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All Q&As
by
Dorit shevach

Great tips and advice from the Animal League Experts.

Below are Q&As on all topics that relate to cats or dogs. Not what you're looking for? Use the form below to change your criteria, or submit your question to one of our experts.

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How do I keep my cat curious?
Q:

I have a 3-year-old Siamese mix cat named Max who loves to play fetch, asks to play with "birdie" (feather on a pole), and even brings toys into my bed at night. He also goes in the pet buggy outside for a safe meet and greet. How do I keep this little Einstein intrigued and motivated?

A:

Appropriate play is a very important tool to keeping our cats happy and healthy. Self-play toys such as cat dancers will keep your pet active and occupied when you are not home. You can also construct home-made toys by using a cardboard box. Poke holes in the top and hang different toy items (a ball of tinfoil, a Q-tip with the cotton removed, or toy mice are some examples). This will keep Max happily entertained (and away from your curtains) when left to his own devices.

When you are home, consistent interactive playtime will help maintain a strong bond between the two of you. It will also ensure he is not waking you up at 3AM to play. Pole toys are excellent options because they have a tendency to mimic prey-like behavior when moved. They create high-energy playtime for your cat and act as an appropriate release for hunting behavior. You can also hide treats in self-play toys (balls) to keep Max motivated, and ensure he is rewarded for appropriate play.

Another option would be to adopt a playmate for your cat. Having another cat in the house to play and rough-house with will definitely keep your cat happy and occupied. Play between two cats is not only fun, it’s a learning experience. It is a way for cats to learn that biting and scratching hurts. In addition, cats will correct each other for inappropriate or rough play behavior, which can also help with appropriate interactions with people.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Dorit Shevach
Why Won't My Cat Play With New Toys?
Q:

Why won’t my cat play with the toy mice and balls I just bought him?

A:

Most cats will enjoy a good chase after a toy mouse, or ball, while some cats can become bored very quickly. Cats are natural hunters, and although the toy may look like a mouse, it doesn’t really act like one. This is why you may have noticed that your cat will lay down, and just watch, lazily, as the ball rolls across the room. Toys that mimic prey-like behavior will be more enticing to your cat, and will create a more high-level active play. Pole toys, or "cat dancers" are excellent toys in that they maintain constant movement, often very similar to prey they would be hunting in the wild. They will keep your cat entertained and interested for longer periods of time.

Children also love to swing these toys around, so they can be a wonderful tool to utilize when teaching your pet appropriate interactions with children (and vice versa).


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Dorit Shevach
Why Is My Cat Pawing?
Q:

Why does my cat paw at the floor around his bowl after he eats?

A:

What your cat is trying to do is "bury" his/her food. In the wild, cats must protect their territory from predators and invading cats. They must cover their tracks, and any other scents that may point such predators in their direction; this includes both food items, and excrement. Although your cat is domesticated, some "wild" behaviors have a tendency to be maintained, regardless of whether an actual threat still exists.

I would suggest using a heavy, ceramic food dish to prevent your cat from knocking the bowl over, and spilling his/her food. He/she may still paw at the ground around the dish, but at least the food area will be clean.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Dorit Shevach

 

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