Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Animal Behavior

Kittens and Puppies is there really much difference? I posted a few days ago about the difference in care between the two, but after a few hours with my 12 week old puppy today, I'm  wondering if there is much of a difference between cat behavior and dog behavior in general.

I grew up with cats of all varieties as as an adult became better acquainted with dogs. Today  I watched as my puppy perched himself in the grass and romped around finding the best place to stop and watch the birds. Then, to the poor birds surprise, he would try to ponce upon it just like a cat!

 Later he basked in the sun for few, came inside gave himself a good licking, tried using my couch for some clawing and feel fast asleep sprawled out across my couch. As I sat there watching him rest, I realized this wasn't far off from a day in the life of anyone of my cats!

So besides physical appearance what behaviors set apart the common dog and cat and more interestingly what do they have In common.

The most common cat behaviors we have all been witness to are:

  • Purring
  • Kneading
  • Clawing
  • Curiosity
  • Body Language - frightened, relax, etc
  • Meowing
  • Biting

The most common dog behaviors are:

  • Chewing
  • Biting - this should only be true of  friendly puppy play
  • Barking/growling/whining
  • digging
  • Licking
  • Body Language - aggressive stance, relaxed etc

Obviously some of these are very similar. Where a dog barks, whines or growls as a way of vocalizing a need or emotion. Cats often meow, pur and even hiss for the same reasons.

Biting for a dog can be as simple as puppy play. I have never met a puppy who didn't first try to play using his mouth. Even my big guys gently mouth when playing. I call it "mouthing" because they NEVER apply pressure or teeth at that stage. Cat biting is usually a way of getting you to stop what your doing. Possibly the cat is over-stimulated, does not want to be held, etc etc. Often by removing  your "action" from the equation  the cat will retreat on his or her own.

Cat's love to lick themselves for grooming purposes. Cat's will also lick other cat's and even people to groom them, and or, show them care and affection. Dogs lick for a wide variety of reason and they tend to lick a lot! Dogs lick out of instinct, more subordinate members of a pack will lick the more dominant members, and domestic dogs lick humans because their salty skin tastes good, but more importantly to show love and affection. The big reason dogs lick though, is that it simply feels good to them. Licking releases endorphins which immediately bring the dog a feeling of comfort and pleasure.

Photo source
Digging isn't as common with cats as it is with dogs, but I've had a kitty digger before. With my dogs however, this has become our most common problem and hardest behavior to solve. Dogs dig for so many reasons, it can be hard to pinpoint why, your dog is digging. Dogs dig to keep cool and comfortable, to bury things, to hunt small animals and some dogs simply like to eat dirt and plant roots they uncover. Whatever the reason is, this is the hardest behavior for me to break.

A dogs digging can be compared to the frustration of a cat who claws everything. There was a time when not a single door frame in my home was free from claw marks. Cats claw or scratch for many reason just like a dogs dig. Cat's scratch to remove dead skin from the nail, to mark their territory both visually and with scent, to communicate dominance and simply as a way of stretching.

As you can see as different as dogs and cats can be they are also very similar in many ways. These behaviors listed are just some of the more typical ones and all animal behaviors vary.

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Pam said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Our family couldn't have "typical" cats. lol We had to have the three little weirdos. Is that the puppy you are keeping? It's a cutie.

Terri said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's funny you should mention digging! Our senior cat loves to dig in my flower beds! Let the old girl outside for a sun on the front porch and there go the petunias!

Sandy VanHoey said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think each and every one has such different personalities. My sisters dog (boxer) digs anywhere she can, also does the "mouthing" play often. Another dog, doesn't want to be bothered, isn't very playful at all. My sisters dog dug up every tree she planted and flowers too.so we know how you feel

Closer to Lucy said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think digging is an animal instinct in general...Ms. Ma'am's little pigs even dig their little heads down inside their bowls. I had to change out their continuous feeders because one of them kept putting her head up in the tubing to get at the food inside. Was the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a while.

Carolyn Colley said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love those puppy dog eyes. I've only had one dog, that was a house dog (weinner dog) she was so spoiled, the difference that I seen was that she wanted all my attention when I got home from work, unlike the cats, they just wanted to be fed & attention only when they wanted it,my dog was so jellous of my grandchildren.

Jennifer Rogers said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have three cats one dog all pretty house animals, they all have very unique personalities and I love to watch them interact with each other, they are very similar to children!

Mami2jcn said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm allergic to cats so I can only have dogs. It's interesting to read about these behaviors.

Our poodle acts almost like a human.

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