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Feline Friday: Scaredy-Cats, Ask Amy & Why Cats Groom

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Does your new kitten hide under the bed? Do your adult cats disappear when visitors ring the doorbell? Does the new puppy send your kitty into hiss-terics? Learning why cats act scared helps you know how to avoid fear triggers.

Scaredy cats react with fear to unfamiliar people, places or situations, because if they haven’t had a good experience, they assume the worst. Many kittens are clueless, but as the cat matures, this “stranger danger” behavior protects them so they don’t walk up to hungry critters, dogs or people. Find out more about kitty fear and what to do about it in this Paw Nation article about understanding scaredy cats. In fact, some cats that get upset simply groom a bunch and lick-lick-lick themselves bald.


Most cats are neatniks, and spend up to 50 percent of their awake time indulging in some form of cat grooming. However, grooming is learned by copy-cat behavior during kittenhood. So if the mom-cat is a slob, chances are Junior may get a bit dingy and care less about his appearance. Kittens learn to lick themselves by two weeks of age and are washing by the time they’re weaned. Learn how cats groom–and why–in this article about understanding cat grooming.

Do your cats have unique grooming habits? What about licking you–yep, that’s a cat’s way of sharing the joy of mutual grooming with a beloved human! Just as long as the kitty doesn’t snatch you bald, it can be quite a pleasant sensation. Are your cats neat freaks or do they get dingy and need baths? Have you ever bathed your cat…and lived to tell of it? Of course, there’s lots more cat-centric info in my best selling books Complete Kitten Care and Complete Care for Your Aging Cat….but what did I miss in the Ask Amy video, below? Please share!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

2 responses »

  1. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    Dear Amy,

    Could you please do an article on the importance of escape proofing yards and play areas? Our little Sammy, the cute little guy in the picture with me, thought he smelled a rabbit, He probably did. We live in a suburban area, filled with typical suburban wildlife, including foxes, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, etc.

    Poor Sam was so excited by whatever it was that he scented that he dug his was out under the fence (which I thought I had made safe, and proceeded to do what a hound does best. He went hunting. Unfortunately he went hunting straight across a busy stretch of two lane blacktop and got hit by a bus.

    Beagles are brave, resourceful, wonderful dogs, but they are no match for three tons of bus. Luckily he was wearing a tag with his name and our phone number. I’d been looking for him everywhere, had finally given up and gone back to the house when the phone rang. Thanks to his tag the police knew who to inform, or we might have never know what had happened to the poor little guy.



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