The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior


Picture of man with cat
Cats have come a long way from being animals charged with catching mice to treasured, adorable creatures that snuggle with us Cats have come a long way from being animals charged with catching mice to treasured, adorable creatures that snuggle with us in our beds. But this relatively new arrangement is creating issues for cats and the people who live with them.
John Bradshaw has studied the history of domesticated cats and how the relationship between people and cats has changed. He's the author of the new book Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, which is a follow-up to his book Dog Sense.
Bradshaw is the foundation director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol in England. As an anthrozoologist, he studies the interactions between people and animals. He's also the former science chairman of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations. He joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about how our relationship with cats has evolved over time and how toning down cats' hunting instincts will ensure them a future on an increasingly crowded planet.

Interview Highlights

On cats' social behavior
"I think cats are much less demonstrative animals than dogs are. It's kind of not their fault; they evolved from a solitary animal that has never had the need for a sophisticated social repertoire in the way that the dog — having evolved from the wolf — had that ready-made. So their faces are just not terribly expressive, and some people read into that, that they're kind of cynical and aloof and those sorts of things. But I don't believe that for a moment. I think cats show, by their behavior, even if it's a bit more subtle than a dog's, that they really are fond of their owners."
To read more on this story, click here: What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior


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