Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Funny Cats 2

Cats sure have interesting ways of expressing themselves. Some are cute, and some, well, can hurt. Most cat owners know about love chomps, those playful nips cats give at times. They are different than true, defensive bites, which draw blood and really hurt. Love chomps are given out of affection, and sometimes can hurt a little, depending upon kitty's mood. What is going on, and why do they do this?
My cat Beau is deaf and is very physical in expressing himself. He loves to be touched, petted and kissed. His reaction back is to "chew" on me, sort of gnawing his teeth against my arm, as he purrs. I soon realized that this is out of caring, not out of defensiveness. He does this whenever he is deliriously happy, and it's sort of like he's trying to kiss me back but does it with his little teeth. Lucky me. I appreciate him for being so loving, and just show love back, but back off if he chomps a little too hard.
When your cat does this, don't hit or get mad, just gently brush it off and distract him to do something else. Cats respond to suggestion, professional trainers rely on this principle to train them. By giving kitty something else to think about, he will forget about gnawing on you and put his attention elsewhere. Though I'm not an animal behaviorist, I know what works for my cats, and use information learned by those in the know. A good resource to contact if you need a real professional's advice on cat behavior is at your local chapter of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Aniimals). I called my local chapter and asked who to talk to regarding certain behaviors and they told me a behaviorist would call me back. She did, and was very helpful in giving me tips on handling problematic cat behaviors of different kinds. The ASPCA has local chapters in most cities and is a good resource for help with animals of many kinds so I recommend them.

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