Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Behavior

Our specialist have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about Behavior and Training, in dogs and cats. If your pet has changed his/her behavior, or you want to know how to treat a behavior problem, you’ve come to the right place! Learn about topics ranging from aggression in dogs and cats to destructive behavior and body language.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Behavior
  1. Dog Behavior Problems
  2. Aggression in Dogs
  3. Dog Biting
  4. Head Pressing
  5. Dog Barking
  6. Crying
  7. Digging
  8. Chewing
  9. Jumping on People
  10. Chasing Cars
  11. Dog Car Sickness
  12. Dogs Fear of Children
  13. Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby
  14. Dog Behavioral Changes
  15. Destructive Behavior
  16. Dogs Body Language
  17. Aggression in Cats
  18. Kitten Behavior
  19. Litterbox Training
  20. Cat Scratching
  21. Cat Anxiety
  22. Cat Compulsive Behavior
  23. Cats and the Outdoors
  24. Cat and New Baby
  25. Clicker Training for Dogs
  26. Clicker Training for Puppies
  27. Clicker Training for Cats
  28. Bonding with Your Pet

Dog Behavior Problems

What is the most common behavioral problem faced by dog owners?

The most common behavioral problem in dogs tends to be related to aggression. This is because there are so many reasons for aggression to occur and so many behaviors can be related to aggression. For example, if your dog is protecting you in your home, this is considered canine aggression.

If my dog has separation anxiety, what can I expect to come home to if I work long days?

Dogs with separation anxiety may need to be crated. If left alone, some dogs may urinate/defecate on the floor, tear your house apart, chew on household items and bark compulsively.

All I did was move bedrooms and my dog is acting out of control. What happened?

This could be due to separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can be caused from something as simple as moving from one bedroom to the next. If this is the case, the anxiety should ease soon.

What is the best tip you can give me regarding house training my dog?

The best dog training tips I can give you is to keep a schedule. This will help your dog understand when he is going to use the bathroom next. For example, as soon as you wake up, you should take him out. Then, if you feed him in the morning, wait an hour or two after you feed your dog to take him out. Take him out the same time every single day. This will establish a routine and should help you with house training.

Aggression in Dogs

Is my dog genetically programmed to be more aggressive than others?

Yes, there are dog breeds which are more susceptible to aggression. Due to various dog breeds being bred to fight or guard, some breeds may be more likely to show signs of aggression than others.

My dog may be aggressive. What are some common signs of aggression?

Signs of aggression include rigid body stance, growling, showing teeth, snarling, snapping and/or biting.

Are there different types of aggression?

In dogs, there are several types of aggression. These types include territorial, protective, possessive, fear-related and defensive aggression.

Do you think my dog is displaying territorial aggression?

Territorial aggression occurs when a dog is defending his or her area against intruders. A dog displaying territorial aggression may bark at people, charge intruders or even attack the intruder.

Is territorial aggression more common in male or female dogs?

Territorial aggression may occur in male or female dogs.

Does territorial aggression occur in puppies?

Territorial aggression is not likely to occur in puppies. This type of aggression is more common in adults one to three years of age.

I think my dog is showing signs of protective aggression. What are some common signs of protective aggression?

Protective aggression occurs when the dog is protecting one of its own. This could be a family member or a friend and the dog feels that person or pet is in danger. This type of behavior may occur in dogs who are not generally aggressive.

I just had a baby and my dog is showing signs of aggression. Why is this?

This could be due to protective aggression. Protective aggression commonly occurs when a new baby is born. The dog may attempt to protect the baby from all people and pets in the home.

Are male or female dogs more prone to aggression?

Male and female dogs are equally susceptible to showing signs of protective aggression. Learn more about Preparing your dog for your new Baby

What is possessive aggression?

Possessive aggression may occur when a dog is competing for food. This type of aggression may occur when a person or pet is approaching their food dish.

Are male or female dogs more prone to possessive aggression?

Males and females are equally susceptible to showing signs of possessive aggression.

Puppies are not generally prone to showing signs of protective or territorial aggression; are they prone to showing signs of possessive aggression?

Yes, this type of aggression can be seen in puppies as well as adults.

What is fear-related aggression?

Fear-related aggression occurs when the dog is afraid of something. They often have a flight response to a certain stimulus. If the dog believes he or she has to face the fear, they may show signs of fear-related aggression.

Are male or female dogs more likely to show signs of fear-related aggression?

Yes, male and female dogs are both equally likely to show signs of fear-related aggression.

Are puppies more likely to show signs of fear-related aggression?

Yes, puppies as well as adults can show signs of fear-related aggression.

What is defensive aggression?

Defensive aggression is similar to fear-related aggression. The difference between the two is, instead of the flight response, the dog has a fight response. This may lead to attacking the pet or person the dog is fearful of.

Is defensive aggression more common in puppies or adults?

Defensive aggression is more common in adults but has been known to occur in puppies.

Can my dog’s aggression be cured?

There is not a guarantee that an aggressive dog can be cured; however, there is a likelihood that the dog can become less aggressive with less occurrences or the behavior can even be eliminated altogether if the dog cooperates with a behavior modification plan.

I’m not sure if my dog is mouthing or biting aggressively. What is the difference?

Mouthing is a normal behavior which often occurs when the dog is playing. Some dogs may bite out of aggression, though; this is aggressive biting. Aggressive biting is often more painful and quick than mouthing.

My puppy is only 7-weeks old and he occasionally nips at my hands when we are playing. Is this okay since he is still so young?

No, you should not allow your dog to “mouth” you even though he is a puppy. As he gets older, he will believe that behavior is okay and is likely to still be displaying the behavior as an adult. Learn more about How to stop a puppy from biting hands

How can I get my dog to stop “mouthing?”

In an attempt to discontinue mouthing, you can give your dog a bone when he begins to mouth you. You can also encourage new chewing toys to keep your dog’s mouth busy throughout the day.

Can an aggressive dog be trained?

Yes, absolutely. An aggressive dog can be trained. The level of difficulty associated with this varies, though. Different types of aggression are harder to treat. If you are unsure of what type of aggression your dog is experiencing you should consult with a behavior professional. Learn more about How to train an aggressive dog?

How can I determine the type of aggression my dog has?

You can determine the type of aggression your dog is experiencing by asking yourself several questions. What was occurring at the time of aggression? Where was your dog showing the signs of aggression? Did the aggression stop? If so, when?

Are there risks associated with training an aggressive dog?

Absolutely, there are many risks associated with training an aggressive dog. Getting bit is likely when training an aggressive dog. There are many behaviorists who get bit while they are working with the dog. If you are concerned, you should contact a behaviorist to assist you in implementing a plan best suited to your particular dog.

Dog Biting

Why is my dog biting?

A single incident of Biting does not always have a medical of psychological cause, in some cases it was an accident or the dog was attempting to play with you. However, when a pet shows a sudden tendency to bite, quickly and painfully, it may be caused by a medical condition, such as some type of pain your dog may be experiencing. In that case, it is advised to consult with a veterinarian.

How can I tell if my dog is being mean or being playful in his biting?

If your dog is relaxed in his bite, it is likely the dog is displaying mouthing behavior which is essentially the dog or puppy being playful. If the dog is painful and quick in his bite, he is likely to be diagnosed with aggressive biting behavior.

Are both dogs and cats susceptible to biting their pet parent?

Yes, both dogs and cats have the tendency to bite their pet parent in certain situations.

What are some possible medical reasons for my dog biting?

If your dog is biting and the cause is medical, this could be due to a number of problems, including but not limited to adrenal dysfunction, seizures, thyroid imbalances or orthopedic problems. The dog may also simply be old. If the dog is “aged,” he or she is likely to lash out due to pain and/or confusion. Various diets can also cause the dog to be behavioral due to imbalances in their nutrient levels.

If my dog’s problem with biting is medical, how will it be treated?

If the dog is biting due to a medical problem, it is best to work with a veterinarian to determine a solution. If the veterinarian does discover a medical problem, he or she will work closely with you, the pet parent, to determine the best solution to the problem. There may be various treatments recommended based upon the medical information discovered.

If my dog’s problem with biting is behavioral, how will it be treated?

If your dog is not biting due to a medical problem and rather due to a behavioral problem, it may be best to consult with a pet behavior expert. Biting can be extremely difficult and dangerous to deal with. Working with a pet behavior specialist will assist you in implementing a plan to correct this difficult behavior. The behavior specialist will develop a plan customized to your pet’s temperament and situation. The pet behavior expert can monitor the dog throughout the process and determine how to best proceed based upon the progress of the dog.

Head Pressing

My dog has been pressing his head against the wall. Why?

A cat or dog can have the urge to press the head against objects for different reasons, such as a tumor, an infection in the nervous system, or fungal infections. For example, head pressing is a sign of a serious disease known as prosencephalon disease. Other symptoms of this disease include seizures, visual problems and pacing.

I was told my dog may have precephalon disease. What is this and what will the veterinarian do?

Head pressing is most associated with prosencephalon disease which involves the forebrain and thalamus of the brain. Compulsive pacing, visual problems, changes in behavior and seizures are often associated with this disease. These symptoms may also lead to lesions. Cuts or sores due to excessive pacing or injuries to the head are associated with this disease. The veterinarian is likely to closely examine the retina to determine if there are any irregularities with the brain and determine the cause of head pressing in your pet. The veterinarian will also test for high blood pressure and request an MRI and/or CT. A urine analysis will also be conducted in order to look at blood and lead levels.

What is the treatment associated with head pressing?

The treatment of head pressing is dependent upon the cause associated with the behavior. If severe, the veterinarian will recommend hospitalization and immediate treatment of the disease or cause. Regardless of the cause, the veterinarian will recommend follow-up visits for neurological examinations.

Dog Barking

Why does my dog bark? Is it really necessary?

Dogs bark for many reasons; however, they bark in place of talking. Barking is their form of communication. Barking allows them to express their wants and needs to another pet or human.

What is territorial barking?

Territorial barking is generally in response to another person or pet entering your dog’s territory.

Could my dog be barking to get my attention?

Yes, absolutely. This is a definite possibility. Your dog may be barking in an effort to tell you he wants something.

My dog is barking excessively. What can I do?

To treat compulsive barking, you can implement some type of exercise routine or increase his current exercise routine. You can also try increasing mental stimulation. There are toys currently available to help with mental stimulation in dogs. Learn more about How to stop your dog from barking

Can’t I just buy an anti-bark collar?

You can treat the barking with an anti-bark collar; however, it is recommended as a last resort.

Crying

I think my pet is ‘crying.’ There are tears comng out of his eyes. What are some symptoms to determine if he is crying?

Symptoms of ‘crying’ include squinting, inflammation, eye discharge and sagging skin around the eye. This may be caused from some type of trauma to the pet’s face, tumors or tear duct obstruction. In order to properly diagnose, the veterinarian must determine the reasoning of the tear production. Other causes of increased tear production include conjunctivitis, allergies and glaucoma.

How is crying treated?

If there is a blocked duct, the dog will be put under anesthesia as a surgical instrument is placed into the duct in order to flush out the reason for the blockage. In various cases, the blockage is due to an abnormality in the dog’s development. If this is the cause, the duct can be surgically opened successfully. If the cause is due to allergies and/or infections, a flushing may be conducted to assist in widening the ducts.

Digging

I can’t get my dog to stop digging. What is the purpose of it?

Digging is a natural behavior for dogs; it is not considered a destructive behavior. Your dog may just be digging to cool down if it’s hot or may simply be bored. To relieve the boredom digging, you can try providing your dog with some type of mental stimulation toy such as a Kong. Your dog could also be digging to try to find an animal. Learn more about How to get your dog to stop digging

When I leave my house, my dog digs up the floor. Why?

Your dog is likely experiencing some separation anxiety. When you leave, you could try putting your dog in a kennel with his favorite toy; or perhaps a Kong. The Kong can be stuffed with a treat such as peanut butter or cheese and is likely to keep the dog busy for hours. Learn more about How to stuff a KONG

Can I just smack him when he starts digging?

No, you should never use physical punishment with your dog. This could damage the trust and bond your dog has created with you.

Chewing

Why is my dog chewing?

Your dog could be chewing items for a number of reasons. How old is your dog? If your dog is still a puppy, the dog may be teething. In this case, you can purchase a toy or perhaps give the dog some ice cubes to relieve the puppy’s sore gums. If your dog is an adult, he may be chewing due to separation anxiety or hunger. Is he/she chewing when you leave the house or when you are standing right next to him/her? If your dog is chewing in front of you, you could try giving the dog some food or a toy like a Kong. You can see if this helps.

My dog is always chewing. Is this common?

Yes, chewing is a natural behavior in dogs. This is instinctive so it is very common.

I heard there are some kind of bad tasting sprays out for dogs who chew?

Yes, there are deterrents available for you to try. You can spray the deterrent on the item(s) your dog is chewing and see if it keeps the dog from chewing. If it works, do this for several weeks to ensure the dog stops. After several weeks, it is likely he/she will not be interested in chewing the item(s). Learn more about How to stop a dog from chewing

Jumping on People

My dog keeps jumping on people; why is this?

Dogs like to jump because you are much taller than them. They like to “get on your level.” They are often just trying to greet you or “talk” to you.

How can I stop my dog from jumping on me?

If your dog jumps on you when you get home, you can try ignoring the dog when she/he jumps. As soon as she/he gets down you should give the dog attention. This will help him/her learn that you are more interested in the dog once he/she is down than when she/he jumps up. Learn more about How to stop dogs from jumping on people

Chasing Cars

Why does my dog chase cars?

Your dog chasing cars is instinctive. The dog is running after a moving object.

How can I get my dog to stop chasing cars?

As soon as you see the dog interested in the cars, you should re-direct his/her attention. Learn more about Why do dogs chase cars

Dog Car Sickness

My dog is becoming sick on car rides. Why is this?

If your dog is afraid of car rides, this can most likely be caused by motion sickness. Dog car sickness is completely possible and is likely to cause your dog to feel poorly when riding in the car if not treated correctly.

Why is motion sickness most common in puppies?

This is due to lack of development in sensory structures.

Why can’t I give my dog motion sickness medication for humans while riding in the car?

You should consult a veterinarian prior to giving your dog any type of medication. The veterinarian will prescribe a medication which is dog-friendly and will not harm your dog.

What are some signs of dog car sickness?

Symptoms may include whining, yawning, vomiting, inactivity and drooling. If your dog has most or all of these symptoms, you can try treating these using simple behavioral remedies.

Can dog car sickness be treated?

Yes, absolutely. You can do this by making the car ride as enjoyable as possible. You can ensure the dog is not near the windows. You can also open to windows to balance the air pressure outside and inside the car. A Kong toy is also very helpful. You can fill the Kong with the dog’s favorite snack which will keep her occupied throughout the car ride. Learn more about Car sickness in dogs: What to do?

Dogs Fear of Children

Why would my dog fear children?

Your dog may fear children for a number of reasons including inadequate socialization with children at a young age, a traumatic experience or there may not be any cause.

What are some signs my dog is afraid of children?

Signs of fear include a hunched back, a tucked in tail and/or whining.

How can I tell if my dog is afraid or just being submissive around children?

If your dog interacts with children but does not attempt to avoid the child, it is likely the dog is simply submissive and not fearful.

How should I treat my dog’s fear of children?

If your dog is fearful of children, it is likely the fear will trigger aggression. A dog who is not able to run away from the children may display aggressive behavior. It is absolutely critical not to use punishment as a way to handle the fearful behavior. You should also avoid using any type of reward to bring the dog near the child(ren). Learn more about Does your dog fear children?

Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby

How should I prepare my dog for a new baby?

You can help your dog prepare for the baby by establishing a plan. You should introduce your dog to new experiences prior to the new arrival. Introduce her to new smells she may experience once the baby comes. New smells may include baby diapers, baby wipes and baby shampoo. Introduce her to new sounds; a baby cry, for example.

How should I make my dog more comfortable with how the baby will treat him?

To make your dog more comfortable with touching, you should touch your dog in unusual areas such as the inside of the ears, inside of her mouth, under her paws and on her tail. If he does not like you touching any of these areas, you should feed him treats while you are touching him. This will help him become familiar with being touched in the areas the baby is likely to touch.

Do you think my dog will be mean to the new baby?

Most dogs are not mean to the new baby but are instead rather protective of the new baby. They see the baby as part of their family once he or she is born.

Dog Behavioral Changes

Why would my dog all of a sudden be showing changes in his behavior?

There are a wide range of causes associated with sudden behavioral changes. For example, an insufficient amount of exercise could lead to destructive behavior due to boredom. Encouraging interactive activities may decrease or eliminate the behavior problem.
Insufficient mental stimulation may cause behavioral changes. Some type of mental stimulation should be continuously provided for your cat or dog. The activity could be as simple as hiding your cat’s food throughout the house or providing your dog with a puzzle toy.
A common cause of behavioral issues involves a change in schedule or routine. The change of routine can often throw off your dog or cat. Some type of large change such as moving to a different home, a new child or a change in work shift can alter your dog or cat’s behavior.

Do both dogs and cats experience behavioral changes?

Yes, both dogs and cats experience behavioral changes.

My dog has sudden behavioral changes. Should I consult the veterinarian prior to the behavior specialist?

Yes, the veterinarian should first rule out any medical causes for the behavior change.

Destructive Behavior

My dog is being extremely destructive. Why might he be displaying such destructive behavior?

Destructive Behavior can be caused by different psychological conditions, such as separation anxiety, fears, and boredom. Destructive behavior can also be caused by a medical condition. Destructive behavior and secondary destructive behavior can also lead to problems with the dog’s teeth, skin, intestines or stomach. It is advised to observe your pet’s behavior in detail and then consult a pet behavior specialist, who can give advice to reduce the Destructive Behavior of your pet.

What are some conditions which may be associated with my dog’s destructive behavior?

If your dog spends a great deal of time chewing the furniture, portions of its own body or displays signs of pica (eating items which are not food), this may be due to obsessive compulsive behavior. If the behavior is due to separation anxiety, the pet may chew on home items, personal items of the pet parent, destroy the walls and/or use the bathroom in the home.

How is destructive behavior treated?

The destructive behavior may be treated via increased levels of exercise, new chew toys or additional time spent with the pet parent. If you have any additional questions, you can discuss them with your pet behavior specialist to determine a plan of action.

Dogs Body Language

How can I tell what my dog is feeling based on his eyes?

The eyes of your dog are extremely useful for a dog’s body language. The size and shape of the eyes can tell you a lot about how the dog is feeling. If your dog is happy, his eyes are normal shape (dependent upon dog breed). If your dog is threatened or stressed, his eyes will appear larger than normal. If your dog’s eyes are smaller than usual, this could also mean the dog is feeling stressed. Finally, if your dog is squinting his eyes, he may be doing so to be submissive or indicate pain.

Does my dog’s mouth tell how he is feeling?

Absolutely! Your dog’s mouth is a very useful tool to observe when attempting to understand your dog. The positioning of their lips, jaws or teeth can indicate what they are attempting to say. If a dog is happy, her mouth will be slightly open or closed. If the dog’s mouth is open, she may be panting to cool her body down. This is their way of releasing heat. A dog who is submissive of afraid may have his lips slightly pulled back at the corners and/or yawn excessively. A dog who is being aggressive will show his teeth and may pull his lips up in order to display his front teeth.

Why are my dog’s ears important in understanding his body language?

Each breed of dog has a different type of ear; however, we can still use the ears to indicate the dog’s body language. If the dog is relaxed, his ears will sit normal to his breed. If he is alert, the ears will sit higher on his head and he will direct his ears toward his interest. If your dog is showing aggression, her ears will be up and forward. If the dog is feeling frightened or submissive, the ears will be stuck to the sides of his head.

How will my dog’s tail change based upon how she is feeling?

Dog tails are a good indicator of dog body language. It is a common misconception that a dog who is waving his tail is always friendly. This is not true; a dog may wag his tail for a number of reasons, one of them just simply is that he is happy. If your dog is relaxed, his tail will be placed in a normal position. If your dog is happy, the tail will wag side to side. If he is extremely happy to see you, his tail may even wag in a circular motion. If your dog is feeling submissive or nervous, the tail is likely to sit low and potentially be tucked in between his legs. If the dog is alert, the tail will be held higher than normal and will be stiff. If the dog is attempting to threaten an animal or person, he will hold his tail high and move it back and forth with a rigid motion. This behavior may appear as if he is wagging his tail; however, his other body language should tell you he is not happy.

Will my dog’s fur change based upon how he is feeling?

The fur is likely to show a dog’s body language as well. You will notice a scared or stressed dog sheds their fur more than normal. This is often seen with a visit to the veterinarian. If your dog is experiencing something known as piloerection, where the hair stands up, this may be caused by fear, anger or anxiety. If the dog’s hair is standing up, you should look at your dog’s body language in full to determine the reason why.

Aggression in Cats

I have only had one cat for about five years. Last week I decided to get a new cat. My old cat has not been getting along with the new cat, though. Why is this?

Since your cat has been the only cat in the household for such a long period of time, it is likely the cat is undersocialized. Cats who have not been near other cats often lack feline social skills which could result in the cats not getting along well.

Are cats territorial?

Absolutely! Cats are extremely territorial. This does not mean their territories do not overlap, though. Cats’ territories often overlap; however, some cats find it difficult to share any sort of space.

What is maternal aggression?

A female cat which has recently had a little of kittens may show signs of aggression as another cat is approaching. Maternal aggression generally subsides once the kittens have been weaned.

What is play aggression?

Play aggression is extremely common in both adult and baby cats. They often engage in rough play and mock aggression. Cats may scratch, attack, bite or pounce another cat throughout play.

Are intact males more prone to aggressive behavior?

Yes, neutered males are less likely to display signs of aggressive behavior.

Would pheromones actually help reduce my cat’s aggressive behavior?

Yes, feline pheromones have been found to reduce aggressive tension between cats in the household.

Do all cats enjoy being held and petted?

No, not all cats enjoy being held and petted. Some cats greatly enjoy being held and/or petted; however, other cats will bite and scratch if you consider petting them. A cat who shows signs of petting-induced aggression may be a friendly, social cat but simply not enjoy being petted.

Can my cat be taught to enjoy being held and petted?

Yes, your cat can learn to enjoy being petted. Many cats can be taught using treats. You can pick her up and give her treats as you are petting her. This may increase her tolerance to being petted.

What are some signs of aggressive behavior in cats?

Cats may display a stiff stance, direct stare, upright ears, growling or howling when displaying aggression.

I believe my cat is showing signs of aggression. Could you give some examples?

Defensive postures include crouching, flattened ears, a curved tail or a tucked in head.

Kitten Behavior

I just had some kittens born. What should I expect in the next week or two as far as development?

From birth to two weeks of age, kittens eyes begin to open and they begin learning.

When do kittens start interacting with their brothers/sisters in a litter?

Kittens will begin interacting at about 4 weeks.

One of the kittens in the litter was orphaned. Should I be concerned about her social interactions?

Social interaction is very important with their littermates. Once the kitten gets a little older, he/she is likely to be accepted again and begin playing with his/her littermates.

Litterbox Training

My cat has not been using the litterbox. Could this be due to a medical condition?

There is definitely a possibility that your cat is not using the litterbox due to a medical condition. This may be due to lower urinary tract disease, a bladder infection or incontinence. Prior to implementing any type of behavior modification plan, these should be checked with a veterinarian.

Cat Scratching

Why is my cat scratching the walls?

Your cat may be scratching the walls for several reasons. These reasons could include territoriality, boredom or possibly to rid of extra claw. You can stop this behavior somewhat easily by trimming your cat’s claws and/or purchasing a scratching post. If that does not work, there are caps that can be placed on your cat’s nails to prevent scratching.

Cat Anxiety

I think my cat may have anxiety. Is this possible?

Absolutely! Your cat could definitely be experiencing anxiety. Signs of anxiety include scraching, excessive meowing or spraying. What could cause this? Well, a number of things. Thunderstorms, new environments or essentially any type of change.

What are my options to help my cat with his anxiety?

There are several excellent tools to help your cat with anxiety such as compression shirts, pheromones and/or supplements.

Do cats get separation anxiety?

Yes, cats can get separation anxiety just as dogs do.

I thought cats were solitary so why would they get separation anxiety?

Cats are generally solitary but still build genuine relationships with their pet parents and other pets in the household.

Are certain cats more likely to develop separation anxiety than others?

Yes, orphaned cats generally have higher levels of separation anxiety. Cats who were weaned too early may also experience some level of separation anxiety.

What are some signs of separation anxiety in cats?

Separation anxiety in your cat may result on him/her urinating/defecating on your bed, excessively groom himself/herself, eat too fast or not eat at all.

What can help with my cat’s separation anxiety?

Toys which provide mental stimulation are likely to help reduce your cat’s separation anxiety.

What kind of cat toys provide mental stimulation?

There are quite a few puzzle toys available for cats which will help with your cat’s frustration.

Does the radio really help reduce separation anxiety?

Yes, the radio or TV being on when you leave could significantly reduce separation anxiety in your pet.

What is a compression shirt for cats?

A compression shirt provides a constant pressure around your cat’s body. This helps calm your cat by applying a gentle calming pressure. Some cats react excellent to this remedy.

What types of medication might the veterinarian prescribe for an anxious cat?

There are several medications to choose from for cat anxiety; however, your veterinarian is most likely to give your cat serotonin to calm her.

How do the cat pheromones work?

Many of the cat pheromones give off a scent that was familiar to cats as kittens.

Cat Compulsive Behavior

Are certain cats more likely to develop compulsive behavior habits than others?

Yes, cats which are stressed frequently are more prone to develop compulsive behaviors.

What are some signs of compulsive behavior?

Signs of compulsive behavior may include over-grooming, hair pulling or pica.

What should I do about my cat’s compulsive behavior?

You should visit a veterinarian to rule out any sort of medical problem. You can then speak with a pet behaviorist to assist in determining the reason for the behavior and implement a plan to assist your cat.

Are there medical problems associated with compulsive behavior in cats?

Yes, there are several possibilities including parasites, back pain, allergies or skin conditions.

Cats and the Outdoors

I have heard allowing your cat to go outdoors is not good; however, my cat loves to be outside and I can not keep him in. What should I do?

Some cats are simply meant to be indoor/outdoor or only outdoor cats. This is fine; if your cat is an outdoor cat, you should allow him to go outside as long as you feel it is safe.

Will my cat get sick from catching prey?

There is a possibility your cat could become ill from catching prey although it is not common. The most common problem associated with cats, when they do “catch” something, is worms. Worms sometimes develop in outdoor cats.

My cat uses the bathroom outside instead of using his litterbox. Should I be encouraging his litterbox?

It is perfectly normal for your cat to want to use the bathroom outside rather than use his litterbox. There is no need to encourage the litterbox; it is instinctive for the cat to eliminate outside.

I have noticed by cat eats quite a bit of the prey he catches. Do I still need to feed him cat food?

Yes, you should still be feeding your cat regular cat food (canned or dry). The prey is not a sufficient diet for your cat.

Is playing outside good exercise for my cat?

Absolutely! Outside your cat will likely run, bounce and play. This will help your cat get the exercise he needs to remain healthy.

Cat and New Baby

Do cats get jealous when a new baby arrives?

Yes, cats do get jealous at times when the baby arrives.

Should I be worried about my cat being around my new baby?

No, there is no reason to worry. Cats will not harm the baby.

Clicker Training for Dogs

What is clicker training?

Clicker training is a method of training which uses a “click” sound. If the dog gets the “click” sound she has done something right. The clicker is a plastic box which is held in your hand with a metal tongue. When you push the metal tongue, the metal makes a sound. The clicker is a successful method of training. Each time the clicker is pushed, the pet receives a treat. The animal then associates the sound with a treat, and the click becomes a powerful language to the dog.

How do I teach my dog his name with the clicker?

You can teach your dog to associate his name with the clicker. Do this by calling your dog’s name; if the dog answers, you can click the clicker and give a treat. If the dog does not look at you, do not click.

How do I teach my dog how to sit with the clicker?

You can teach the dog how to sit using the clicker and treat method. Tell the dog to sit. If the dog sits, click and treat the dog. If the dog does not sit, show the dog how to sit then click and treat.

How can I house train my dog using the clicker?

You can teach your dog to use the bathroom properly by click and treat method. When your dog uses the potty in a desired area, click and treat.

Clicker Training for Puppies

Is it easier to clicker train a puppy or an adult dog?

Puppies are much easier to train with the clicker than adult dogs and can be easily introduced to the clicker training method.

How should I introduce the clicker to my puppy?

To be successful in clicker training your puppy, you first need to be certain the puppy understands the click is associated with a treat. You can use a small piece of cheese, a slice of hotdog or small dog treat. The snacks should not “fill him up.” You want the puppy to keep wanting more of whatever you have.

Clicker Training Cats

Can my cat be clicker trained?

Yes, absolutely! Your cat can be clicker trained; however, it is slightly more difficult than clicker training a dog.

When clicker training my cat, do I need a treat on hand at all times?

You should always have treats nearby when using the clicker to train your cat. In order to be successful in training, you must give your cat a treat each time the click is heard. You should reward any sort of good behavior to allow the cat to associate the good behavior with the treat.

Should I talk to my cat to positively reinforce her behavior while clicker training?

You should not talk to your cat when clicker training. The click noise serves as the vocalization.

Bonding with Your Pet

I recently adopted a dog and I really want him to bond with me. How do I do this?

The number one most important factor in bonding with your dog is time. Spend as much time as you possibly can with your dog. This will develop and continually strengthen the bond that you have.

If I allow someone else to feed my dog, will this affect his bonding with me?

Bonding has found to be somewhat related to the pet parent who feeds the pet. If you want an extreme bond with your dog, I would highly recommend that you be the one who feeds the pet.

Is it true that dogs only bond with one person?

No, this is not fully true. This depends highly on the type of breed you have. Some dogs are highly attached to only one person whereas others are bonded equally to all family members.

I recently adopted my dog and she doesn’t seem to be bonding with anyone.

Bonding takes time; you may not see an immediate bond formed between the dog and any one person. Throughout time, whoever spends the most time with her, feeds her, pampers her; this will likely be the main person she bonds to.

Will taking my dog on cars rides help us bond?

Yes, definitely. Spend as much time with your dog as you can. Any time spent will strengthen your bond.

My cat seems to only like one person. Is this normal?

Yes, this is perfectly normal. Each cat is different. Some cats enjoy the company of everyone and others only want to be loved by one person in the household.

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