Kitten Behavior Essentials

They say moving to New York City is tough, but the biggest challenge I faced during my first few weeks was unexpected: raising a kitten I rescued from the street, weaned off its mother prematurely. The veterinarian warned me that 3-week-old Andy was too young to survive away from his mother, but to me, Andy looked like a trooper.

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Are Mischievous Cats Just Bored?

This scenario may be all too familiar: An unsuspecting cat owner comes home from work to find that his or her once well-behaved feline has tipped over a houseplant, batted everything off the home office desk and pulled a foot-long thread from the living room curtains. What’s the scoop? Simply put, kitty could be bored.

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Do Cats Know and Express Love?

Most of us are incurable romantics. We think that feelings and expressions of love exist only within our species. But what about cats and other animals? Does anything akin to love exist in their world? The answer may surprise you, as it turns the love mirror back on us, revealing mysteries about our own struggles with l’amour.

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Signs of a Stressed-out Cat

You’ve probably heard the phrase "hair-pulling moment" in reference to stressful situations, but did you know that cats sometimes compulsively pull out their fur when they feel anxious? "Stress is a very big deal because it has a profound effect on all aspects of animals’ experience," says Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist.

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How to Live With Your Crepuscular Cat

Dawn breaks as you burrow under the covers and feel the familiar tap-tap-tap of a paw on your cheek. You could use a couple of more hours of sleep, but your cat wants your undivided attention without delay. Fast-forward to later in the day when you return home from work, school or other late-afternoon activities with just enough energy left to operate the TV remote. And yet, there’s your furry friend again, ready to play.

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How and Why Cats Purr

Did you know that, like vibrating piano strings, the sounds and vibrations your purring cat emits are in perfect musical harmony with each other? Those positive vibrations form the basis of one of the most soothing and pleasurable means of communication in the entire animal kingdom. Usually, your cat is telling you, "I’m feeling good."

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What to Do With a Demanding Kitty

Cats have a reputation of being loners, but try telling that to owners whose feline follows them around like a shadow. Some domestic cats even become so attached to their humans that they crave nonstop attention. If "Mrrrrooooow! Mrrrrrrow! Mrrrrow!" followed by a friendly, yet forceful, head butt, have ever altered your plans, you might share your home with such a devoted, needy pet.

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Good Litter Box Manners

Cats are extraordinarily fastidious creatures. Outdoors they tend to urinate and defecate in relatively open and previously unused areas. Unless they are "marking"-deliberately depositing the scent of their urine or feces as a chemical "autograph" for other cats-they carefully cover their waste and move on.

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