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Cats + Behavior

  • Redirected aggression occurs when a cat is aroused by another animal, person or event, but is unable to direct aggression toward the stimulus. For example, your cat is sitting on a windowsill and sees another cat out on the property.

  • This type of behavior in cats is usually quite confusing to owners. Initially the cat acts like they enjoy the physical contact and may even purr and rub against the person. However, after a variable period of time, the cat may become agitated and turn and bite the hand that is petting them.

  • Many cat owners worry that making their cats stay inside is unnatural and deprives them of their need to roam, explore, and meet other cats. However, in our modern world, the risks of an outdoor life are far greater than the benefits. This handout answers some of the questions you may have about letting your cat spend time outdoors.

  • The birth of a baby or the adoption of a new child is associated with a great deal of anxiety, excitement, and stress for not only the family, but also the family pet. Some dogs and cats can have a difficult time adjusting to these changes, especially if this is your first child, but preparation and planning will help.

  • Cats were once considered to be solitary creatures. Although there may be individual differences, we now know that they are in fact social animals who benefit from interaction with their own and other species.

  • 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 a physiological, behavioral, and emotional reaction to stimuli that an animal encounters. The physiological reaction results in an increase in heart rate, increased respiratory rate (panting), sweating, trembling, pacing, and possibly urination and defecation. Behaviorally, an animal will exhibit changes in body posture and activity when afraid.

  • Once a cat becomes overweight or obese, they have had the opportunity to develop a habit of overeating. This unsurprisingly leads to food inhalation, “counter surfing”, and constant begging.

  • Because cat foods are so palatable now, it is not as common to find a feline picky eater, but it can happen. It appears that for some cats, providing lots of variety—different flavors, styles, and textures—can overwhelm a cat with choices. For some cats, too much of a good thing (e.g. lots of food variety) is not necessarily a good thing!

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