Overgrooming (psychogenic alopecia) in Cats

 

What is over-grooming in cats?

Over-grooming is a stress-related disorder and can be classified as obsessive-compulsive behaviour. During grooming, endorphins (hormones which make your cat happy) are released, making grooming a pleasurable and relaxing pursuit.  So it seems quite natural that when the cat becomes stressed, he attempts to calm himself down by pursuing a relaxing activity such as grooming.

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Nocturnal Cats – How To Stop The Night Time Crazies

Nocturnal cats

A common complaint among cat lovers is that their cats keep them awake on a night. We hope to address how you can change your cat’s sleeping habits so that you are all in sync.

The cat’s sleep cycle

It is important to understand that cats are naturally crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn.  Humans are diurnal, meaning we typically are awake during the daytime and sleep at night. The aim is to re-train your cat to follow a similar sleep pattern to you.

What can I do to re-train my cat to sleep through the night?

  • Immediately after playing with your cat, feed him a high protein meal. This
    mimics what happens in the wild. Ie: stalking, hunting, killing and eating the prey.
  • Discourage catnapping, especially in the early evening.
  • Start as you plan to continue. If you want to discourage cats from sleeping in your bedroom, it is easier to start from day one.
  • Close your bedroom door.
  • Get your cat a playmate. If your cat is home alone during the day, he may be more inclined to while away the hours by sleeping. If he has somebody to play with, he may be more active.
  • Schedule play during the daytime/early evening hours. Interactive toys are the best for this so that your cat can satisfy his hunting skills find something he can stalk, chase and finally capture.

What you should not do

  • Get up and play or feed your cat. This reinforces that disruptive behaviour will result in a
    reward, therefore they will continue to do so.
  • Use physical punishment on the cat. Not only is this cruel, but it will only serve to instil fear in your cat. Which is not the kind of relationship you want with your cat. If you are having problems with your cat scratching at the bedroom door try ticking some aluminium foil or bubble wrap over it as cats don’t like the feel. Confine your cat to another room such as the laundry (obviously put in food, water, and a comfy bed).
  • Re-training your cat may take time. With patience, it should be possible for you to get a good nights rest.

Important

If this wakeful behaviour is new it is worth having the cat checked over by a veterinarian as there could be an underlying medical reason for a change in routine.

How To Keep Cats Off Kitchen Counters

How to keep cats off kitchen counters

This is a common question asked of cat owners. Most people assume that a stern ‘get down’, or using a spray bottle will stop your cat jumping onto kitchen benches. What is going to happen by doing this is that your cat will learn not to jump up when you are around, but will continue with this behaviour when you’re not home. Which you don’t want.

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How To Introduce A Cat To A Baby

Introducing a cat to a new baby

There is nothing more exciting than being pregnant and planning for the arrival of your new baby. However, many new parents are naturally concerned with how to introduce their cat to their baby. They worry if the cat will be jealous of the baby, if his nose will be out of joint at the new arrival, if the cat will harm the baby, either intentionally or unintentionally. The good news is that cats and babies can live together. Some cats won’t be bothered or interested at all in the new baby, other cats may have feelings of jealousy.

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