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Cat Behavior | PetsWeekly

Outdoor Enclosures for Cats

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Glenda Moore of Utah could be called a cat lover: The U.S. Forest Service employee shares her home with eight felines, which she lets enjoy fresh air and bird watching. Her cats luxuriate within the safety of a 26-foot enclosure that includes a ladder, perches, a scratching post and even wind chimes. "The cats get the benefit of the fresh air, the ability to check out the activity in the backyard and a different place to nap," she says.

Cat Enclosure Options

If you want to offer your own cat a secure place to experience the great outdoors, you have a number of options. You can purchase a pre-built cat enclosure, assemble a structure from a kit or plans, or you can come up with your own design. Kristine Kischer, owner of Toronto-based Habitat Haven, says most of her customers start with modest enclosures, then remodel and build up. "It doesn't have to be this humongous expense right off the get-go," she says. "I've had one lady add on five times in the last six years."

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Not so Stupid Pet Tricks for Cats

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Dogs often steal the spotlight when it comes to tricks because cats are  “misunderstood when it comes to training, enrichment and living a happy and healthy life indoors,” says Cary Rentola of the Larimer Humane Society. You may not be able to teach an old dog a new trick, but you can teach your cat tricks commonly associated with dogs.

The Benefits of Trick Training

Teaching new behaviors promotes a healthy lifestyle and helps relieve feline boredom while offering cats mental exercise, says Cheryl Kolus, a Colorado State University veterinary student and a volunteer with the Larimer Humane Society. Training also gives them an outlet for instinctual behaviors. “When you’re working on a trick through positive training, it becomes a bonding experience for you and your cat,” adds Rentola. Trick Training How-to

Here are five fun tricks for your cat. Repeat a trick two to five times per session.

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Cat Toys: When the Thrill is Gone

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Cat ToyPet stores don't sell dangling cable wires in their cat toy sections. But if they did, it may just be the next bestseller. The long cable that suddenly appeared from Jennifer Moore's apartment rooftop was all it took to keep her cat up every night for a week. "She seemed to be mostly staring, almost poised to pounce, but she also tried to bat it through the closed window," said Moore of her 5-year-old tabby cat Sari. "I hadn't seen her so excited about a 'toy' in a long time." The newness of the wire -- as well as its split ends that could have looked like a trapped fly through the window -- probably entranced Sari. The toys in her basket were familiar to her, their behavior predictable in contrast to the new and exciting wire. It turns out that, like people, cats get bored with their old toys. But they don't have to lose interest. L.A.-based cat behaviorist Marva Marrow has suggestions on how to make every play day fresh and fun for you and your feline companion.

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How to Live with Your Crepuscular Cat

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Cat playingDawn 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...

If it seems like you and your cat are never quite on the same schedule, it’s for good reason. Cats might sleep twice as much as we do, but their activity patterns don’t coincide with ours often.

While we humans are diurnal, or active during the daytime, cats are crepuscular -- a fancy way of saying they’re raring to go at both dawn and dusk.

Read more: How to Live with Your Crepuscular Cat

Feline Behavior

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    Hello Grey Socks, Every time I put toothpaste on my brush, which is mint flavored, my cat wants to lick it. She goes completely banana's over it. Is it okay to let her lick some? Thanks,
    Kathy Easley

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    Dear Kyra, I have an adopted 5-month-old ginger boy named Barney. He's a very sweet, funny kitty, and I love him to pieces. But...he has some strange quirks. The nice people at the animal shelter told me that he was… Read More +

  • Cats covering feces

    Dear Ghost, Why do cats cover their feces? My two cats are neurotic about covering up everything in their litter box, which is stupid because it's automatic anyway. Is it really necessary? Thanks,
    Kristin

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    Baby, I live with 2 male cats (neutered) and 1 female cat (spayed). All of a sudden they have started spraying (they are 1 year old). They have sprayed my bed, my doors and in my closet (that I know of). I'm… Read More +

  • hypersthesia

    Mama-San, My 1 yr old tabby has developed a fear of its tail! The end twitches and she sometimes lightly attacks it, but most times just runs from it (especially at night) your site mentions anger in connection with tip- twitching.… Read More +

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