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9 Pet Food Filler Ingredients You Should AvoidMarch 21, 2018
There is substance to the old adage, “You are what you eat.” While it would be nice if everyone could trust the marketing on pet food packaging, dog and cat parents must become detectives and read ingredient lists to make informed buying decisions.
Some pet foods are enticing because they boast low prices. However, these manufacturers often use filler ingredients with little or no nutritional value to cut costs. While they may have a lower price tag than premium pet foods, these low-quality recipes should be avoided for the sake of your pet’s health. Dog and cat owners would be wise to look for pet foods free of fillers and low-quality sources of protein, including:
1. Meat, poultry, and fish by-products. These include the internal organs of animals, but not the muscle meat, and can include diseased tissues and tumors.
2. Corn and rice bran. The outer coatings of the kernels add bulk to low-quality pet foods, but add little nutritional value.
3. Oat hulls. After milling whole oats, hulls remain. They are sometimes used as pet food filler, but they do not add value to the food.
4. Cereal by-products. Remnants of breakfast cereal ingredients come from unknown sources and nutritional quality. They also are known to contain chemical residue, sweeteners, and other additives.
5. Soybean hulls. These are by-products of soybeans used in human food processing and are commonly known as “floor sweepings.” Composed of skins and bean product that stick to the skins, they have little nutritional value.
6. Peanut hulls. These shell parts not only have no nutritional value, they can also bring pesticide residues into pet food.
7. Wheat mill run. Also known as “wheat middlings,” these bran particles come from wheat shorts, wheat germ, and wheat flour as by-products of human food processing.
8. Citrus pulp. The dried residue of citrus fruits, peels, and seeds are sometimes used to add bulk carbohydrates and fiber to dog food. Pesticides and fertilizers can enter the foods with citrus pulp.
9. Grain fermentation soluble. This inexpensive by-product of human food and beverage creation is what is left after separation of solids from grain fermentation. It has little to no nutritional value for dogs.
The list of fillers and pet food additives is long and ever growing. Other fillers can include modified cornstarch, cottonseed hulls, and even weeds and straw! Pet owners should avoid buying products that contain these, as well as corn, brewers rice, soybean meal, and rice protein. Instead, look for high-quality pet foods that list meat, poultry, and fish as the first ingredient and are void of useless fillers.
At CANIDAE®, we only source the best ingredients for your pets and ours. Our recipes use fresh meat, poultry, and fish along with fruits, vegetables, and legumes grown on our very own farm in Kansas. Go ahead and read the ingredient list! You’re going to like what you see. Learn more about where your pet’s food comes from at CANIDAE® Farms.
10 Things I Wish My Cats Understood
By Julia Williams
I talk to my cats every day, and they even understand a few words. Never mind that all of the words relate to food – I can tell they know what I’m talking about when I say “Snack time” or “Yum yums!” The biggest clue is that no matter what room the cats are in when I say those words, they both race into the kitchen. Even when they’re seemingly sound asleep! So yeah…I’m certain they get my drift when it comes to the thing they love most (besides me, of course). The rest of the time, they’re clueless.
Mostly it doesn’t matter that my cats and I don’t speak the same language. Sometimes, it’s actually a good thing. I can tell them my secrets and shortcomings without fear that they’ll gossip or write a “Mommie Dearest” type of book some day. Other times, I just really wish they could understand me. It would certainly make life a lot easier, not only for me but for them. It would also alleviate my guilt for those “bad” things I have to do that are for their own good.
Here are 10 things I wish my cats could understand.
Why I Shove Pills Down Your Throat
Can you imagine how scary it would be if a person did that to you every day, and you didn’t know why? I worry that I’m traumatizing my cat or damaging our bond, and I would love to explain to them why I have to do it.
What Happens in the Bathroom
Trust me cat, there is nothing going on in this room that you need to see or be a part of – not one thing! So just stop meowing at the closed door and scratching at it like your very life depends on getting in there with me. What I do in the bathroom does not require an audience, thank you very much.
I Didn’t Mean to Step on Your Tail
Cats have a knack for getting underfoot, which means that once in awhile you’re going to accidentally kick them, trip over them or – the absolute worst – step on their tail. They yowl and dash off to the other room, and when you try to apologize they give you that wounded look that clearly says “Why did you hurt me? I thought you loved me!” and you feel like the worst cat parent ever.
The Vacuum is Not Trying to Eat You!
Ah, the evil suck monster. Just bringing it out is enough to make my cats scurry under the bed, their eyes wide as saucers. They don’t come out for at least an hour after I’m done vacuuming, and even then I can tell they’re still on high alert.
Where You Barf Matters
If my cats could only understand one thing, I wish it was this: that it takes 30 seconds to clean up puke off the kitchen floor, but the carpet is practically an all day affair.
Why Your Food Bowl is Empty
My cats act like they’re always on the brink of starvation, even when their last CANIDAE meal was just an hour ago! Relax, cat. I’m not ever going to let you go hungry, so just chill out about the food bowl already.
Car Rides and the “Stabby” Person
Going to the vet is important for a cat’s health. I know it, but dread it all the same. The way my cats carry on in the car, singing the song of their people at the top of their lungs, makes me feel horrible. Once they get to the vet, they’re subjected to all sorts of demeaning and uncomfortable things. I’d give anything for them to know that I only put them through this because I love them and want them to be healthy and happy.
I’m Trimming Your Claws, Not Maiming You
Cats act like you’re the meanest, most awful human being ever when you try to trim their claws. Cat: “I sharpened my claws day after day on your carpet until they were like deadly eagle talons, and you dulled them! You maimed them! How could you? Whyyyyy? What a dreadful person you are.”
THIS is a Toy, Not THAT!
My cats have several baskets of catnip toys that look like they’d be great fun. They never play with any of them, because apparently only pens, nail files, note pads, clippers, scissors, chip clips and the TV remote are cat toys.
I Love You to the Moon and Back
I’m certain that my cats know I love them, but I don’t think they realize just how much. I’d give anything for them to understand how special they are to me, and how blessed and honored I am that they chose me.
What do you most wish your cat could understand?
Read more articles by Julia Williams
These 12 Dogs are Thrilled it’s Finally SpringMarch 20, 2018
The ground is thawing, the squirrels are bustling about, and walks around the neighborhood are getting much longer. Could it really be that winter is over? It’s true! Today is officially the first day of spring, and dogs everywhere are celebrating the end of another bone chilling winter. Just like us, our canine pals are ready to stretch their legs and spend more time outdoors napping in the sunshine.
Aside from snoozing in the sun, this season brings a lot of new smells to the forefront. The inevitable rain showers amplify the sweet, delicious scents of flowers, grass, and other flora. In other words, our dogs have a lot of investigating to do. After months of being stuck indoors, there’s no greater feeling than spending time in nature and breathing in the fresh air. These 12 dogs are thrilled it’s finally spring:
“Tulips! My favorite!”
“Do we really have to take these pictures?”
The 3 VP’s of CupcakePups are *hoppy* to announce that CCP is getting ready for Easter! With less than a month to go, now is the perfect time to *spring* for an *eggs-ellent* collar for your pup! Head over to cupcakepupscollars.com and the CupcakePups Etsy shop to check out all of our spring/Easter collars now! #dogsofinstagram #cupcakepups #dogcollar #dogfashion #dogstagram #dogstyle #dogmodel #dog #yellowdog #easterdog #easter #dogeaster #bunnydog #dogbunny #etsy #etsypets #etsydog #handmadedogcollar #customdogcollar #springdog
“I can finally run out on the grass? Yay! Take more pictures!”
“What are all these things on the floor? Is is safe?”
“Are you going to throw it?”
“Is the rainy season over yet?”
Apparently there's a cold snap coming… But it's starting to look like spring to me! 🌼 I keep sniffing the flowers and mum thinks it looks funny. 🌸 I actually rolled in fox poo right before this photo was taken 🙈💩 Tried something new in my stories today – let me know what you think! – – – – – #coldsnap #coldsnaps #springiscomingsoon #springiscoming🌸 #🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 #🌼 #crocus #crocuses #doginspring #springdog #dogandflower #dogandflowers #flowerdog #dailydogs #dailydogfeature #dailydoge #dogcoats #dogcoat #doginthepark #parkdog #woofer #modeldog #posingdog #terriergram #lurchergram #lurcherlove #lurchers #lurcherdog
“Smell that? It’s spring!”
“Wait for me! I’m coming to play too!”
“Time for my seasonal glamour photos. Hello spring!”
“Can I come out of this tree now?”
The look of a happy dog on a sunny spring day.
“Bye winter forever!”
As the weather warms up and you resume your regular trips to the dog beach, it’s important to keep your pup’s safety in mind. While undoubtedly a blast, the beach is full of hazards that could spoil the fun. Be prepared to handle any situation by reading our article, “6 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach.”
Woof Woof! Were you Born in a Dog Year?
By Langley Cornwell
According to the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. But do you know what that actually means? I was hoping it meant that during this calendar year, every dog in every shelter worldwide would be placed in forever homes. I was hoping it meant that this was the year when all the dogs living on the streets would magically be transported into warm and safe environments. I was hoping it meant that every dog owner the world over would be a responsible pet owner. I was also hoping that maybe we could make room for one more in our own home. Now those things would certainly make it the year of the dog in my book. Unfortunately most, if not all, of these things will not come true this year. So if that’s not what “The Year of the Dog” means, then what does it mean?
The Chinese New Year hinges upon the cycles of the moon and therefore usually starts somewhere between January 20 and February 21. This year, the New Year fell on February 16th, which ushered in the Year of the Dog.
The Chinese animal calendar runs on a 12-year cycle. Each year in the cycle is tied to an animal and that animal’s primary characteristics. People who love dogs will not be surprised to learn that those who were born during a “dog year” are known for their loyalty, dependability and fidelity.
The dog is one of the six domesticated animals in the Chinese calendar, along with the ox, horse, goat, rooster and pig; all of these animals are bred and raised in China. The other six animals in the Chinese calendar – the rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake and monkey – are considered lucky animals and are well loved by the Chinese.
The Dog Year
Following along with this celestial mindset, this is the Year of the Earth Dog, and it’s predicted to bring us opportunities to develop faithful, trustworthy relationships both at work and in our personal lives. There will be opportunities presented for reuniting with far-flung family and friends. Additionally, it will be a year of successes and material prosperity.
The Dog People
Were you born under the sign of the dog? The most recent years are: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018. If so, according to the Chinese you are a loyal person who will never turn your back on your family or your friends. Likewise, you are a dedicated and faithful employee.
People born in the Year of the Dog are said to be popular and revered in a wide variety of social circles. Known as a fair-minded, honest person, you are called upon to deliver guidance and advice to your friends and colleagues. You are also good at helping people identify their bad habits and can assist them in making better choices.
You can get a bit anxious at times and may even be a worrier, but once you set your mind on something, you are motivated and determined.
The Other Years
If you’re not born in a dog year and are wondering what animal is associated with your birth year, I’ve listed the most recent years below. This list follows along with the order of the Chinese calendar.
Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
So there you have it. Everything and maybe a little bit more than you ever wanted to know about The Year of the Dog. No, wait. There’s one more little factoid I must mention. Wàng Cái is one of the most popular dog names in China. The name was derived from the sound of a dog barking and means “prosperous wealth.” So may this Dog Year bring you lots of loyal, fruitful, successful and meaningful opportunities and relationships!
Read more articles by Langley Cornwell
How Does My Dog Know When I’m Sad?March 19, 2018
Dogs have worked alongside people for centuries. Some herd sheep, some pull carts, and some offer protection, but all dogs’ favorite duty is to offer companionship and comfort to their owners.
Dogs are now widely acknowledged for their abilities to read human emotions and soothe our suffering souls. With pet therapy programs now common at major hospitals and nursing homes, we admit canine counselors into the most sensitive of settings. The concept of pet therapy has extended to provide crisis comfort in natural disasters and assist special needs children in schools. Somehow, these dogs are able to assess a situation and behave accordingly.
While licensed therapy dogs provide an incredible service to people in need, most dogs perform “pet therapy” in their own homes every day. They seem to recognize when their family members need a little snuggle. Their happy, welcoming antics put smiles on the faces of tired, hungry, and anxious individuals as they return home from work each evening. You may have noticed that your dog can change your mood in a matter of moments and make your troubles disappear.
How do dogs know when we need a little comfort? Dogs are naturally sensitive to behavior and non-verbal communication. They react to body posture, heart rate changes, and facial expressions to get a feel for your emotions. Dogs notice how fast (or slow) you walk, your eye contact, and how you hang your head. They may even pick up scents that change with our feelings.
When we are really down we might cry, collapse, or roll into a ball, making ourselves look smaller. Dogs can interpret these behaviors and know that something is wrong, but we’re not really certain about the degree of their understanding or their abilities to empathize.
When something’s not quite right
Dogs learn what is normal in respect to daily routines and the behaviors of their families. Variations tell the dog that something is wrong. If you return late from the office, or if you come home injured or sick, your dog is likely to respond with affection and he or she will follow you around your home.
Studies have shown that dogs react differently to signals. Crying gets a different response than humming. However, when tested by a fake heart attack or accident, some dogs fail to respond at all. Perhaps, like with people, individual dogs are more or less empathetic than others. It’s possible that certain breeds are more sensitive, but we have seen time and again that dogs of all breeds and mixes can be heroes.
Think about your own responses to stressful events. Who do you want to comfort you? Dogs can provide unconditional love, supportive physical contact, and loyalty that soothes when people cannot. Perhaps they have a sixth sense that tells them when they are needed most.
Speaking of dogs having a sixth sense, there are many situations where we wonder if our dogs can perceive things we can’t. For more reading on this interesting theory, read our articles on, “How Do Dogs Sense Approaching Storms?” and “Can Dogs Sense if Someone is Untrustworthy?”
Making Life More Comfortable for an Arthritic Cat
By Sierra Koester
Carmine was always an active and curious cat. He loved to supervise everything from his bed on top of my tall desk. He also loved running through the apartment at top speed, meowing his thoughts as he flew by. Even as he grew older, Carmine never stopped being a kitten. That’s why I became concerned when, at the age of six, Carmine’s behavior changed dramatically. My energetic, social orange boy became lethargic and disinterested in his surroundings. I immediately scheduled an appointment with our veterinarian.
Carmine’s veterinarian and I discussed his symptoms, but upon examination, nothing struck her as unusual. We concluded that his behavior changes may be due to stress since some things had recently changed in our lives. However, when Carmine continued to be lethargic for several more days, I took him back to see our vet. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something just didn’t feel right.
This time, our veterinarian recommended an x-ray. She said it might give us some insight into what was going on with him. She was right; the x-ray showed that Carmine had arthritis in his left hip.
Feline arthritis is a common condition. It’s estimated that up to one-third of adult cats develop arthritis by the age of six. Moreover, up to 90% of cats over the age of 12 have some degree of arthritis.
What is Feline Arthritis?
Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease (DJD), occurs when there is inflammation of the synovium, a thin layer of tissue that lines the tendon sheaths and joints. Cells contained within the synovium produce fluids that lubricate the joints. Permanent, long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding and protecting the joints is characteristic of arthritis.
Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the spine, elbows, hips, ankles and shoulders. However, the elbows and hips are the most commonly affected joints. Overweight cats are particularly prone to developing arthritis because the extra weight puts additional strain on a cat’s joints.
Signs of arthritis can be difficult to recognize in cats because they’re so good at hiding their pain. In the wild, predators are more likely to prey upon injured or weak animals, so kitties are naturally programmed to avoid appearing weak or unhealthy.
Instead of looking for obvious signs that your kitty is hurting, such as limping or trouble standing up, look for changes in behavior. Some signs that may indicate your cat is suffering from arthritis pain include:
•Reluctance to jump up onto things, or difficulty getting the height necessary to get up onto things.
•Sleeping more and being less active.
•Eliminating outside of the litter box. This may be especially true if the litter box is located upstairs, in a difficult-to-reach spot, or has high sides.
•No longer covering up feces or urine with litter.
•Decreased interest in the people and other pets in the home.
•Lack of appetite.
If you notice any of these behavior changes in your cat, it’s time to see your veterinarian. The sooner you can pinpoint the underlying cause of your kitty’s behavioral changes, the sooner you can help your cat feel better.
Making Life More Comfortable for an Arthritic Cat
Treating your cat’s inflammation medically will help her feel better. A supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may be beneficial. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your cat any supplement. Acupuncture, massage, laser therapy, the Assisi loop, and adequan injections may also help relieve your cat’s arthritis pain.
There are also many things you can do at home to make your cat more comfortable.
•Weight Loss: If your cat is overweight, develop a plan with your veterinarian to help her lose weight. Losing excess weight will take unnecessary strain off your kitty’s joints.
•Use Elevated Dishes: Putting your cat’s CANIDAE food and water into elevated bowls will allow her to eat and drink more comfortably.
•Make the Litter Box Accessible: Put your litter box in a place that’s easy for your cat to access. For example, if your cat spends most of the time on your home’s first floor, put the litter box there instead of on the second floor or in the basement. A litter box with a ramp or very low sides makes it easier for your kitty to enter and exit without as much pain.
•Provide Pet Steps: Many arthritic cats have difficulty jumping up to their favorite places. Provide your cat with pet steps to her favorite spots, such as your bed, the couch or a windowsill.
•Provide Comfortable Places to Sleep: Place cushioned cat beds or fleece blankets in her favorite sleeping areas. Cold weather can make arthritis pain worse, so be sure to keep your kitty’s space adequately heated. Many cats really love the warmth a heated pet pad or bed provides.
•Help with Grooming: Even with treatment, your kitty may have trouble bathing herself. If you notice that it’s difficult for your cat to groom certain parts of her body, help her out by cleaning the area with a pet wipe on a regular basis. You can also help your kitty with her grooming routine by combing or brushing her.
•Accessible Cat Tree: Your kitty’s arthritis pain may make it hard for her to enjoy her cat tree. You can purchase cat trees with ramps, or you could provide your kitty with a set of pet stairs so she can easily get on and off the tree.
•Carry Her: If you sleep upstairs and your cat joins you every night, you can make her life easier by carrying her up the stairs when it’s time for bed.
•Exercise: Moderate exercise is important for joint health, even for cats who have arthritis. Fishing pole toys and laser pointers are great choices for interactive playtime. Interactive playtime not only gives your kitty an opportunity to exercise, it gives you and your cat an opportunity to bond.
•Make Floors Slip-Free: Hardwood, laminate, vinyl and tile floors are very popular in apartments and houses these days. Unfortunately, these floor surfaces make it more difficult for your arthritic cat to get around. Place area rugs with non-skid backing in areas your cat visits often.
Carmine is now 13 years old. The joint supplement he takes, along with the simple modifications I’ve made to our apartment, keep him comfortable and content. He still acts like a kitten and enjoys hanging out on top of the kitchen cabinets, watching everything from his favorite spot on his cat tree, and snoozing in his heated cat bed.
If your cat is exhibiting behavioral changes associated with arthritis, please take him to your veterinarian for an evaluation. While arthritis is a painful condition, creating a treatment plan with your vet and making a few simple modifications to your home can make your arthritic kitty more comfortable.
10 Festive Dogs Displaying Their Irish PrideMarch 16, 2018
It’s time to bust out your shamrock sunglasses and green socks! St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and there’s a lot of celebrating to do. From parades, to parties, to great food, this is a holiday both people and pets can get on board with. When you think about it, many of our fun-loving, curious, and charismatic dogs come from the Emerald Isle. St. Patrick’s Day should celebrate their heritage, too!
There’s the Irish setter, which is known for its gorgeous mahogany coat, excellent hunting skills and happy disposition. The Irish terrier offers loyal companionship and a little bit of spunk (as terriers tend to do). Then there’s the Irish wolfhound, one of the world’s largest and gentlest dog breeds, which are perfect for families. Forever adorable, the soft coated wheaten terrier is incredibly fluffy and athletic – truly the total package.
Just like us, a dog doesn’t have to be Irish to celebrate all things green this St. Patrick’s Day. These 10 festive pets are displaying their Irish pride.
“There’s no way I’m getting pinched this St. Patty’s day!”
“I’m just saying what everyone already knows.”
“The question is, how do I reach around to take a bite of this thing?”
“Wake me up when the parade starts, will ya?”
“Sounds like there’s a party going on to my right!”
“I put the hat on. I’ll take that treat now!”
“I’m assuming I’ll win ‘Best Dressed’ at the dog park this weekend.”
“I also have no idea how this hat is staying on my head.”
“Does this hat make my head look big?”
“Admit it. I’m the cutest leprachaun you’ve ever seen.”
While you might be tempted to share a bite of your corned beef or shepherd’s pie with your four-legged friend this holiday, resist the urge. Our dogs have sensitive digestive systems that can easily be upset by rich meats and sauces. Instead, offer your pup a special meal like our CANIDAE® Grain Free PURE Land Lamb Recipe. Our formula is made with high-quality protein and whole foods like peas and sweet potatoes for a delicious, grain-free recipe your dog will love.
Do Pets Make Us Better People?
By Julia Williams
Sometimes when I’m having a bonding moment with one of my cats, I think about that iconic scene in the 1997 film As Good As It Gets, where Jack Nicholson says to Helen Hunt, “You make me want to be a better man.” I’ve even gone so far as to say this to my cats, substituting “person” for man of course. And you know what? It’s true! My cats absolutely do make me want to be a better person, but the question is – do they really? Can our pets make us better people?
Well, let’s see: Do pets motivate us to make positive changes in our lives? Do pets help us to be happier and healthier human beings? Do pets inspire us to be kinder and more caring? Do pets teach us about trust and forgiveness? Do pets show us the true meaning of friendship and unconditional love? Do pets require us to be more patient and responsible? Do pets help us to relax more and stress less?
In my humble opinion, it’s a big yes for all seven questions. There is no doubt in my mind that being a better person is one of the many blessings a pet adds to our lives. That’s not to say I think this is our pet’s sole purpose for joining us on our life journey, or even that they do any of those things intentionally. The mere presence of these gentle, loving and pure-hearted beings can have a profoundly transformative effect on even the most hardened individual.
It’s a powerful thing, being loved by a pet. Life changing, in fact! Here are just a few of the many ways in which our pets make us better people.
Better at Coping
Life is going to throw us curveballs now and then. Our pets help us get through those difficult times just by being there for us. We cope better knowing that no matter what happens, our pets will not forsake us. They are willing to lend an ear when we need to vent, and offer a paw or a purr when we need consoling. They give us hope for a better tomorrow.
Better at Relaxing
When you feel stressed, one look at your contented cat basking in a sun puddle can melt it all away. One glance at your dog’s wagging tail and happy face as she chases a ball can put your harried workday behind you. Our pets remind us to slow down, live in the moment and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Being around them makes us feel more relaxed and carefree.
When we feel loved, we are in turn encouraged to be more loving to others, and even to ourselves. Pets provide an important outlet for multiplying love and accepting it from others. They help us open our hearts.
We Laugh More
Pets are just naturally silly, and they are always doing things to make us laugh. That truly is the best medicine. It’s hard to be down in the dumps when your clowning cat or goofy pooch is doing their level best to lift your spirits.
We Live Longer
Studies have shown that having pets not only helps us live longer and be healthier, but enjoy life more as well. You can read more about the incredible healing power of pets in my article, Animals as Healers.
I’m positive that I am a better person because of my cats. And not just a tiny bit better either, but leaps and bounds better. They make me want to be a better person not only for myself, but for them.
What about you – are you a better person because of your pet?
Read more articles by Julia Williams
12 Strange Ways Your Cat Says “I Love You”March 15, 2018
Cats might be misunderstood when it comes to showing emotion. Compared to an outgoing, bouncy puppy that licks, barks, and follows you around the house, cats are stoic. This has contributed to their reputation of being aloof and detached—but quite the opposite is true.
Cats don’t rush to win your admiration; they like to watch you first to see if you are worthy of their time. However, cat lovers know that that distance is a trick to fool the uninitiated. We know that cats are among the most affectionate creatures on earth—in the right situations. Cats demonstrate their affection with body language, space, and vocalizations. Here are a few unusual behaviors your cat uses to say, “I love you.”
1. Eye Contact. Your initial contact will be a glance, and cats may look away at first. As you develop a relationship, your cat will show love and acceptance with a blinking gesture. With half-closed eyes, Fluffy will blink slowly, signaling trust and affection.
2. Belly Showing. Have you ever seen your cat lie on its back and wiggle as you approach? This is the ultimate welcome. This behavior shows trust and happiness to see you. You can greet him or her back with a little rub of the belly or a simple hello.
3. Vocalizations. Mother cats communicate with kittens using little noises that reassure them. These chips and gurgles are shared with their special people when they want to show emotion.
4. Kitten Calls. Younger cats are a bit reserved with vocalizing, but they will mew and purr to express themselves.
5. Purring. Everyone knows that cats purr when they are happy. Purring also suggests that a cat is secure and comfortable when you’re around. Little kisses or reaching out with a paw may occur along with purring.
6. Licking. Cats give kisses like dogs, licking and cuddling when they are happy. Purposeful licking may be a little annoying to some people, but from a cat it’s quite a compliment!
7. Cheek to Cheek Rubbing. You’ve probably seen two cats rubbing their faces together, and you can almost see smiles on their faces as they cuddle. This greeting is reserved for animals and people that cats recognize and love. The rubbing can be the predecessor to more socializing, so this may be the time to break out some kitty toys.
8. Head to Head Bumping. This direct contact may seem a bit abrupt, but your cat is on a mission to claim you. Cats have scent glands located on the tops of their heads, and they use head bumping as a type of marking for ownership. Yes, your cat is territorial, and you are marked—it’s a good thing.
9. Tail Talk. You can tell a lot from a cat’s tail. Tail swinging can indicate irritation, fear, or love depending on how the tail is positioned. Cats use their tails as an extra appendage, sometimes wrapping the tail in a way that is like holding hands. They also exhibit a behavior that involves fluffing the tail at the base and quivering, which indicates joy.
10. Gift-Giving. Like it or not, cats are generous. They bring “treats” to their people, although some are not so appreciated. Gifts of outdoor wildlife or indoor toys can be dropped at your feet in offering to demonstrate your cat’s admiration.
11. Personal Space. Cats like to be with their people. Whether you’re lounging on the sofa or busy working on the computer, your cat just wants to be near you. Cats don’t care about your deadlines, they’ll be happy to bask in your company with the goal of touching you – even when it’s not convenient.
12.Paw Kneading. Cats learn this behavior very early when they knead their mama cat to stimulate milk production. If your cat bonds to you, he or she may knead you to show happiness and contentment.
After a cat has deemed you worthy, you will see a change in behavior. The once aloof creature will transform into an emotional, loving feline admirer, revealing its true feelings in many ways. Study your cat’s behavior and you will “hear” him or her say “I love you” every day.
If you’re struggling to form a bond with your new cat, it might require some extra effort on your end to make your feline feel at home. Read our article on, “How to Get Your Cat to Love You More” for tips on showing your cat some love and ultimately getting it back in spades.
Why Won’t My Cat Sleep in Her Bed?
By Julia Williams
You know the drill. You’re browsing in the pet store when you spy the cutest, softest, most comfy looking cat bed ever. It looks like a heavenly place for those long catnaps your feline friend is known for, and you’re sure she will love it as much as you do. So you buy it, bring it home and excitedly show it to your cat exclaiming “Look, kitty! I got you this adorable new cat bed. Isn’t it cool? Feel how soft it is. And look, it’s padded! You like a thick cushion, right? Go on then kitty – get in and get to napping!”
Your cat yawns disinterestedly, and walks away. Days go by. Your cat doesn’t step one paw into the new bed, or even look at it. Much to your disappointment, it’s apparent that this cat bed appeals to you much, much more than it does your cat. What gives? Why didn’t your kitty take a liking to her new cat bed?
As with anything a cat does, we lowly humans can mostly just speculate why the new bed didn’t meet the approval of Her Royal Highness. However, there are a few theories I can share that might explain why the cat bed became a dusty relic instead of your kitty’s favorite sleeping spot.
It Smells Funny
You know how the interior of a new automobile has a certain scent people call that “new car smell?” It’s kind of like that for cat beds, only worse because a cat’s sense of smell is much more advanced than our own. So when you bring a new cat bed into your home, it has all sorts of scents that you can’t smell, but your cat can. It might have smells from the factory where it was made, the pet store, people who handled it, and more.
When you think about it that way, is it any wonder your cat won’t hop right in? They’re probably wondering where the heck it’s been and why it’s so smelly. An easy remedy for the “new cat bed smell” is to cover it with a t-shirt you have worn, so it smells more like you instead of wherever its been. A blanket throw that you or your cats have been using also works. Add a catnip toy they’ve played with, and that new cat bed will be smelling fine.
Have you noticed that your cat favors certain spots for sleeping? They might have several different locations and rotate between them, but they most certainly have a preference for where they like to sleep. If you placed the cat bed somewhere other than where your kitty already likes to sleep, you’re making it harder for them to accept the bed.
Most cats like to sleep up high and where it’s warm. They also like being able to see their surroundings which helps them to feel safe. If it’s quiet and there’s a sun puddle, all the better. With all that said, what makes a good location for a cat bed will vary with each cat, because they have specific likes and dislikes just like we do. So find out where your cat likes to sleep, and let that guide you to find a suitable location for the bed.
Some cats are just cautious when it comes to accepting anything new in their environment. If this is the first cat bed you’ve bought for them, they may just need time to warm up to the idea of sleeping in it. Give them a few CANIDAE cat treats near the bed and gradually reduce the distance until they have to step into the bed to get the treats. You can also leave some treats or a favorite ‘nip toy in the bed for your cat to discover on her own.
Not the Right Style
Like people, cats have different sleeping styles. Some like to spread out, others like to curl up into a tight ball. Some cats enjoy being in the igloo or “cave” style beds but others find the enclosed space too confining. Many senior kitties appreciate the extra warmth of a heated bed. Observe the way your cat typically sleeps to determine if the style of bed you have is a good fit.
It’s Too Hot
My cats will only sleep in their beds during fall and winter. Once the weather warms up, I put the cat beds into storage. It’s pointless to keep them out in the summer, because I know my cats won’t go near them. My theory is that it must feel too warm and stifling for them in the enclosed bed. When the cats sleep on the sofa or my bed, there is air circulating around them.
As I said earlier, the reasons given for why some cats won’t sleep in their bed are all from a human perspective. We can’t really know for certain what our cat is thinking or why a behavior we find odd seems perfectly normal to them.
Yes, I admit that it’s a bit annoying when you buy them what you think is a great cat bed and they shun it. But cats are nothing if not opinionated free thinkers who will do what they want. Having a feline friend means embracing their quirks, and loving them for the unique and delightful beings they are!
Read more articles by Julia Williams
These 10 Dogs with Underbites Have the Best SmilesMarch 14, 2018
Nothing is sillier or more adorable than dogs sporting underbites. With their jaws jutting forward and those pearly whites on fully display, we like to think these pups are showing off their cheekiest smiles. No braces required!
Malocclusion, which is the fancy word for misalignment of the teeth, is usually passed down from one dog generation to the next. When it comes to underbites, we’re talking about class 3 malocclusions, which are common in flat-faced breeds like boxers, shih tzus, bulldogs, and pugs. Unless an underbite is causing a dog discomfort when chewing or eating, veterinarians recommend leaving those crooked grins alone. We happen to think they’re pretty charming!
These 10 dogs with underbites have the best smiles:
“I may look fierce, but I’m just smiling REALLY hard.”
“You always take the photo when I’m blinking! Or is it the other way around?”
“Yes, I have noticed that my sparkly white grin matches my fur.”
Little teef for a little pup.
“Yep, I’m smiling because I stole your pillow. Successfully.”
“I’ve got dimples under this fluff. You just can’t see them!”
“You captured my signature one-tooth grin.”
“Ooooh this is a cute one. Post it on my Instagram!”
Now that’s a handsome mug if we’ve ever seen one.
Does your dog have an underbite like these funny pups? If so, be sure to keep up with routine tooth brushing and take your dog to the veterinarian every year to make sure that silly grin isn’t causing any pain or other issues. Speaking of goofy (and adorable) dogs, we rounded up some photos of pups with their tongues sticking out. Have you seen it? Check out the cuteness in our blog post, “8 Silly Dogs With Their Tongues Sticking Out.”
Deciphering Cat Chat: Is a Meow Simply a Meow?
By Langley Cornwell
If you have a cat, I’m sure you are well aware of the many different sounds they can make. But have you ever wondered if all of these sounds have a specific meaning? Could your cat sometimes just be making noise for no real reason? As it turns out, every sound a feline makes – both your domestic housecat and his wild brethren – has a reason behind it. Sometimes it’s simple, and sometimes it’s more complex. So what’s up with all those yowls, hisses and chirps? Read on!
Young cats make more noise than older ones, and domestic cats make more noise than their feral counterparts. There are even differences from breed to breed; some breeds are known to be much more communicative than others. The noises cats make can be broken down into a few different types, so let’s take a look at each one and try to decipher what your cat might mean when he or she makes these sounds.
Meows are the most common cat sound, and can actually cover a wide range of emotions and needs. Between cats, this sound is really only used by kittens when conversing with their mothers and is often phased out as a cat gets older. So why do cats continue to meow at humans then? It’s because they became accustomed to meowing to their mothers when they needed something, and this behavior has carried over.
Cats will often meow at us to signal that they want something, be it attention or food. My cat, for instance, meows incessantly when his food bowl is empty. I swear, even if he’s not hungry he’s not shy about asking me to put more CANIDAE kibble in his bowl. (He doesn’t overeat; he simply likes his food bowl to be full – you know, just in case).
Some cats will make meow sounds when they are happy. Conversely, older cats may meow more than they used to as a sign of failing senses and health. The more you listen to your cat and pay attention to the signals, the easier it will be to decipher exactly what his meows mean.
Chirps are used most often by mother cats to get their kittens to pay attention and follow them. Variants of this noise, such as trills and chirrups, might also be used if your cat is excited or happy. So if your cat makes one of these birdlike noises, follow them – they might have something interesting to show you! They could also be leading you to something that is unpleasant to your human sensibilities, such as a dead mouse, so go cautiously.
Hisses and Growls
As with dogs, cats have a few noises they use in fear responses or in defense of themselves. Hisses are the fear side of cat noises, and can come in a range of volumes depending on the cat and the situation scaring them. While also used as a fear response, cats will often growl when threatened and trying to tell other animals or people to back off. If you don’t want the raw end of the deal, take your cat’s word for it and back off.
One of the most well-known cat noises is a purr, often heard when your cat is thoroughly enjoying some petting, skritches or other affection. However, your cat might also purr when they are concerned. Just like a person might make a soft noise without thinking when they are waiting for something, cats can use a purr in the same way. Some even say that cats use purring as a way of self-soothing.
This is a rather plaintive sound, often used to show a cat’s displeasure at something, such as another cat encroaching on their territory. Cats also use this sound to denote illness or failing health and senses. If you find your cat yowling for long periods of time, particularly during the night, it’s best to get them to a vet as soon as possible.
No matter what sounds your cat makes, listen closely the next time you hear something. Always watch for signs of stress or illness, since your cat may be trying to tell you something is wrong.
There is a whole wide world of cat noises out there, and by paying attention to his many meows, purrs, yowls and growls, you just might learn something new about your feline friend.
Read more articles by Langley Cornwell