What Pet Behaviors Actually Mean

07.12.2017 | 02:29 pm

Like people, pets have thoughts and emotions, and also like humans, pets have many not-so-straightforward ways of communicating those thoughts and feelings. If you’ve ever had your hand mauled after your cat seemingly invited you for a belly rub or observed your dog marching in circles before lying down, there’s actually a logical explanation for that (and other) peculiar pet behaviors.

What It Means When Cats Show Their Bellies

To humans, a cat’s furry tummy looks like an invitation for an affectionate scratch; however, for many felines, the exposed tummy is actually a defensive pose. The cat is positioning himself to use his hind legs and claws for battle. Note that kittens raised on affectionate belly rubs don’t necessarily see tummy scratches as opportunities for attack.

Why Do Cats Bite During a Pet?

Speaking of seemingly irrational times when cats attack, cat owners occasionally get bitten during a perfectly normal petting session. One minute, you’re stroking Mittens; the next, Mittens has nipped (hard) at your hand and is staring loathsomely from across the room.

Cats do this when they’re overstimulated and are ready to end the hands-on affection. Get to know your cat’s threshold for stimulation and remember when they’re tired of being adored, no means no.

Why Do Cats Glare and Blink?

If a cat has ever stared at you and slowly blinked like a plotting super villain, they aren’t planning to punish you for running out of the good cat food. They’re actually communicating trust and affection. The slow blinks are referred to as “kitty kisses” by researchers.

What’s Up with Cat Freak Outs?

One of the strangest cat behaviors is when they leap up from a dead sleep and erratically run amok. No, the cat hasn’t been bitten nor are they insane. This sudden explosion of energy stems from their wild ancestry. Wild cats hunt multiple times a day; domestic cats rest a lot, but they still have energy that needs to be burned; hence, the need to “go nuts” every so often.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

As peculiar as cats are, dogs have their own share of misunderstood activities. Barking is one of those things. In fact, barking can mean many things such as:

  • Boredom or loneliness
  • Wanting something
  • Confusion
  • Fear

The length, pitch, and frequency of the bark are indicators of the message. For example, a fast-paced yip could be your dog saying, “I want!” Meanwhile, a loud, crisp bark or two could indicate newcomers and anxiety.

Why Do Dogs Yawn and Lick Their Noses?

We might assume dog yawns mean tiredness and nose-licking is just an overzealous lip-lick; however, both of these behaviors are calming signals, which means your dog might be stressed. Keep an eye out for these signs, so you can provide extra comfort during stressful situations.

Why Do Dogs Circle Before Lying Down?

Dogs that circle aren’t indecisive. They’re doing what they’re programmed to do. Prehistoric canines would circle to make nests and to drive away pests before going to sleep in the wild. Your dog is just indulging his “wild” side.

Why Must Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Bottoms?

Sniffing another dog’s bottom is one of the most peculiar dog behaviors. While scientists don’t know what dogs find out about one another from this sniff-and-greet, they do know the behavior stems from primal instinct and that dogs have certain odors that provide information to other dogs.

Pets can be peculiar, and like humans, each one is different. Spend lots of time with your pet and get to know what his behaviors mean, so you can take great care of him.

While you might need to do a little observational study to understand your pet’s behaviors, it’s a no brainer that the best diet for your pet’s physical, mental, and emotional health is one made with all natural ingredients, like those made by Holistic Select.

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