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December 10, 2020 – With more people than ever sharing their homes with cats, a good understanding of what makes our feline friends tick can be the difference between harmony and strife in your home. Learning a few basics about feline behavior can help you and your cat have an even better relationship.

  1. True or False - Cats, because they’re not fully domesticated, are not trainable.

False! You can train your cat to sit, wait and do tricks!

  1. Which of the following is true about kittens?
  • Unlike puppies, kittens don’t need to be socialized to other cats or people.
  • Food is the best reward for training and socializing kittens.
  • Early handling of kittens should be done by one person.

This was a trick question – all of these statements are false!

Studies show that the more people that handle kittens when they’re young, the better. However, interactions should never be forced. Start with short periods of interaction (two to three minutes at most) and then gradually work up to longer sessions.

  1. True or False: When introducing a new cat to a household, it takes about one month for the cats to accept each other.

True – studies show that within a month, 67% of cats will accept a new cat into the household.

  1. True or False: Sex, age and number of cats in a household were not factors that influenced whether a new cat would be accepted.

True – surprisingly, the same study showed that while there are challenges to introducing a new cat, problems were independent of these factors.

  1. Which of the following is false about fighting and playing in cats?
  • Cats that are playing can be distracted – cats that are fighting are not distractible.
  • Cats that are playing will often take turns being the aggressor.
  • Vocalization is common in both settings, so is not a good indicator of play or fighting.
  • Play rarely results in serious injuries.

The third statement is false! When cats are fighting, they tend to be much more vocal than cats that are just playing.

  1. What is the percentage of cats between 16 and 19 years of age that have some behavior changes related to cognitive decline?
  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80+%

More than 80% of elderly cats have some kind of behavior signs related to age. The most frequently reported by owners are vocalization and aimless wandering.

  1. True or False: Elderly cats do not need playtime with their owners.

This a resounding false! Recent studies show that elderly cats need playtime for stimulation as much as younger cats and they like the same types of toys. Just like older people, older cats need mental stimulation to help ward off cognitive declines.

How you can help:

Morris Animal Foundation is committed to funding feline behavior studies that will help you and your cat have a wonderful, healthy and lasting relationship.

Our feline friends bring limitless joy and love into our lives. You can return the favor by giving them the gift of a longer, healthier life and more time with you. By helping us fund feline health studies, you can make a difference in the lives of cats everywhere.