Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs
Science doesn’t have a clear answer on this one, so cat and dog lovers may forever debate whether Fluffy or Fido is brainier. But there are hints as to which fluff ball is most intelligent.
Cats’ brains take up 0.9 percent of their body mass, compared with 1.2 percent for a dog’s brain, but size doesn’t necessarily matter here, experts say. That’s because cats have 300 million neurons in their cerebral cortex, an area of the brain responsible for information processing. Dogs have 160 million neurons in that region.
However, it’s hard to do experiments with cats because, well, they’d rather lick their paws than follow orders, scientists say. But one experiment showed that although both cats and dogs can solve puzzles to get food, cats will keep trying even if the puzzle is unsolvable, while dogs will go get humans to help them.
This doesn’t mean either animal is smarter. It just shows the effects of how dogs were domesticated at least 20,000 years before cats were, and thus are more likely to interact with humans, the study researchers said.
Putting Feline Senses To Use
Cats have many senses to assist them in zeroing in on dangerkeen eyesight, great hearing, and superb smell detection combined with unrivaled stealth. But, not all of their skills can be utilized as optimally as they are with the dog.
For example, there are many reasons why a cat wouldnt work well as a guide animalsmall size, limited strength, vulnerability to attack by larger animalsnot to mention, an independent spirit that would make any ideas of harnessing them disastrous.
And, it is simply a fact that cats are generally less interested in pleasing humans than dogs, which have had the trait inbred in them over countless generations and are therefore much more easily trained. In contrast, cats retain a lot of their feral characteristics. Not necessarily a bad thing unless you’re depending on one for successfully leading you home instead of into a field of catnip.
Or, unless you were involved in the CIA’s secret Cold War era cat-weaponizing experiment: Upon unleashing a radio implanted feline code-labeled “acoustic kitty” as an eavesdropping spy, government employees watched in dismay as it deliberately ignored instructions and wandered away from targets to both relieve itself and catch a bite to eat. And then it got run over by a car.
Clearly, though cats have great skill, their use is, by necessity, limited.
Do Cats Use Smell To Communicate
When two people meet, they evaluate each others body language, facial expressions, and tone of speech to quickly assess their relationship. They may shake hands or hug each other, share a casual verbal greeting, overflow with tears of joy, or they may totally ignore each other.
Cats may not verbalize, shake hands, or hug like humans, but they do assess each other. When two cats meet, they usually sniff the head area first or may even share a gentle head bump. This physical greeting releases pheromones from glands in the face. These pheromones tell a lot about a cat, so a cat’s sense of smell serves as a form of chemical communication tool.
Biochemical compounds emitted by cats provide the dialogue for chemical communication. The aromas produced provide information to one cat what her new-found friend likes to eat and what sort of mood she is in. By simply smelling a companion, a cat can determine whether they are male or female, happy or aggressive, or healthy or ill. Cats can get a general idea about each other with a quick sniff of the head, but more detailed information can be determined by getting up close and personal.
Common Cat Problems And Their Solutions
Litter box issues. This is “numero uno by far” of problems people report with their cats, says Linda P. Case, MS, author of The : Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health. And no wonder. It can be extremely frustrating when your kitty decides that the litter box is off-limits. But there’s usually a reason cats avoid their box, and fortunately there’s a lot you can do to address the issue.
- Talk to your vet first. Bladder stones, urinary tract diseases, and crystals in the urine are all reasons your might start avoiding the litter box. To rule these and other health issues out, be sure to have your cat checked by your veterinarian.
- Have at least one litter box per cat. If your kitty has to stand in line before they can relieve themselves, they may decide to take their bathroom break elsewhere. Try test-driving a few kinds of litter and litter boxes. Some cats prefer covered boxes, some don’t, and some cats prefer one litter over another.
- Always keep the litter box clean — even clumping litter has to be changed regularly. A rule of thumb: Clean the box at least once daily, twice if there’s more than one cat in the house.
Cat aggression. A cat may become aggressive for all kinds of reasons, including illness, overcrowding, lack of socialization, maternal protection, even simple play. To help you deal with aggression between cats:
Carlson, D., Griffin, J., and Carlson, L. Cat Owner’s Home VeterinaryHandbook, Howell Book House, 1995.
#4 Your Cats Butt Is A Good Indicator Of Their Health
Well, it is where the thermometer goes. Cats have it rough when it comes to telling their temperature, but many other species get it up the butt as well. Thats because your cats poop chute says a lot about their health.
In her article Your Cats Butt Is His Health Barometer, Caroline Golon explains just how tell-tale a cats butt can be. From dingleberries to butt scoots, cats will often display signs of illness with their backsides. Diarrhea and worms cause discomfort in the anus and rectum, and your cat may show you by scooting across the floor, leaving a skid mark or two.
Why Do Cats Open Their Mouths When They Smell A Butt
You may have also noticed that cats open their mouths when smelling something. They may be catching a scent on the air or smelling some food. A cat’s mouth may also open when sniffing another cat’s anal sacs. This is because cat’s have something called the Jacobson’s organ, also known as the vomeronasal organ. It is located between their mouth and nose on the vomer bone.
All the functions of Jacobson’s organ are not fully known. However, we do know that it is partially responsible for receiving the stimuli provided by scents. It plays a key role in hunting, reproduction and social interaction of cats.
When a cat opens their mouth when they are smelling or breathing deeply, they are allowing scents better access to the Jacobson’s organ. This action is known as the flehmen response. It creates a pumping mechanism which allows them to better perceive the smell, something very important with faint scents. Essentially, opening their mouths is a way to enhance their smelling ability. When they do this and sniff a cat’s butt, they are really digging for data.
However, it is important to note that a cat should not be doing this all the time. If a cat regularly has their mouth open, it is possible they have something wrong. This is particularly the case if it is accompanied by excessive drooling. The problem can be related to infection, obesity or even respiratory failure. Go to a veterinarian if the cat is doing this too often.
Why Do Dogs Sniff Each Other’s Butts
“When one dog greets another with a nose in the derriere, basically getting a brief biography of new friend, written in scent molecules and pheromones,” according to an article by Mental Floss. Two pouches known as anal sacs produce these scents, which provide information to other dogs about everything from your pet’s health and reproductive status, happiness, gender, owner and diet, the article said.
Dogs aren’t the only creatures who get to know each other in this up-close-and-personal fashion, though. There are several other species whose anal glands secrete pheromones that communicate their information to others. For example, cats also have active anal glands. According to , these glands “produce strong-smelling secretions intended to send chemical signals about that cat’s identity to other animals.”
But why do dogs sniff butts of pets and not their human pals? Well, this behavior isn’t really about the butt, it’s about the placement of those active glands. Humans are designed a bit differently, and the keys to our identity aren’t located in quite the same places. So while butt sniffing might be more of an animal-to-animal behavior, gland sniffing spans across many of Earth’s species.
So Why Do Cats Put Their Butts In Our Faces
Now that you know why cats show their butts to other cats, you can pretty much guess why they do it to you too.
They like you, accept you, and trust you. Showing you their butt is the seal of approval.
Even though this behavior is rooted in how cats greet other cats, that doesnt mean that your cat wants you to give their bum a sniff. This is not advised for obvious reasons.
Reasons Cats Sniff Each Other’s Butts
Before we explain the reasons why a cat will sniff another cat’s rear, it is important to know that cats have a different form of language than we do. Although they can emit vocalizations through meowing and other sounds, their main form of communication with other cats, animals and humans is through body language.
To establish a bond of mutual trust, understanding and friendship, we need to interpret their language. This means looking at their facial expressions, body posture, tail positions, behaviors and more. Through these signals, cats express their moods, emotions and perceptions.
Much of the so-called strange behaviors we witness our cat exhibiting are actually completely natural. Although it may seem shameful or embarrassing to us, cats will sniff each other’s butts as a way to greet each other. Not only are they saying hello, but cats are actually exchanging information to each other. They are revealing something about their health, whether they have been here before, whether they are sexually active and much more.
The social life of felines does not obey or determine according to the same codes that people use to interact in their day-to-day lives. We will not see two kittens shaking hands, exchanging words, hugging or kissing to greet each other. The language and communication of cats does not include this type of display of affection or cordiality.
How Do You Treat A Sneezing Cat
Treatment for cat sneezing is typically targeted at the underlying cause where possible.
While a wide variety of treatments are available, owners should be aware that the goal in most cases, especially chronic cases, is to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms, not to cure them.
More research is needed to fully understand the role that infections play in cat sneezing, but repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics have proved to be effective in controlling clinical signs.
Cat Shoves Butt To My Face Wants To Get My Attention
If youre like most people, youve heard of cats pushing their butt into your face.
Theres a very good reason why cats do that, but it can cause a lot of problems in the long run if you dont catch them before they do it.
- The thing to remember is that cats that push their butt into your face are looking for attention, so the easiest thing to do is to ignore them and let them get the attention that theyre after.
- While this may seem like a simple solution, cats that push their butt into your face are going to come back for more later.
- This means that even when youre not looking, there will be a cat thats thinking about coming into your face and is going to get your attention.
- To avoid all this attention from a cat that pushes its butt into your face, the first thing you want to do is to teach them to stop doing it.
- This isnt going to be easy, because cats are creatures of habit. Most people just ignore it and the next time they see the cat, theyre going to push their butt again.
- When you want your cat to stop this, you have to spend some time with your cat in a calm room. You need to keep your cat in an environment that is comfortable and at ease for a few days until your cat gets used to the new way that you interact with them.
- If a cat pushes their butt into my face wants to get my attention, you need to be sure that you keep their paws away from you at all times.
Why Does My Cat Bite My Other Cats Bum
Similar to biting another cats neck, biting another kittys bum can be a sign of aggression. Cats do this to show their dominance. However, it can also be an instinct, which is commonly observed on intact felines.
If the biting cat is male and the one being is female, you should consider the possibility of sexual aggression. This behavior will persist until you do something to stop the cat.
#3 Butt Wiggles Are Part Of Hunting
Youve seen your cat rev his engine up, shimmying like Shakira in her Hips Dont Lie music video. What is cute and endearing to you is actually a predatory muscle reflex taking over.
The reasons for the cat butt wiggle before pouncing are pondered by veterinarians and animal experts worldwide. No one knows for sure, but many speculate that cats are finding their footing by testing the ground, moving their back legs one at a time. Others think it helps them balance before they strike.
Either way, it looks adorable!
What Does It Mean When A Male Cat Bites A Female Cats Neck
While some pet owners might think that this is a forced encounter, its actually a natural response among male cats. They do this as protection in case the female cat tries to attack them. Such an attack can happen as mating causes pain to the female kitty.
Many cats retain their instinct to stay still when held on the scruff . With this, the male cat bites the part to somewhat disarm the female kitty.
Why Does My Cat Lick My Other Cats Bum
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Why Does My Cat Lick My Other Cats Bum? Cats Lick Each Others Butts According to Cat Wisdom 101, butt sniffing and licking is how cats greet each other. Basically, its like a handshake for animals that dont have opposable thumbs.
As I showered my cats face with kisses, my old roommate once said, It takes a healthy dose of denial to love an outdoor cat. You know, because they kill and eat birds and mice, which are just a few of the gross things cats do. If youre a cat parent, you probably arent too ruffled by your cats gross habits in the same way non-cat people are. My fellow feline-loving friends, youre totally going to relate to these gross things that cats do that actually make a TON of sense. If your cat is spraying or peeing anywhere besides the litter box, take kitty to the vet ASAP. 6Some Cats Like Licking Earwax. OK, we cant blame this gross thing on cats entirely because a lot of animals eat their own vomit. Why do they do this gross thing? According to Cat Wisdom 101, butt sniffing and licking is how cats greet each other. While the things cats do might seem icky to their humans, theres likely a lot of things humans do that cats find perplexing.
Is grooming a sign of dominance in cats? Do you know the answer to this question? Help us to improve by becoming a contributor.
To Make Sure Youre Ok
Scent alterations can cause our kitties to pay more attention to us, which in a sense shows that they care about our wellbeing. Cats cant actually see very well close up, so a sniff can be a great way to get a feel for whats in front of them even if it happens to be your face.
There are also those who also believe that cats can detect illness. It seems that cats are capable of smelling a chemical change that might be happening to our bodies because of some disease. Its possible your cat may have noticed a change in your mood and wants to make sure youre okay or theyre simply checking in with you. Kinda like a feline how are you?
How Do Vets Determine The Cause Of Cat Sneezing
Although treatment for sneezing cats is typically not costly, achieving a diagnosis certainly can be expensive.
You would think that testing for bacteria or a virus would determine the cause. However, because the nasal cavity is not a sterile location, a culture that is positive for certain bacteria does not prove that the bacteria are the primary cause of the sneeze, or even that they are causing disease .
Nor does testing positive for viruses confirm this as the underlying cause, since even asymptomatic cats will often test positive for either herpesvirus or calicivirus.
Here are some ways your vet can determine the cause of cat sneezing:
#5 Theres A Cat Version Of Kim Kardashian
This cat may just have the biggest butt in the feline kingdom. The aptly-named Kit Kardashian is an internet star. Shes a 9-year-old tabby from Surrey. An article in the Daily Mail lists her as having a 10-inch wide bottom crazy! Her poses mimic Instagram favorite Kim Kardashian perfectly; she even does the shoulder glance like Kim.
Unfortunately, having such a big behind means that Kit is overweight. The Blue Cross, who were caring for her as of 2015 after her owner died, said that she tries to run around, but struggles. Kit was put on a strict diet, and hopefully by now she has found a good home.
Do Dogs Really Have A Good Sense Of Smell
Like humans, dogs have five basic neurological senses: taste, touch, hearing, sight, and smell. Of these senses, smell takes the lead in the canine world. A dogs ability to smell is far more advanced than ours. An average dog has a sense of smell that is about 100,000 times more sensitive than his owners partly because dog noses contain 150 million olfactory receptors while human noses only have 5 million. And dogs devote about 30% of their brain mass to the detection and identification of odors, while humans use a mere 5% for olfactory purposes.
Plus, dogs have an additional tool to enhance their sense of smell. A special organ called Jacobsons organ is located inside the nasal cavity and opens into the roof of the mouth behind the upper incisors. This amazing organ serves as a secondary olfactory system designed specifically for chemical communication. The nerves from Jacobsons organ lead directly to the brain and are different from the nerves in the olfactory tissue of the nose in that they do not respond to ordinary smells. In fact, these nerve cells respond to a range of substances that often have no odor at all. In other words, they work to detect undetectable odors.
“Jacobsons organ communicates with the part of the brain that deals with mating.”
How Can You Tell Which Cat Is Dominant
This is the age cats typically will test their boundaries with other cats to establish a hierarchy. Simple dominance will be exhibited by a cat by marking or spraying urine on territory, stealing and hoarding toys, rubbing its face on items it wants to claim as its own, and claiming specific areas to sleep.
So How Smelling Each Other’s Rear Ends Part Of Their Communication
What perplexes many pet owners is why dogs sniff this particular part of the anatomy. Why rear ends? Why not ears or feet? The answer is anatomical. Inside the rectum are two small sacs called anal glands which secrete a noxious smelling substance into the rectum through a pair of tiny openings. The glands are emptied naturally when the rectal sphincter muscles contract during a bowel movement. Pet owners are unaware of this occurrence since the odor of the anal glands is masked by the odor of the dogs stool; however, dogs can definitely tell the difference.
“Because the odor is unique to every dog, two dogs can quickly determine if they have met before.”
Dogs sniff rear ends as a form of greeting and obtain vital information from the anal secretions. Is this dog friend or foe? Is he going to be a good date? Will he be aggressive? Is he feeling ill? And because the odor is unique to every dog, two dogs can quickly determine if they have met before. That aroma emanating from the anal region is a unique form of canine identification.
Dogs also have a good scent memory that can identify other dogs they have not seen for years and who was the dominant member of the pair simply by smell. When dogs belonging to the same family are separated for a while, they use the sense of smell to catch up on things. Changes in odors may convey where the dog went, what he ate, and what he did.
Is Cat Sneezing Serious
It depends on whether the cause is environmental or a disease.
Sometimes the irritants that trigger the sneeze reflex are environmentallike dust, mold, or pollenwhich the cat inhales, causing them to sneeze. In these cases, sneezing is usually not serious, especially if seen in an isolated episode.
More often, though, cat sneezing is caused by one or more disease processes.
Most commonly, a viral infection is the initial problem, with subsequent inflammation and bacterial infections causing damage to the architecture inside the nose, perpetuating the problem.
Picking Them Up For A Cuddle
Cats are usually good at keeping themselves to themselves when they dont want to be bothered. They might nap somewhere away from the hustle and bustle or just head outside to have some me-time. If theyre not feeling their most sociable, being picked up can be very frustrating, especially as they dont have a say over when the hugs end. Some cats will fend you off with a bat of their paws but many put up with the hugs, secretly waiting for it to end
You can tell your cats not a hugger if they scarper when you come towards them with open arms or dash off as soon as you let them go. As cat lovers know, cats can be very affectionate when the attention is on their own terms. Let them come to you and youll reap the rewards of consensual kitty cuddles.
Leaving Their Things Clean And Lemon
Your cats sense of smell is more finely-tuned than your own. They use scents to reassure themselves and communicate with other cats by scent marking their territory. Any changes to the way their home smells can be disorienting. Its a bit like someone sneaking into your house and painting all the walls while youre asleep.
On top of that, most cats really dont like the smell of fruits like lemons and oranges thats why gardeners recommend scattering citrus peel in flowerbeds to stop cats using it as their bathroom. Unfortunately, these scents are used in a lot of cleaning products. So, giving your cats litter tray a good scrub with a lemon-fresh cleaner could actually put them off using it.
Pick a scent-free disinfectant to clean your cats things and wash their bedding with a gentle detergent that isnt packed full of strong smells. Try not to wash all their bedding in one go. Theyll be much happier if at least one of their blankets still smells familiar. Try rotating your cleaning so you wash some in one weeks laundry and others the next time. Keep using lemon scented cleaners in places youd rather your cat didnt wander, like on kitchen counters. It might put them off exploring that area although it doesnt always work!