Library

Cats + Behavior

  • Behavior Management - Pet Selection Guidelines

    Pueden evitarse muchos problemas de salud y de comportamiento en las mascotas pidiendo consejo antes de adquirirlas. Estos consejos ayudan, primero, a seleccionar la mejor mascota para una familia en particular, para lo cual hay que tener en cuenta la especie, la raza, la edad y el sexo del animal, y también el lugar en el que se va a adquirir.

  • Losing weight is often a difficult process and animals, like people, often take weeks or months to shed those unwanted pounds. Feeding a prescription weight reduction diet is certainly a good start in a weight loss program for your cat, but it is important to remember that food intake is only one part of the problem.

  • With over 70 pure breeds and countless combinations of mixed breeds, there are lots of cats to choose from. That's a good thing, because cats are the #1 pet in the United States. Of course, all cats consider themselves number one!

  • Fear is an aversive emotional state with physiological, behavioral, and emotional reactions to stimuli which are perceived as an actual threat or danger. Fears may be rational or irrational; they may be adaptive or maladaptive. Fear may result in aggressive responses by pets. A phobia is a sudden, profound, or excessive fear response. Anxiety may be defined as diffuse generalized feelings of apprehension, unease, and/or nervousness regarding an imminent event, uncertain outcome, or an anticipated threat or danger. Fear can be the result of an early experience that was unpleasant or perceived by the pet as unpleasant but it does not always take an unpleasant experience for fear to develop. Any stimuli that a dog or cat has not been exposed to during its sensitive period of development, which is up to 3 months of age in dogs and 2 months of age in cats, may become a fear-evoking stimulus. Illness, pain, or the effects of aging may lead to an increase in fear or anxiety in situations where there was previously little or no problem. A good program of socialization and exposure to many new and novel situations while a pet is young and in a thoughtful and proactive manner can be helpful in preventing fears and phobias. Professional intervention can help to prevent the behavior from worsening.

  • Cat food has been made so palatable that it can easily create gluttonous behavior. Meal feeding and portion control are important to prevent obesity. Owners should not give in to begging behavior. Cats that are still hungry after their meal can be supplemented with snacks such as green vegetables recommended by your veterinarian. Cats that eat too quickly can be fed creatively to slow down eating.

  • Cat Behavior Problems - Scratching Behavior

    Para los gatos arañar es un comportamiento normal que tiene al menos 4 funciones diferentes reconocidas: ir eliminando la parte externa de la uña, estirar y poner en forma los mecanismos necesarios para sacar y retraer las uñas, dejar marcas visuales para comunicarse con otros gatos y dejar unas señales químicas olorosas que proceden de unas glándulas de las almohadillas.

  • Do dogs and cats instinctively understand right and wrong? Do they understand they've done something wrong when their owners get upset, and they subsequently act guilty?

  • Losing a pet is difficult for all members of the family including surviving pets. Dogs and cats view family members, animal and human, as part of a pack. The stability of the pack is important to the pet’s sense of well being. Disruption of the pack dynamic that occurs when one pet dies can impact the other pets in the family. Pets form relationships with each other and with humans and they respond to the loss of a family member with physical and behavioral changes that manifest as grief. Recognizing and dealing with pet grief can help re-establish a healthy family unit.

  • Learning to eliminate in the chosen area is a crucial skill for pet kittens and cats. Most cats prefer unscented, fine grit clumping style litter, a deep box with at least 3” of digging material, a large area inside the box, and boxes located in quiet areas that are easily accessible. Provide lower-sided litter boxes for kittens and senior cats and multiple litter boxes for multi-cat homes. Doing our best to keep the litter clean and appealing to cats is one of the most important factors in maintaining good elimination habits in our pets. If you find a mistake after the fact, calmly and quietly clean the area, and resolve to better supervise the kitten in the future. Do not punish your kitten or cat for making a mistake. If your cat is ever seen frequently going to and from the litter box, standing or squatting in the litter for prolonged periods, posturing or standing in the litter box and vocalizing, these are all urgent concerns and require immediate veterinary attention.

  • Pain is very difficult to detect in older cats. It is important for cat owners to monitor their cats for subtle clues including changes in grooming, litter box behavior, and degree of activity. If changes in these behaviors are observed, your cat should be evaluated by your veterinarian and a pain management plan devised.