Ask the Vet


Dear Dr. Schelling,

Our cat Renaldo hates closed doors. He wants to see what's on the other side—especially if one of us in the room beyond the door. And he doesn't care which room that might be, if you get my drift. He'll claw at the door, trying to pry it open, or plant himself in front of the door and meow mournfully, hoping we'll understand his plight and open the door for him. Any advice?

Dear Samantha,

This issue is not uncommon. Cats are curious and social, and may see doors as undesirable barriers. Solutions depend somewhat on the door's function. For instance, if a door blocks Renaldo's access to a dangerous place, it must remain closed, but you likely can implement a combination of disincentives to hanging out by the door and distractions that draw Renaldo elsewhere. This and other options for peacefully reconciling human and feline attitudes toward doors are explained in this new article.

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As you know, cats love to have their chins scratched as well as rub their chins on things. Since I can't scratch my cat's chin constantly—which she'd like—is there any way I can help her get the same enjoyment on her own?

–Time-crunched cat servant

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Dear Time-crunched,

I'm not sure which I like more—a luxurious chin-scratching session or marking everything in the house with my chin to declare that it's mine. This video shows how to use a simple piece of cardboard, wedged between an interior door and an adjoining wall, to increase your cat's chin-scratching opportunities. She'll rub her chin on the cardboard to say "this is mine" or because it feels good. For best results, use this technique on doors that are in or near kitty's frequently-traveled routes or favorite hanging-out places. After a while, the cardboard will lose its stiffness, at which point you can replace it.


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ZANIES LIL' KITTEN SWEETHEARTS: I'm not allowed to have those little heart candies with the words on them but I can have Lil' Kitten Sweethearts! The hearts are filled with crunchy paper that drive me nuts when I bite, bat and fling these toys across the room.

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CATNIP CANDY STICKS: For a pre-Valentine's Day gift, my humans gave me a Candy Stick catnip toy. Purrr! Present this colorfully-patterned toy to the special cat in your life, and you'll be delighted as kitty bats it across the floor, tosses it in the air, pounces on it, and playfully gnaws and claws it. To sweeten the deal, the catnip inside is rated Top Quality by the Department of Cat Happiness and Entitlement.

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Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
What greater gift than the love of a cat? -Charles Dickens
Zanies Lil' Kitten Sweethearts Catnip Candy Sticks