Category Archives: cat behavior

How to Use Environmental Enrichment to Benefit Your Pet

enviro-enrich-kona-gallagherBy Linda Cole

The best way to create behavioral problems is to keep an animal caged up inside a home or at a zoo with nothing exciting to occupy their time. Environmental enrichment grew from a need to give zoo animals a more interesting and stimulating place to live that would improve their mental attitude as well as their physical wellbeing. It’s a concept that can easily be used to benefit bored dogs and cats.

A regular routine is important for pets. They like knowing “what’s next.” However, adding different things into the mix periodically gives them something new to look forward to. We take vacations, go to the movies, entertain guests, read, listen to music, and find other activities to break up our normal routine. While many dog owners include their pet on getaways where dogs are allowed, cats are usually left at home. Enriching your pet’s environment is not that difficult to do, and well worth the time and effort when your pet is stimulated by new discoveries. Even dogs and cats like to do something different once in awhile.

I ran across a video of a dog listening to his owner playing a guitar. His tongue was hanging out of his mouth and he was grinning as he listened. But he was also bobbing his head to the music. As soon as the music stopped, the dog closed his mouth, stopped moving his head, and gave a look that said, “Why did you stop?” As soon as his owner began strumming, the dog bobbed his head and grinned to show his appreciation. Most pets enjoy listening to music, as long as it isn’t too loud. Some dogs and cats like to listen to the radio, which can enrich their environment.

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Great Quotes about Cats

cat-quotes-by-Gangster-Car-DriverBy Julia Williams

There is certainly no shortage of famous sayings about cats. Some are witty, some are wise, and some are just plain wrong. What I mean by wrong is that the saying presents a cat’s character in a way that is completely opposite from what any cat lover would say about their feline friend. When I read quotes like that, I wonder if the person ever spent so much as a day – an hour even – in the company of cats. It would seem not.

I’m not fond of those types of quotes because they perpetuate the myths that cats are antisocial, unloving and undeserving of our affection. I hate to think that someone who’d never spent time with a cat and didn’t know their true capability for bonding with humans, would judge them based on some negative saying.

I have no doubt there are many cats in the world that would’ve had a forever home, if not for some untrue saying. This might seem farfetched, but the reality is that a great many people will just believe what they read without substantiating it with personal experience.

Thankfully, there are lots of other quotes out there that paint cats with an accurate brush. It’s those cat quotes that I will share with you today. Perhaps my favorite cat quote of all time is by the French novelist Colette who said “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” Here are some others I like:
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Do Our Pets “Mirror” Aspects of Ourselves?

mirrors jennie faberBy Julia Williams

There is a popular metaphysical concept that goes something like this: every person in our life is a mirror, i.e., they reflect back to us some aspect of our “self” that will help us grow as human beings. The theory is that everyone we meet gives us the opportunity to see who we are with greater clarity, much like holding up a mirror and gazing at our reflection. Further, it’s said that the attributes in others that bug us the most are the areas within our own lives that need the most work.

Whether it’s true or not is anybody’s guess. The thing about a concept like this is that science can’t prove or disprove it, so we can either choose to believe…or not. Personally, I’m inclined to think there’s some truth to the concept.

It got me to thinking. If every person offers this learning experience, this opportunity to really understand who we are, then what about other living beings in our lives – our pets? Many of us are as close to our pets as we are to other humans. It stands to reason that every being we allow into our lives could offer this potential for personal growth. And as with humans, could it be that the pets who are particularly challenging are the ones who offer us the clearest mirror to our own flaws?

Take my cat Rocky, for example. I love him to the moon and back, but he has one habit that annoys me greatly. He is food obsessed, and he thinks nothing of making a grab for whatever is on my plate – while I am in the middle of eating it, no less – or jumping onto the kitchen counter to eat his CANIDAE food before I can finish dishing it into his bowl. (Trust me, it’s impossible to put cat food in a dish with his fluffy face in the way). It would seem that he has no control over these food-related urges.
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How to Stop Your Pet from Chewing on Power Cords

chew power cordBy Langley Cornwell

Lately, my social media feed has been dotted with people complaining about their pets chewing on power cords. I didn’t pay much attention at first because this, fortunately, isn’t a problem in my household. But the more I saw mention of it, the more concerned I became.

One of our dogs was a terrible chewer at first. If we left anything on the ground or at eye level, no matter what it was, she would tear it up if we weren’t careful. I can’t bear to think of all the mauled shoes, books, eyeglasses and baseball caps we threw away. But somehow, through it all, she never turned her attention to the tangle of electrical cords in my office.

Any type of inappropriate chewing is a problem, but when your pet latches onto a power cord, things get serious. Sure, fixing a damaged electrical cord is an expensive proposition; of course you don’t want to have to rewire that lamp or purchase a new power cord for your computer. But more importantly, you don’t want to have to take your dog to the veterinarian, or worse. Chewing on a power cord could cause your pet serious injury or even electrocution.

Taking it back to the source, I asked for firsthand advice from my animal-loving online friends. Their tips for stopping a pet from chewing on power cords fell into several general categories.
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Why Does My Dog Eat His Food Away From the Bowl?

dog eat djunBy Langley Cornwell

Do you have a pet who takes a mouthful of food and walks away, drops it on the floor and then eats small bits of it away from the bowl, possibly even in a corner? This is more common in dogs but cats may also do it, and this pet behavior leaves many owners scratching their heads.

This article will help you understand why some pets eat their food away from the bowl.

Pack Mentality

Many animal experts agree that pack mentality is one reason why dogs will go to their dinner dish, remove tasty morsels of the CANIDAE food and take it someplace else in the home or yard to eat it. Some dogs will just go a short distance away from their dishes and others will go far away or even to a hiding spot such as behind the couch or under the table to eat their food.

The biggest reason for this behavior is instinct. Dogs have this natural pack mentality and depending on factors such as breed, training and family line, some dogs have this instinct more strongly than others. If you’ve ever watched wolves on a nature show, you might be familiar with the feeding frenzy that is wild animals eating.

You probably don’t see your pampered little pooch in the same way, but some of that instinct may be lingering. Your dog is saying, “This is mine. Don’t take it” when he moves that food away.

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How to Read Your Cat’s Mind

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Hi CANIDAE furiends! The Warden said I should be doing something productive – like writing a blog post for you – instead of catnapping all day and playing with my vast collection of furry mice all night. Say what? Just so you know, I actually think catnapping is very serious business when you’re a feline. However, I agreed to put my paws to the keyboard because the topic she suggested was How to Read Your Cat’s Mind and frankly, I’m pretty sure I am the Best Mancat for the job. I wrote the book on that. No wait. Technically I didn’t…but I could have!!

You see, reading your cat’s mind is really not that difficult, once you master the basics. It’s all about observing our behavior and our body language; what we do will tell you exactly what is on our devious feline minds. Every time! Let’s get started, shall we?

● When your cat jumps on the bed and licks your face in the wee hours of the morning, he’s not showing affection. He’s also not saying you are dirty and need a bath. No, this face-wetting behavior can mean only one thing: he thinks it’s high time you got up and dished out his breakfast of CANIDAE (that’s like a Breakfast of Champions for a cat!).

● When your cat jumps on the bed and proceeds to use your stomach as a trampoline – launching his lithe feline form across the bed, down to the floor and back to the other side, repeatedly – he’s not saying that he’s got pent up energy and wants to play. This behavior says the exact same thing as the face licking: get up and feed me NOW!!

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