Cat Behaviour: April 2008 Archives

Sometimes you have the option to choose the perfect cat to be a companion to the cat you already live with. In that case blending cats into one household can be a breeze. If you are thinking about getting another cat, here are some ways to make blending cats into one household a little easier.

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So how do you choose? In a perfect world, choose the cat that comes close to the following criteria. Choose a cat that is:

* younger - a kitten younger than your cat might make your cat become a surrogate parent for the kitten.

* smaller - a kitten smaller than your cat is no physical threat so your cat won't likely cause any harm.

The sex of the cat is important too, your cat can feel threatened if you introduce a sexually mature unneutered cat into the household so try to get a new kitten that is either:

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* opposite sex - get a male if you have a female and vice versa.

* sexually immature - older cats do not usually feel threatened by a younger kitten.

* neutered/spayed - if the kitten is already spayed or neutered, that's great, but if not, get the new cat spayed or neutered as soon as your vet says.

Sometimes you just don't have the ability to choose your second cat so blending cats into one household becomes a challenge. If the new cats are abandoned cats that need rescuing, you have to move quickly. See my previous post on Blending Cats Into One Household for pointers on how to prepare for the new cat.

Blending cats into one household can be the most challenging thing for cat owners. But here are some tips and pointers that have worked for thousands of cat lovers everywhere. Just remember to be patient and to make the introductions slowly.

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I realize that sometimes you just can't prepare to introduce a new cat. Often times the new cat is literally dumped on you and you are left with the problem of blending cats into one household quickly. But whether you have two hours or two months to prepare, you need to be prepared.

So how do you go about blending cats into one household?

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The debate rages on, which came first, dogs or cats? The mounting evidence shows that dogs were domesticated long before cats, but in my opinion, it all has to do with the nature of dogs and cats. Dogs are pack animals and can be trained by "alpha dogs" (or humans). Whereas cats have a different social structure and are direct descendants of wild cats. So domestication of dogs looks different to archaeologists than the domestication of cats. Let me explain...

Determining the exact era when cats were domesticated is difficult because cats aren't necessarily raised by humans but are attracted to human settlements. Imagine you have a number of cats living close to villages, they let humans touch them and interact with them, even allow their kittens to be touched but the cats remain independent. They come and go to and from the village as they please. Humans allow this because they understand that cats need their freedom to hunt.

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Dogs on the other hand, are easier to see as domestic because they have often had collars and leashes. Dogs needed these collars and leashes so humans could control their labor, pulling sleds, sniffing out game for hunting, protection against predators, etc.

You see the difference? A cat on a leash can't stalk and kill rodents. But a dog on a leash can bark when danger approaches it's human. Archaeologists have found evidence of leashes and were able to determine without a doubt that the dog was domesticated.

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Another major difference between cats and dogs that makes it difficult to determine which came first, dogs or cats is that cats are direct descendants of wild cats. A domestic cat is physically similar to its wild ancestors. So when archaeologists find the remains of a cat near a village, it is hard for them to tell if that cat was an integral part of village life or it was just passing by.

So for now, the debate continues, which came first, dogs or cats?

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Tokyo University unveiled mice that do not fear cats and other predators. This doesn't seem very useful to the mice. But I imagine a few cats would like to meet these special mice.

The mice had receptors in their brains altered. These receptors process information about smells that would normally make the mouse panic and run. This experiment confirms what we've known for centuries, fear is connected to smell. But I find it interesting that the mouse gets frightened when it hears the cat meow. That proves to me that fear is connected to more than just one of the senses. I'm not sure why this experiment needed to be done. Didn't we already know this?

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Everyone is talking about the mouse who has been genetically altered to not fear cats. But what amazes me is not so much the mouse, but the cats. I'd like to know has the cat also been genetically altered to not hunt mice? Why hasn’t the cat eaten that fearless mouse yet? I've never seen cats this docile! Especially when there is something like a real mouse to play with.

Genetically altered or not, that mouse wouldn’t last ten minutes around my cat, Neo.

It may sound like the word "yummy" if you don't understand cat communication. What is sounds like to me is, "Get your camera out of my face, I'm trying to eat!"

Why do people torment their cats like this? The poor cat is eating and this woman has her video camera in the cat’s face, trying to get the cat to say “Yummy”. The cat behavior is telling us he is hungry and obviously feeling threatened by her getting so close during meal time.

This kind of thing makes me mad. The cat is clearly trying to communicate that he is angry, but she is disrespectful of him. I think if you want to have a good relationship with your cat, you have to listen to his cat communication and watch the cat's behavior. Just respect what he is trying to say.

It may be a funny cat video to us, but if you think about it, it's not that funny for the cat.

That’s an awful lot of fur to clean! But even though cats have been domestic for thousands of years, cleaning is one of the traits left over from their wild ancestry.

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Have you ever noticed when cats clean themselves? before they sleep, after they eat and after you touch them? Well there are reasons for them to clean themselves. Grooming and combing are just part of the answer. Get this…

Cats clean themselves after they eat because they want to remove all scent of food from their bodies… in the wild, cats are small enough to become a meal for a larger animal. They want to remove all traces of food so that a larger predator doesn’t sniff them out and mistake kitty for a tasty treat…

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…it’s the same when the clean themselves before they sleep. They think they are safer from larger predators if they remove any scent of what they ate, where they’ve been, who they met up with, etc. Kinda like taking a shower after a night of club-hopping and…. you know what I mean?……um…ahem … I guess that’s a story for another day…

Anyway… Cats also clean themselves after you pet them because they like how it feels to be petted, so they clean themselves as a way to keep the feeling going!

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

Woman gets tackled by a lion at a Photoshoot!

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