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My Pet World: Why do some cats have a ridge of fur along their backs?

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Once he understands the meaning of the clicker, teach him how to play hide and seek. Hide somewhere in the house or out in the yard and call your dog's name. When he comes and "finds" you, give him a treat. He will begin to learn that running and playing with you is fun and rewarding.

Next, introduce a Kong wobbler or puzzle toy filled with treats that he can push around the house or paw open to retrieve a treat. Click and treat when he touches the toy. Or, give him a tennis ball with a little peanut butter on it. Click and treat when he touches it.

Eventually, toss the tennis ball with peanut butter a few feet away. When he goes to get it and touches it, click and treat. He may eventually bring the ball back to you for more peanut butter, thus learning fetch, but he also just might chomp on the ball for a while. Either way, you are showing him the many ways to play.

Dear Cathy,

I have two rescue cats that I spend a lot of time playing with them. One of our games is playing with a string that I drag around the floor, and they chase it. My question is, why do cats drag the string or toys to their water bowl? It's cute but curious. -- Laura, Long Beach, NY

Dear Laura,

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It's not unusual for cats to transport play things to their water or food bowls. No one knows for sure why they do this, but some people think cats are mimicking nurturing behaviors, like a mama cat carrying her kittens to safety.

Since both male and female cats do this, however, I think it might be an instinctive "hunting" behavior where they kill and carry their prey to a safe location. Cats consider their food area as safe territory. So for now, it's a "cute but curious" behavior.


(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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