Cat Project Archives for June 13-17,
13, 2016 - "Cats conspire to keep us at arm's length." -
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Windy? Well, not so's you'd notice."
Mewvie: Kitten in a sunflower.
Street Art: "Yawning Toothy Silhouette" by Brandon Boyd.
to treat bad behavior in cats.
Someone once said, “Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped
as gods—and they’ve never forgotten this.” Now this
may be a sort of silly way to think about it, but I believe most cat
owners will agree with the notion that cats are highly independent and
like to live by their own rules.
So what does that mean for cat lovers? Training them can be quite a challenge.
The trope that cats are “stand-offish” or “independent” is
something that has persisted for centuries. Cats, unlike dogs, are solitary
predators and have a tendency to act within that natural boundary. In
the wild, this independence is an incredible asset. Just think how difficult
it would be to perform a hiding and pouncing tactic in a pack!
With this in mind, it’s easy to empathize with a cat’s natural
desire to make independent decisions and behave as they please. However,
when this behavior turns naughty or destructive, it’s a different
In order to be successful handling bad behavior in cats, we need to unlearn
some bad habits when it comes to discipline and learn some new ones:
1. Cats don’t understand English; they learn by experience.
Training your cat by speaking harshly, yelling or explaining your frustration
just isn’t going to work. Cats don’t tend to associate angry
words with bad behavior; it won’t cause them to stop what they’re
doing. Rather, cats will do what they can to avoid unpleasant experiences.
Getting your whiskers caught in a candle flame isn’t something
to be repeated, right?
2. Cats don’t learn from isolated instances; reprimand isn’t
Many people tend to get frustrated when they can’t “catch
a cat in the act of crime.” Waking up the next morning to a broken
vase or shredded drapery and attempting to discipline hours after the
incident just won’t work. He won’t be able to associate the
reprimand with the crime.
3. Cats aren’t mind-readers; they require consistency.
If one moment you’re reprimanding your cat and the next you’re
ignoring him, this sends mixed messages. Too much problem correction
can severely damage the bond you share with your pet. He may decrease
his trust in you, fear your approach or avoid you because he doesn’t
know what to expect. Don’t let your cat become unsure!
4. Positive reinforcement is the name of the game.
The key to nurturing good behavior in your cat is to give them consistent,
loving attention and care. Stay calm when you’re in a frustrating
situation, praise him when he does something right and reward good behavior,
even if it’s just a step in the right direction. Treats are a great
place to start!
5. Cats become overly active and destructive when they’re bored.
Keep them engaged!
If you have a cat who has a seemingly unending source of energy and has
a tendency to behave destructively while you’re away, you may need
to find new ways to give him attention. For tried-and-true tips to keep
your cat happy, active and mentally stimulated throughout the day, check
out this post on entertaining your cat!
6. Set up your environment to do the talking.
Rather than spending all your effort punishing your cat for what not
to do, create a living space that clearly defines what he should be doing
instead. A great example? Retraining a cat who loves your sofa can be
a challenge. Rather than spraying him every time he starts using his
claws, set out a scratching post in an ideal location that’s perfect
for his needs. Make sure it’s tall, exciting, covered in an appealing
material and fun to use!
14, 2016 - "Cats come and go without ever leaving." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Sepai-toned pals.
Mewvie: This cat's a little too brave for its own good.
Feline Art: Edward Gorey
and his cats.
15, 2016 - "Cats, like butterflies, need no excuse." -
Robert A. Heinlein
Gratuitous Kittiness: "You saw NOTHING!"
Mewvie: You're on your own, pal.
Art: Freddie Mercury and kitty.
use simple physics to hunt prey.
by Brooks Hays
TOKYO, June 14 (UPI) -- Experiments by researchers at Kyoto University
in Japan suggest cats have rudimentary understanding of physics and the
principle of cause and effect.
Previous studies have shown cats use their hearing to anticipate the
presence of hidden objects. Most recently, researchers tested whether
cats could anticipate an object's presence in a box based on the sound
made when shaking the box. The researchers also tested whether cats expected
an object to fall from a box when it was flipped upside down. The findings
were published this week in the journal Animal Cognition.
Experimenters shook boxes in front of 30 domestic cats with and without
an accompanying rattling sound. Some flipped boxes yielded a dropped
object, the others did not.
Only two of the four scenarios -- a rattling box yielding an object and
a silent box yielding nothing -- complied with physics. Rattling boxes
without a falling object and silent boxes with a falling object both
During the experiment, cats stared longer at rattling boxes, suggesting
they rightly anticipated an object based on sound. They also stared longer
when a flipped box yielded unexpected results -- results incongruent
with the laws of physics.
"Cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict the
appearance of invisible objects," lead researcher Saho Takagi explained
in a news release.
Scientists believe cats' advanced use of hearing is dictated by their
hunting environs. Feline predators often hunt at night when their vision
is limited. They must use sound to infer a prey's location, distance
and directional movement.
Researchers are now trying to learn whether cats can intimate the shape
and size of an object based on sound.
16, 2016 - "If your cat falls out of a tree, go indoors
to laugh." - Patricia Hitchcock
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Staring contest? You betcha!"
Mewvie: "I am cat. Begone, canine."
Feline Art: Paul Klee and his cat, Bimbo.
17, 2016 - "People that don't like cats haven't met
the right one yet."
- Deborah A. Edwards, D.V.M.
Gratuitous Kittiness: Adorable murder floof.
Mewvie: So much for the news.
Art: "Cat and Bird" by Paul Klee.
by Lucy Schouten
Anyone who has seen a cat staring at them intently has probably wondered – does
that cat know more than it is letting on?
The answer, according to a Japanese study published online Tuesday, is
Researchers tested a house cat’s knowledge of physics and cause-and-effect
logic, reporting the feline’s surprisingly high scientific competency
in the Springer journal of Animal Cognition.
The team’s previous work with cats showed the felines listen for
objects hidden inside or nearby a can, a pipe, or cluster of bushes.
Researchers theorized this ability helped make house cats the effective
hunters they are because they use their highly attuned hearing to predict
the location of hidden prey.
To test the theory, researchers designed an experiment called an “expectancy
violation procedure.” But they used several of Japan's famous cat
cafes to do it, which enabled them to experiment with 30 cats in a familiar
"We recruited cats and owners of cat cafés through a personal acquaintance
network," researchers explained in the study. "Each café had
a separate room where we could test subjects individually."
Alone with a cat and its owner, an experimenter shook a container near
the cat. The experimenter manipulated the specially designed container
so it sometimes rattled and sometimes did not, then upended it to reveal
whether it contained a hidden object. The cats appeared interested when
the shaking produced a rattle, but puzzled when an object’s appearance
did not correlate with sound.
After analyzing videos of the encounters, researchers determined that
the cats were more interested in the container when the shaking produced
a noise, staring to see whether something would come out of it. They
continued to stare when the container seemed to break the laws of physics,
yielding an object but no sound, or vice-versa.
“Cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict
the appearance of invisible objects,” lead author Saho Takagi said in a
Researchers believe this shows cats have a basic understanding of the
laws of physics.
"This study may be viewed as evidence for cats' having a rudimentary understanding
of gravity," they wrote in the study.
The cat's ability to understand basic gravitational principles and logic
shows they were originally adapted to more competitive environments than
cat cafés, researchers concluded. House cats can be ruthless hunters,
and their grasp of physics helps.
Listening, rather than looking, for prey enables the cat to stake out
a hidden vantage point, even in the dark. The cat’s reliance on
hearing has probably even contributed to exaggerated claims about cats
seeing in the dark.
It also sets them apart from apes, who were expected to perform with
similar excellence on equivalent studies but who, it turned out, look
rather than listen for clues. To hunt effectively in the twilight hours,
however, a cat needs better hearing than a primate.
The team expects future research to determine how sensitive a cat’s
hearing to the sounds made by hidden objects, and whether the cat can
tell how large or how plentiful the hidden objects might be.