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Cats are Top Dogs

on November 5, 2011
Posted in Fun

In a recent study published in an Animal Behavioural Journal, it was found that in multipet households, cats are top dogs. Cats and dogs can get along together, particularly if the cat is in the household first and if the two pets are introduced at a young age. However, usually the cat is dominant to the dog! Cats and dogs can learn each other’s body language especially if they are exposed to it at a young age–just like our children learning a second language.

When a dog enters a home with a cat already in residence, the dog learns the cat’s language, provided that the dog is a puppy one year or younger. If cats encounter dogs in their space when they (the cats) are under 6 months, then things go well. Here is an example of how cats train their dogs. Body language of dogs and cats is different. When 2 dogs greet each they sniff each other’s opposite end, whereas cats greet each other nose to nose. Dogs that grow up with cats learn to rub noses with cats, sort of like an Eskimo kiss. The success of the multipet household lies in the dog realizing that he must change his behavior for the cat. I guess it is true that cats were once worshiped as gods in Ancient Egypt and the cats have never forgotten it!

Photo Credit: Style Save Us

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Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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