My Cat Isn’t Food Motivated!

“But, my cat isn’t food motivated!”  I frequently encourage cat owners to use food rewards when modifying unwanted behavior. And, almost as frequently, I hear this argument. Food is a powerful tool for changing behavior. Pairing something a cat doesn’t like with a tasty treat can change their feelings. Rewarding a behavior with a lick … Read more

Four Peeing Cats: A Case Study

Often I meet families who are overwhelmed with their cat’s behavior problems. They feel they have tried everything and wonder if there is hope for their situation. One of the main things I bring, as a professional, is an ability to see the details and understand how these big problems can develop. This is a … Read more

Not Random: “Redirected” Aggression

The meme of the randomness of cats is so popular you may not often look for a deeper explanation. But when your cat appears to “randomly” attack another pet or human family member, you need to understand what’s going on and what to do next. Not Random, Redirected “Redirected aggression” is aggression directed toward something … Read more

Anti-Anxiety Medications: Valuable Tool or Last Resort?

“My vet recommended [name of anti-anxiety medication] but I really want to try all of my other options first.”  Maybe your veterinarian has previously brought up anti-anxiety medication for your cat but you weren’t sure if it was necessary or right to try. Or maybe you already think medication might help your cat but you’re … Read more

Resolve to Work Out More: Cat Edition

Happy New Year! Was “work out more” on your resolution list? Might I suggest adding “help the cat” in front of that? “Help the cat work out more” – much better! Just as in people, exercise has lots of benefits for cats. Stretching and working muscles relieves tension and builds strength, physical activity helps maintain … Read more

The “Perfect” Litter Box

Does it matter if your cat really likes their box, as long as they are using it? With all of the litter box products and marketing out there, how can you tell what’s right for your cat? How about letting your cat tell you what they prefer? The right litter box setup can prevent and … Read more

The Trick to Using Treats

Do you have a scaredy cat? You’ve probably heard the advice to give them treats to help them overcome their fear. It’s great advice (unlike some of what’s out there…) but there are a few important tricks to using those treats effectively! Why Treats? Fear can’t be controlled in the same ways other behavior can … Read more