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By Pam Johnson-Bennett
Published by PENGUIN BOOKS USA on 2016-10-18
SCIENCE, PETS / Cats
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Praise for Pam 'Johnson-''Bennett 'She can, in fact, work miracles with problem cats.' '''Pet Life magazine 'Every day is 'Caturday? for cat lovers! And to strengthen our bond with our precious feline friends, Pam's advice is simply the best. As a proud pet parent of three cats, our home is full of purrs, meows, and love, thanks to Pam's wisdom and training methods.' '''Robin R. Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO, American Humane Association 'Cats are like pieces of art that grace your home and throw up on your laptop, but oh how we love them, and nobody knows the ways of the mysterious feline any better than Pam 'Johnson-''Bennett. If you are holding this book, be prepared to learn more about cats than you ever could have imagined. Seven kitties own my wife, Mary, and me right now, and we need to learn all we can! Thanks, Pam!' '''Joseph S. Bonsall, ? forty-''two-''year member of the American music group The Oak Ridge Boys 'I have been a big fan of Pam's for a long time. Her sound advice and unique insight into cat behavior have helped thousands of cats.' '''Beth Stern, spokesperson, North Shore Animal League America 'Pam's knowledge and her books are truly lifesaving words of wisdom for countless owners of felines, and especially for the cats that would have otherwise found themselves homeless or in a shelter without her guidance.' '''Megan Brodbine Williams, cofounder, Nashville Cat Rescue 'Pam 'Johnson-''Bennett's work makes an important contribution to our ability to understand, appreciate, and live in harmonious and loving partnership with the unique and amazing creature that is the cat.' '''Jane Lumbatis, executive director, Georgia SPCA
'Pam 'Johnson-''Bennett's works are staple recommendations for my cat clients. Her books are highly readable and contain information based on the true science of cat behavior. This book will bene't both cat owners and animal professionals. CatWise should be required reading for anyone owning or working with cats.' '''Lore I. Haug, DVM, MS, diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, Texas Veterinary Behavior Services 'The queen of cat behavior!' '''Steve Dale, author of the syndicated newspaper column My Pet World
penguin books CATWISE Pam ? Johnson-''Bennett is one of the most popular and ? sought-''after cat behavior experts in the world. She is the author of seven 'award-''winning books on cat behavior, including Think Like a Cat, Hiss and Tell, Starting from Scratch, and Cat vs. Cat. Pam has a private ? cat-''consulting practice in Nashville, is a popular guest on national TV and radio, has starred on Animal Planet UK's series Psycho Kitty, and has spoken on cat behavior at veterinary and 'animal-''welfare conferences around the world. During her more than 'thirty-''year career, she has been pro'led widely, has written for many national magazines, and is the former behavior columnist for Cats magazine, iVillage, Yahoo!, Cat Fancy's Cat Channel, Kittens USA, The Daily Cat, and Catster. A certi'ed cat behavior consultant, she was VP of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and founded the IAABC Cat Division. Pam served on the American Humane Association's Advisory Board on Animal Behavior and Training. She has received many awards, including the Winn Feline Foundation Award, multiple Cat Writers? Association awards, and the IAABC Cat Division Award. Pam lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two children, a rescued Bengal cat, a rescued Sheltie, one ? well-''trained gold'sh, and two not'so''well-''trained gold'sh. Learn more about Pam's techniques and recommendations at www .catbehaviorassociates.com.
CatWise America's Favorite Cat Expert Answers Your Cat Behavior Questions Pam ? Johnson-''Bennett PENGUIN BOOKS
PENGUIN BOOKS An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC 375 Hudson Street New York, New York 10014 penguin.com Copyright ? 2016 by Pam ? Johnson-''Bennett Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader. Cover photograph by Don Wright Illustrations by Norris Hall Studio. Copyright ? 2016 by Pam Johnson-Bennett Cats featured on cover were rescued by The Cat Shoppe in Nashville, Tennessee. library of congress cataloging'in'publication data Names: Johnson-Bennett, Pam, 1954'author. Title: Catwise : America's favorite cat expert answers your cat behavior questions / Pam Johnson-Bennett. Description: New York, New York : Penguin Books, 2016. Identi'ers: LCCN 2016000873 | ISBN 9780143129561 Subjects: LCSH: Cats'Behavior. Classi'cation: LCC SF446.5.J633 2016 | DDC 636.8'dc23 Printed in the United States of America 1? 3? 5? 7? 9? 10? 8? 6? 4? 2 Set in Chaparrel Pro Designed by Katy Riegel The information provided in this book is not intendend as medical diagnosis and should not replace your cat's veterinary care. While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and other contact information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or 'third-''party Web sites or their content.
To my husband, Scott And to my precious children, Gracie and Jack You are my everything l To my mother For a lifetime of love
Acknowledgments 'You're writing another cat book'? 'Yes, Mom.' 'What else is there to say about cats'? 'Plenty.' 'When are you going to get a real career'? This is the typical exchange my mother and I would have whenever she learned I was working on yet another cat book. Don't get me wrong, she loved cats and had two who lived into old age, but in her mind, writing about cats wasn't going to provide professional and 'nancial security. Up'until my ? mid-''forties, she still had hopes that I would see the light and become a music teacher or a nurse. I think it was close to my 'ftieth birthday that she stopped mentioning how even people my age could go back to college. I guess she 'nally surrendered to the fact that the daughter she raised had somehow squeezed out a living writing about cats, or maybe she realized that my stubborn streak was probably inherited from her. Still, whenever we were together, she'd try to slip some money in my pocket to ensure that my family wasn't starving because of my career choice. Before she passed away, my mother was in the beginning stages of
Acknowledgments Alzheimer's disease. She was unaware that I had a very successful behavior business, continued to author several more books, and even had my own television series. I am so very grateful that she still knew who I was, and I cherish the fact that out of love, she continued to try to push a few dollars into my hand. Somewhere deep inside her, though, I think she knew I did OK despite the fact I never became a music teacher. I owe an unending ? thank-''you to my mother for a lifetime of love and the stubbornness to follow my heart. Thank you to my husband, Scott, for 'lling every one of my days with love. You were the answer to my prayers, and I thank God for feeling that I deserved such blessings. Thank you to Gracie and Jack for the love and joy you give me every day. I am so proud to be your mom. Thank you for'being proud of me, as well. It means everything. Thank you to Don Wright of Don Wright Designs. I am so grateful to be the bene'ciary of your amazing talent and friendship. We've traveled quite a long road to'? gether. Thank you to my agent, Linda Roghaar, for years of ? hand-''holding, cheerleading, incredible wisdom, and nurturing support. Thank you to the editor of my dreams, Wendy Wolf. You always amaze me. Thank you to Bill Talmadge, my producer. Words really can't express my gratitude. Special thanks to Mike Sword and Brad Danks. Thank you to the amazingly talented Norris Hall for your illustrations. Thank you to Marilyn Krieger for many years of a cherished friendship. Thank you to the veterinarians focusing on cat health and behavior. You make a huge difference by spotlighting the needs of animals who have been viewed as ? second-''class pet citizens for too many years. Thank you to my dear friends at Animal Care Veterinary Hospital. What an amazing group of professional and compassionate animal experts. Extra thanks to Dr. Kyle Daniel. Special mention to Dr. Mark Waldrop and the Nashville Cat Clinic for being one of the true pioneers in recognizing years ago there was a need for a ? cats-''only clinic. You've been my cat hero for many years. Thank you to Megan Brodbine and Nashville Cat Rescue for your tireless dedication'toward caring for the cats forgotten by so many. Thank you to Best Friends Animal Society for setting the standard when it comes to making sure every animal has a chance to be loved and for inspiring us to never give up until we have saved them all. Thank you to Chris Achord and the Cat Shoppe for years of love and devotion to cat welfare. De? cades'ago, you raised the bar for cat rescue. Thank you to the Farm at Natchez Trace for your devotion to local pet parent education through
Acknowledgments xi your summer lecture series. A huge 'thank-''you to the many clients I've had since I 'rst began in this 'eld in 1982. It has always been my dream to make life better for cats and the people who love them. Thank you for giving me that opportunity. What an honor it has been to be a part of your lives.
Contents Introduction xxi Chapter 1 'Impossible ''Kitten: (Getting started with that adorable ball of nonstop energy) 1 How do I know which kitten to choose? 1 What supplies do I need for a new kitten? 3 What do I need to know 'rst about the care and training of a kitten? 4 How do I ? kitten-''proof my house? 8 Is it better to adopt two kittens? 10 How do I teach my kitten to accept being petted? 13 How can I train my kitten to handle changes? 14 How can I teach my kitten to stop biting me during play? 15 Chapter 2 Boot Camp (Training basics for you and your cat) 17 What should we do the 'rst night we bring our new cat home? 17 What mistakes should we watch out for when cat training? 20 What can I do to keep my cat's mind sharp? 23 Should I use a squirt bottle? 24 How do I get my cat to stop meowing so much? 26 Why won't my cat listen when I'm training him? 27 Can cats be ? clicker-''trained? 29 How do I train my cat to accept nail trims? 33
xiv Contents How do I get my cat to let me brush his teeth? 35 How do I give my cat a pill? 36 Are there behavioral reasons to neuter/'spay cats? 39 Chapter 3 Social Media (How cats communicate with us and each other) 42 When a cat purrs, does that mean he's happy? 42 How do cats use scent to communicate? 45 Do cats create a group scent? 47 How should I approach a cat I'm meeting for the 'rst time? 48 What does my cat's meow mean? 50 Why does my cat raise her butt up when I pet her? 52 What does it mean when my cat rubs his head on me? 53 Why does my cat sit facing away from me? 54 Why do cats hiss? 54 What is a cat kiss? 55 Why do cats flex their claws on people? 56 Why does my cat want attention when I'm on the phone? 57 Are cats as a'ectionate as dogs? 58 Why does my cat always sit on my daughter's homework? 60 Do cats communicate with their whiskers? 60 Do cats communicate with their tails? 62 Why does my cat chatter? 63 Why does my cat sometimes make such a ? terrible-''looking face? 63 Why does my cat lick my hair? 64 Why do cats sleep so much? 65 Chapter 4 The Scoop on Poop and Pee (Creating good vibes at the litter box) 68 Will my kitten instinctively know how to use a litter box? 68 What do I need for my cat's litter box setup? 71 Do cats prefer covered litter boxes? 73
Contents xv Which litter is best? 75 How much litter should I put in the box? 76 How often should I scoop the litter box? 77 Does it matter to the cat if I switch brands of litter? 78 How do I know what size litter box is best? 79 How do I relocate the litter box? 80 How many litter boxes do I need? 80 Are litter box liners a good idea? 81 Should I train my cat to use the toilet? 82 Chapter 5 Stinking Outside the Box (When cats don't pee and poop where you want them to) 85 Why should the cat see the veterinarian for a litter box problem? 85 Why do some cats stop using the litter box? 87 How can I identify which of my cats is peeing outside of the box? 89 Pam's CatWise Clue: Common mistakes people make when trying to solve a cat's litter box problem 91 How do I know if my cat dislikes the litter box location? 93 Why does my cat still pee on the bath mat after the veterinarian treated him? 94 Why does my cat pee in the box but won't poop in it? 95 How do I tell if a cat dislikes the litter? 97 Why does my cat seem nervous in the litter box? 98 How do I clean urine from carpet? 99 Why do cats spray? 101 Why does my cat pee on the bed? 107 Why is my cat urinating in my potted plant? 109 Chapter 6 Demolition Wars (Cat versus ? furniture'''how to help your furniture win the war) 112 Should I declaw my kitten? 112 Why do cats scratch the furniture? 115
xvi Contents How do I know which scratching post to buy? 117 How many scratching posts do I need? 118 Why does my cat scratch the carpet? 120 Should I replace a ? worn-''out scratching post? 120 Chapter 7 Party Animal (The bene'ts of play therapy and how to play with 'cats'''yes, there is a wrong way) 122 What is interactive play therapy? 122 Which toys do cats like best? 124 Why won't my cat play with me? 126 Do you recommend laser light toys? 128 Why has my cat lost interest in his toys? 129 Is it OK to play with my cat in the bed? 130 Why are my cats? playtime styles so di'erent? 131 What is catnip? 132 Chapter 8 Living It Up (Creating a 'cat-''friendly home you and your budget can live with) 135 What is environmental enrichment? 135 Why does my cat climb so much? 140 How do I choose the best cat tree? 141 Do cats need hiding places? 142 Can a cat be happy in a small apartment? 143 Why would a cat need a tunnel? 144 Chapter 9 The Human Element (We can be a hard species to live with) 147 How do I prepare my cat for the arrival of a new baby? 147 How can I help my cat and my toddler become friends? 150
Contents xvii How can I get my cat to stop hating my new husband? 152 Why does my cat approach only my friends who don't like cats? 154 Pam's CatWise Clue: Seven things that make sense to your cat but not to you 154 How can I help my cat be comfortable with my guests? 157 Are cats aloof? 159 Why does my cat bite me when I pet her stomach? 160 Chapter 10 Animal House (Keeping peace when it's reigning cats and dogs) 162 How do I choose a second cat? 162 How do I introduce a second cat? 163 Why do my cats 'ght only at certain times of day? 171 How can I stop mealtime bullying? 172 What can I do to help my cats get along? 174 Should I give up and rehome one of my cats, or can their relationship be saved? 177 How can I help my cat accept my new husband's cat? 180 What's the best way to introduce dogs and cats? 184 How do I keep my dog out of the cat's litter box? 186 How can I train my cat to stay away from the gerbil? 188 Chapter 11 Fraidy Cat (Convincing your cat to come out of hiding) 189 Should I worry about how often my cat is stressed? 189 Pam's CatWise Clue: What causes stress in cats 193 Do cats experience separation anxiety? 194 How can I help my cat to not be so afraid? 197 How do you help a cat with a fear of thunderstorms? 200 What can I do to reduce my cat's stress at the veterinary clinic? 201 Pam's CatWise Clue: Eight tips on how to be a good veterinary client 206 Why is my cat grooming himself bald? 207
xviii Contents Chapter 12 Don't Do That (Training your cat to stop doing those things that really annoy you) 211 Does my cat misbehave because he's mad at me? 211 How do I stop my cat from chewing my houseplants? 213 When my cat bites me, is it for attention? 216 Why does my cat suck on fabric? 217 Why does my cat steal things? 219 Pam's CatWise Clue: The must-have checklist for solving your cat's behavior problem 223 How can I keep my cat o? the counter? 226 Why does my cat wake me at three a.m.' 228 How can I stop my cat from unrolling the toilet paper? 231 How can I prevent my cat from darting out the door? 232 Why does my cat chew on socks? 234 Why does my cat attack my ankles? 235 How do I keep my cat away from the Christmas tree? 236 How do I stop my cat from chewing on electrical cords? 240 Chapter 13 Bad Moods (How to deal with feline aggression) 242 Why is my cat aggressive? 242 Why did my cat attack the other cat after visiting the veterinarian? 245 Why does my cat bite me when I pet him? 247 Why would my cats suddenly become enemies? 249 Pam's CatWise Clue: Ten tips for calming an out'of'control cat 252 Why does my cat attack his tail? 253 How do I 'nd a behavior expert to help my cat? 254