Are you unknowingly stressing out your cat?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be stressing out your cat.

Do you punish your cat?
Swatting and hitting your cat only teaches it to fear your approach. Telling your cat “no” only interrupts the behavior. Instead, show your cat what you want it to do, and reward it for appropriate behaviors.

Do you assume your cat “knows” English?
Animals communicate using body language and are very good at figuring us out. It’s surprisingly easy to train a cat to do behaviors on cue. Just don’t assume your cat understands what you’re saying without teaching it what you want it to do first.

Do you grab your cat’s head to tousle its hair?
Nobody likes to have their head grabbed and rubbed and cats are no different! Most cats prefer a few long strokes from head to tail; others prefer a small amount of gentle scratching around the chin or ears. Many cats get irritated by an extended period of repetitive stroking.

Do you hug or kiss your cat?
Cats like to be able to move and escape situations. When we hold them tightly, they may become stressed, anticipating that something bad is going to happen.

Do you ever neglect your cat’s litter box?
Nobody likes to use a dirty toilet—including your cat. Imagine not flushing your own toilet for three or four days!  Ideally, the litter box should be scooped every time you notice waste. Otherwise, they should be scooped at least once daily. Most need to be completely emptied and cleaned every one to two weeks.
Regular scooping also allows you to identify early signs of illness such as diarrhea, constipation, or excessive or lack of urination.

Is your cat’s litter box is in an inconvenient location?
The spot you’ve chosen for the litter box might
work best for you, but a cat that has to negotiate humans of all ages, other pets, stairs, or loud appliances
might feel like the journey is a suicide mission every time it needs to eliminate.

Do you tempt your cat to play by wiggling your fingers or toes, then get angry when it bites or scratches you?
Cats naturally grab “prey” using their teeth and claws. Offer your cat the appropriate chew toys so it knows that hands are for loving—not biting!

Do you leave your cat home alone with a jumbo-sized portion of food and one litter box while you go on vacation for a long weekend?
Especially for cats that eat quickly, this can be stressful because they’ll have no food left by the end of the weekend.  Cats can become sick if they don’t eat every day.  Timed feeders can be helpful in this situation. A self-cleaning litter box may also be a reasonable option, but don’t rely on it—it’s important that you pay attention to the frequency and quality of your pet’s eliminations so you can identify any changes that could indicate stress-induced health problems such as cystitis, constipation, and diarrhea.

Do you use strong-smelling cleansers, deodorizers, and products containing alcohol?
Cats’ noses are sensitive, and these scents can be offensive to them. Be careful about the use of these products in your home or on your person. Some cats may even find the smell of hair spray, perfume, or cologne unpleasant.

Do you ever add new cats to your home without an introduction period?
When an unrelated cat appears and tries to join a related group, it’s in the cats’ nature to attack and force the outsider to leave. Without a proper period of controlled, gradual introduction, the chance of aggression between cats and stress increases.


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.