Go Play on Your Own: Independent Play for Cats

The past few months have brought me many cat guardians looking for help with annoying or aggressive behaviors. There are many reasons for these behaviors, but typically one of my first recommendations is around increased play. Behavior problems in cats can often be tied to boredom or lack of outlets for necessary behaviors. The next … Read more

Cats and Control

There’s a common misconception that you must constantly prove to your pets that you are in charge or they will become poorly behaved or aggressive. The reality is that having control feels good and that’s totally okay. Feeling good because they know they have some control over their life doesn’t mean your cat is bent … Read more

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