Tag Archives: cat behavior

7 Ways to Keep Your Cat Out of the Tree

Are you putting up a tree this year? If you have a kitty, you may find yourself trying to keep her from knocking it over. While some cats will content themselves with curling up beneath the tree and purring, others will see it as a kitty playground. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on keeping Fluffy out of the tree.

Distract The Furball

There’s no reason you can’t give your cat her gifts a bit early. Offer Fluffy lots of fun new toys to occupy herself with. If your kitty tires herself out playing with her new squeaky mouse, she may be too tired to bother with the tree.

Secure The Tree

If you know or suspect that your cat is going to bring the tree down, use fishing line to secure the top of the tree to the wall or ceiling. It won’t show, but will add extra support. A sturdy tree base is also a must.

Decorate Carefully

If you hang a bunch of shiny ornaments on the bottom of the tree, you’re pretty much offering your furball an irresistible assortment of toys to choose from. Keep sturdy, non-breakable items on the lower branches, and put the shiny, fragile ones on the top third of the tree.

Get A Fake Tree

Fluffy will have a much harder time climbing a fake tree than she will a real one. Consider getting a synthetic tree this year.

Position The Tree Carefully

Try not to put the tree too close to a sofa, desk, or chair that Fluffy can climb onto. These things make great launching pad for frisky felines!

Playtime

Take time to play with your cat every day. If you can get Fluffy to burn off her excess energy playing Catch The Red Dot, she may leave the tree alone.

Training

We know, you can’t really train cats. (Actually, Fluffy tends to train her human pals, but that’s another topic.) However, you can make your frisky pet think twice about getting too close to the tree. When your kitty goes near the tree, make a loud noise: clap your hands, bang two pots together, or sound a bike horn. Chances are, your furball will hightail it to her favorite hiding spot!

Happy Holidays! Please feel free to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, anytime!

Caring for a Grouchy Cat

Did you know that today, October 15th, is National Grouch Day? While this holiday may technically be meant to honor grumpy people, there’s no reason we can’t take this opportunity to celebrate grouchy pets. Just like people, our animal friends all have their own personalities, and some of them are, well, a bit cantankerous. If you have a furry little curmudgeon on your hands, read on. A local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for a grumpy cat in this article.

Veterinary Care

If your kitty is, well, rather cranky, schedule a veterinary appointment for her right away. Medical issues can have a huge effect on Fluffy’s temperament, so you’ll want to make sure that her grumpiness isn’t caused by health problem. If your feline buddy gets the all-clear, then you know you have an ornery pet, rather than a sick one.

Attention

While some kitties are basically furry little cuddlebugs, others prefer to be admired from a distance. Always let Fluffy decide when it’s time to snuggle. Keep in mind that cats can quickly change their minds about when and how they want to be petted. Never force attention on your cat!

Hiding Spots

Cats can get very uneasy if they have nowhere to retreat to. Make sure Fluffy has somewhere to go in every room, even if it’s just a spot under the couch or behind a bookcase. Kitties often feel safer in high, secure places, so vertical space is a good option.

Aggression

One curious thing about cats is the fact that they sometimes attack their human pals playfully. If Fluffy is just being silly, she probably won’t bite or scratch hard, and won’t sustain the attack. A feline that is truly angry will attack full-force, and may hiss, growl, lash her tail, or flatten her ears. If your pet is being aggressive, ask your vet for advice. Never punish your kitty for biting or scratching: this may just make matters worse!

Playtime

Offer Fluffy plenty of fun toys, and take time to play with her every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will allow your feisty furball to take out her aggressions on an appropriate target – that fuzzy mouse toy—instead of on you.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, for all of your grouchy cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Caring for Multiple Cats

Do you have more than one kitty? Are you considering adding a second—or even third—furball to your household? While many kitties are best buds with their feline roommates, unfortunately, not all of our furry friends get along that well. Some cats just don’t like to share their people! However, there are some things you can to do to help your cute pets get along. Here, a local Fort Collins, CO vet offers tips on caring for multiple cats.

Introductions

First impressions are very, very important to our feline pals. It could take months to undo the damage caused by a bad first meeting! When introducing your cats, take your time, and let them get used to one another’s scents before you allow them to interact freely. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Veterinary Care

Keep your furry buddies on the same schedule for exams and vaccinations. You also want to administer parasite control products at the same time. Otherwise, fleas may jump off one kitty and onto the other!

Litterboxes

Cats like to have privacy when they are doing their business, and they don’t care for sharing bathrooms. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want one box per kitty, plus at least one extra.

Toys

Make sure your feline buddies have plenty of toys to play with, and take time to play with them every day. Playing with both of your cats at the same time can help them form positive associations about each other, and will also help them burn off excess energy. Cats all have their own purrsonal opinions about toys, so get a variety of different ones.

Furniture

When choosing furniture, get pieces that will fit all of your feline friends at once. Otherwise, your cats may fight over whose turn it is to use the cat tower or kitty tent! You also want to make sure there are enough beds to go around.

Jealousy

Kitties can be very, very jealous of one another. Make sure to pay all of your furballs equal attention. This can be difficult if the newcomer is a kitten, because, as we all know, baby cats are almost impossibly cute, and they’re also always demanding attention. Don’t let your resident cat feel left out!

Do you have questions or concerns about cat care? We can help! Call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime!

Fluffy’s Cutest Secret Talents

Cats are quite talented little furballs. Our feline friends are excellent hunters and snugglers. They are also expert nappers! However, Fluffy actually has several other skills that you may not have noticed. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some of kitties’ cutest secret talents.

Traffic Weaving

Kitties are very small, so they sometimes have to be bold when they want attention. One way Fluffy does this is to run right out in front of her owners as they walk past. While cats do occasionally mistime these tricky maneuvers, what usually ends up happening on those occasions is that the human stops short to avoid accidentally kicking their frisky pet. (We suspect that this is actually a feline sport.)

People Training

Many of our feline friends have their owners wrapped around their adorable little paws. Fluffy may have you trained to feed her, pet her, or play with her on command. If you have a lap cat, your kitty may also have taught you how to properly be cat furniture. This basically entails not moving until it’s absolutely necessary, to avoid disturbing Her Furry Majesty.

Comedy Routines

In Fluffy’s mind, she is a fierce and ferocious hunter whose vicious killer instincts can only be soothed by cuddles, treats, and soft beds. However, it’s hard not to laugh when watching some of your cat’s playful antics. Whether Fluffy is attacking a bottle cap, sprinting across the room, or batting at a fuzzy toy, there’s a good chance that your kitty keeps you smiling.

Housework

Cats may seem aloof, but they actually do try to help their human servants out from time to time. Your thoughtful furball may offer her assistance with giftwrapping, changing sheets, and packing or unpacking suitcases and boxes. She may also help keep the coffee table clear by knocking small objects off it.

Interruptions

Fluffy certainly has a knack for demanding attention at inopportune times. Your cat may sprawl out on top of a book you are trying to read, bat at your pen as you’re writing something, or wake you up when she wants breakfast. Kitties also like to interrupt traffic by napping in the middle of the kitchen or living room.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are completely dedicated to keeping our feline patients happy, healthy, and purring.

The Rules of Hugging Cats

Does your cat like to snuggle? Some of our feline buddies are very affectionate little furballs! Fluffy is a great cuddler. There’s no better way to wind down after a long day than to settle in with a good book or movie, and a purring cat. However, there are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to hugging cats. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses hugging cats.

The Rules of Hugging Cats

First and foremost, never force attention on a cat. It’s always up to Fluffy to decide when it’s time to snuggle. Some of our feline pals are very affectionate, and will start purring as soon as someone pets them or picks them up. If your kitty falls into this category, you’ll want to offer hugs and cuddles on a daily basis. It’s also important to note that your cat can end the hug at any time. It isn’t unusual for cats to be purring and content in their owners’ arms one moment, and running away the next.

Alternatives For Aloof Kitties

While some of our feline friends are extremely affectionate, other cats are more aloof, and prefer that we just gaze at them adoringly from a distance. If your furry pal doesn’t like to be held, there are some other ways to pamper her. Get Fluffy some new toys, or perhaps a new kitty bed. Cat furniture, catnip, and treats are also good ways to activate the purr. Of course, for some cats, an empty box can be the best gift ever!

The Magic of Hugging Cats

Cats have many cute qualities, but one of the most adorable ones is the fact that these little furballs actually vibrate with happiness. Actually, Fluffy’s purr is very special. As it turns out, kitties purr at a frequency that has been shown to promote healing. Cat purrs also help us emotionally, by calming us in troubled times. This is one reason our feline friends can be so good for children: those soothing purrs can really be a wonderful source of comfort to a young child that is having a bad day. Last but not least, a purring kitty can make a wonderful sleep aid.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to provide your cat with excellent veterinary care.

The Cat’s Meow

Do you have a talkative kitty? Or does your furball only meow occasionally? Cats all have their own unique purrsonalities, and, just like people, some are more vocal than others are. A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses the cat’s meow in this article.

Meow History

Did you know that kitties may have started meowing just so they could boss humans around? While kittens and mama cats meow at each other, adult cats mostly use facial expressions and body language to communicate with one another. As it turns out, the fact that Fluffy’s meows often sound like the cries of a newborn baby probably isn’t a coincidence. Apparently, our feline overlords figured out long ago that combining plaintive meows with just being adorable is a very effective way to get us to feed them.

Breeds

Some breeds are known for being very vocal. The Siamese, for instance, is renowned for the fact that their meows sound very much like the cries of human babies. Maine Coons, on the other hand, vocalize with some very cute chirps and trilling noises. On the quieter end at the spectrum, we have kitties like the Abyssinian and American Shorthair, who just don’t seem to have much to say.

Senior Cats

It isn’t unusual for cats to vocalize more in their senior years. Older kitties sometimes become confused or forgetful. Fluffy may forget where the litterbox is, and could meow to express her distress. If your aging kitty starts talking more, have your vet examine her to make sure there isn’t a medical issue behind her behavior. Otherwise, just do what you can to comfort your pet.

Signs of Illness

Changes in your cat’s vocalizations can be a sign of illness in cats. If Fluffy is usually quiet, but then starts meowing loudly, she may not be feeling well. The opposite is also true: kitties that normally talk a lot, but then fall silent, may also be sick. Contact your vet immediately if you notice changes in your cat’s meowing habits.

Conversations With Fluffy

When Fluffy meows at you, go ahead and talk back to her. To have a little fun with your furball, try mimicking her meows. It can be fun to see how long you can keep this cute game going!

Please call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, with all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

New Year’s Resolutions for Kitties

Do you plan to make any resolutions this year? This is a great time to set some personal goals, and clarify your priorities for 2016. Of course, our feline friends have some goals of their own. Kittens, in particular, have a lot of growing to do, both physically and mentally. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet makes an educated guess on what little Fluffy’s resolutions would look like.

Perfect My Powers Of Cute

Cats are adorable, and we’re pretty sure they know it. One look into that furry little face is often all it takes for humans to be completely enchanted by their baby felines.

Gain Complete Control Over My Humans

As the saying says, ‘Dogs have owners, but cats have staff.’ Our feline friends use tactics like meows, purrs, leg rubs, and cuddles to ensure that they have us wrapped around those little paws!

Grow Up Strong And Healthy

A proper diet, regular veterinary care, a clean litterbox, and lots of love will help your tiny furbaby grow into a happy, healthy adult kitty.

Don’t Scratch Or Bite The Vet

Going to see the vet may never make the list of Fluffy’s favorite things to do, but it’s for her own good! We use caring techniques to keep our feline patients calm during veterinary appointments, but we appreciate the thought!

Scratch My Tower, Not The Furniture

Kitties need to scratch, but they don’t necessarily need to scratch the sofa. Teach your furball to use a scratching post or tower now, while she’s little.

Never Let My Human Go To The Bathroom Alone

Many of our feline friends follow their owners into the lavatory. Is this one of Fluffy’s Golden Rules?

Stop Pouncing On My Human’s Toes And Fingers

Cats are predators at heart, so it’s only natural for little Fluffy to want to perfect her hunting techniques. Unfortunately, she’ll probably want to practice on you. When your kitten attacks you playfully, tell your frisky furball to play nice, and then ignore her until she does.

Get Lots of Sleep

We’re pretty sure little Fluffy won’t have too much trouble achieving this goal!

Happy New Year! All of us here at Fort Collins, CO vet clinic are looking forward to serving your kitty’s veterinary care needs in 2016 and beyond. We love watching kittens grow from adorable baby felines into healthy adult cats.

Signs That Your Cat Needs Immediate Veterinary Care

Do you have a kitty? Your furball may be very clear about her wishes when she wants food or attention, but she may not be as forthcoming about letting you know when she’s sick. In fact, cats learned long ago to mask any signs of illness, as showing weakness could attract dangerous predators. Therefore, it’s very important for you to be able to recognize any possible signs of illness in your furball. Otherwise, you may not realize that Fluffy isn’t feeling well until she’s very sick! In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO lists some signs of sickness in kitties.

Hiding

While it’s purrfectly normal for Fluffy to want to curl up in a quiet spot at naptime, she should emerge, yawning and stretching and perhaps a bit hungry, after a few hours. If your kitty doesn’t want to leave her hiding place, she could be ill.

Poor Grooming

Healthy kitties always want to look their best. Your feline friend may spend hours each day grooming that pretty fur. Sick kitties, however, often don’t feel up to going through their beauty rituals. Greasy, matted, or unkempt fur can be signs of illness in cats.

Change In Appetite

A change in appetite can also be a red flag. If Fluffy isn’t interested in her dinner, or suddenly starts scarfing down her entire meal, she could be ill.

Excessive Thirst

Excessive thirst can also be a sign of trouble in kitties. To monitor Fluffy’s water intake, fill her bowl with fresh water at the same time every day.

Litter Box Trouble

Litter box issues can be another red flag. If you notice a change in your cat’s waste, or if Fluffy stops using the litter box, there could be an issue. Straining to urinate can also be an indication of a serious medical problem.

Change In Behavior/Vocalization

Just like people, kitties often just don’t act like themselves when they feel sick. If your kitty is usually reserved, but suddenly starts demanding attention, she could be sick. On the other hand, an affectionate kitty that suddenly becomes antisocial could also be ill.

Weight gain or loss, sudden aggression, lethargy, and fever can also indicate illness in kitties. If you see any of these symptoms in your kitty, or if Fluffy just doesn’t seem like herself, contact us, your Fort Collins, CO veterinary clinic, immediately.

Introducing Dogs and Cats

Cats and dogs have had a long and rather complicated relationship. Fido and Fluffy can be the best of friends, or the worst of enemies. If you have a cat and are considering getting a dog, or vice versa, you’ll want to proceed with caution. One thing that is very important is the manner in which your pets are introduced. First impressions are a big deal to our furry pals! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses introducing cats and dogs.

Make A Good Match

Choosing the right pet is often half the battle! When looking for your new furbaby, try to choose one that has already cohabitated with the other type of pet. Dogs that like to chase things, are territorial, or play rough may not be a good match for a feline roommate. Timid or aggressive kitties, on the other hand, might not do well with a dog. The dog’s size is another issue: large dogs can injure cats more easily than small dogs. That doesn’t mean that Fido is always the instigator, however: some cats bully their canine ‘siblings’! Try to choose pets that are close in age: don’t match a fragile, elderly cat with a big, rambunctious puppy.

New Arrivals

Keep your furry pals separated at first. When you bring your new pet home, put them in a private room with all the required necessities, so they can adjust slowly. Before letting your new arrival explore, secure your resident pet in another room. Over the next few days, rotate the pets so that whenever one has free access, the other is confined. Your furbabies will grow accustomed to each other’s scents during this stage. Once both pets seem calm, you can make official introductions.

Meet N’ Greet

Make sure Fido is leashed when he meets Fluffy for the first time. Your kitty may hiss and ‘poof’ her fur at first: this is normal. Repeat this process several times. Don’t let them loose together until both pets seem calm and relaxed around one another. Be sure to monitor all interactions until you’re confident that your furbabies are getting along. If your dog barks or lunges at the cat for more than a few days, or if either animal shows signs of aggression, separate them and consult a professional.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your pet care needs.

Is Your Cat Bored?

Kitties are unofficial experts at lounging around and looking cute. Your feline friend can spend as much as 18 hours a day napping! However, even with all that sleep, your furball needs stimulation to keep her happy and amused when she is awake. In this article, a Fort Collins vet discusses boredom in cats.

Signs of Feline Boredom

If Fluffy is bored, she might drape herself over the back of the sofa, staring winsomely at nothing. Bored kitties sometimes try to amuse themselves by knocking small items off coffee or end tables. Sometimes our feline friends will bolt and run to another room for no reason, perhaps to see if there is anything interesting going on in there. Your furball may also follow you around, climb up onto your lap, or try to explore a closet or cupboard to amuse herself. Some cats get a bit destructive when they are bored, so Fluffy might pounce on you. Kitties are also prone to snacking when they are bored, so if your cat seems to be eating a lot, she could be bored.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Furball Amused

Just like people, pets need stimulation to be truly happy. Playtime is great for kitties, as it engages their instinctual behaviors, and allows them to indulge their inner hunters. Mental stimulation is also good for kitties as they age. Senior kitties often experience cognitive decline, much like people do, and stimulation helps prevent that. Also, kitties that are entertained are less liable to indulge in destructive behavior, or misbehave by play-fighting.

Entertaining Fluffy

As they say, prevention is much better than a cure. Keep Fluffy entertained by providing lots of kitty toys. Boxes, paper bags, and kitty tunnels all offer fun spots to explore. A cat tower is also a great option, as it provides a sleeping spot, scratching options, exercise, and, if placed in front of a window, live entertainment. Actually, just watching birds, squirrels, and other wildlife can keep your furball interested for hours. Make sure Fluffy has at access to at least one window with a good view. To make this even more fun for your furball, put a bird feeder outside the window. Some kitties even enjoy watching nature DVDs, particularly those about birds.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us, your Fort Collins veterinary clinic, any time!