Category Archives: cat behavior

Why Can’t Domesticated Cats Roar?

cat roars andreannaBy Linda Cole

Domesticated housecats share an amazing amount of DNA with tigers – 95.6% actually. In evolutionary history, our furry feline pets became domesticated not that long ago, around 5,000 to 12,000 years. There are many similarities between domesticated cats and wild cats, but why can big cats roar and domesticated cats can’t? It all comes down to a small bone. Cats that roar can’t purr, and cats that purr can never roar.

The cat family (Felidae) is split with the big four cats who roar – lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards – in the sub-family Panthera, and cats who can only purr in the sub-family Felinae, which includes the domesticated cat as well as the bobcat, cheetah, mountain lion and other small wild cats. The mountain lion is the largest of the small cat species, and the tiger is the largest of the big four cats that roar.

What’s interesting about the cat family is their shared instinctive behavior. A head-butt is an appropriate greeting; a wiggle of their behind signals a readiness to pounce; they knead, paw at their food and have an exceptional sense of smell. Around half of all domesticated cats love catnip, which is the same in big cats. All cats, regardless of size, hiss, yowl, snarl, spit and growl. They all love to play, and even wild cats are obsessed with boxes. But when it comes to the ability to roar, not all cats can because of a small bone called the hyoid, which is a U-shaped bone in the throat that sits above the larynx.
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4 Signs of Dehydration in Cats

dehydration bartBy Langley Cornwell

When it comes to humans, dehydration can come from something as simple as a hot day without enough liquid refreshments. For example, a person might sweat so much that they become dehydrated because they lose water and electrolytes through their sweat. As we sweat, our pores open and release some of our body heat. Additionally, sweat covers our skin and helps to reduce body temperature. Cats get can get overheated too, but they have different methods of cooling down than humans do. Because cats only sweat through their paws, this is an unlikely method by which they might become dehydrated. However, it’s important to realize that cats can become dehydrated for a number of reasons, and to know the symptoms .

Signs of Dehydration

It can be difficult to tell at first glance when a cat is dehydrated. Since they are covered in fur and don’t sweat through anywhere but their paws, you can’t just glance at them and see that they are pale or not sweating when they should be. However, their behavior can be an indication of significant dehydration. In fact, dehydration in cats is often a symptom of another health issue but can oftentimes be overlooked. It’s vital to be aware of the signs of dehydration in cats, because if not caught early it can exacerbate the severity of other health complications.

Here are the major signs of dehydration in cats:
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Why is the Greeting Ritual of Dogs Different from Cats?

greeting tonyBy Linda Cole

Cats and dogs both see the world with their own unique perspective as individuals and from the way they evolved to interact with us and other animals. A dog isn’t shy about racing to meet you at the door the minute you walk in. A feline is typically more subtle in the way she greets you; a twitch of the ears or flick of the tail will do for some kitties. Have you ever wondered why the greeting ritual of dogs and cats is so different when saying hi to their owner?

Dogs are social creatures who evolved to be comfortable living within a family unit, and prefer the social company of other dogs and humans. Because of that preference, your dog has a small degree of stress when you aren’t around. Some canines have a much harder time dealing with their stress and suffer from separation anxiety. The degree of stress your dog experiences depends on his personality and environment. When you leave your pet home alone, he is forced to accept a non-voluntary detachment from those he has a bond with. When you finally return home, your dog is filled with relief and welcomes you home in his own special way. His expression of joy is one way of telling you he has a special attachment to you and is really happy you’re home.
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6 Reasons Your Pet Might Seek You Out

pets seek us dennisBy Linda Cole

My dog Max enjoys sitting outside in his pen on a low table so he can see the surrounding area – just in case he needs to protect his turf from a squirrel, cat or other “dangers” in the yard. When he spots an intruder he leaps from his perch and races to the gate, barking as he runs. Then he trots excitedly back to me, barking as if to say “Come and look.” Pets place their trust in us and have many reasons why they might seek us out. It may be nothing more than the excitement of seeing another animal, but it could also be because they need your help or are trying to warn you of danger.

Attention

Like human family members, our dogs and cats might be off doing their own thing, such as chasing imaginary prey in their sleep, barking at squirrels, or gazing through a window at the birds. Most pets aren’t able to spend their entire waking moments with their owner, and they enjoy having some alone time. However, if you have a strong bond with your dog or cat, sooner or later they will come to you for a relaxing massage, back scratching, some playtime or just to say hello.
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Why Do Cats Grind Their Teeth?

cat teeth ianBy Langley Cornwell

While tooth grinding is generally considered to be a human problem, cats also do it. In fact, tooth grinding in cats even has a special name – it’s called Bruxism. Have you ever seen or heard a cat grinding his teeth? It’s not a pretty sight and it sounds downright painful. Any loving cat owner who has heard this sound will want to know what’s causing this behavior. They’ll also want to know how to make their cat stop doing it.

With cats, tooth grinding is not usually a habit or a “tic” like it can be with humans. If your cat is grinding or gnashing his teeth, there is likely a root cause and the Bruxism is simply a symptom. Here are some possible causes.

Oral Pain

If you’ve ever watched a cat play, you know they will put just about anything in their mouths. This could lead to dental problems, abscesses, burns and jaw problems. When your cat grinds his teeth, especially if the grinding is accompanied with drooling or excessive salivation, it’s likely that he is experiencing some kind of oral pain. If you can, check your cat’s mouth for sores, broken teeth or any inflammation. You may need to visit your veterinarian to safely and thoroughly check the cats mouth and throat, after all those teeth and claws can do some damage.
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Do Cats Really Ignore Their People?

cat study amyBy Linda Cole

Our feline friends are very good at disguising their true feelings. Sometimes it’s hard to know if your cat stares at you for attention or because she’s plotting her next move. Two of my cats will come when called, but the others usually don’t, unless I’m dishing out their CANIDAE cat food. Even though most felines don’t obey commands like our canine friends do, a 2013 study found that cats generally do care about their people and really don’t ignore us.

When cats made the decision to move in and interact with humans around 9,000 years ago, it wasn’t necessary for them to obey commands from people. They went about their business catching the rodents that were attracted to crops, and humans like having them around because of their hunting skills. The more docile kitties were most likely allowed into homes. The wildcat ancestors of modern day house cats essentially domesticated themselves, but there wasn’t really a reason for cats to develop a responsive behavior towards us.
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