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Category Archives: Pet Behavior
I have had my new Shih Tzu puppy , Prince Nino for almost three weeks now. I will tell you, it has not been easy introducing Nino to his new siblings of dogs and cats. The older pets simply don’t like him. And I’ve been working on different strategies to help them get along. I get that Nino is a puppy. Puppies can be annoying. My older pets have no issue with letting him. And when Nino cries, I get very upset and feel bad. I know what it’s like to be rejected too.
Well I have developed some strategies and want to pass along the tips to anyone going through the same thing.
It’s exciting to add a cuddly new pet to your life, except maybe when you have to introduce it to another pet that has already staked claim to your home. That’s especially true if one’s a dog and the other’s a cat. But whether you’re introducing a new dog to your cats — or a new cat to your dogs — it doesn’t have to be hard. Here is some expert advice to help keep peace during the transition.
Watch the Dog
If there’s going to be a problem during cat and dog introductions, it’s usually caused by the dog. SURPRISE!
Most dogs will chase a rapidly moving object. So if a cat gets frightened and runs, a dog often feels honor-bound to chase it.. It’s important to nip that in the bud. If you don’t, the result can be injury, and even death, for the cat.
Make sure your cat can run and hide if it wants to. Whether your cat is the newbie or the senior pet in the house, the cat needs to be able to move freely when the introduction is made. There should be perches or cubbies for hiding, someplace where the cat can get off the floor and settle in. You basically want an elevated resting place [for the cat].
Make sure your puppy or dog is well restrained. Your dog shouldn’t be able to chase, even if the cat darts away. This is a bigger issue with herding breed dogs, who have a prey instinct. But it’s really a hardwired response in all dogs to chase small fluffy things that run away quickly.
Consider baby gates. Gates can help you gradually introduce dogs and cats, and the barrier minimizes danger to the cat. A baby gate is often better than a cat carrier because it gives the cat much-needed freedom.
Age Can Make a Difference
When introducing a new pet to the household, youth can be a virtue. That’s because puppies are much less dangerous to adult cats, and kittens can be quite fearless with adult dogs.
The same safety rules still apply, though. When adding a kitten or puppy, you may want to enforce separation longer or extend your period of supervision. That’s because kittens tend to scurry (an enticing behavior for dogs) and puppies are just goofy and will want to pester the cat.
Here are four common mistakes you don’t want to make when introducing cats and dogs:
Forcing physical proximity: Picking up your cat and holding it in your dog’s face by way of introduction will tempt your cat to scratch the dog and encourage the dog to not like the cat. Always let kitty decide when or if it will approach the dog.
Not knowing the background of the dog you adopt. Adopting a dog from a shelter is often a wonderful idea, especially if you don’t have other pets. But people rarely know a shelter dog’s past. If a 2-year-old dog is looking for a home, there’s usually a good reason. In some cases, the dog may be aggressive, destructive, or have other problems. If you want to bring a canine into a feline household, I do recommend getting a puppy.
Not preparing your pet for change: Make changes like moving your cat’s litter box, putting up a baby gate, or closing certain doors before you bring your new pet home. That way, your long-time pet has a chance to get used to the changes before the new pet shows up.
Not thinking about your pet’s reaction. Try to think about the changes you’re making in your home from your pet’s perspective. For example, be aware that if you move the litter box and the cat has to walk past the dog’s kennel to get to it and the dog is barking that’s going to be stressful for the cat.
When to Get Help
If you’re lucky, it can take just a few minutes for a new pet to settle in, although it’s more likely to take days or even weeks.
But if you’ve come home to find your kitty cowering in fear, if one pet is always hiding, if your dog is displaying resource guarding behavior (such as snarling around its food) or being aggressive toward your cat, get help.
Don’t wait until a pet gets hurt. Talk with a veterinary behaviorist (a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior). These professionals can help you troubleshoot so that your old and new pets get along.
1. This dog who might also be Harry Styles.
2. This dog who’s been chosen by the thug life.
3. This pair of steamy seductresses.
5. This pair of relaxing guinea pigs enjoying a refreshing summer cocktail.
6. These real-life dogs at a poker table.
7. This pony who found himself in this terrible bucket situation.
8. This very angry turtle on a tricycle.
9. Whatever this sock monster is.
10. And this baked potato.
It happens all too often — by the time an owner realizes her cat is sick, the cat is very sick. Cats tend to hide their illnesses, and they even hide themselves when they’re ill. But many problems are best treated when they’re caught early, which means you are your cat’s most important health care provider. You’re the one who sees him every day and decides when he needs to see the veterinarian. Don’t ignore what he’s trying to tell you — or trying not to tell you. Here are just a few of the clues you should look for.
Is He Acting Differently?
The most common sign of illness in some cats is hiding in a quiet, out-of-the-way place. Sick cats often lie quietly in a hunched position.
They might neglect grooming. They may be purring, which cats do not only when they’re happy, but also when they’re sick or in pain. A cat with breathing difficulties may refuse to lie on his side and may keep his head raised. Cats with neurological problems may be confused, have seizures or press their heads into furniture or walls. This is not the head butting that cats do on your leg affectionately but rather prolonged pressing on a surface.
Is He Eating, Drinking, Urinating Or Defecating More Or Less Than Normal?
Cats who don’t feel well usually don’t want to eat. Some illnesses, however, can cause increased appetite, so don’t ignore your suddenly ravenous cat. Increased thirst and urination may indicate kidney disease, diabetes or other illness. Frequent, sudden attempts to urinate, especially if only small amounts are produced or if accompanied by signs of pain (including meowing or straining in the litterbox), may indicate a urinary tract infection or blockage. Inability to urinate is a life-threatening emergency that is all too common in cats, especially males.
Is He Regurgitating Or Vomiting?
If your cat regurgitates food soon after eating, he may have a problem. Vomiting food after it’s been in the stomach can indicate poisoning, blockage or a host of other problems. If your cat vomits for more than a few hours or vomits repeatedly for more than a day, she probably needs to see a vet. And if any vomiting episode is accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea or reluctance to move, you should seek medical attention. When in doubt, it is always better to call the vet instead of waiting to see what will happen.
Does He Have Diarrhea Or Constipation?
Diarrhea can result from nervousness, a change in diet or water, food sensitivities, intestinal parasites, infections, poisoning or many illnesses. Watery diarrhea, diarrhea with blood, or diarrhea accompanied by vomiting or other signs of illness warrants a call to the veterinarian. Cats commonly become constipated. They may strain to defecate; cry or meow in the litterbox; pass only small, hard feces; or pass small amounts of watery feces. Examine your cat’s litterbox to make sure he’s defecating as he should be.
Is He Coughing?
Coughing can be caused by a variety of conditions, including foreign bodies, hairballs, allergies, asthma, tumors, heart disease, lung disease or several contagious illnesses. If coughing persists for more than a day, don’t wait — contact your veterinarian. If your cat is coughing over and over, has difficulty breathing or has bluish gums, he needs to see his veterinarian immediately.
Is His Gum Color Off?
If you suspect a problem, check the gums. They should be a deep pink, and if you press with your thumb, they should return to pink within two seconds after you lift your thumb. Very pale gums or slow repinking may indicate anemia, shock or poor circulation. Bluish gums or tongue can mean a life-threatening lack of oxygen. Bright red gums may indicate overheating or carbon monoxide poisoning, and yellow gums are a symptom of jaundice. Tiny red splotches may indicate a blood-clotting problem. Tooth and gum problems often cause bad breath and pain, with redness around the gumline.
Is His Temperature Abnormal?
To take your cat’s temperature, lubricate a rectal thermometer (petroleum jelly or personal lubricant are both OK to use) and insert it 1 to 1.5 inches into the cat’s rectum. Depending on the thermometer, leave it there from 10 seconds to a minute. The normal temperature for a cat is 100 to 103 degrees, averaging 101 degrees. If the temperature is 104 degrees or above, or 99 degrees or below, call your veterinarian for advice; if it’s 105 degrees or above, or 96 degrees or below, go to your veterinarian.
When in doubt, call your veterinarian. A false alarm is better than ignoring the symptoms of a sick cat.
Are you looking for pet holidays that recognize the special role that dogs, cats, and other pets play in our lives? You’ve come to the right place. This extensive calendar, updated throughout the year, features fun pet holidays as well as serious pet awareness days, weeks and months that focus attention on challenges in the pet world.
National Train Your Dog Month
Walk Your Pet Month.
Adopt a Rescued Bird Month.
Jan. 2, 2015: National Pet Travel Safety Day.
Jan. 14, 2015: National Dress Up Your Pet Day.
Jan. 22, 2015: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.
Jan. 24, 2015: Change a Pet’s Life Day.
Jan. 29, 2015: Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday.
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. (Humane Society of the United States)
Pet Dental Health Month.
Responsible Pet Owners Month.
Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.
National Prevent a Litter Month.
Unchain a Dog Month.
Feb. 7-14, 2015: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week.
Feb. 16-17, 2015: Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show. Held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, this event is televised.
Feb. 14, 2015: Pet Theft Awareness Day.
Feb. 15-21, 2015: National Justice for Animals Week.
Feb. 20, 2015: Love Your Pet Day.
Feb. 22, 2015: Walking the Dog Day.
Feb. 23, 2015: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.
Feb. 24, 2015: World Spay Day. Annual campaign by the Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States; held the last Tuesday of February.
Poison Prevention Awareness Month.
Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month.
March 7, 2015: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins. Called “The Last Great Race on Earth,” this grueling race travels along a path that alternates between two paths, changing in even and odd years. The race crosses two mountain ranges in conditions that range from 30 degrees above to 30 degrees below zero.
March 3, 2015: If Pets Had Thumbs Day.
March 1-7, 2015: Professional Pet Sitters Week.
March 5-8, 2015: Crufts. Held in Birmingham, England, this is the world’s largest dog show, featuring nearly 28,000 canines in its four days.
March 15-21, 2015: National Poison Prevention Week.
March 23: National Puppy Day.
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This event is an effort by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know specialized pet first aid.
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. (ASCPA)
National Pet Month. (UK)
April 12-18, 2015: Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.
April 11, 2015: National Pet Day.
April 18, 2015: Pet Owners Independence Day.
April 22, 2015: Earth Day.
Third week in April. Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week. An effort by the Humane Society of the United States.
Third week in April. National Pet ID Week.
April 26, 2015: National Kids and Pets Day.
April 25, 2015: World Veterinary Day. This event from the World Veterinary Association is always celebrated on the last Saturday in April.
April 25, 2015: Hairball Awareness Day.
National Pet Month (US)
Responsible Animal Guardian Month.
Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research. (Also see November events.)
Chip Your Pet Month.
National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. The American College of Veterinary Optholmologists hosts this annual event when over 200 veterinary optholmologists donate their services to provide eye exams to service dogs in the US and Canada.
May 1: National Purebred Dog Day
May 4-10, 2015: American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week. This week-long event has been celebrated since 1915. Always the first full week of May.
May 3-9, 2015: National Pet Week. Always held the first full week of May by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
May 4-10, 2015:American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week . An initiative of the HSUS, this week is always scheduled to begin the Monday before Mother’s Day.
May 18-24, 2015: Dog Bite Prevention Week. This event by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) along with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) focuses attention on preventing dog bites.
Adopt-a-Cat Month®. From the American Humane Association.
Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. From the ASPCA.
National Pet Preparedness Month. This month, timed for the first month of hurricane season, urges people with pets to make preparations in case they should be hit by a disaster…and that includes making plans for what you would do with your dog in case of a hurricane, tornado, flood or other natural disaster.
June 4, 2015: Hug Your Cat Day.
First week in June. Pet Appreciation Week.
June 9, 2015: World Pet Memorial Day.
June 10-14, 2015: World Dog Show, Milan, Italy. This large show is hosted by a different county every year.
Mid-June: Animal Rights Awareness Week.
June 26, 2015: Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Dog House Repair Month.
July 4: Independence Day. This US holiday is no holiday for dogs; the sounds of fireworks causes many dogs to panic and run, resulting in many lost dogs every year.
July 15: National Pet Fire Safety Day. Sponsored by the The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), ADT Security Services and the American Kennel Club® (AKC).
July 21: National Craft for your Local Shelters Day.
July 31: National Mutt Day. Also see Dec. 2.
Aug. 1: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs. The North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, declared August 1 as a birthday for all the shelter animals whose birthdays are unknown. Happy DOGust!!
Aug. 5: Work Like a Dog Day.
Aug. 2-8, 2015: International Assistance Dog Week.
Aug. 15: National Check the Chip Day. AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”
Aug. 15, 2015: International Homeless Animals’ Day®. From the International Society for Animal Rights.
Aug. 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day.
Aug. 26: National Dog Day.
Aug. 30. National Holistic Pet Day.
National Disaster Preparedness Month. Led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign, Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council, this effort encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies. Visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov.
Second Sunday in September. National Pet Memorial Day. Established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC).
Last full week in September: National Dog Week.
Last full week in September. Deaf Pet Awareness Week. By Petfinder.com.
Sept. 13, 2015: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day. A day dedicated to the issue of pet birth defects including information on identification, prevention and treatment. Sponsored by the MBJungle Foundation.
Sept. 23: Dogs in Politics Day (also known as Checkers Day). Recognizing the dogs of politicians.
Sept. 28: World Rabies Day. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.
Adopt-A-Dog Month®. By American Humane Association.
Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month. By ASPCA.
National Animal Safety and Protection Month.
National Pet Wellness Month.
1st Week of October. National Walk Your Dog Week.
October 4: World Animal Day.
1st Full Week of October. Animal Welfare Week (AVMA)
Oct. 11-17, 2015: National Veterinary Technician Week. Sponsored by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America.
Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.
Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.
Last Saturday in Oct.: National Pit Bull Awareness Day.
Oct. 28: Plush Animal Lovers Day. A day that most dogs will be happy to celebrate…as they unstuff them…
Oct. 29: National Cat Day.
Oct. 30: National Black Cat Day in the UK.
*MORE November holidays; observances
Adopt a Senior Dog Month. By ASPCA.
National Pet Awareness Month.
National Senior Pet Month.
Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) and the Animal Cancer Foundation. (Also see May events).
Pet Diabetes Month.
National Dog Show. Always broadcast in the US on Thanksgiving, this event is held at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania and is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, the event features 2,000 dogs.
First full week of Nov: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. by The Humane Society of the United States.
Nov. 17: National Take a Hike Day.
Nov. 17: National Black Cat Day.
Dec. 2: National Mutt Day. Also see July 31.
Hanging out with man’s best friend is a huge part of our daily routine, and for many families a dog or cat is like another child. But as much as we pamper our furry friends, we can’t take them everywhere with us. And when it comes to those 8 hours (or more) we spend on the clock, it seems like our family pets are just never welcome to spend time with us while we are at work.
But not all professions believe in working without their trusted animal friends. For centuries, cats have been prowling breweries and farms to kill rats and mice. K9 units couldn’t function without their canines, of course, and many hospitals and nursing homes have on-staff dogs or cats to comfort patients. Even some bookstores have cats prowling the stacks.
And increasingly, “regular” offices are encouraging pets to become a part of the work day. But are animals in the office a source of distraction, or a legitimate tool for increasing productivity?
If anyone in your office suffers from allergies, bringing a pet to the office would be inconsiderate, even if you are at the top of the food chain. But respiratory conditions aside, there are plenty of other problems with having an animal in the workplace that could severely impact your productivity.
For one thing, an ill-behaved pet can cause havoc in all kinds of ways, from “accidents” to jumping up on your desk and knocking over your computer or stacks of papers. An animal that is too energetic should not be constrained to an office environment, for the sanity of you, your co-workers, and the pet itself.
Sick pets should stay at home; no one wants to walk into your cube and see a pet dragging its back end across the floor. And it should be obvious that animals with aggression problems should not be in an office….unless you want to get sued.
Therapy animals or service animals, on the other hand, should always be welcome in an office setting.
By the Numbers
According to one study conducted by Christopher Honts and his colleagues at Central Michigan University, dogs in the office can help to boost productivity.
And according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers, 17 percent of Americans work at pet-friendly companies and 23 percent believe pets should be allowed in the workplace. The survey also found that 70 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace reduces stress, and 46 million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment.
Since 1996, people have been celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day every June, with over 10,000 companies participating in the United States. The next Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 24th, so start buttering up your boss now to get them to take part.
In Portland, Oregon, the local opera company has a resident cat named Nerissa. The Opera’s general director Christopher Mattaliano also allows dogs at work.
“I feel a happy staff is a productive staff,” says Mattaliano.
“During stressful times here, I get people coming in from a different floor just to connect with [my pet]” adds Noelle Guest, the director’s executive assistant.
Elsewhere in the country, Linda Goldstein Dunay, president of a marketing and public relations firm, is also a fan of pets in the workplace.
“From the beginning, I wanted my company to feel like a community,” she says. “I find that having dogs around, and allowing people to have their pets with them, is a big morale-booster.”
Murray Low, director of The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School, adds that allowing employees to bring pets to work can be an inexpensive way to bolster productivity and reduce stress. “If the pet’s at work, it’s not as difficult for the employee to stay till 10 at night.”
Here are a very few absolutely essential pictures that will warm your heart.
1. A kitten animatedly explaining her opinions to a disinterested rabbit.
3. A big dog carrying a little dog in a basket like it’s the most natural thing in the world.
4. A dog who is taking a “sick day” to spend more time with his penguin
5. A baby bear giving a suspicious dog a kiss
6. Two geese and a dog having a business meeting
7. A cat who is having the best day ever
8. A cat who has just taken a massive leap forward in relaxation innovation
9. A Great Dane who is friends with a fawn
10. A Frenchie Stampede!
Bonus : The happiest Siberian husky couple on the planet
Do You Have Any Adorable Pictures To Share? Post in Our Comment Section
Goals Aren’t Just for People
The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for pets needing a change in their routine. For example, with over 50 percent of pets in the U.S. classified as overweight, there’s no better time for owners to commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for their pets. Need more ideas? Here are ten resolutions to make this year your pet’s healthiest year yet!
#10 Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!
Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake and pour that into a bowl, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. It’s important to use an 8-ounce measuring cup to ensure your pet isn’t taking in more calories than they need. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are good place to start to figure out how much food Fido (or Kitty) really needs. Older pets and those who have been neutered usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.
#9 Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet
Growing pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. For example, some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with the appropriate diet. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health.
#8 Try a New Activity with Your Pet
From doga to hiking, skijoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both out of the house, and both owner and pet will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise, too!
#7 Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine
Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Experiment to see what really gets your cat going — in addition to lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls, and climbable cat trees are perennial feline favorites. Even a cardboard box can become a cat cave that satisfies a cat’s desire for a hiding place.
#6 Make a Date with Your Vet
Yearly examinations by the veterinarian are a key component of good preventive care. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.
#5 Groom Your Pet Daily
Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner.
#4 Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Pet
Daily toothbrushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay — just be sure to use a toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. And even with all of these tricks, regular cleanings by a licensed veterinarian are the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years.
#3 Teach an Old Dog a New Trick
Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make it healthier! Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Puzzle feeders, which force a pet to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged.
#2 Update Pet ID Info
Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2012, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.
#1 Consider Fostering
You think you want a new pet, but you’re not 100 percent sure it’s right for you? Try fostering. Many animal shelters and rescues need loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment, since you are simply hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home. Who knows? That home just might end up being yours.
I like to think of myself as a Dr. Doolittle or a Pet Whisperer. I tend to form special relationships not only with my pets but with other animals. They listen to me, understand me and love me to the point I know they would never run away. They also worry about me when I’m not well. This year was pretty tough , health wise. I was in the hospital 6 timexs this year , with each visit lasting at least one week. When I disappear like that, my pets make it a mission to find me. Well obviously I needed extra help and my parents came to help out. It does matter what rules I give them that are applicable to my pets, somehow something always happen. Well this November, while in the hospital , my youngest cat did a number on them. They were afraid to tell me my cat was missing so waited until I got home into the garage to say, ” Oh by the way, your cat is missing.” Needless to say I was extremely upset. Don’t worry my cat is home and safe. He came back that next morning after I came home. I could tell, he was looking for me. Now I’m not crazy, but oblige me please. To increase the probability of your cat returning safely , if this ever happens to you, here are a few suggestions to get him home safely.
1. Create an enriched, stimulating environment for your indoor cat
By providing a catified home for your cat, you’ll prevent boredom, and they won’t even want to go outside. My Peppie and my female cat, Princess have two big pet condos, catnip, toys, feathers , food and companionship. Now who would leave a home like that?
2. Consider leash training
Some cat experts recommend leash training indoor cats so they can safely go outdoors. I agree with this recommendation. Peppie is leash-trained. Note however, leash training depends on your cat’s temperament, but for some cats, giving them a taste of the great outdoors, even if from the safety of a leash and harness, can satisfy his curiosity about what is going beyond the comforts of his home.
3. Train your cats to come when you call them
This is not all that hard to do. Call their name, and reward them with a treat each time they come to you. For many cats, simply hearing the sound of the treat bag coming out of the cabinet will do the trick, and that’s fine, too. You need a reliable signal that tells your cat she needs to come to you. This will not only help in the event that your cat does get out, it will also be useful in emergency situations.
4. Use caution when opening doors
Cat sitters , like myself, are well aware that many cats are door darters, and they act accordingly. My home has dogs and cats. So to keep my pets safe, one thing I do is let my dogs go outside from an area that intimidates my cat. That area for Peppie is doing everything through the garage. Peppie is afraid of the garage door as well as the sounds from a car. So when that door opens, he darts upstairs. I know that is not every cat therefore , you as the owner need to know the areas of the house your cat is and isn’t afraid to venture.
5. Treats Will Do A Kitty Cat Good!
If you have a cat who consistently darts for the door when it’s being opened, distract him. Throw some treats into the hallway behind you before you leave, or ahead of you when you enter. Use a laser pointer to distract cats who respond to it. Don’t use squirt bottles to deter your cat. Squirt bottles do not stop undesired behavior. All they do is ruin the bond between you and your cat.
6. Front Door Not Always the Best Door
Another option is to not use your front door at all. I have friends who never let visitors enter through the front door. The enter through the garage and the adjacent laundry room. This way, the garage door can be closed before the laundry room door to the house is even opened. I like this “double entry” system. Even though My cats are not door darters, this way of entering the home is safer when you have your hands full of bags, or when delivery people show up.
Make sure that all family members know that letting the cat out is never okay. ( I did that and it STILL didn’t work but it is still great advice!)
7. Locked Doors
Lock your cats into a room when you have service or repair persons at your home. Service persons may need to frequently enter and exit your home during the time they work inside your house. It’s safer to keep kitty away from the activity until the repairs are completed.
8. Make sure your cats are micrcochipped
In the event, that your cat gets lost, a microchip may be the only way he/she find their way back home. Collars are important, too, but they can come off. If your cat wears a collar, make sure that it has updated contact information. A great thing to do is provide all thecat’s collar tags with inscribed words : “I’m lost if outside.”
It’s very stressful to worry about the safety of your cat outside. I hope some these suggestions help. Anyone have anymore suggestions?? Please Respond in the Comments Section!
Until Next Time…….
An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus. But will this make us stop treating these animals in totally inhumane ways?
While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here. The body of scientific evidence is increasingly showing that most animals are conscious in the same way that we are, and it’s no longer something we can ignore.
What’s also very interesting about the declaration is the group’s acknowledgement that consciousness can emerge in those animals that are very much unlike humans, including those that evolved along different evolutionary tracks, namely birds and some cephalopods.
“The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states,” they write, “Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.”
Consequently, say the signatories, the scientific evidence is increasingly indicating that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.
The group consists of cognitive scientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists — all of whom were attending the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and Non-Human Animals. The declaration was signed in the presence ofStephen Hawking, and included such signatories as Christof Koch, David Edelman, Edward Boyden, Philip Low, Irene Pepperberg, and many more.
The declaration made the following observations:
- The field of Consciousness research is rapidly evolving. Abundant new techniques and strategies for human and non-human animal research have been developed. Consequently, more data is becoming readily available, and this calls for a periodic reevaluation of previously held preconceptions in this field. Studies of non-human animals have shown that homologous brain circuits correlated with conscious experience and perception can be selectively facilitated and disrupted to assess whether they are in fact necessary for those experiences. Moreover, in humans, new non-invasive techniques are readily available to survey the correlates of consciousness.
- The neural substrates of emotions do not appear to be confined to cortical structures. In fact, subcortical neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also critically important for generating emotional behaviors in animals. Artificial arousal of the same brain regions generates corresponding behavior and feeling states in both humans and non-human animals. Wherever in the brain one evokes instinctual emotional behaviors in non-human animals, many of the ensuing behaviors are consistent with experienced feeling states, including those internal states that are rewarding and punishing. Deep brain stimulation of these systems in humans can also generate similar affective states. Systems associated with affect are concentrated in subcortical regions where neural homologies abound. Young human and nonhuman animals without neocortices retain these brain-mind functions. Furthermore, neural circuits supporting behavioral/electrophysiological states of attentiveness, sleep and decision making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in insects and cephalopod mollusks (e.g., octopus).
- Birds appear to offer, in their behavior, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy a striking case of parallel evolution of consciousness. Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots. Mammalian and avian emotional networks and cognitive microcircuitries appear to be far more homologous than previously thought. Moreover, certain species of birds have been found to exhibit neural sleep patterns similar to those of mammals, including REM sleep and, as was demonstrated in zebra finches, neurophysiological patterns, previously thought to require a mammalian neocortex. Magpies in articular have been shown to exhibit striking similarities to humans, great apes, dolphins, and elephants in studies of mirror self-recognition.
- In humans, the effect of certain hallucinogens appears to be associated with a disruption in cortical feedforward and feedback processing. Pharmacological interventions in non-human animals with compounds known to affect conscious behavior in humans can lead to similar perturbations in behavior in non-human animals. In humans, there is evidence to suggest that awareness is correlated with cortical activity, which does not exclude possible contributions by subcortical or early cortical processing, as in visual awareness. Evidence that human and nonhuman animal emotional feelings arise from homologous subcortical brain networks provide compelling evidence for evolutionarily shared primal affective qualia.
- A Neuroscientist’s Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious (wired.com)
- The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness (nicolareddwooddforest.wordpress.com)
- Are we all PSYCHIC? Scientists believe that animals – including humans – have a collective consciousness (sott.net)