Cat Behavior

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Can Cats Count?

20 Mar 2018 22:55

Have you ever heard of Clever Hans? He's the grand-uncle of Mr. Ed, who came from a line of cognitively-advanced horses. Old Hans couldn't talk like Mr. Ed, but he could count, and he became famous for doing so.

Of course, there is no talking horse and, as it turned out, though Hans was definitely clever horse, he could not really count. He would amaze people by stamping his hoof to count out different numbers. You could name a number, and he would stamp that many times. But, he wasn't really counting. He was responding to nonverbal cues, especially those of his trainer and owner. He was reacted to almost unseen changes in the trainer's behavior which told him it was time to stop "counting."…

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Does My Cat Need Another Cat?

28 Sep 2017 21:21

When one of our cats died, my wife immediately wanted another cat. I thought, however, that introducing a new cat would be stressful to our cat, Miranda. She was already very nervous. My wife, however, always uses the excuse that cats need other cats. I wanted to figure out if this is true. Do domestic cats need other cats to live with? Or, are they as solitary as their reputations suggest?…

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Does Your Cat Recognize Itself in the Mirror?

09 Apr 2017 22:10

Can other animals recognize their own reflection? This is one of the most interesting questions in animal psychology and leads to some quite entertaining films. It does seem that chimpanzees, orangutans, dolphins, and maybe elephants seem to know they are looking at themselves in the mirror, at least after some experience. But what about cats?…

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Why Do Cats Hate Water?

17 Mar 2017 01:08

First of all, not all cats hate water and avoid it. Some cats, both big and small, domesticated and wild, enjoy water and even like to go swimming. Tigers, for instance, have been known to go into the water voluntarily. So, if you ever get chased by one, don't think water is a refuge!…

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Cats Are Not Fur People

16 Mar 2017 23:55

I've already tried to debunk the claim, often couched in scientific terms, that your cat thinks you are a giant furless cat. That is a silly and quite unprovable claim but at its heart is another, perhaps harmful myth:

Your cat is a furry little human. Many of us think of our cats as our children. Not only do we prescribe human emotions to them, but human needs. We treat them like humans, instead of cats….

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