New to Cats? Litter Box Basics for Beginners

New to Cats? Litter Box Basics for Beginners

Behavior

Cats are great! They are independent but affectionate, playful but restful, and they don’t need to go outside to eliminate—one of the biggest positives for people who appreciate our feline overlords. Sometimes, though, cats stop peeing or pooping inside the litter box. In worst-case scenarios when this occurs, they are relinquished to shelters or re-homed. […]

One-Time Scare? How Single-Event Learning Affects Dogs

One-Time Scare? How Single-Event Learning Affects Dogs

Behavior, Training

Dogs find certain encounters so memorable that learning happens via a single experience — especially if it’s novel, intense, startling, or incredibly rewarding. Sometimes it’s hilarious, as this headline from The Onion perfectly describes — “Dog Takes Pilgrimage to Holy Site Where It Once Found Rotisserie Chicken on Side of Road.” Often, though, a single […]

How Cats Hear, See, and Feel

How Cats Hear, See, and Feel

Behavior

In a previous post I talked about how cats’ very different senses mean they do not experience the world the same way we do. That is certainly true for a cat’s superior sense of hearing. Cats can hear a mouse squeaking underground or a cockroach scurrying inside the wall. Their amazing ears enable them to […]

Declawing Changes Are Good for Cats

Declawing Changes Are Good for Cats

Behavior

After fits and starts, the momentum to ban declawing of cats is building, supported by veterinary hospitals and associations, and legislation that has been passed in cities and states. Most recently, Banfield, VCA, and BluePearl veterinary hospitals, a chain of nearly 2,000 clinics owned by Mars Inc., will no longer declaw cats as elective surgery. […]

Learning Theory 101: Modern Training Techniques

Learning Theory 101: Modern Training Techniques

Behavior, Training

If you’re a fan of Animal Planet, National Geographic, or other cable and or streaming networks, you’ve probably seen one of the many animal training programs these stations broadcast. Methods used by the featured trainers range from positive reinforcement, such as using food and treats to strengthen a behavior, to aversive techniques such as positive […]