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Scratching Behavior in Cats

Managing scratching behavior in cats

Cats scratch for a variety of reasons:  to maintain the health of their nails (discarding the dead outer sheath and exposing the new growth underneath), to stretch out the muscles in their shoulders and back, to mark their territory around other cats, and to serve as an emotional outlet (scratching after being startled, frustrated, or relieved at the owner returning home).   Cats need to scratch just as puppies need to chew, so the owner’s goal is not to eliminate the behavior but to manage it in the safest and least destru

When Your Mild Cat Becomes a Wild Cat

When your mild cat becomes a wild cat: Managing play aggression in cats

You know it, because you’ve seen it:  that look in your cat’s eyes right before he dive-bombs your ankles, cuffs your sleeve or bites your arm.  He might appear to be enjoying a petting session, then suddenly grab your hand in his mouth; other times, he may charge you on the way to the bathroom.  You may wonder, especially if biting or scratching is involved, if it’s in play or if your cat actually means to harm you.  While each case is individual, the following methods ma

Petting-Induced Aggression

Petting-induced aggression and overstimulation

It’s hard not to feel hurt: you were simply stroking your lovely new cat, when she suddenly clamped her claws around your arm and bit you!  What in the world would make your sweet cat behave this way?

Aggression in Household Cats

Aggression in household cats

By Victoria L. Voith, DVM, PhD, and Peter L. Borchelt, PhD
 

Myth: Aggressive behavior between household cats requires finding another home for one of them.

Miss Smith has two castrated male cats that are 5 and 6 years of age. They had always gotten along well until a few weeks ago, when they suddenly began fighting. Now, every time they see each other they hiss, attack each other and then run away. There is no indication that their behavior is getting better.

Litter Box 101: Preventing and Solving Litter Box Problems

Litter Box 101: Preventing and solving litter box problems

Housetraining cats and kittens

Most cats and kittens require little training to use their litter box, as they have an innate desire to dig and bury their waste.  The challenge for owners is to see that the behavior continues!  Once a cat or kitten has developed undesirable toilet habits, the problem can be very difficult to resolve.  Here are some suggestions that will help keep your cat or kitten using his litter box.

Bringing Kitty Home: A First Day Guide

Bringing kitty home: A first day guide

The arrival of a new cat is exciting for adopters, but frequently confusing and stressful for the cat itself.  Whether introducing your cat to your family or to other pets, first impressions matter, and failure to plan ahead can negatively affect long-term success.  Take the following steps on Fluffy’s first day to get everyone off to a great start!

Preparing Your Cat for a New Baby

Preparing your cat for a new baby

As if expectant mothers don’t have enough to think about…now they might find themselves inundated with comments such as, “Of course you have to re-home your cat!”  or “Don’t you know cats steal babies’ breath?” (They don’t.)  The reality is that most fears are overblown, and that your cat can still be a loved -- and loving-- part of your family even after a new baby has come home.  To be sure, there are steps to take to ensure a smooth transition from cat-centered to baby-center

Introducing Your Dog to a New Baby

Introducing your dog to a new baby

When anticipating the arrival of a new baby, special care must be taken to prepare the family dog – or dogs – for the big changes to come.  Planning ahead and taking precautions are key in making the transition a smooth one for everyone involved.  

Adding a New Cat to Your Household

Adding a new cat to your household

Many people who adopt a cat from the Animal Humane Society enjoy their feline companion so much that they return later with the idea of adding a second cat.  They often ask the questions, “How is Daisy going to react?” and “Is this going to work?”  The answer is, “Probably, but it’s not always easy to predict how a cat will react; you won’t know for sure until you try.”  Unlike canines, most felines do not live in social groups, yet there are millions of homes where two or more cats l

Introducing Dogs and Cats

Introducing dogs and cats

Despite the stereotype of “fighting like cats and dogs,” many adopted dogs learn to live peacefully with resident cats, whether puppies or adults.  The most important thing for adopters to know is that this adjustment is a process, not a one-time introduction.  Care must be taken to introduce dogs and cats slowly, making the process as stress-free and pleasant as possible.  Adopters must then be prepared to manage their pets’ interactions for the next several weeks, if not longer.

Animal Humane Society locations

Buffalo

4375 Hwy. 55 S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
(763) 390-3647

Operating hours
Directions

Coon Rapids

1411 Main St. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 862-4030

Operating hours
Directions

Golden Valley

845 Meadow Ln. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422
(763) 522-4325

Operating hours
Directions

St. Paul

1115 Beulah Ln.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-7387

Operating hours
Directions

Woodbury

9785 Hudson Rd.
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 730-6008

Operating hours
Directions

  • Administration
    (763) 522-4325
  • Animal Admissions
    (763) 412-4969
  • Pet Behavior Helpline
    (763) 489-2202
  • Boarding
    (763) 489-2222
  • More contact info »