Indoor Cats

If you like indoor pets, chances are that you will be considering a kitty. Cats are usually associated with being able to stay indoors, and I would consider that true. Cats can get the exercise they need, stay away from danger,  and keep their natural instincts in check inside.

Cats need their exercise. Most cats enjoy companionship and get along well with other cats, and sometimes dogs! They enjoy playing with their companions too, and that can help fill their need for exercise. Their owners can also help, with things like laser toys and kitty fishing poles. Spending time playing with them helps them get more exercise, so they do not need to go outside as much.

When let outside, cats hunt birds. They are carnivores, and it’s their instinct. Cats being let outside by their owners actually can cause a major decline in bird population, and native birds, who have other predators in the area, cannot handle the extra hunters as well as their non-native counterparts. One cat might not seem like that much, but in the big picture, they have a huge impact. Cats that are let outside are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds a year, and birds only make up 20% of a cat’s prey(1). Cats can be very dangerous to the wild bird population of your area.

Cats also face many dangers when being let outside. First, they are in danger of catching a disease or parasite that was transmitted by the many feral cats wandering the streets. They can also get into fights with those feral cats, and could be injured or even killed. Also, despite what many people think, cats face other predators that are higher up on the food chain. Loose dogs, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, and maybe even alligators, depending on the area, are just some of the animals that endanger your cat. Another danger they face is climbing trees. Cats are known for climbing trees and not being able to get down. They could be up there for days, and not be found. Cats that aren’t found end up falling because they get dehydrated. Their falls can result in deadly injuries. Yet another danger is that cats can be poisoned by the toxins meant for rodents or sometimes not even for animals. They ingest these for the pleasant taste, but it could have serious health consequences for your cat.

As you can see, the outdoors is a dangerous place for your cat, and those that share it with your cat. Keeping your cat indoors can keep them from harm, and your cat will thank you for that.

Thank you for reading! I hope to post every two weeks starting from now, and I hope that you all will keep reading my blog

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Dog Aggression

Dogs are very complex creatures, wolves tamed by humans thousands of years ago. Aggression is one of the more dangerous and harder to understand nature of dogs. A little territorial behavior from a dog is natural, but knowing how to identify a dog’s types of aggression can help keep you and the dog save and happy.

There are three types of aggression, fear-induced aggression, protective aggression, and redirected aggression. A dog can also have an individual type of aggression. In any case however, you should ask an expert for help, don’t try to fix the problem yourself.

Fear-Induced Aggression

Fear-induced aggression is defined as “A defensive reaction which occurs when a dog fears that he/she is in danger of being harmed.” This means that in the dog’s perception of the situation, he/she could be harmed by the action that immediately follows your current one. If you are raising your arm to throw a ball your dog might perceive that as an arm raising to hit him/her. If your dog reacts badly to one of your actions, it might be because your dog has reason to believe the action that follows could potentially harm them.

Protective, Territorial, or Possessive Aggression

These three types of aggression are very closely related. Protective aggression occurs when the dog believes his ‘pack’, most likely you and your family, are in danger. The dog might feel that he/she has to move to protect his/her pack, resulting in violence on the dog’s part. Territorial aggression occurs when the dog is allowed to regularly scent-mark (urinate) in particular places, most obviously your backyard or while on walks around the neighborhood. Territorial actions could be as simple as barking at the mailman, or as serious are jumping on house guests. This type of aggression can be strongly ingrained in your dog. Possessive aggression might happen when a dog protects its favorite toys, food bowl, or objects in your backyard. Dogs can become very defensive of things that wouldn’t really matter to you, but remember, aggression comes from perception.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression is a difficult type of aggression to identify because behavior might be caused by any number of other things, depending on the dog’s environment. This kind of aggression is caused by the dog being unable to act upon another kind of aggression that he/she feels. A dog unable to chase another dog off their territory might turn and instead become aggressive to a family member or a dog within reach. I think that it most relates to human frustration, since we tend to be snappish toward our friends and family members when something else, maybe work or academics, is responsible for frustrating us.

Dog aggression can be tricky to identify and deal with, but when a dog is being aggressive consistently, and you cannot identify the reason, always find an expert to help before the aggressive behavior escalates to violence. Nobody wants to be hurt by their dog, and dogs certainly don’t need to be made to feel aggressive toward humans or other dogs. Do your dog a favor and help them feel comfortable in their environment.

Source: Dog Aggression from Shelter Animal Cruelty