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Posted on 09-27-2014

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

As a veterinarian and one who is traveling to your home for veterinary care, both medical and behavioral, I have seen and spoken to many people about feline behavior.  So, as someone who is very fond of our feline friends it can be very interesting but also very trying to interpret what a cat is doing or why they are doing it, to say the least.  This interview with John Bradshaw may help answer some of those question and others.  Maybe those of you who or interested in what your cat is trying to tell you or what is behind those big eyes will also find it as interesting as I did. 

Copied below is the link and some highlights to the interview

http://www.npr.org/2013/09/05/219254626/whats-mittens-thinking-make-sense-of-your-cats-behavior

Mr Bradshaw also has a book on the subject called: "Cat Sense" How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. 

Let me know what you think. 

Thanks,

Here are some highlights:

On the purpose of purring

"The purr is popularly thought of as ... indicating comfort and contentment. And it can be that, but signals like the purr — because it is a signal, it's giving out a message and it's trying to get you to do something. They don't evolve just to convey emotions, not in the animal world, anyway. What we think cats are doing here is just trying to reassure their person — or [another] cat — who is hearing the purr that they are no threat, and ideally they'd like them to stand still and help them do something. So it starts off with kittens purring to get their mother to lie still while they're suckling, and it goes on into adulthood. ... It's a signal to the animals, [and] the people around them to pay attention and try to help them."

On cats' social behavior

"I think cats are much less demonstrative animals than dogs are. It's kind of not their fault; they evolved from a solitary animal that has never had the need for a sophisticated social repertoire in the way that the dog — having evolved from the wolf — had that ready-made. So their faces are just not terribly expressive, and some people read into that, that they're kind of cynical and aloof and those sorts of things. But I don't believe that for a moment. I think cats show, by their behavior, even if it's a bit more subtle than a dog's, that they really are fond of their owners."

Dr. Robert Sidorsky  Veterinarian with Mobile Veterinary Services
Mobile Vet of Western Mass | (413) 625-9353   

Serving Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley including the following towns: Adams, Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, Chicopee, Conway, Dalton, Deerfield Erving, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Gardner, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Holyoke, Hadley, Lenox, Longmeadow, Levertt, Ludlow, Lee, Montague, Northampton, 01060, Northfield, Orange, Palmer, Pelham Pittsfield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, 01104, Southwick, Southampton, Sunderland, Shutesbury, Turners Fall, West Springfield, Westfield, Westhampton, and many others.  We are now traveling to towns in Connecticut.   Enfield, Somers, Suffiled, Simsbury, Winsdor, Granby and others.

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