Q: Our lovable cat has started to charge me when I'm in bed watching TV, biting my arms, then calmly turning away. How can I break this habit? -- M.N., Cyberspace
A: "If this is a fairly new behavior, first see your veterinarian to rule out a possible physical explanation," says certified cat behavior consultant Darlene Arden, author of "The Complete Cat's Meow" (Wiley Publishing, New York NY, 2011; $19.99). "If you're screaming or reprimanding the cat, it's possible your cat is seeking attention -- even if it is negative attention. Closing the bedroom door can work, but you might hear loud protests on the other side."
Arden, of Framingham, MA, says to offer your cat exercise and an outlet before you hit the sack. Take an interactive toy (fishing pole-type toy with feathers) and play for about 10 minutes. Then offer a before-bedtime snack. Also, when you're not home or can't pay attention to your pet, make sure the cat has lots of activates and toys for amusement.
©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services