Help! My Cat Attacks Me Without Warning

cat being held

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious. Look for answers on why your cat bites or scratches you and you’ll find people telling you it’s all about a competition for dominance.

As any genuine cat lover knows, our cats always dominate us. Most of us have enough humility to love them for it. 

It’s stopping them biting and scratching that we’re after. That’s a whole other story with a wholly different explanation. One where aggression is just a symptom of a problem in the cat-human relationship.

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Designing A Cat Friendly Australian Garden

cat in plants

More and more Australians are building an outdoor enclosure, or catio for their cat. Some make it themselves, others pay specialist companies to do it. Either way, there are two things that often get overlooked.

The first, assuming you plan on using them, is choosing plants that are safe for cats. I’ll cover that later with an Australian perspective. The second is designing the space from a cat’s point of view. Let’s do that first.

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Which Cat Scratcher Do Cats Use Most?

cat on scratcher

We all know that cats like to ‘sharpen their claws’, but it’s amazing how little we actually know about it. Yet scratching in cats is extremely important.

It’s:

  • a genuine need of cats
  • a significant source of concern for cat owners
  • a leading cause of surrender to shelters
  • the excuse used for surgical declawing of cats

What you see here is typical of veterinary science. Pick a rare disease like arterial thromboembolism and you’ll find lots of good science. Pick a common, everyday, practical problem and it just doesn’t get the same attention.

Finally, I have something to tell you. For the first time, two recent studies have looked at scratcher preferences in kittens and adult cats. They offered cats choices and measured which ones they chose to use more often.

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Adopting an Older Ex Breeder or Shelter Dog

older dog adoption

Not long ago I saw two adult dogs in a row that had just been adopted from their breeder. The first one wasn’t perfectly normal, but he’ll be OK. However, the second one, Jethro was in real trouble. That’s him in the picture.

Right now, he’s frightened of many things in an unpredictable way. He’s frequently frozen and unwilling to move, difficult to walk, wary of strangers and not interested in food. At night he wanders the house unsettled. But he’s also showing signs of the lovely dog within.

Recently I told you that the best age to get a puppy is 7 to 8 weeks old. But there are plenty of dogs and puppies over 16 weeks old needing homes. Here are some examples:

So what happens if you get them? The answer is that they still make great pets, but not all of them and not always in the same way.

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A Puppy Checklist For The Social Distancing Age

puppy socialisation coronavirus

UPDATE 13 May: Limited puppy preschool places are now available at our clinic on Thursday nights. To comply with current regulations, we request that:

  • only one person comes with each puppy
  • class members wait outside until the start time

For puppies elsewhere in the world, I’m afraid that the puppies of the next few months won’t grow up the same. I fear that this virus will change how they enjoy the rest of their lives. But I also think you can do something about it.

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How To Stop Your Dog Eating Poo

Try looking for answers when your dog eats their own stool and you’ll quickly see the problem. All the advice is the same.

Some top sites have literally cut and pasted the content from others, and those that haven’t appear to be just rewriting what everyone else says. The reason is simple: because no-one has all the answers.

A recent study (and the only good one) found that success rates with the sort of methods they discuss are only 1-4%. And it’s even worse if you try one of the many products being sold: 0-2%!

This fits exactly with my experience over 25 years. But it’s not hopeless! I’m going to use what I’ve learnt plus the evidence to give you practical, realistic advice. There’ll be a lot less promises, but also a lot less wasted effort.

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