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Cat Behavioral Counseling


This collection of Cat Behavioral Counseling articles has been curated for you by Harlingen Veterinary Clinic. If you would like to talk to a veterinarian, please give us a call at 908-332-5057.

The Veterinary Lobby: Safety Tips for Cats

A visit to the veterinarian with your cat can potentially be a stressful undertaking for both you and your pet, from wrangling them up at home and getting them into the carrier, to arriving at a hectic hospital lobby. On the other hand, for some people, maybe it’s a fun adventure. Perhaps your cat gets into the carrier without issue and travels well. It can also be fun to see other pets and pet owners at the hospital.


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Why Cats Knock Things Over

Whether you find it amusing or frustrating - or a little of both - the fact is if you own a cat, they are going to knock objects off any elevated surface, such as your desk or a table. Are they simply trying to be annoying, or is there a reason for this behavior? Dog people will use this as an example of how cats are not intelligent and a reason not to like them.


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Laser Pointers: A Good Idea for Your Cat but Not for Your Dog

Most cats love laser pointers. You can press the button and let the red laser land in a pinpoint on the floor, or the wall...just out of reach of your cat, and watch him pounce. It’s entertaining to watch and it’s entertaining for your cat. They’re not so good, however, for your dog. But first, let’s look at how they benefit your kitty. 


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Inappropriate Elimination: Why Isn’t My Cat Using the Litter Box?

Urinating or defecating outside the litter box, known as inappropriate elimination, is the most common behavioral complaint of cat owners.

Understanding the underlying causes of this condition—and how to treat them appropriately—can help ease the frustration and rebuild the bond between cat lovers and their feline friends.

What causes inappropriate elimination?

Inappropriate elimination can be caused by medical or behavioral issues.


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Training Your Cat to Scratch Appropriately

Contrary to popular belief, most cats can be trained. Owners can reinforce desired behavior in food-motivated pets by applying the treat as the cat completes the wanted behavior. The goal is to elicit the wanted behavior first so that you can reinforce it.

We know that cats scratch in order to:

  • Stretch and exhibit normal behavior
  • Scent mark an object
  • Condition their claws
  • Ward away unwanted attention

We supply cats with adequate scratching surfaces so they can exhibit their normal behavior.


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Aging Pets and Cognitive Dysfunction

Degenerative brain disease, or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), is far more common than you may think. CDS is defined as a loss in learning, memory, and awareness. It results in varying stages of dementia. 


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