Who would still ask if cats grieve? That emotion, however a cat’s experience is seen through our poor human lens, is one where accusations of anthropomorphizing can be just wrong.
Clients plead, “I just want to know what my cat is going through. What can I do?” Good question. We still don’t know much.
What factors lead some cats to develop behavior problems? And what effect does early experience have on kitten behavioral development? There are still many elusive and unanswered questions, but a new study brings us a little closer to understanding some of the relationships between age of spay/neuter (s/n), household variables (such as number of other pets, use of punishment), kitten personality factors (such as fearfulness) and report of behavior problems by owners.
Marilyn Krieger is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and owner of The Cat Coach, LLC®. She also served as the Cat Division Chair of the IAABC and is a former member of the BOD. Marilyn solves cat behavior problems nationally and internationally through Skype, phone and on-site consultations, working directly with clients as well as through veterinarian referrals.
Redirected aggression is one of the most common forms of aggression among cats living in the same household and can be a challenging problem to resolve. Redirected aggression is when one cat experiences something that instills fear, is over-stimulating or highly arousing and they redirect their frustration, aggression or fear onto whoever is closest. This could be the family dog, another cat or even a human. Redirected aggression is most common in households with five or fewer cats. It rarely occurs in homes that are very saturated in cats.
Ingrid Johnson is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (CCBC) through The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is also employed at Paws Whiskers and Claws, a feline only veterinary hospital, as a veterinary technician and feline groomer. Ingrid has been working exclusively with cats since 1999.
Similarly to some people, some cats just want to be with you but not constantly touched or pet. I’m sure we all have a friend out there that wants to hug you every time you see them but perhaps you just saw them yesterday and you don’t feel the need to hug them! Cats can be the same way and there’s nothing wrong with that.
So do you touch the belly or not?? The answer to this can be variable. Other body language needs to be observed to help make this decision as does the surrounding circumstances. It could be an indicator that your cat is feeling relaxed and in a loving mood. Perhaps your cat enjoys belly rubs and you are ready know how and when to interpret their wishes based on previous experience. If their ears are pointed forward and erect and their pupils are not dilated, the tail is calm and not flicking, then the coast is likely to be clear.
How do our cats recognize us (if they do!)? Most likely they use multiple cues – our appearance, our scent, our mannerisms, and likely, our voices. Some scientists recently examined whether cats can recognize us by one cue alone – the sound of our voices calling their names.
Welcome to Part Three of an informative series on the fantastic feline senses and how these innate behaviors can present as behavior challenges in the home environment. If you are just joining the discussion please refer to Parts One and Two of the series.