The third column in this continuing series on feline communication will focus on overall body posturing and the behavioral information it provides. Because no signaling system can be removed from the context of the entire animal, using what we have learned from observation of behavioral cues from felines' faces and tails can be extremely useful when we look at the cat in its relevant social context.
The second column in this series on feline communication will focus on the information provided by cat tails. While no signaling system can be removed from the context of the entire animal and correctly interpreted, it can be very useful to look at what information can be communicated by each body part involved in signaling. Then, we can take these observations and look for congruence or lack of it between other signaling systems (e.g., the eyes, voice, body, etc.) The only system closed to our understanding, for now, is the olfactory.
Cat owners can have a lot of questions: "Should I get a second cat as a playmate?" "How can I stop my cat from scratching the furniture?" "Why doesn't he use the litter box?" So in the spirit of David Letterman, I compiled this top 10 list of cat behavior tips.
Like food and shelter, animals need play. When taking histories from clients during routine examinations or visits regarding their petsâ€™ behavior problems, remember to ask clients whether they play with their pets.
Although the prevalence of self-directed behaviors is not well-documented in dogs or cats, it is likely underappreciated because animals are not typically presented for evaluation of such behaviors unless the clients think their pets are manifesting a behavior problem or some degree of injury as a consequence of the behavior.
Body posture in dogs is an easy factor to assess in the signaling repertoire, but we too often ignore it. This quick tour through some common postures involving stance will help you understand what dogs are communicating and what their next movement might be.
As practitioners learn how important canine and feline social interactions and cognition are, they ask questions about how they can better understand the interactions and their outcomes. The key to understanding interaction is through signaling.