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Fur balls occur when cats clean themselves, ingesting their own fur. While these are common, be sure to brush your cat's coat on a regular basis so that this doesn't lead to serious, and even fatal, problems.

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Expert Q&A

My cat has a few behavior problems that I would like to discuss with a veterinarian. Should I just verbally describe the problems during the visit, or are there other steps I should take before bringing my cat to the vet?

My cat has a few behavior problems that I would like to discuss with a veterinarian. Should I just verbally describe the problems during the visit, or are there other steps I should take before bringing my cat to the vet?

BY: The Daily Cat experts

A helpful book on this topic is Canine and Feline Behavior Therapy, by Benjamin Hart, Lynette Hart and Melissa Bain. They advise that you do a few things in advance of your visit.

First, maintain a journal/online log where you note your cat’s behavior issue, the circumstances, and the day and time. If you are fast enough with your cell phone or camcorder, you might also try videotaping your cat in the act. Sometimes, just keeping track of bad behavior can help you identify the causes, which will make finding solutions easier.

The authors also suggest that, when you go to the veterinarian or to the feline behavior expert, you bring all family members who interact with your cat. Our pets, as we know, act differently around particular individuals, so someone in your household might be triggering the bad behavior in your cat. (Or, conversely, your cat could be bothering the person!)

If you are going to a behaviorist and not to your regular vet, be sure to bring a copy of your cat’s medical records with you. Often, behavioral problems are really health issues. For example, a lot of litter box mistakes can be symptoms of kidney, liver and other health problems in cats.

Certain feline behavior therapists will have you fill out a survey before your appointment. Your log, if you’ve kept one, can come in handy for that. A good source for finding a cat therapist is the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Tags: cat and owner relationships , cat behavior , cat health


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