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    Keeping Your Cat Out of Your Houseplants


    Cats are curious by nature, so it's no wonder that anything moving inside your home becomes potential prey. Putting plants around your place can sometimes feel like a sacrificial ceremony (for the plant). But don't worry — there are ways to teach your cats to leave the inside plants alone! Whether they're eating the leaves, digging up the dirt, or using your planter as a litter box, your cat can be trained or redirected towards something more enticing. 

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Indoor cats

    Top 10 Indoor Plants Safe for Cats


    If you're like most feline folks, you've sacrificed having any plants inside your home for the health and safety of your cat (and for the sake of the plant). Great news, though — many beautiful plants are non-toxic to your cat and will add some greenery to your home. And in some cases a little additional color as well!

    That's why we have put together a list of plants that will not only enhance your living space but also keep you from making an unexpected trip to the vet's office. Remember, even "pet-safe" plants can still cause an upset stomach or an obstruction depending on how much is eaten.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Indoor cats

    Why Are My Cats Fighting Suddenly? How to Get Your Cats to Like Each Other Again


    Cats may be more like humans than we realize

    Even the best of friends can be annoying on occasion, forcing us to just ignore their calls. Some of us may even have family that drive us crazy. So, cats that are familiar can also find a reason to hate one another. That being said, I had never personally watched my own cats getting in – well – a “cat fight." Until recently.

    We adopted siblings as kittens from a shelter and for the past three years, despite having polar-opposite personalities, they have been very affectionate and at times inseparable. In fact, originally the two were adopted along with a third sibling, but due to a freak accident, we had to put him down shortly after the adoption. A horrible situation and I only mention, because that loss brought the other two cats closer. Again, until recently.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Aggression, Sudden Aggression in Cats, Redirected Aggresion in Cats, Aggession in Cats, happy cat behavior, environmental enrichment for cats, Cat behavior problems

    How to Stop Your Cat From Waking You Up in the Morning

     
    If your cat insists on waking you up at 4 a.m. every day it’s probably because they tricked you at some point in the past and then kept tricking you because you were so easily tricked. 

    Congratulations, you have been outsmarted by an animal that comes up to your shins and poops in a box in the corner.

    The good news is that you’re not alone. Cats are wily creatures who are excellent at training their people to do what they want; e.g., annoying them in the morning for food and attention. The better news is that you can recondition your cat to stop waking you up before the sun rises or raising hell at night while you’re trying to sleep.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Tips, Cat Toys

    What Cats Do When They’re Out at Night

     
    Cats are a mystery (that’s part of what we love about them). This cat mystery is even more intriguing at night, when they wander neighborhoods and our homes doing… whatever it is they do.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Bite, Cats outdoors at night, Cat Predators, Cat bite abcess

    How to Make Your Outdoor Cat More Visible at Night

     
    Outdoor dangers abound for cats, and especially at night. One of the most dangerous threats to your cat if they’re out at night is also one of the most common objects they’re likely to encounter: a car. 

    While it’s impossible to accurately track the actual number of cats killed by cars each year, estimates are well into the millions. And it stands to reason that when a driver’s ability to see decreases — like between dusk and dawn — accidents are more likely to happen. 

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cars, Cats outdoors at night, Outdoor cats, Cat Collars

    How to Walk Your Cat on a Leash... Safely


    While there are a ton of (easy, and not-so-easy) things you can do for indoor environmental enrichment, some cats have the personality and interest for, and can also benefit from safe outdoor enrichment, such as leash walking. Taking your cat for walks can be a novel and fun way to give them the mental stimulation and physical exercise that so many cats crave and need, without letting them loose as an outdoor cat (which significantly reduces their life expectancy, as compared to indoor-only cats).  

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Clicker Training, Capturing Behavior, Outdoor cats

    Litter Box 101: How to Choose the Best Litter Boxes for Your Cats and Why You Need To


    When you first get a cat, your next stop is usually the pet store for kitty supplies. A litter box is always at the top of that list, but few people give much thought to the box itself. 

    Looking at them, you might think that any one box is about the same as any other. However not all litter boxes are created equal; more to the point, not all litter boxes are created equal for all cats.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Litter Box, Litterbox accidents, Going outside the litterbox, Recommended cat litter, Is a covered litterbox a good idea

    The Best Cat Food Bowls and Interactive Feeders to Delight Your Kitty


    Feeding cats is easy, right? Just grab a cat bowl, pour in some kibble, refill as bowl gets low, and you're done. Right? Well, umm... not really.

    Not all "cat bowls" are created equally, nor are all cats created equally. Two things are (almost) universal though: The first is that "free feeding" a cat in the manner described above is a pretty sure recipe for obesity, "scarf-and-barf," urinary obstruction, and a host of other problems for your cat. And second is that most cats are natural-born hunters, and they LOVE to work for and play with their food! And you can use that to your (and their) advantage to help provide environmental enrichment and prevent a whole lot of problems.

    As a general rule, meal feeding is a far better way to feed your cat and it's also a good idea to have a good portion of their calories come from a high-quality, high-protein/low-carb wet food diet. But those are topics for another time. This article will help you figure out what to feed (and water) your cat from; i.e., the types of bowls (or even non-bowls) that will be best for your cat, regardless of what you're feeding them, or how often you're doing so. And there's also an easy bonus trick for how to quickly, inexpensively, and effectively disinfect your cat's bowls included at the end.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Food, Water Bowls, Water, Cat food

    Scratch This NOT That! Why Cats Scratch & How to Protect Your Furniture


    It doesn’t take long after living with a cat to develop a slight nervous tick at the sound of scratching.

    For many people, their gut reaction is to yell at the cat, shoo them away, or maybe even give a few squirts of water from a spray bottle.

    Doing any of these though won’t save your furniture. In fact, yelling at your cat for scratching can seriously confuse them, stress them out, and may even cause them to act out in different ways and grow to be afraid of you.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Scratching, Cat Tips

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.