Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

Can cats rival dogs in social intelligence? Recent research suggests that they can. In this article, I’ll briefly summarize the work of Kristyn Vitale, a postdoc at Oregon State University who studies cat socialization. I’ll also share four experiments that Vitale says pet owners can try at home with their cats. I tried them with my cats, and I’ll share their results in this article as well In November 2018 I interviewed Vitale, who grew up wanting to work with cats. Not seeing many opportunities in the field, she initially pursued zoology as a career, then switched to feline research … Continue reading Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

Ten Ways To Help Dogs and Cats Stay Active in Winter

When it’s cold outside, the last thing that any of us or our pets want to do is venture outside. Nonetheless, exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Besides helping our pets avoid obesity, it can also bust the boredom that leads to behavioral issues. How then do we help our pets stay active during the winter? Here are ten ideas for dogs and cats alike. Puzzle Feeders: Encourage your pet to work for their treats and their meals by hiding their food in a puzzle feeder. This activity will both work your pet’s mind and body. Make a puzzle … Continue reading Ten Ways To Help Dogs and Cats Stay Active in Winter

Enriching the Lives of Dogs and Cats

I’m in the process of becoming certified by the International Association of Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and taking a course called Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practice. The setup of the course consists of teaching videos by animal experts, instructional handouts, a weekly online mentoring session with the teacher and all students, weekly quizzes, and a major assignment. Each week I’ll share highlights here from my studies. Jumping back to the eighth week of my Principles and Practices course, animal welfare science was the focus. The module consisted of a definition of animal welfare science and then an exploration of enrichment … Continue reading Enriching the Lives of Dogs and Cats

The Cat Training Series: Rainy Returns to Hearts United for Animals!

It was a perfect agility outing. On June 4, Andy and I made our second drive to Hearts United for Animals to train Rainy on the shelter’s agility equipment. Other than facing the humidity of a hot spring day, everything went well. In contrast, when we first visited back in early May, pretty much everything had gone wrong. Rainy is a curious cat, but she still gets nervous around new people and places. On our first visit, she encountered sensory overload: We visited on a stormy day despite knowing that noise frightens Rainy; we brought her into the agility room … Continue reading The Cat Training Series: Rainy Returns to Hearts United for Animals!

The Cat Training Series: Rainy Visits Hearts United for Animals

Rainy is training to become an agility cat! Ever since Andy and I adopted her in the fall of 2015, she’s been exposed to agility in our house, and shown herself a natural at it. Of course, it is one thing train your cat in your own home where she feels safe; it’s an entirely different thing to train your cat in an alien environment. But this is what Rainy did this past Sunday. The experience increased my belief that Rainy enjoys a life of adventure, and it gave me insights our next steps. Huge thanks goes to Hearts United … Continue reading The Cat Training Series: Rainy Visits Hearts United for Animals

Guest Post: Guinea Pig Playtime!

Can your guinea pig not get rid of that annoying piggie chow belly? Is your guinea pig planted in front of the television all day? Call 1-800-MOVEIT today and receive a free totebag, a value worth $19.95!  You can either buy into that ridiculous infomercial or take a few minutes and read this article, at no charge! Does your guinea pig have toys? I hope your guinea pig has toys! If your guinea pig doesn’t have toys, go into your bathroom, take all of the toilet paper off of the roll and give your guinea pig the roll. Did your … Continue reading Guest Post: Guinea Pig Playtime!