Cat Myths Debunked

Cats are shrouded in superstition, myth, and folklore. People used to think that a cat could suck the breath out of a baby. You’re believed to be the unfortunate recipient of bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. Some cat myths are harmless and even quite interesting, however, believing in certain cat superstitions can put your feline at risk. We’re debunking cat myths so that you can better understand your pet and give him the care that he requires.

Cats Always Land On Their Feet

The Cats Inn explains that felines have especially flexible spines. They can lick their own backs, twist in mid-air, and spring into strange spaces with relative ease. Cats also have a righting reflex that is initiated around four weeks of age. This allows them to rotate their upper bodies to face downward when they feel like they’re falling. Although this reflex helps cats land on their feet, it’s not foolproof. Even if they do land on their feet, they can become injured from a fall. Don’t test this theory by throwing a cat or dropping him off of a high surface. Keep your pet safe by closing upper-story windows and keeping him off the balcony.

Pregnant Women Should Get Rid Of Their Cats

According to the ASPCA, more than 3 million cats end up in shelters every year. Many owners give up their cats when someone in the family becomes pregnant because they fear toxoplasmosis. The condition is caused by a parasite that can come from cat feces. However, the parasite is also found in soil. Also, women are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from undercooked meat than from the litter box.

Most people who contract toxoplasmosis don’t have any symptoms, but pregnant women can pass the infection to their unborn babies, leading to miscarriage or stillbirth. Children with toxoplasmosis can be born with serious issues. Still, the CDC says that pregnant women don’t have to get rid of their cats. They can protect themselves by keeping cats indoors, where they are less likely to become infected with the parasite. They should avoid giving their cats undercooked meat. If they must scoop poop themselves, they should wear gloves and a mask while doing it.

Milk Is Good For Cats

Feeding your pet a high-quality cat food will give him the proper ratio of nutrients. Milk doesn’t add much nutrition to your cat’s diet. In fact, most adult cats don’t have the enzyme that’s necessary to digest lactose, the type of sugar that is found in milk. Therefore, giving your cat milk can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.

Cats And Dogs Can’t Be Friends

Almost half of the pet owners in the U.S. have more than one animal, and the cat-dog combo is common. Those numbers point to the fact that cats and dogs can get along. Their interactions will be guided by their personalities as well as their environment. Some breeds of dogs are more likely to chase cats. Playful, rambunctious dogs shouldn’t be paired with anxious, skittish kittens. Getting your pets to love each other involves matching their personalities.

You can use obedience training to get your dog to leave the cat alone. Giving the cat plenty of places to escape when she wants alone time can also help you manage a household with more than one type of pet. If you’re bringing home a pet for the first time, gradually introduce her to the rest of your furry companions, and never leave them alone together if you’re not sure how they’ll treat each other when you’re away.

Cats Need Outdoor Time To Be Happy

Although cats have held onto more of their wild instincts than dogs, they can be perfectly happy when they’re kept indoors. Most animal experts agree that keeping a cat inside is the best way to keep it safe. An indoor cat can live for 10 to 20 years.

Indoor Cats Don’t Need Vaccinations

Even if you don’t let your cat outdoors, she will need some vaccinations. Core vaccines protect your kitty from the most common feline diseases. If your cat does escape and spend some time outdoors, she’ll be better protected from many additional conditions if she has had her vaccines. Many states require you to vaccinate indoor cats for rabies.  

You Don’t Need To Groom Your Cat

Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves. Some pet owners think that they don’t need to spend time grooming their immaculate kitty. Brushing your cat can help prevent hairballs, which can cause vomiting, and mats which are uncomfortable clusters of knotted hair. Clipping your cat’s nails can prevent the claws from breaking and causing pain. Cleaning your feline’s teeth can help prevent oral diseases and allow you to keep an eye out for growths or tumors.

Cats Can Be Left Alone When You Travel

Your dog needs to be let outside and taken for walks every day. You would never think of leaving him home alone for more than half a day. You may think that your independent cat can take care of herself. Many pet owners take off for up to a week at a time, leaving their cat with food, water, and no supervision. This can be dangerous. Cats can get sick or get into trouble at any time. They should be checked in on at least every 24 hours. Even the most autonomous animals require some playtime and affection. Your sweet kitty could get depressed without human interaction.

Cats Are Hands-Off Pets

Some people get cats as pets because they think that they don’t have to do much to be a responsible pet owner. Caring for a cat is an important job. You have to keep the litter box clean, provide fresh food and water, and give your cat love and attention. Although your cat may be aloof, she still wants to be part of your life. Play with her, stroke her fur, and keep her safe so that she doesn’t become another animal shelter statistic.

Easier Integration: 7 Tips for Introducing a New Animal into a Pet Household

In a perfect world, multiple pets would be introduced into a household simultaneously. Or better yet, all pets would simply coexist harmoniously.

Now, welcome back to the realities facing our world: The timing never works perfectly, so pets typically have staggered introductions into a household. Furthermore, while some pets naturally get along swimmingly, others – for a variety of reasons – struggle just to tolerate one another.

Thankfully, our team of veterinarians has assembled an abundance of knowledge regarding how to successfully integrate pets. Whether going from a single-pet household to a multi-pet household, or from a cat household to a dog-and-cat household (or vice-versa), strategies exist to make this transition smoother for pets and owners alike.

Read on for seven tips to ensure Huckleberry the hound dog and Bob the Maine Coon cat coexist peacefully, if not happily, under one roof.

1. Be Gradual with Cat-to-Cat Introductions

When adding another feline to a cat household, the integration should not occur overnight. In fact, in an ideal scenario, the cats won’t interact for at least a week.

Upon bringing your new cat home, place him in a private room where he’s separated from your resident cat. After a week has elapsed, allow your resident cat to explore outside the door of that room, but don’t crack open the door until all signs of aggression (hissing and growling) are absent.

Finally, bring the new cat into your main living area within his carrier and feed both cats within each other’s presence, thereby sparking an association of pleasure with one another’s company. Once both cats are comfortable in this situation, let them interact under your supervision.

2. Have an Exit Strategy for Cat-to-Dog Integration

Most cats are a regular Houdini, capable of making themselves scarce should a frightening situation present itself. Still, it doesn’t hurt for you to assist your cat with cultivating this inherent talent.

Before adding a dog into your cat household, provide your cat with a variety of escape routes and high-up hiding places that are easily accessible. Your cat must be able to get away from the dog whenever necessary.

Once your cat becomes acclimated to your new dog, he will be less inclined to utilize his escape methods. But even after both animals develop a comfort level, your cat will maintain peace of mind knowing the escape option is always at his disposal.

3. Match Your New Dog to Your Resident Dog

When selecting a new dog to add your family, it’s important to do so with the breed, age, and gender of your current dog in mind. Use foresight to serve as an effective matchmaker.

If the incumbent dog has lots of energy for playing, obtaining a puppy or young adult dog is appropriate. However, if your current dog is unlikely to tolerate the antics and energy of an adolescent dog, consider getting an older dog that will not try to compel your old faithful to play all the time.

It’s recommended to choose a new dog of the opposite sex of your resident dog to reduce the risk of aggression. Also, avoid breeds noted for aggressive behavior when adding a second dog, as it’s preferable for the incumbent dog to retain his “alpha” role within the household.

4. Consider Adding a Puppy for Dog-to-Cat Integration

A puppy is like a blank canvas, and this creates an advantage when it comes to adding a dog to a cat-dominated household.

By obtaining a puppy rather than an adult dog, you’re likely assured of having a dog that will learn to tolerate or even like cats as he grows up. In some cases, puppies have even become playmates for felines.

But regardless of whether the dog you’re attempting to integrate is a puppy or an adult dog, ease the dog-to-cat transition by keeping the new dog on a leash until both animals are calm, letting your cat initiate first contact and preventing your dog from chasing your cat.

5. Weigh All Factors Before Opting to Add Another Cat

If only we could read our cats’ minds. A cat exhibiting signs of boredom may be receptive to having a new friend, but there’s really no way to know for sure ahead of time.

Consequently, since you can’t ask for your cat’s opinion, you should assess various practical considerations carefully before deciding to grow your pet family. Does adding another cat make sense for you?

Mobile Meowing: The Best Cat-Lover Apps for Your Smartphone

Cat owners take note – mobile technology is your friend.

While your feline’s technology usage is limited to rubbing his head against the edge of your laptop and laying on your keyboard at inopportune times, you have hundreds of handy mobile apps at your disposal on your smartphone or tablet. The most effective of these apps will save you time, stress, and money – inducing emotions from cat owners that are the human equivalents to purring.

It’s been said that true experts don’t know everything, but rather know where to find the answers to anything. That’s certainly the idea behind most of the best apps on the market for feline owners.

In no particular order, here are our favorite mobile apps for cat lovers:

Useful Apps

Cat Clicker Training

As independent as they are lovable, cats sometimes need extra encouragement to achieve successful training, and that’s where this reinforcement tool comes into play. With clicker training, you associate a desirable behavior with a clicking sound, then reward your feline with a treat. This app enables users to always have their clicker readily available, so you can provide positive reinforcement for your cat during any training session.


Ever wonder what your cat is up to while you’re at work? This popular app enables you to monitor your feline friend remotely via live video and audio webcam feeds. Helping cat owners achieve peace of mind as they go about their days, iCam proves particularly helpful when transitioning your feline permanently from an outdoor to indoor environment.

Pet Acoustics

Sometimes soothing music is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to calming the nerves of your kitten or cat. Specifically designed to produce music for the hearing sensitivities of cats, this app proves ideal during car trips, thunderstorms, or any other occasion that induces stress for your feline friend.

Health Apps


This “pet reminder” app serves as an electronic database for storing valuable information regarding your cat’s medical history. You can track upcoming appointments, vaccination dates, and medicine needs. In the event that you lose your cat, this app’s information storage capabilities can prove helpful in recovering your missing feline.

Pet First Aid

Powered by the American Red Cross, this app conveniently provides cat owners with veterinary advice and instruction regarding everyday emergencies that can afflict their beloved felines. Pet First Aid has applications ranging from preventative care to performing CPR to locating the nearest animal hospital.


For many cat owners, keeping our four-legged friend safe is our top feline parent priority. With this app, you can practice preventative medicine by developing a baseline of knowledge regarding which plants found in your home and yard are potentially poisonous to your feline. Although not intended to provide an all-inclusive list of toxins, this app furnishes cat owners with helpful information, and even equips iPhone users with one-touch dialing to a poison control center.

Fun Apps

Cat Game

The feline obsession with chasing laser pointers is well-documented. This free app simulates that same red dot on your smartphone or tablet screen, affording your cat hours of entertainment and healthy stimulation. Plus, since the game is confined to your screen, there’s no risk of your cat knocking over lamps as he scurries around the house in pursuit of a traditional laser pointer.


What happens when you combine loyal cat lovers with a fun-filled social media app? You get the ultimate social community for feline enthusiasts. Operating in a similar fashion to Facebook, Catbook encourages users to find friends, share photos, and make status updates. It’s a convenient way to connect with fellow cat owners and exchange tips.

Paint for Cats

Unleash your cat’s inner artist and provide him with healthy stimulation at the same time. With this app, your feline chases a mouse around the screen and produces a painted masterpiece in the process. It’s creative fun for felines and cat owners alike.

Petsie Cat Breeds

It’s not always easy to determine the breeds of the cats you encounter, but this app offers guidance. Featuring hundreds of breeds and thousands of cat photos, Petsie Cat Breeds assists with your breed-identifying detective work, and it also enables users to create shareable profiles for their feline friends.


As most cat owners know, achieving the perfect photo of your feline is no easy task. But this simple yet effective app helps you accomplish just that by offering 32 different sounds to captivate your cat’s attention at just the right moment. PetSnap also features an array of digital frames to assist with customizing your image.

Cat Companionship: A Guide to Bonding with Your Cat

It’s an unfair reputation they just can’t seem to shake.

People tend to misunderstand cats. Perceived as the polar opposite to the warmth and affection exuded by dogs, they’re often pegged as aloof and unloving. Cats are labeled solitary and selfish, only desiring to seek their human owners’ presence when they need something.

While it’s true that our feline friends tend to possess an independent streak – and that their personalities can vary considerably – many cats, in fact, demonstrate a remarkable propensity to bond and be affectionate with people. They’ll climb into your lap when you least expect it, purring lovingly along the way.

That the human-cat bonding experience can be complex is hard to refute. Bonding with feral cats with limited previous human contact proves difficult, as these felines struggle to award trust. And even human-raised cats don’t necessarily bond equally with every person within their home.

But with a balanced approach of effort and patience, you can establish a bond with your cat that’s based on mutual respect and, possibly, even love.

Understanding the Human-Companion Animal Bond with Cats

With estimates indicating that nearly 100 million cats are owned within the United States, it’s safe to say humans genuinely enjoy having felines as pets. Unlike many animal species, cats have the capacity to enter into bilateral relationships with us, whereby they invest dependence, trust, and affection and – in return – receive care and love.

The interaction between a cat and his human family has many different facets. People and cats share experiences ranging from fun moments (playtime) to quiet times (silently enjoying each other’s company) to less joyous occasions, such as when an owner becomes exasperated by his cat or vice-versa. Yet even when negative experiences occur, the theme of the relationship should remain one of mutual respect.

As their relationship evolves and matures, an owner can grow to know a cat inside and out – his needs and wants, likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, the cat develops a better understanding of what to expect from his human caregivers, evoking an even greater level of trust.

Do Our Cats Really Love Us?

Cats are said to be independent, aloof, and not in need of company except on their own terms. This is true only of some cats; certainly not all. Cats raised by people from an early age either think they are almost human, or that the human is almost a cat.

Contrary to popular belief, many cats demonstrate love towards their owners on a daily basis. While the receipt of a “love offering” from your feline in the form of an animal carcass may be unwanted, cats have a multitude of more flattering methods for exuding affection toward their human companions:

  • Following you around the house, casually sauntering into the room where you’re sitting.
  • Jumping on your lap and beginning to purr.
  • Greeting you enthusiastically when you return home.
  • Sending subtle cat signals of affection to you, such as staring at your adoringly, then squinting or slowly closing his eyes.
  • Rubbing his head upon you to mark you with his scent.
  • Lying on his back in your presence, with his stomach exposed. This is a sign of trust, because your cat is in a vulnerable position.

Bonding in Cats

When it comes to bonding with a kitten or young cat, you must consider that animal’s history and personality. Assuming he’s had prior human contact, your cat will likely be relatively friendly and accustomed to being handled. If, however, your cat appears frightened and timid, focus on making him feel safe. By utilizing a laser pointer for play and avoiding actual contact at first, you can help ease your cat’s nerves.

Imprinting, an elemental form of bonding, occurs most readily during a sensitive time of development for kittens between 2-7 months of age. This ultra-impressionable period marks the perfect occasion to optimize your cat-human bond, and establish additional human acquaintances.

However, even if your feline has surpassed this period, there are various strategies an owner can employ to induce bonding. These include:

  • Avoiding punishment of your cat at all costs
  • Getting your cat spayed or neutered
  • Serving as the food source for your cat
  • Practicing patience with your cat’s development

How to Convert Your Reclusive Cat to a Cuddly Lap Kitty

The majority of cats are trainable with regards to affection. While this scenario may sound too good to be true for some cat owners, it’s indeed possible to transform some seemingly anti-social felines into genuine lap-lovers.

Hoarding Cats: How to Recognize Animal Hoarding

The practice of animal hoarding is a danger not only to the safety and happiness of cats, but also to the community in which the hoarding occurs. Toward end of the 20th century, animal welfare professionals, mental health experts, veterinarians, and other animal lovers began looking seriously at animal hoarding.

Among other things, they wanted to describe and classify the behavior in hopes of finding treatments to help those individuals affected by the behavior – and, in turn, save the lives of animals. Nearly 60% of animal hoarding cases are considered “repeat offenders” who have experienced treatment or intervention of some type in the past.

Here are some insights into what researchers have found and ways to spot hoarding situations in your community.

Conditions Associated with Hoarding

The public tends to think that animal hoarding only occurs with hundreds of animals, similar to many stories seen on the news. It's possible, however, for similar behaviors and outcomes to affect homes with fewer animals if the level of care and condition of the animals are deteriorating. One person may easily live with a dozen or more animals who are healthy and happy while another person might be overwhelmed by three or four.

The working definition of hoarding includes these factors:

  • Failing to provide minimal standards of care (food, water, sanitation, veterinary care)
  • Failing to act on the deterioration of the home environment and animals' condition
  • Negative affects on people and animals in the home

It is very common for individuals who show hoarding behaviors to become unaware of the degree to which care has deteriorated. They may be unaware of an animal's needs and claim conditions are "not that bad," or simply refuse to acknowledge signs of physical or mental distress in animals. During studies of hoarding behaviors, researchers have found that many people will develop rationalizations for their behavior.

Characteristics of Cat Hoarders

Early studies did find that hoarding behaviors happened most often in women (76%) and in people over age 60 (46%). Cats are the most common animals kept in large numbers in hoarding cases (65%). However, officials investigate cases of hoarding in people of all ages, incomes, locations, and professions.

About half of the time, individuals with hoarding tendencies live alone. It's interesting to note that while social isolation is common it seems the isolation is a result of the hoarding situation, not a cause of it.

One psychiatric study of nine women with animal hoarding behaviors reported the women believed they had “special abilities to communicate or empathize with animals.” Some describe it as almost savior-like, where individuals believe they are the only one with the ability to care for the animals. Researchers also found that the role of animal caretaker also played a large role in the individual's sense of identity.

In addition, it's common to see hoarding behaviors in individuals with unstable or “broken” childhoods in which animals played a significant role in the child's life. This shaky start may be why individuals with animal hoarding behaviors often view the world as a hostile place for people and animals.

A growing number of hoarding cases come from situations of animal rescue gone overboard. And, I don't just mean individuals rescuing too many animals, but official non-profit animal rescues which turn into hoarding situations. Some estimates put rescue and shelter hoarding at 25% of new cases reported annually in the Unites States.


What Causes Cat Hoarding?

Psychiatric researchers have tried to fit animal hoarding into existing disorders, including delusions, dementia, addiction, attachment, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. If mental health professionals diagnose a person with these or other disorders, they won't necessary diagnose the hoarding disorder separately but attribute it to these other causes.

Studies have compared the behaviors of people who hoard objects and those who hoard animals. For example, both frequently result in cluttered, disorganized, and dysfunctional home situations – though animal hoarding is much more likely to result in squalid home conditions.

10 Things Every Kid Should Know about Cats

1. Cats have different personalities, just like people. Some are friendly and outgoing and others are shy.

2. The best way to approach a cat is to bend down and allow them to smell your hand. Don’t pet them first unless they begin to rub against your hand or an adult says it is okay.

3. Cats like gentleness. Cats don’t like to be rough-housed. They like quiet. They like a peaceful environment. They like to sit on laps that are still and quiet.

4. Cats especially love whoever feeds them. Cats like to eat several times of day and they love not only to eat but love whoever feeds them.

5. Cats like to be petted in different places. Some like to be petted on their head, some under the chin, and some like to be petted down their backs. But most cats don’t like to be petted too close to their bottoms and most cats don’t like to have their bellies rubbed.

6. Cats can be trained. Cats are very smart and can be trained! Check out the related article for tips on training your cat!

7. Cats need good care, just like you do. They need good quality cat food to eat, plenty of fresh water, and play time every day. Cats also like routine. They like to be fed at consistent times every day.

8. Cats are very good at keeping secrets.

9. Cats don’t always know what is best for them. They may want to eat or chew on things that are dangerous and need your help to protect them. For example, some cats may be attracted to ribbon or string that can cause a life threatening obstruction in their intestines so you need to help protect him or her.

10. Cats can get sick just like people can. Common signs of illness include a cat that won’t play, acts really tired, hides, or won’t eat. Other signs are vomiting and diarrhea. If you think your cat is sick, tell an adult so that they can evaluate the situation.

15 Signs That your Cat is a Furry Child

Is your cat part of your family? Do you refer to yourself as your cat’s mom or dad? Cats that are loved and valued as a child are lucky cats.

It is becoming more common for cats to be a valued member of a household, rather than a replaceable possession. While there is still far too much of it, it is less acceptable for a cat to live wandering the streets, fending for itself. This trend is being replaced by cats regarded as children, living in a loving home with their own warm bed, nutritious meals, and much spoiling!

Signs that your cat is a furry child:

1. You always carry a picture of your cat in your wallet, and you show it off often.

2. Your cat has his or her own stocking and gifts under the Christmas tree.

3. You always keep cat treats on your counter.

4. The plant life in your home includes cat nip and cat grass.

5. Your cat has birthday parties.

6. A common form of decor in your home is the cat tree.

7. Instead of the kennel, your cat has a relative, friend or cat sitter come to your home.

8. Your cat drinks from your milk glass, and instead of getting new milk, you just drink after him or her.

9. Your cat has health insurance.

10. There are arrangements in your will for you cat.

11. You have been known to take your cat for a walk in a stroller.

12. Your friends threw you a shower when you got your kitten.

13. You’ve called off work because your cat is ill.

14. Spending quality time with your cat everyday is a priority.

15. Head rubs and purrs from your cat are welcomed.

Treating your cat with the respect you would give a child is not only fun, it is important. Cats are living beings just as much as kids are. They feel, think (some more than others!), love, and need like kids. Having a child should be taken very seriously, and so should getting a cat. Both are responsibilities. Both need medical care, shelter, proper diet, and your time and affection. Both are lifelong commitments.

Of course, there are many aspects of cat-raising that are easier than raising a child. Cats don’t go to college. They don’t absolutely need a babysitter while you’re at work. They litter box train quickly. Cats don’t get speeding tickets. They don’t throw temper tantrums at the movie theater. And at the end of a long day, what is more soothing – a purring loving cat or a puzzling, algebra equation?

Cats: A Calming Influence on People with High Blood Pressure

If you’re battling high blood pressure, cutting out the cheeseburgers, taking brisk walks, and shedding extra pounds are all steps you should take. But, says social psychologist Karen Allen, Ph.D., getting a pet can also help.

In a recent study, Allen, a researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, found that stockbrokers with hypertension who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did their non-pet-owning counterparts.


Allen and her colleagues conducted a study of 48 male and female stockbrokers who were being treated with medication to control high blood pressure. All earned more than $200,000 a year, had lived alone for at least the last 5 years and had highly stressful jobs.

Before the study began, researchers asked the participants to quickly count backward by 17 or try arguing their way out of a shoplifting charge. During these exercises, blood pressure levels reached an average peak way above normal – even above what doctors generally consider “high” blood pressure.

Drug Prescribed at Start of Study

At the start of the study, the brokers were prescribed the anti-hypertension drug, lisinopril. Half of the participants were randomly selected to also get a dog or cat as a house pet. Six months later, Allen and her colleagues conducted tests in the participants’ homes to measure changes in blood pressure. They found that stress-induced blood pressure continued to rise in the brokers without pets.

The brokers who owned pets also had stress-related rises in blood pressure, but these rises were only half as high as those seen in the petless group. The pet-owning brokers had average systolic pressures (the first number in a blood pressure reading) that fell within the normal healthy range. Stress-related peaks in diastolic pressure (the second number in a reading) were also reduced.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that while the drug lisinopril helped lower resting blood pressures, pet ownership is better at helping to control stress-induced peaks in blood pressure.

Following the study, many of the participants who did not have pets decided to acquire them, Allen said. “When we told the group that didn’t have pets about the findings, many went out and got them,” she said. “This study shows that if you have high blood pressure, a pet is very good for you when you’re under stress, and pet ownership is especially good for you if you have a limited support system.”

Allen is not certain exactly what happens physiologically. “There are lots of theories, but we honestly don’t know why pets lower blood pressure,” she said. “We suspect that having someone on your side – someone you can always count on that is non-judgmental – psychologically creates a beneficial atmosphere.”

Cats in the Workplace

Taking your pet to work is one of the perks that employers are offering to attract and retain employees. But if that doesn’t work for you, maybe you can work at one of the growing number of businesses – retail, government, lodging and service – where cats have proven to be business boosters and stress reducers.

All in the Family

When Tom and Barbara Barry exchange stories about their work day, cats often are part of the conversation. Bear and Big Cat, both mixed breeds, have been purring along with the cars that Tom repairs at North Chicago Import Autos in North Chicago, Ill., for several years. Heidi has been a fixture for nearly 14 years where Barbara works part-time, Herrold Kitchen and Baths in Wheeling, Ill.

Tom adopted Bear and Big Cat from a sailor who was about to ship out from nearby Great Lakes Naval Base. Initially, he wanted just one cat to keep an occasional field mouse at bay, but was told “they came as a package.” He describes Bear as the “lover” because she craves affection and loves to explore the shopping bags often carried by his lady customers. But that’s not to imply that these cats are partial to women; men attired in dark business suits will need to locate a clothes brush to remove the telltale signs of their impartiality. Tom said it’s not unusual for customers to stop by just to visit with Bear and Big Cat, even when their cars are running perfectly.

According to Barry Barickman of Herrold Kitchen, the restaurant next door was Heidi’s first home when she was a mere kitten. She was supposed to keep the night watchman company. However, when they found her shivering outside one morning, it was painfully obvious that her caretaker didn’t care for her, so they took her in. “Our customers love her to pieces and several have wanted to adopt her,” Barry said.

Sophie found a home at the Lake Forest Animal Clinic in Lake Forest, Ill., when her previous owner could no longer care for her. According to Dr. Margaret Timm, Sophie makes an excellent “hospital cat” because she knows when to stay out of the way of patients who aren’t feeling well and not on their best behavior, not to mention those who aren’t cat lovers under the best of circumstances. But her friendly persuasion has been known to convert more than one individual into an ailurophile. In emergent situations, Sophie can serve as a blood donor for other pets, though her passion for eating kibble doesn’t make her the ideal candidate. In addition to nibbling, another favorite pastime is being petted.

Day and Night

While cats in the workplace are lavished with affection and attention during traditional business hours, they often lack company at night. But that isn’t the case for resident cats at lodging properties like The North House in Vassar, Mich. During the day, B & B hosts Pat and Roger Goggans are great company for Harley Davidson, an 8-year-old domestic shorthair with obvious Maine Coon heritage found abandoned at a wildlife refuge; 2-year-old B.B., discovered as a kitten under a parked car and named Black Beauty because she was expected to grow into a true beauty; and Fusse, a domestic shorthair with tortoise shell coloring who was discovered on their property last November. The Goggans also extended their heart and home to Flower, a dog they rescued from an animal shelter.

It’s during the afternoon and evening hours when these workplace kitties get the lion’s share of attention and affection. Not only do they make the lodging experience feel more home-like, they are the cat’s meow for traveling cat lovers who experience withdrawal pangs when separated from their own feline companion.

If it can be said that inn cats are on duty 24/7 just like their innkeepers, so too is the best buddy of a doctor on call 24-hours-a-day.

Tivol started accompanying Dr. Linda Dorzab to work when she moved her practice into her home in Stilwell, Kan., about four years ago. One day Tivol, an Abyssinian, meandered into her office while she was consoling a recently widowed patient. When Tivol’s presence brought a smile to her patient’s pained face, Dorzab felt he’d have a calming affect on others. A cat door allows Tivol to wander between Dorzab’s residence and place of business, but he is restricted to Dorzab’s private office and waiting room. There, Tivol helps patients pass the time when the doctor is running a few minutes late.

“Tivol’s presence is very calming,” Dorzab said. “He takes your mind off things.”

Another cat who goes to work is Ruby Archuleta, adopted by Susan and Art Bachrach, owners of Moby Dickins Bookshop of Taos, N.M. Named for a character in the New Mexico-based novel “The Milagro Beanfield War,” Ruby is a 5-year-old Maine Coon that Art adopted from the Humane Society, where he serves on the board. The bookshop also underwrites a newspaper ad for the local animal shelter where residents and tourists alike have adopted pets.

Ruby Archuleta particularly has a favorite spot atop a computer printer and likes to lay on the cash register as well. Art said patrons respond favorably to Ruby, especially those on vacation who want a cat fix to tide them over until they’re reunited with their cat(s). In the 15 years that the Bachrachs have been in business, they have never been without a cat. “Cats in the workplace are essential,” Art said.

What Does Your Cat Say About You?

Cat owners and cat lovers come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. But does having a certain cat say something about you? Some say “yes”. Check out what your cat says about you!

Domestic Shorthair – Most domestic shorthaired cat owners found or were given a “stray” somewhere along the way. They are often generous and kind with a predominant quiet side to their personalities that allows them to enjoy curling up and reading a book or enjoy the quiet times of watching television with their cats.

Domestic Longhair – Most domestic shorthaired cat owners also rescued their cat in one manner or another. These cat owners are often generous and kind with a both a quiet and slightly “wild” side to their personalities. They can fluxuate between a quiet night and a wild party if given the chance.

Persian – Most Persian owners are laid back, affectionate and very caring people. They are generally considered sweet by their friends and are generally also very loyal.

Maine Coon – Maine coon owners are generally cool cucumbers. They are nice, laid back and generally good people. They are strong and generally provide a good support system for their families.

Exotic – Most Exotic owners are “interesting”. They like traditional “things” in life but are willing to explore the less traditional things and ideas. They are generally curious and interested in other people as well as life in general.

Siamese – Siamese owners can come in all kinds of personalities. They are generally social and have a great sense of humor. They are generally quite polished individuals that have a good eye for design and art. They are gregarious and often have good and loyal friends.

Abyssinian – Abyssinian owners are often busy active people who enjoy being entertained by a good movie or television show (or the antics of a very interesting cat)! They are generally inquisitive people that strive to understand “why” things may work they way they do.

Ragdoll – Ragdoll owners may be considered mysterious by some friends or neighbors. They are interesting people with a passion for life.

Birman – Owners of the Birman are often interested in art and sculpture. They like design elements in their homes and lives and strive to keep a tidy household.

Oriental – Oriental owners are often have enthusiastic personalities and are well liked by friends and neighbors. They would prefer to eat good quality food rather than fast food and likes to take time to stop and “smell the roses”.

American Shorthair– American shorthair owners are often very good and kind people who enjoy tradition such as the wonderful tradition of family dinners or family celebrations.

Tonkinese – Owners of the Tonk are often popular people full of joy and a zest for life. They are gregarious and fun loving and a pleasure to be around.

These generalizations are just that, generalizations that were created to be fun and are not written to offend anyone. Sammy and Pepper are two cats that carry a lot of cat owner wisdom. They routinely contribute to Sammy is a 10 year old Maine coon and Pepper is a 2 year old domestic short hair that rules the roost.