Cat Tips

Animal shelters must screen their cats for health and temperament, whereas pet adoption ads posted on the Web or in newspapers by individuals are usually unregulated. Adopting a new cat from a shelter is therefore often the best, safest option.

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Expert Q&A

My cat, Samson, always wants to play with me, sometimes becoming very demanding. Unfortunately, my schedule is limited at times. What should I do?

Cats are natural hunters, so the desire to pounce and play is very much a part of their makeup. It's wonderful that you want to give Samson enough playtime, but there are also a few other things you can do to help satisfy him without having to quit your job.

First, vary the types of toys you use. Also -- and this is very important -- make sure you wind the action down gradually as you end a game. This steady reduction in intensity will help leave him more relaxed -- instead of abruptly ending the game, which could keep him revved up.

Look around your home and see what changes you can make to create a more interesting environment for Samson. A multi-perch cat tree placed by a window will allow him to watch the birds outside. Or, you can create a cat tunnel by connecting several boxes or paper bags together, and then you can hide little toys inside. Rotate the toys you leave out for Samson's solo play (the non-stringed toys) to avoid boredom.

For additional stimulation for a high-energy cat, look no further than cat entertainment videos and DVDs -- available at pet supply stores, online and through mail order. Most cats absolutely love them.

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