Ask the Vet


Dear Dr. Schelling,

Halloween can be a scary time for cats and people who care about cats. What can I do to make this holiday as safe and pleasant as possible for my cat? (I will also be sharing your answer with my neighbor; she has an indoor-outdoor cat.)

– Be Kind to Felines

Dear "Be Kind to Felines,"

There are a number of threats to cats around Halloween: the commotion of trick-or-treaters, rowdy parties, a profusion of candy and sweets, and the possibility that people who dislike cats may be more emboldened about expressing their hostility toward them. Fortunately, a few common sense preventive steps can go a long way toward placing your cat out of harm's way and setting your mind at ease. This article – HOW TO KEEP YOUR CAT SAFE AND HAPPY ON HALLOWEEN – outlines measures you can start taking now to help ensure an enjoyable, stress-free Halloween for all. You may want to show the article to your neighbor. At the very least, let her know that for her cat's safety, she should keep her cat inside during this holiday.

Click here to read full article

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Halloween Bonus Article
Cats Inspire Fanciful, Friendly, and Frightful Reactions in Humans

Cats have certain qualities that are endearing or enchanting to us but may induce fear in those who are unfamiliar with felines. For example, cats are stealthy – this is part of their hunting acumen which enables them to survive in the wild – and some people find this disconcerting. Unfortunately, too often the human response to behaviors we don't understand is to consider them – and the individuals who engage in them – evil or undesirable. The good news is that each year, more and more people are discovering the wonder and companionship of cats, and hopefully, over time, negative stereotypes of cats will be replaced by widespread respect for their true (though sometimes subtle) magnificence.

The following article looks at how and why cats have been both revered and feared, beloved and disdained throughout history; it also notes differences in cat lore from place to place: PERCEPTIONS AND MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT CATS.

Click here to read full article


Can you help settle a bet? My roommate says our cat arches her back to look menacing. I say she just does it to stretch. Which of us is right?

– Arch rivals Wade and John

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Dear Arch Rivals,

You both deserve a plate of catnip and some chin scratches. When cats want to make themselves look larger and more intimidating – usually because they sense a threat – they arch their backs and raise the fur along their spinal columns. They might also do this in a less serious manner when playing or trying to initiate play.

Cats also arch their backs as part of a stretching routine, especially after a nap. You'll often see cats alternate making their backs concave and convex, to work the kinks out and maybe to help wake up. You humans should try this – though you won't get as dramatic an arch as cats do, since we have more vertebrae than you. Actually, if you do yoga, you may already know this move.


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Questions? Email me at
PLAY-N-SQUEAK BRAID-Y CAT: A mouse in the house? Yes, the best kind (according to my people) – the Play-n-Squeak "Braidy Cat" mouse! When the little guy is in my territory, I become Super Fast Kitty, the mouse hunter. Zoom, I swat him, and he goes squeaking down the hall. Zoom, I catch up to him and decisively pounce on him; again he squeaks – so fun! Plus he has catnip! Eventually, I lay down, victoriously, my defeated prey next to me (or sometimes under me). Don't take him away from me right away – I want to savor the moment, and also, you know, I'm no Fraidy Cat when the Braidy-Cat mouse is out!

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The following reviews were submitted by the
"Phantom of the Office" Cat

KITTY BAT: Made from durable Berber fabric and filled with frighteningly fresh catnip. Kitty will enjoy batting at Kitty Bat!

SPOOKY DOO: Ultra-soft shaggy fleece fabric and organic catnip filling makes for playful fun at Halloween and any time of year.

PLUNKY: Can a toy be so cute it's scary? Yes!

YEOWWW!-LOWEEN PUMPKIN CATNIP TOY: Get your cat into the Halloween spirit with this fun, spooooky jack-o-lantern catnip toy.

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Some shelters have black cat adoption fairs. Only black cats are at these events. The idea is to give potential adopters a chance to see the individual personalities of these often-overlooked felines.
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.  Cats have never forgotten this.
play n squeak braidy cat toy kitty bat spooky doo plunky yeowww-loween pumpkin catnip toy