Puppy Dog Tales - November 2015
Cats and Kids
This month, Daisy Mae (our columnist and registered seizure-alert dog), introduces Jackson Galaxy, Animal Planet Host, who explains how kids and cats can coexist peacefully and playfully!
In addition to his show on Animal Planet, Mr. Jackson’s website, highlights animal rescue and shelter programs that save and place pets in good homes. His 501 (C) 3 Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk animals by transforming the places they live and by helping the people who care for them.
He also works to make sure that placements “stick” by teaching pet parents how to work with their pet kids. Add human children to the equation and you have an opportunity to teach two different species how to live together in harmony and how to avoid having tails pulled or getting scratched.
With young people in the household, learning the basics of cats and their natural behavior will make for happy everybody. In this video, entitled Cats and Kids Go Great Together, Mr. Galaxy share his thoughts on good relationships. The critical elements are to supervise kids and cats at all times, to teach your children empathy towards all living things at an early age, and to learn the basics of cat body language. One of the keys to good placement is matching personalities of the cat kid with the human kid (children size or grown up kid).
Our partnership with cats goes back a long time. Feline DNA suggests that the domestic cat has been with humans from their wild counterparts in the Middle East nearly 10,000 years ago. Anyone who has spent time with a cat knows that they are more mysterious than the household dogs.
Do cats think of their owners as parents? Siblings? Friends? Rubbing around our legs when they greet us, cats are signaling that they regard us as friendly but at the same time slightly superior to them. When living in a family group, kittens rub on their mothers, females rub on bigger cats. The reverse rarely occurs.
Why do cats sometimes suddenly bite or scratch the person who is petting them? You have most likely missed a warning sign. Most cats love to be petted but only for a short while. Flattened ears and a slight switch of the tail lets you know that it is time to stop.
Why do cats knock objects off tables and shelves? Some are really just clumsy and others bat things off tables just to get your attention or because they do it for their own entertainment. In our household Ginger will hop on a table and you will hear scoot, scoot, crash. He seems to find this very amusing.
Why do cats climb into boxes, especially those that are too small? Cats love to feel protected and hidden, especially when they are taking a nap. Cardboard boxes are just dandy for felling secure. Why they pick boxes that are too small is a mystery.
Kitty Body Language
Here are some things you may see but don’t know the why of:
Dog lovers may not agree that cats make excellent pets and companions but our household of dogs and cats disagree. Dogs and cats teach your children to take care of and nurture other living things. We make you healthier and happier and bring you joy.
If you have a cat in your life you will find as Yogi Berra said “ You can observe a lot just by watching”. If you don’t have a cat in your life, consider adding one to your family. You will have a built in stress reducer. Just watch this video and you will be convinced.
Well gentle reader, keep your tail high and your feet dry.
Love, Daisy Mae
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