Friday Faves: September 2, 2016 Cats and Dogs

Are cats just ruthless killers?

Letting your pet cats outdoors is a controversial topic (and apparently a cultural issue - here in the States, we lean more towards keeping them inside, and the Brits think we're nuts!).  Does it prevent behavior problems? Maybe -- but I have to say I have PLENTY of behavior clients with indoor/outdoor cats who fight with other cats, urinate or spray inside the house, or have aggression or attention seeking issues. So letting cats go outdoors is not the panacea for all feline behavioral ills as some might have you believe (I've previously written about some reasons to keep your cats indoors).

A new book "Cat Wars" might have you thinking that cats are the only source of avian woes (I've also written on this topic before for The Dodo - so don't forget about humans, squirrels, raccoons and other animals that make life rough on songbirds).

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While it's got a sexy, controversial premise, I was happy to see Marc Bekoff question the science and approach of this book in a new blog post.

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And if cats are the killers that some think they are, then why are so many animal experts letting their cats run free? Kerry Lauerman takes a look.

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Food puzzles are so nice they published our paper twice!

videosshotA paper I wrote with some dear friends and colleagues on using food puzzles with cats was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery earlier this year. They decided they wanted to reformat it and publish it again! And it's open access for the next several months, so download it now while you can!


And don't forget to watch the cute videos of cats using food puzzles!


Do dogs understand what we are saying?

dogblogAnd why do we care so much anyway? A new fMRI study in dogs suggests that dogs' brains respond differently to certain words when used with certain tones of voice. One of my faves, Julie Hecht at Dog Spies, breaks down the study and how we should interpret the results with a grain of caution.


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