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Cat and Dog Behaviors You Should Understand

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Cats and dogs have become a large part of our lives. When we bring them into our home as a pet, they instantly become part of our family. We talk to them, play with them, and love them. However, it can be difficult to have a relationship with your pet because they cannot communicate by talking. Instead, you have to decipher their behavior to know what they are thinking.

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Biting Another Dog’s Muzzle

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This behavior may be shocking or frightening. Normally when a dog bites another dog, it can be seen as aggressive. However, this behavior is normal and is a friendly way to make the dog being grasped feel more comfortable.

Cat Sitting in a Box

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Cats love to play around in boxes. Many of them try hard to fit into the smallest box they possibly can. This is so they feel safe from any predators that may be lurking.

Head Tilt

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It’s always cute when a dog tilts its head. But do you know why they do that? It’s so they hear you better. They tilt their ear towards you in an effort to hear what you are saying.

Flehmen Response

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When you see a cat make a strange face like this, it’s known as the Flehman response. Don’t be concerned. It’s just another way they try to smell things. Rather than breaking through their nose, they breath through their mouth so their vomeronasal organ can pick up the scent.

Yawn

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Yawning doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is tired. It means that they are comfortable around you. When they yawn, they are vulnerable, so it shows that they trust you when they yawn in front of you.

Lick Your Face

Doggy kisses are wonderful! Dogs will lick your face to show affection and that you are their friend. It is also a way to suppress any dominance. If you do not like dogs licking your face, simply close your eyes, turn your head, and yawn.

Catnip

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Cats can’t get enough catnip. They love it so much because it gives off a chemical called nepetalactone, which is similar to a pheromone when cats breath it in.

Panting

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Instead of sweating through their skin like humans do, dogs will pant to cool down after a long run or on a hot day. They also have sweat glands between their toes, but it is less effective than panting.

The Water Shake

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Humans are lucky and get to use bath towels to dry off. Dogs have to shake their entire bodies to try to get the water off of their fur. When their fur is wet, they can get cold. So, they shake off the water to stay warm.

Scratching Post

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Cats like to scratch everything, which is why it’s a good idea to get a scratching post. There is a reason cats like to scratch. It removes an outer layer of their claw so they can keep them sharp and clean. It’s completely instinctual.

Rolling Around in the Grass

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You’ll notice your dog rolling around in the grass when you take them outside to play. This behavior dates back to their wolf ancestors. Wolves will roll around in their surroundings so they can bring the scent of their surroundings back to their pack.

Feeling Unclean

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Another reason your dog may roll in the grass is if it feels unclean. It’s important to give your dog a bath often and keep him clean, especially if they start to smell. Dogs rely on scent, so if they don’t like the way that they smell, you have a problem.

Grass Eating

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Dogs will eat grass if they are having some digestion issues. Grass will help make a dog throw up if their stomach is bothering them. However, they could also be eating grass because they are instinctually scavengers and used to eating anything.

Cats Eating Grass

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Cats will also eat grass if you decide to let them roam around outside. Just like dogs, they will eat grass to help them throw up if they are having tummy troubles.

Purring

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Cats love to purr when they are cuddling with you or you are scratching them in just the right place. They also purr while giving birth, though. So, it’s just another way they try to communicate with us.

Cat Leaving a Gift

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Cats are known hunters. Sometimes they will bring you what they have just killed, like a bird, mouse, or bunny. This means that they want to teach you how to hunt and survive. It’s a loving gesture, really.

Bathroom Buddy

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Dogs love being with their owners, so much so that they will even follow you into the bathroom. This is due to their pack mentality and wanting to be around their family.

Tail Wagging

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Dogs will wag their tails frantically when they are excited about something. This could be that you are home from work or that they are about to go on a walk. However, if your dog wags their tail down low and slowly, it may mean they are feeling a little aggressive.

Raised Cat Tail

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Cats will often keep their tails straight up. This means that it is greeting you. They will probably also want to rub their head against you too.

Meow

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There are many reasons why cats meow. Oftentimes, kittens will meow at their mother to communicate how they feel. Adult cats typically don’t meow to other cats to communicate. They will usually growl or hiss at them.

Exposing Their Belly

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You may notice your cat laying on its back and exposing its belly to you. This means that they trust you. However, when you go to pet their belly, they will probably attach your hand. This then breaks the trust between you and your cat. Next time your cat exposes its belly, pet its head rather than its stomach.

Burying Things

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Dogs love to dig holes in the yard. While it may be an annoying trait your dog has, it is actually their instinct to dig. Ancient dogs living in the wild would find food, bury it, and come back for it later.

Regurgitating Around Pups

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When around her puppies, a mother dog will sometimes throw up her food. It isn’t because she feels ill, it’s because she wants to feed her pups. However, the pups will most likely walk away to their bowl full of food you set out for them.

Kneading

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Cats will use their paws to knead things such as furniture, cloth, and even you sometimes. This is instinctual. It comes from when kittens knead their mother’s stomach to help produce milk. The habit just never leaves.

Circling the Bed

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Dogs will circle their bed before lying down to go to sleep. It seems like an odd behavior, but it actually stems from their ancestors, wolves. Circling a spot before sleeping is how they examine that it is a good spot for them.

Sleeping Cats

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Cats are known for sleeping for hours throughout the day. Why are they so tired all the time? Hunting requires a lot of energy, so cats will sleep a lot to create and preserve their energy when it comes to hunting for their next meal.

Kitty Licks

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Cats normally don’t lick people like dogs do. However, when they do lick you, it means that they love you. You’ll notice that their tongues are rough, which makes it easier for them to clean their fur.

Playfully Rolling Over

When dogs play with each other, you may notice that one of the dogs falls to the ground and rolls around on its back. This is to avoid a playful bite from their playmate and also to position themselves to playfully bite the other dog.

Barking

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Dogs will bark because they want your attention or to scare someone away. It’s up to you to decipher why your dog is barking and what the situation is.

Climbing

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Cats are adventurous little creatures. They love to climb things and get a good look at their surroundings from above. They also like to climb to high places to avoid any predators that may be after them.

Sniffing Dog Butts

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When two new dogs meet each other, they often sniff each other’s butts. This is a kind greeting and a way for the dogs to get familiar with the other dog’s scent.

Chewing

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If you have a puppy, be prepared to lose some shoes to chewing. Puppies will chew on things because their adult teeth are growing in. Think of it as if they are teething.

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