Animal Dynamics

  1. I had to bring my cat in for his yearly physical last night. All is fine except for the fact that he was a total grump. He was adopted from my vet, so she ignored all his noise and went about examining him and updating his rabies vaccine despite his mouth being wide open.

    The only thing I wanted to talk to her about was the fact that he has changed since my other cat died. He's not depressed or anything, he's just not so much of a punk like he used to be.

    She explained to me that while people can try to understand animal dynamics and how their relationships work with other animals, there is a good chance that nobody will ever truly understand them. She saw changes in her own animals after experiencing a number of "cluster deaths" amongst her own pets. One of her cats that she refers to as her "umbilical cord cat" turned into a beast after her black lab and one of her other cats died, which he didn't like anyway. He didn't mind the dog so much, but Mistofflees was a cat that did things her own way to say the least.

    She then explained that since my cat is 4, there is a good chance that maturity kicked in around the same time, hence the change in his behavior, but she doesn't eliminate the possibility that he could have changed when my other cat died. People say that cats mature around 6 months of age, but she feels that maturity doesn't really kick in until they are atleast 3. I agree with her.

    For those of you that have multi-pet households, have you witnessed a change in your pets after the loss of another pet in the household?
  2. just when you think you are starting to understand animal behavior, they truly throw a wrench in the gears. I am an animal keeper and I work with all sorts of exotics. Do you know what I have learned? Even though there are behaviours that are common to any one species, they ALL still have their own individual personalities and will not always respond the same way as their counterparts in any given situation. There is no explanation other than you have to respect and tune into what that given animal is experiencing just like you would one of your friends/family. Take the pragmatic starting place from that species and go from there. You know your cat. You know its habits. You know when it is pissed off or happy or just content. Exploit those positive reactions. Let it be. And if you find something that makes it comfortable and secure, continue to do that. And just give it alot of love. There is always a tendency to over-analyze. Just be there for your cat like you would a friend.
  3. I have sort of the opposite story. We had my cat for many many years. We adopted her at 2. I believe she was abused a little with her prior family. She was declawed and did not like to be touched AT ALL. She would attack my sister and I when we tried to pet her anywhere other than her head. Slowly she came to trusting us and stopped snipping at us but she was never truly affectionate. Fastforward 15 years later.. we brought a rescued dog into our family. For some reason it was only then that she would come to seek our affection. Jealousy perhaps? or maybe that's when she realized we loved her just the same. She passed away 10 months ago. I'm not sure how my dog reacted when she left us because I had already moved out of my parents house. I am happy that we gave her a good home for 16 whole years though, despite what she went through as a kitten.
  4. Bagnshoofetish, I would love to hear more about your job! I tried to convince my high school to let me do work experience in this area but was told they didn't think I was stretching myself so was sent off to a law firm...I've regretted it ever since! :yucky: I dream of winning the lottery so I can throw it all in and muck out animal's quarters :upsidedown:

    Orderandlaw, animal personalites really intrigue me too. We had two dogs that had grown up together with my grandma and grandpa, and we took them in when they moved to a smaller property. When Kind, the older one, died, Sandy became much more sedate. Sandy had always been the playful one, and never seemed to grow out of being a puppy, but as soon as King was gone she seemed to step into the shoes of the older dog. It sounds like a similar thing has happened with your cat...
  5. My first dog died when my second was around 2 or three and he had a huge reaction to this. He started chewing on his leg and we had to put him on Prozac. To this day which is 8 years later my parents and I still have to watch him because occasionally he will start chewing again. Before we put him on medication though I could see that he had matured overnight. He went from being a complete puppy to being calm and always needing to be on top of you. He is a Golden Retriever so this causes problems when he lies next to your feet while in the kitchen. When we got another dog right before I went to college which was two after we lost our first he went back to being playful because he had a puppy chewing on him all of the time. My mom says she learned more about my second dog in those two years than any other time.