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Infinite Cat Project Archives for June 13-17, 2016.

Mewsings: June 13, 2016 - "Cats conspire to keep us at arm's length." - Frank Perkins

kitten in palm of hand

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Windy? Well, not so's you'd notice."

Cat Mewvie: Kitten in a sunflower.

business cat gets a manicure

Today's Kitty Komic

pamela col's 3000 ceramic cat collection

Feline Street Art: "Yawning Toothy Silhouette" by Brandon Boyd.

bad behavior in cats

How 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 story.

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 the answer.

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!

Mewsings: June 14, 2016 - "Cats come and go without ever leaving." - Martha Curtis

two cute kittens

Gratuitous Kittiness: Sepai-toned pals.

Cat Mewvie: This cat's a little too brave for its own good.

cats are addictive comic

Today's Kitty Komic

edward gorey and his cats

Feline Art: Edward Gorey and his cats.

Mewsings: June 15, 2016 - "Cats, like butterflies, need no excuse." - Robert A. Heinlein

tiger licking another tiger

Gratuitous Kittiness: "You saw NOTHING!"

Cat Mewvie: You're on your own, pal.

cats talk about browser history

Today's Kitty Komic

freddie mercury and kitty

Feline Art: Freddie Mercury and kitty.


Cats 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 defied physics.

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.

Mewsings: June 16, 2016 - "If your cat falls out of a tree, go indoors to laugh." - Patricia Hitchcock

staring kitten

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Staring contest? You betcha!"

Cat Mewvie: "I am cat. Begone, canine."

kitten attacks Dalek

Today's Kitty Komic

paul klee and cat

Feline Art: Paul Klee and his cat, Bimbo.

Mewsings: June 17, 2016 - "People that don't like cats haven't met the right one yet."
- Deborah A. Edwards, D.V.M.

adorable tiger

Gratuitous Kittiness: Adorable murder floof.

Cat Mewvie: So much for the news.

gourmet cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

Cat and Bird by Paul Klee

Feline Art: "Cat and Bird" by Paul Klee.

cats understand gravity

Cats understand gravity.
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 probably yes.

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 environment.

"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 press release.

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.


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