Posts in Category: Training & Behavior
While the image of a slobbering rottweiler or a menacing pack of pit bulls might be what comes to mind for most when aggressive dogs are discussed, our smaller canine companions are not exempt from this description. They may not have quite the bad rap that dobermans or German Shepherds can have, but pint-sized pups can carry quite the pugnacity as well.
Understanding why the aggressive small dog has so much attitude can help pet owners to better train and enjoy their pets. No judgement here from the staff at Androscoggin Animal Hospital, we are here to help.Continue…
You may think, “When cat’s swim!” could very well be the equivalent of “When pigs fly!”
While it is true that some cats detest water, you may be surprised that some don’t.
Amazingly, certain breeds are not only open to the idea of exploring water but welcome opportunities to play and even swim in it. Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Turkish Vans, Manx, and Abyssian can easily take to the water, given the chance and a proper introduction.
Just Keep Swimming?
You may be surprised to learn that cats can swim incredibly well. In addition to some breeds actually enjoying the water, all cats naturally move in ways that resemble basic survival swimming.
But How Do I Teach a Cat to Swim?
Many cat owners have found success by positively introducing their cat to water at an early age. The more they get used to water, the better. Kittens are more apt to acclimate to water if it’s part of their overall socialization process. But, if you approach the introduction with patience and a gentle hand, a cat of any age can learn that water is a-okay.
Keep the splashing to a minimum and never never force cats to enter the water. Likewise, be sure the water is a comfortable temperature.
Swimming itself presents certain challenges, some of which you may not have anticipated. For example, be sure that your cat knows how to safely exit the water. Ramps or a feline-friendly ledge can work wonders, but make sure your cat understands that.
Our Amazing, Astounding Cats
Oddly, cats like to sleep inside cardboard boxes instead of fluffy, soft beds. They like to meow for food despite their bowls not being empty. And, undeterred by well-placed scratching posts throughout the house, they like to scratch up the furniture or curtain panels.
What’s an owner supposed to do? Well, for starters, it’s important to recognize that cats aren’t doing any of this to be irritating. With patience, guidance and positive reinforcement, you can stop destructive cat scratching in its tracks.
Cat scratching provides an excellent back stretch, and it feels good in the arms and toes, too. Speaking of their toes, scratching helps to remove the dead outer sheath of the claws. Perhaps more importantly, however, is that cats leave their scent on the scratching location, which also visually communicates “I was here”.Continue…
The magic of cat communication may be lost on people that live exclusively among dogs. Instead of actively vying for their owner’s attention with barks or whines, a cat may simply stare. Likewise, they may not wag their rears for a treat, or lick your face with abandon, but a closely bonded cat will likely greet their person with a long, meaningful blink.
Incredibly subtle at times, feline body language has a lot to say and it does so by way of their long, fluffy, expressive tail.
The Whole Picture
Of course, cats are known for meowing at their owners to convey their interest in food, snuggling, playtime or outside access. But perhaps more important is the fact that they use feline body language signals to get what they want, or show how they’re feeling.Continue…
Following the adoption of a new pet, a “honeymoon period” commences. Pet owners are understandably smitten with their new addition and forgive certain transgressions, like waking up at dawn, climbing on the furniture or leaving a puddle or pile behind.
It takes time for newbies to learn and conform to the rules of the household, and in some cases the process of house training a new pet can be painstaking. Take heart. Getting your pet to understand when and where they can relieve themselves is an investment with sizable returns.Continue…
Some cat owners hit the lottery with their cats. They are peaceful, loving, and agreeable when it comes to demanding the perfect balance of food and attention. Other cat owners wonder what they’re doing wrong when they see messes outside the litter box, shredded toilet paper, and couch cushions with claw marks all over them. The differences between certain feline behaviors can hinge on ensuring that all of their environmental needs are met.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are incredibly social animals. Although they may prefer living with littermates, most cats are capable of coexisting with other pets and enjoy the company of their human family members.
Cats are also quite territorial, which can cause problems in some homes. With their highly developed senses of hearing and smell, cats can anticipate threats, and will fight tooth and claw to defend their territories. While it can sometimes be difficult to determine signs of stress or pain in cats, they do employ obvious responses to territorial threats, like hissing, yowling, puffing up, and tail thrashing.Continue…
Congratulations on your new canine addition! You’ve got your hands full, and we’re not just talking about wellness visits, vaccinations, or spaying/neutering. We’re referring to the importance of properly introducing your wide-eyed pup to the great big world.
Learning about other people, pets, noises, and crowds can be extremely overwhelming. If not learned in a supportive, calm, and patient manner, your new puppy could develop unnecessary aversions. Start your pet off on the right paw with our special tips for puppy socialization. Continue…
Taking your cat to the vet’s office may be low on your list of enjoyable activities. First there is the struggle to get kitty into his or her carrier, and then the car ride to the vet with a yowling cat, followed by the ordeal of the actual office visit. It’s no wonder that, although cats are the most popular pet in the U.S., they are more likely to miss out on regular wellness exams than dogs.
Besides choosing a top-notch veterinary practice (ahem), one of the biggest factors is helping your cat overcome his or her fear of the vet is crate training. By crate training your cat ahead of time, you can greatly reduce the level of anxiety that is normally associated with a trip to the vet. Continue…
Rolling out the Welcome Mat for an Under-served Pet Population
It’s a question that has been asked for many years: Are you a dog person, or are you a cat person? If pet ownership is any indication of allegiance, then the public has clearly spoken. Cats are the pet of choice, making up the greater number of home companion animals. It is apparent that more people are realizing what great pets cats can be. Continue…