A very large number of us have pets...or should I say that they have us!
If you are like me, there are certain things that pets do that are totally beyond my understanding! My cat (C.B.) and my Mom's cat (Amy ) both do things that seem strange to me. Fortunately for me, The Old Farmer's Almanac was able to furnish a little insight into their behavior.
That's one thing about the Almanac, you can almost always find something in their pages that you can use. Anyway, I thought I would share these little tid-bits with you as you might have a few questions as to why your pet does what they do!
Why do cats and dogs eat grass?
Most do at some point and then vomit. While no one is certain why, some say it purges unpleasant toxins from their systems. Others say they just like the taste of grass. Whatever the reason, vets agree it causes no harm unless the grass of choice has been treated with chemicals.
Pets at Home Alone
Believe it or not, vets recommend putting on a video or the television to keep housebound dogs and cats from getting totally bored if they're home alone all day. Other loneliness or boredom cures include playing music or calling home to talk to the answering machine. A bird-feeder outside a strategically placed window can provide entertainment for cats. An aquarium with a few fish (and the top on!) will also keep a kitty occupied. And dogs always love their chew toys.
When Pets Get the Blues
Pets get depressed for some of the same reasons humans do. Illness, loneliness, lack of exercise, or a major change of lifestyle such as moving to a new home can all lead to a pets depression. It is difficult to distinguish depression from symptoms of physical illness, so a careful watch is necessary. If a mopey cat goes without eating for 36 hours, or a dog for 48 hours, it's time to call a vet. In the meantime, here are some things to try with your pet that will be healthy, even if it's not depression:
Lots of playing and vigorous walks outdoors.
Put up a mirror where a pet can see his reflection. This might reduce feelings of loneliness, if that's the depression trigger.
Make sure your pet is included when you have visitors or a new baby in the house.
Playing music, particularly classical, seems to have a positive effect on many pets.
Dogs may be jolted out of the blues with a new friend. Visit a park or doggy day-care center or class.
A cat will love more stimulation outside her window, so attract birds to your yard and make sure she has plenty of scenic vistas.
Why Cats Do the Things They DoCatnip Behavior
Why does one cat like catnip, while the next one ignores it? Cats under three months old probably won't respond at all. Males are more likely to respond than females, and unneutered males respond the most because catnip mimics the chemical found in female cat urine. The cat-active ingredient in catnip is nepatalactone.
Is it me or the food?
Cats rub against people and objects to mark and claim their territory.
Up But Not Down
If cats are natural-born climbers, why are they notorious for getting stuck in trees? Cats may be afraid of falling, or nervous about the commotion on the ground below them. Usually a cat will come down within a day if left alone, but a cat who's been stuck for much longer may need to be rescued.
Why Dogs Do the Things They DoA Bark is Not Just a Bark
You can learn to recognize what your dog is trying to say with his barks and whines. Whining between barks generally means he is frightened or doesn't want you to leave (separation anxiety). Barking a long time, with brief pauses between similar barks, means he is probably bored. An exuberant bark means it's playtime.
Many dogs are afraid of loud noises. You can make yours feel safer by giving him his own small space to crawl into, like a crate or cage. You may want to cover it with a blanket, but leave the door open. As with humans, relaxing music may calm a dog during a thunderstorm.
I guess that you could apply these same things to human behavior, especially during storms! If I read this right, to stop being frightened during a storm all I have to do is to put on some classical music, stand in front of a mirror, and cover my head with a blanket! Think that would actually work?
Some of these things you may have already figured out for yourself. Most of us long ago gave up on really trying to figure our furry friends out...and instead concentrate on ways to love them!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. I'll put on some music if you promise not to bark!