Ask the Vet


Dear Dr. Schelling,

It’s official: My husband and I are expecting kittens—from the shelter, that is! Clancy and Calvin are two rambunctious six-month old kittens who are about to get spoiled! Our biggest concern: We know kittens can get into trouble because they're so small and agile and they let their curiosity get the best of them. We have a three-story townhouse; there must be a million safeguards we have to implement. Can you point us in the right direction?

Dear Nadia,

Congratulations on your new family members! Yes, your energetic kitties will discover every nook and cranny of your home to which they have access. You're also right that homes tend to be filled with dangers and risks for cats. The kitchen has the stove, the utility room has the washer and dryer, the living room may have a fireplace, and so on. Being aware of potential danger spots and proactively blocking access to them and/or making them safer can make a big difference in your cats' security—as well as your peace of mind. This important new article covers the most common areas of concern in a typical home, specific cat-proofing measures, and general safety precautions you should take to create a cat-friendly environment.

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Dr. Schelling is now on Facebook! Get up to date information on cat health, care, behavior and much more!

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When I visit friends who have cats, I'm not sure how to meet and greet their cats. Some friends' cats are very social or used to me and come right over, but others are shy, or have never seen me and are cautious. For the latter group, how do I break the ice without scaring them off? And for cats who seem comfortable with me, is it ok to take it to the level and play with them?


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Dear Patty,

Thank you for thinking about how best to make your acquaintance with cats, and for considering the cats' point of view. Here are two guidelines to always keep in mind:

  • Ask the cat's human staff for recommendations.
  • Respect the cat; let the cat set the pace.

The following article has advice on when and how to introduce yourself to cats, and even has some tips on greeting the familiar feline who runs your household...


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BIRD ON A WIRE: This bird is my favorite playmate! I like to jump up and bat him with my paws when he is 'flying' around the office, and when he isn't looking I love to tackle him to the ground (I have to make sure he doesn't forget who the boss is around here).

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KITTYBAGS CATNIP MICE: When the Kittybags Catnip Mouse shows up, it's mayhem! I'm speeding down the hall, bouncing off walls, and having a great ol' time chasing the little critter. My humans say I create tornadoes in the room when I play with the Catnip Mouse! What is it about this toy that brings out my inner Krazy Kat? Its sublime simplicity? Its burst of catnip? No time to think about that now; I have to go catch my favorite mouse!

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A cat has five more vertebrae in her spinal column than her human does.
As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. -Ellen Perry Berkeley
Bird On A Wire Kittybags Catnip Mice