Quick Tips for Keeping Fireworks-Day Feline Friendly

My dear friend Julie Hecht recently posted excellent advice on how to help dogs that might get stressed out about fireworks on her excellent blog DogSpies. We sometimes forget that cats can be afraid of the 4th too! They aren’t huge fans of loud noises, and the unpredictability of fireworks can make them especially hard …

Sniffing kitten butts for science?

A new study explores whether and how mom cats might recognize their offspring. You’ve probably seen dozens of “mom cat foster” stories on the internet – where mom cats are given a baby animal (sometimes of another species) to care for.  It’s not uncommon for rescue groups, upon receipt of an orphaned kitten, just latch …

Declawing: A new study shows we can’t look the other way

If there’s a veterinary “procedure” that tends to gets people all wiggly, it might be the declawing of domestic cats. Declawing is the amputation of a cat’s toes (with scalpel, laser, or even with claw clippers), usually performed to prevent furniture scratching. “It saves lives,” “it keeps cats out of shelters,” “banning medical procedures is …

Is there such a thing as a “Purr-cebo Effect”?

The placebo effect is the phenomenon of reported or observed medical improvement in the absence of an active treatment. The placebo effect in humans has been found in several studies of pain and depression, and a recent study even suggested that when Parkinson’s patients thought they were receiving an expensive treatment (saline), they showed more …

Cats getting “eufloric”: A new study explores olfactory enrichment for felines

Catnip: almost everyone knows about this magical mint-relative that has a powerful effect on approximately 60% of cats. Rolling, rubbing, drooling, and chewing are just a few of the responses your cat might have to catnip. But most folks, including veterinary professionals, aren’t aware that there are other plants that have a similar, usually positive, …

How do cats use those tongues?

Have you ever wondered why cats tongues are so raspy? I was lucky to spend a day in December at the Cat Town Cafe in Oakland assisting with this cool video by KQED Deep Look. Deep Look is a series that takes scientific studies and uses uber zoomed in HD footage to bring you up close! …