May is Responsible Animal Guardian Month
Most of us with animals know that being responsible for…
Do you think your pet acts strange?
You are not alone! Whether your dog dances in circles before he lays down or your cat prefers sleeping in a box, the peculiar habits our pets have sometimes just leave us scratching our heads.
These are just two examples of strange behavior many cats and dogs exhibit. Let’s take a closer look at five of the top strange behaviors of both cats and dogs.
Chatters with birds and other animals outside the window:
Reasons run wild as to why your cat talks to the birds or other animals they see wondering by. Experts speculate that cats do this in response to pent-up frustrations for not being able to pursue and chase the birds. As far as seeing other animals and howling in their direction, this is a result of protecting their territory.
Brings you presents, not the kind with a bow on top either:
Dead rodents, insects and sometimes even birds are presents from your cat that you least expect or want! But looking at it from your kitty’s perspective, this is a true honor for her to deliver these things to you. As a kitten, her mother fed and nurtured her even sometimes bringing back dead prey. Now you are the one providing the food and nurture, and she wants to thank you. She does so by bringing you her hunt. This is also a way for kitty to acknowledge you as a part of her friends group.
Chews on plastic and other strange things:
Cats chew on things just like dogs, but some of the items that entertain your cat are definitely different. A few particular items are plastic rings off of the milk jug, carpeting, and wiring. Similar to humans and their nervous habits, cats need to vent their nervous energy too. They do so by chewing on non-food items. But most of the items your cat chooses to chew on are hazardous to their health if ingested. So kitty-parents beware!
Love of small spaces and boxes:
Birthday and holiday gifts equal good times for your cat! Most all cats love boxes and will spend time playing and sleeping in them. The smaller, the better. Why is that? Well, cats feel more secure in small spaces. Your cat’s ancestors were raised in the wild, making them easy targets if they slept in open, clear spaces. So cats learned to survive by bedding down in close, protective quarters. Cats continue to practice this habit, making use of boxes, cubby holes and tight spaces.
Not covering her poop in the litter box:
Not near as cute as some of the other habits, cats can sometimes demonstrate signsofdistress by not covering up their poop in the litter box. So what could be the problem? Reasons can range from a sore paw, to a possible urinary tract infection, or just not happy with the cleanliness of her litter box. To resolve the issue, start by cleaning out the litter box and making it a daily routine. If a cleaner litter box doesn’t fix it, check her paws for sores or infection. If the issue continues, it is time to visit your veterinarian.
Chasing his tail, non-stop:
Most puppies chase their tails, making them dizzy and wearing themselves out. That’s cute, right. But if your dog continues to chase his tail non-stop and appears frustrated, it may be something more serious. Things to consider can be an anal gland problem, allergy or dermatitis issues, or even a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. If the habit continues, it may be time to visit your veterinarian.
Tilts his head to the side as if he is trying to understand you:
You call your dog and he comes running. When he gets to your feet, he stops and cocks his head. Most of us think this is cute and adore his effort to pay closer attention. As a matter of fact, that is one of the possibilities of what he is trying to do. Among the speculations as to why your dog does this cute little trick is to better understand what you are saying, or to better listen for key commands.
Humping, but he/she is fixed:
Everyone is having a good time at your dinner party when your dog comes along and starts humping one of your guest. Been there, done that. Typically a dog who has already been spayed or neutered isn’t doing this act for a sexual reason, but rather for attention. So what do you do to break this habit? Ignore it and redirect your pet’s attention with a toy or treat.
Sniffing other dogs’ butts:
For humans we say hello and shake hands, maybe share in a hug if it’s someone we like. Well the gesture of saying hello for a dog is sniffing each other’s butts. Yes, this is how your dog makes new friends and says hello to his buddies. Your dog’s sense of smell tells him everything he needs to know about his new friend.
Eats poop, yuck:
We saved the best for last. This is a gross habit and one that we want to avoid if at all possible. But odds are your dog is doing it for a reason that you’ll want to be aware of for their health. Some dogs just like it, again, yuck! Some dogs may be hungry. For a few dogs, the reasoning could be poor nutrition. No matter what, talk to your veterinarian about the habit. This will help you determine the reasoning behind the behavior and help make changes to correct it.
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