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My Pet World: Socialize your dog before visiting the dog park

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Carol,

It's not uncommon for cats who have a health issue to meow intensely. Take Cash to your vet for a health exam to rule out health problems, like epilepsy or other neurological issues. Cats who have seizures may vocalize loudly.

If Cash gets a clean bill of health from your vet, then his screaming could be related to diet or anxiety. If you are feeding him a few hours before this happens and around the same time every night, Cash could have some digestive issues. If you see a correlation between feeding and his screaming, visit your vet again to discuss his diet.

If it's not a health issue or diet-related, the behavior could stem from anxiety and have formed into a nightly, attention-seeking habit. Because Cash is punctual with this behavior, you can get in front of it before it begins each evening, and work to change it. Start a play time routine a few minutes before the behavior usually begins and continue playing until 10 minutes past the time to see if that stops the screaming. If it's behavioral, the new activity each night should stop the habit. If it's a seizure or other health problem, he will likely stop during the play to meow intensely -- a clear sign something is wrong health-wise.

Keep me posted on what you discover about Cash's strange behavior.

Dear Cathy,

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A mockingbird moved into the tree outside my bedroom window. He or she starts singing around 3 a.m. During the day, he or she sings on top of the light pole in the yard, and every so often he or she jumps straight up in the air, lands on the pole and continues singing. Is this going to continue throughout the summer? It doesn't bother us, but we have never heard a mockingbird sing throughout the day and night. -- J., Seaford, NY

Dear J,

I am not an expert on wild bird behavior, but I am willing to go out on a limb here and say the mockingbird's continuous song and occasional antics indicates the bird is a "he" trying to attract a mate. I am glad you don't mind the singing since male mockingbirds sing during the day and part of the night for most of the spring and summer. You might even miss this bird's serenade when summer comes to an end.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)



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