Not With That Cat-itude! Understanding an Aggressive Cat Isn’t Always Easy

aggressive cat growling at oakhurst vet

Most people imagine that cats are sweet, friendly, and incredibly docile (if not a little judgey). But considering the myriad ways that the wild ancestors of today’s domesticated felines survived so well, it’s no surprise that they can get a little, well, freaky. 

If you’ve ever come face to face with an angry, aggressive cat you know it’s a deeply uncomfortable, unpredictable and even frightening place to be. 

Know the Score

Aside from litter box issues, aggression is the most common feline behavioral problem facing owners today. It is an important defense mechanism that is hardwired into their DNA, but if it’s left unchecked aggression can create problems at home. 

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When Darkness Falls: Night Time Dangers for Cats (and Owners) to Consider

cat at oakhurst vet nj

Some cats, despite our best efforts, demand to go outdoors. While we know that outside can hold some additional worries for kitty caregivers, things are even more dicey when darkness falls. 

Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital can think of a few night time dangers for cats that make it a little easier to insist that your pet stay in at night.

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Kitty Tidbits: A Brief History of Cat Ownership

cat laying down

In the mid 1980’s clumping cat litter started to fly off the shelves, a move that solidified and catapulted indoor cat ownership. Many cats were kept at home before the discovery of bentonite, but their litter boxes consisted of ash, sawdust, and sand.

At present, approximately 95 million cats live in American homes and a whopping 600 million worldwide (with another 600 million living independently). Without a doubt, the privilege of cat ownership has been around for a long time, but how did our attachment to cats become so embedded in these modern times?

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It’s True. Cats Feel Separation Anxiety, Too

Many myths about cats persist today, including the idea that they like being left alone. They might not be as demanding of an owner’s time and attention as dogs, but cats are social animals with important needs. In fact, when they are apart from the people they love, cats feel separation anxiety, just like dogs and other pets. 

So, what’s an owner to do when they have to leave their cat home alone? Whether it’s for a standard shift for work, or you’re simply stepping out to run errands, there are ways to communicate your devotion to their every feline need.

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Normal or Not: What’s the Deal With Cat Hairballs?

cat laying on window sill

When they aren’t sleeping or eating, the average cat spends an inordinate amount of time cleaning itself. Indeed, cats have strong attachments to tidiness, and they use their barb-covered tongue to get the job done.

It’s only natural that a furry animal with a rough, brush-like tongue would simply have to endure coughing up a hairball or two. Consequently, cat hairballs are simply part of the territory. Until, that is, they indicate a larger problem.

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Beyond the Cute Factor, Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? 

cat laying on bed

In the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews’ character, Maria, sings about a few of her favorite things. The top of the list – even before copper kettles and brown-paper packages tied up with string – includes “whiskers on kittens.”

Of course, whiskers on kittens and adult cats are quite adorable, but do they actually serve a purpose? Indeed, cats have whiskers for many reasons! And incredible abilities of cat whiskers give us even more reasons to love felines! 

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Innovation, Intervention: The Many Ways We Can Help (and Handle) Feral Cats 

feral cat

A common denominator in rural, urban and suburban communities worldwide is the ubiquitous presence of cats. Some free-roamers may actually “belong” to someone, possibly somewhere nearby. But if you see them skulking around on a regular basis, they are equally likely to be stray or feral cats. 

Highly territorial and incredibly effective at reproducing, feral cat colonies need more help than you might think. Seemingly self-sufficient, these cats are prone to illness and injury, and lead relatively short lives compared to domestic felines.

All Inclusive

Feral cats haven’t had opportunities to be nurtured or socialized by humans. Stray cats, on the other hand, previously lived with people and through no fault of their own became homeless. 

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To Bathe or Not to Bathe a Cat? 

wet cat

There are lots of fun things to do in life, and yet sometimes we’re faced with a sticky or serious situation that results in giving a cat a bath. Do they really need it? In most cases, the answer is no but there are occasions when your cat or kitten might need your gentle assistance.

The feline in need of cleaning up may regard human efforts with absolute fear and loathing, and they know exactly how to defend themselves. If you’ve ever wondered how to best bathe a cat (without getting your eyes clawed out), or you’d simply like to be prepared for this eventuality, we have some ideas to keep everyone safe and relatively calm.

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Up, Down, All Around: What Your Cat’s Tail Is Really Saying

cat running

Cat owners generally know when their cat is hungry, restless or affectionate simply by recognizing and interpreting their vocalizations or body language. While cats can be quite specific about their needs, they can also be incredibly subtle. When it comes to fully understanding feline communication, taking a close look at your cat’s tail can go a long way.

Between the Felines

People usually cannot pick up the scent signals deposited by cats, but we can definitely observe their unique layers of body language and listen closely for variations of vocalizations. Without a doubt, cats can be pretty clear communicators, but that doesn’t mean we always know implicitly what they’re trying to say. 

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Waiting Game: How to Behave in a Pet Hospital Lobby

cat with cone on neck

Nobody likes to wait. Even if we’re prepared for long lines at places like the DMV, even the most patient people among us can become pretty irate. 

Imagine, then, how some pets feel when they are taken to their vet appointments. Would the possible wait be worse for them because of the heightened anticipation, or might the time be filled with curiosity and exploration?

Wherever pets sit on this spectrum, the bottom line is that there are many ways to safely get through the time spent in a pet hospital lobby. 

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