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    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-friendly products, Indoor cats, Cat Toys, Cat Tips

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

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

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

     
    If you are going to walk your cat, don’t go about it like this writer from the New York Post. 

    “I procured a cat leash and harness… from a friend, who had attempted, unsuccessfully, to walk her own cats. Hoping to have a better go of it, I strapped my 7-year-old tabby, Jameson, in and headed out on a recent sunny Saturday.”

    As you might imagine, she soon realized that walking a cat is not exactly like walking a dog! First of all, cats don't always take to leashes and walks as readily as dogs (at least not initially). Second, being cats, they're not exacly, shall we say, "naturally inclined" to being led around by a leash. Third, many of the places you’d likely take your dog typically aren’t as well-suited for a cat (but fear not, there are often plenty of great alternatives!).

    These differences don’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t try taking your cat for leash walks. After all, many cats can really enjoy and benefit from them! But they do mean that you really do first need to train and prepare your cat — and yourself — for these new outdoor adventures! 

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

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

    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 food, Water Bowls, Water, Food, Cat Behavior

    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.

    Because there’s no way to stop a cat from scratching — nor should you — and when cats are left to their own devices, they tend to make tatters of the things we love the most.

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

    How to Keep Your Cat Out of the Christmas Tree


    Living with a cat will give you a whole new perspective on life. Where once your perspective was, “How do I decorate my home the way I want,” a cat will help you realize that it’s far better to decorate your home in the least-destructible way.

    Any cat owner will soon find themselves squinting at their furniture and wondering A) how will they climb this and B) can they knock it over? Notice the carefully chosen words, “how will they climb this” and not “will they climb this?” Rest assured that if a cat can climb something, they probably will climb it.

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    Topics: Christmas pet dangers, Christmas pet hazards, Digestive irritation, Electrical Cords, Electrical shock, Cats Falling, Cat Behavior, holiday pet safety tips, holiday safety

    My Cat Won’t Eat! How to Stimulate Your Cat’s Appetite


    The common theory is that cats are just picky about food.

    They turn their noses at their bowls for no other reason than to drive their people to an early grave or insanity — or both. If you’ve ever dealt with a cat that seemingly refuses to eat, it’s easy to feel like their only pleasure in life is to psychologically torture you and waste all of that expensive food you were sure they’d love.

    And you are certainly not alone in feeling a little crazed and helpless sometimes. As for that theory about cats just being picky, it’s somewhat true, but there’s a whole lot of nuance.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Diabetes in Cats, cat health questions, cat health issues, Pancreatitis, Obesity, Loss of appetite, Cat food, Feeding Bowls

    Cranberry & Your Pet's Urinary Health — Miracle Berry or Just a Fad?


    Cranberry products — are they good for pets?

    Go to many of the popular pet blogs or pet supply stores these days and you’re likely to see cranberry-containing products touted and marketed with terms such as “urinary health” or “urinary care." But what’s the real deal with cranberry—is it really a “cure all” for your cat or dog’s urinary issues? Or does cranberry just have a good publicity agent?

    Let’s cut through the clutter (and fancy marketing terms) and explore the truth about the benefits of cranberry to urinary tract health for cats and dogs.

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    Topics: Cat, Cat Health, Blog, Urinary obstruction, Cat Behavior, Cat urine, Dog, Dog Health, UTI

    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.