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Cat Tips

Kittens are usually immune to catnip, so if you have a kitten, refrain from purchasing catnip until your pet is at least 6 months of age or older.

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Expert Q&A

For the past month, my 2-year-old cat, Leo, has been staring up at the corner of the ceiling by the front door and meows very loudly, almost like he’s howling. Does this mean something?

It's unclear what the significance of your ceiling corner is to Leo, unless a spider or other insect has established a web there or your cat is recalling some other happening that he saw. The more significant clues are your cat's age, sex and the location of his calls. Some smart cats learn how to push our buttons. You likely run to the door when your cat meows, so he is gaining your attention. You might then let him outside, if he isn't indoor-only. If Leo hasn't been neutered, he could be seeking a mate. Howl-like cries are part of courting behavior for both males and females. Neutering and spaying cats helps reduce these loud, and oftentimes annoying, vocalizations. Sometimes older cats will meow loudly, due to hearing loss and other age-related issues; however, this should not pertain to your 2-year-old. Certain health disorders, such as hyperthyroidism, can also cause loud, excessive meowing. If Leo hasn't had a veterinary exam in a while, you might wish to rule out any possible medical cause, since health problems can sometimes be linked to how and when a cat vocalizes.

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