough, try soft treats, or bits
of canned food. These rewards should be very small, and make sure to
cut back a bit on your pet’s regular meals, to prevent weight gain.
Train in very short sessions, and don’t try to progress too quickly.
“The most common mistake people make when training cats is to ask for too
much too soon,” says Ellis.
Training is worth the effort: It's easier for you to care for your cat,
as well as builds your relationship.
People who train their felines "feel that their cat is not just
this willful, stubborn creature doing things to annoy them," Delgado
says. “There are real benefits for the human-animal relationship,
and it’s not as hard as you think."