DEAR JOHANNA: I now live with my mother and she has a 10 year old cat who played very little.
I play with her at night now and she walks around like crazy for a few minutes, what I’ve read is normal. However, she now vomits almost every three days.
When I go it stops. Why should that be so? She is not afraid of me and regularly sleeps on my lap. My mother has now forbidden us to have this season.
Please help us.
Denise M., San Francisco
LOVE DENISE: Your play with the cat isn’t the direct cause of vomiting, but contact with someone who interacts with you in such a positive way could have triggered other repressed behaviors, such as feeling sick. B. the maintenance that may have inadvertently led to the problem.
Happy and content cats groom a lot. With grooming comes hairballs, and with hairballs comes vomiting – usually the last place you want to throw up.
Continue to give the cat attention, but in addition to playtime, help her groom. Get a cat brush or comb and, with it on your lap, gently comb her fur and help remove any hair she sheds. If you get it on with the brush or comb, she won’t swallow it.
You could also try getting her some hairball remedy or feeding her food or treats that are formulated to help.
DEAR JOHANNA: I have a hangover who is about a year old. He’s not neutered – currently no money for it. He kneads and locks the pillow, blanket, or whatever he decides to attach his bite to. He goes into a trance and when I stroke him he has a different meow. He attacks me sometimes. He can be mean, almost evil.
Pamela Salacup, Yuba City
LOVE PAMELA: Your cat is not angry, it is just focusing on that pillow, blanket or whatever. Many cats attach themselves to soft, squishy objects that they can knead or even groom. They relive their childhood as they nursed and gently kneaded their mothers to encourage more milk.
Your cat may be a little stressed and this activity will calm him down and make him happy. He doesn’t want to attack you; He only knocks away what tries to distract him.
If he attacks you when you aren’t engaging with him, he may be trying to play and is being too aggressive. Both behaviors have their roots in being taken from mothers prematurely. Mama cats teach their kittens that play is allowed, but rough play is not. The other kittens in the litter also teach others. If they bite or scratch too hard, the offending kitten will hit them and learn to soften their bite.
If your cat attacks, move away from the area. Try to play with him later, but only while he is playing gently. If he gets aggressive, you get up and leave. Eventually he will learn to play nice.
You should also never use your hand as a toy. Many people will playfully pick up a kitten and some kind of box. The kitten then turns into a cat who considers the hands of the hands to be excellent toys. Replace a stuffed animal and check with animal shelters and rescue workers to see if there is a free or low-cost spay / neuter clinic to take your cat to.
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