Cat Body Language: A Guide To Help Understand Your Cat

Trying to decipher a cat’s body language can be like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. This is fitting as the ancient Egyptians held cats in high regard, believing that they possessed the divine energy of the goddess, Bastet.

Sure, our cats have coined the term “cat naps” and love their endless snoozes on their favorite sofa, but when awake, they are true adventurers. They are the best secret agents around and have their own unique, silent language. Can we crack the code of figuring out our cat’s mood?

Understanding your cat’s body language is the key to understanding your cat and how they are feeling. Let’s dig in and see how we can decipher a twitch of a whisker or the batting of a paw.

Happy & Relaxed Kitty

If you are a cat pet parent, you are probably aware of the little tune, “Soft kitty, pretty kitty, little ball of fur…” When it comes to our kitty, we can look for some “tell-tail” signs to inform us they are feeling happy and relaxed.

Famously, the number one sign our cat is in a good mood is purring. This audio signal lets us know our cat is enjoying the chin scratch, belly rub session, or simply being close to us.

Overall, purring is connected with happy feelings, but they can also purr as a way to self-soothe if they are feeling ill or are injured. Our feline friends may also chirp, trill, and have an upbeat meow to let us know they are in a good mood.

Other body signals we can look for that indicate happiness and relaxation are nice, slow blinks. Your cat will show a relaxed face, with their ears and whiskers in a normal position. Your cat’s tail will also be held up high but relaxed. It may often curl at the end, looking similar to a question mark.

Many relaxed cats will have their legs tucked under while laying on their tummy, and they will look like the cutest little loaf of bread. With their legs tucked in the “cat loaf” position, your cat is indicating that they feel relaxed and don’t feel the need to defend themselves. Even cuter is when you have multiple cats, and they cat loaf in close proximity to each other, resembling the most adorable bakery to ever exist.

Happy cats will also seek you out for affection or playtime. Your cat enjoys being around you and wants to be in your company. We know that our feline friends can be quite independent, so when they seek you out, it is a great feeling!

Understanding Cats on Alert

When playing or watching outside action from the window, your cat will show several signs they are alert and focused. The first clue is that your cat may move their head in a way to show they are following an object, like a feathered toy or a squirrel close by.

A cat’s eyes may look to grow bigger, and the cat’s pupils may dilate as they focus. Your cat may chirp or trill as they center their attention on their surroundings. Their ears will also move a little more forward to take in all the sounds.

As your cat narrows their focus, their tail may start to twitch in response to how the object they are focused on is moving. If playing with a toy, or if they are outside near an offending squirrel, you may see your cat enter a crouched position to pounce. Your cat will get low, and their eyes are totally zoned in, then that cute wiggle — they pounce straight up in the air!

Your cat may also show signs of alertness if they are introduced to a new area or a new cat. Whenever your cat is in a new situation, watch their body language carefully as they may start to feel tense, anxious, or even fearful.

Tense or Anxious Kitty

When our cats are in a new location, or if they are not feeling well, they may show signs of feeling tense or anxious. These feline behavior signals clearly express that your cat does not feel safe; they are readying themselves for an escape or defending themselves.

As your cat may be trying to find an escape route or hiding place, they will have themselves ready to move. They may still be crouched but will bend their legs in case a quick getaway is needed. Eyes and ears are focused, and you may see your cat’s ears moving from forward to back so they can hear all the sounds around them.

Vocally, your cat may give a yowl or a low growl to show their displeasure with the situation. Their head may stay remarkably still as they try to assess everything around them. Their tail is close to their body and will only make minor movements. These are definitely signals of a cat showing that they mean business.

Watch Out

When your cat has had enough, they may aggressively lash out to protect themselves. The body language of a tense or anxious kitty is surely a warning sign of aggression to follow. A cat who is showing aggression is easily spotted. There are several classic body language clues to show they are far from being pleased.

The first and most easily spotted is an arched back; their head is lower than the rest of their body, and their back is raised up — think of the classic Halloween cat! This is to help your cat look bigger than they really are. Additionally, the hair on their back and tail will be raised.

Your cat’s whiskers and ears will be flat against their face, and they will likely be showing their teeth. Growling, loud yowling, and hissing will further show that your cat is in a defensive position.

Why Do I Need To Learn My Cat’s Body Language?

Sadly, our feline companions are not able to use words to speak. They may meow, purr, and vocalize to express themselves, but spoken communication isn’t a skill our cats possess. What a shame!

Our next best bet of being able to communicate with our cats is paying attention to their body language. Every small movement can communicate what our cat is feeling and thinking, and knowing those subtle clues can let us in on their mood and how to help them through stressful situations.

Being able to read our cat’s moods is imperative for developing a strong relationship. We’ll know when our cat is in a playful mood, and we can engage them with their favorite toys, or when they are feeling scared or nervous, and it’s time for us to give them their space.

Knowing your cat’s body language clues can also help you become more proactive in the future. If you know your cat becomes anxious before going to the vet, you can take steps to keep things positive and help your cat feel more relaxed when it is time for their check-ups.

Likewise, you know you’ve hit the right spot when your kitty purrs or starts kneading their paws in response to a sweet scratch session.

KONG – The Language of Pets

Here at KONG, we are well-practiced in developing toys and treats that activate your cat’s natural instincts and allow them to stalk and pounce to their heart’s content. We want to keep pets happy and their pet parents well informed.

Understanding how our cats communicate and adding proper enrichment to our furry friends’ routines is imperative for us as pet owners to develop strong bonds with our pets. Our toys are perfect for encouraging active play, like chasing and pouncing. Can we also talk about that cute little wiggle that our cats do right before pouncing?

Replay that wiggle over and over with our teaser toys, like this Tropics Bird Teaser. It’s just the thing to help you relax after a long day’s work and to give your cat some exercise after their day-long nap session in their cat hammock.

Our cats are clever creatures, and just as playtime is important, having a variety of playthings is just as important to use their energy up in a positive way. We don’t want our cats to get bored, or they may decide that a game of “Knocking Everything Off The Counter” is appropriate to play.

The Kong Club Membership

Keep playtime a part of your routine and fresh toys in rotation by becoming a member of the KONG Club. Our awesome club is made for pet parents by pet parents. We know that ultra special bond that you have with your kitty and what a priority they are in your life.

When you become a member, you also receive a monthly subscription box filled with toys and treats that appeal to your cat’s playful instincts. You also receive tips and tricks from veterinarians and other pet parents who have walked paw-in-hand down the path of being a pet parent.

Each monthly box is centered around a building block of wellness, so you will be well equipped in all things cat. Check us out and become a member of the KONG Club today!

Sources: 

Why Do Cats Purr? | NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Reading your cat’s “body language” Score Body Postures Head Postures | Winnipeg Humane Society

Bastet | Symbols & Facts | Britannica

How Heavy Should My Cat Be: A Quick Breed Guide

We love spoiling our sweet fur babies with toys, treats, and plenty of cuddles. It’s a fact of life for a pet parent. We can’t deny our kiddos of extra soothing scratches or slipping them a few delicious morsels of their favorite treats!

However, some of us may also be guilty of overtreating our cats, sometimes just for them being the cuties they are. It can be easy for our felines to start looking extra fluffy if we are going overboard in the snacks department. It’s just a little treat here and there throughout the day, but in addition to their regular meals, those treats can add up and lead to an overweight cat.

Many of our cats live in a state of domestic bliss. They nap throughout the day, lounge by the window watching the busy outdoors, and rest in our laps, purring happily. This sedentary lifestyle and the large intake of treats can equal kitty weight gain.

When it comes to our personal meal plans, it can be easy to change from cheeseburgers to salads. We can also put a little less on our plates or have one less cookie for dessert. But when it comes to our cats, we need to make sure they are receiving adequate nutrition from the right sources.

Different Breeds, Different Sizes

Just like humans, cats come in different sizes and colors. A diet and exercise regime for one person may not work for another, especially if they have different builds.

Let’s look at how to keep our cats at a healthy weight, depending on their breed:

Maine Coons

Maine Coons are beautiful cats and have the distinction of being one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. They are popular in the United States for their dog-like temperament and affectionate personality.

Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 pounds for males and up to 20 pounds for females. That means that a healthy weight for a Maine Coon may be out of the range of a cat from a different breed — it’s all situation-specific.

Siamese 

Siamese cats are known for their striking blue eyes and are beloved for their curious nature. They are also one of the oldest cat breeds to exist, originating in Asia!

Siamese cats tend to be on the smaller side, ranging from six to ten pounds. They may put on extra pounds if they don’t get enough playtime, which can lead to health problems in the long run.

Domestic Shorthair

Also affectionately known as a “house cat,” domestic shorthairs are the catch-all for our felines who come from a melting pot of breeds. Domestic cats should weigh around eight to ten pounds. These cats can put on excess weight due to insufficient activity or the need for a new diet. In some cases, they may be underweight.

Persian

These stunning and sweet kitties are adored for their fluffy coats and round faces. While their noteworthy coats may make them seem bigger than they really are, Persians should weigh around seven to 12 pounds.

Ragdoll 

This larger cat breed is famous for their sweet disposition and affectionate personality. Ragdolls tend to be patient when carried around, going into “ragdoll” mode.

This breed of cat is large, but coming in smaller than the Maine Coon. A healthy weight for a Ragdoll is right at twenty pounds for male cats.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Too Heavy?

As cats get older, their metabolism changes; they may experience weight gain a little bit easier than when they were active kittens. This can be expected as our senior cats are less active during the day. Many adult cats need help with weight management, as they may gain weight with age.

If you believe your furry friend is gaining past the average cat weight, there are a few checks you can do to see if your cat is too heavy. These checks can be easily done at home, with a follow-up with your veterinarian for the next steps if you believe your cat needs a plan to help with weight loss and reach a healthy cat weight.

The first check is to feel for your cat’s ribs. Your cat shouldn’t be bony — this is a sign of an underweight cat — but you should be easily able to feel your cat’s ribs and count them. If your cat’s body condition score is off-balance, you would have a harder time feeling for their ribs.

The second check is to view your cat from above. Just below their rib cage, there should be a visible waist indented. Heavier cats will have a bloated belly, and this waistline will not be visible from above.

The third check is to check out your cat from the side as they are standing. You should see a slight tuck in the same spot as where their waist is from above. If your cat’s belly is hanging, this could indicate your cat is carrying too much weight on their frame.

How Can Obesity Affect My Cat?

Now that we can see the weight differences across different breeds of cats, we can see the thresholds that would have to be crossed for your cat to be considered obese. Knowing whether your cat is considered a large breed can help determine what their top weight should be. Your veterinarian is a great resource in helping to assess your cat’s healthy weight range.

A healthy weight for your cat is important for their lifespan, health, and quality of life. If your cat is overweight or obese, each of these factors can be negatively impacted. Cats who are overweight or obese can experience joint issues as the cartilage in the joints wears down faster with extra weight.

Cat’s heart health is affected by carrying extra weight, just as in humans, as the heart has to work more to get blood through the body. Feline diabetes can also form, affecting how your cat’s body responds to sugar in the blood. Of course, these health issues can shorten your cat’s lifespan, damage their quality of life, or become fatal if left untreated.

If your cat is overweight or obese, there’s no need to stress! This is a relatively common issue amongst house cats that is often easy to fix. Helping your cat to lose weight is one of the first steps in preventing or combating obesity-related health issues.

How Can My Cat Lose Weight?

First and foremost, your cat’s veterinarian should be involved in any decisions and planning regarding your cat’s diet and exercise plan. With any weight loss program for cats and even humans, it takes routine and discipline to follow a diet and physical exercise plan. Patience is key too. The weight didn’t add up overnight, and reducing it will not happen that quickly either.

If a cat loses too much weight too quickly, it can strain their body, especially if they take insulin to maintain their diabetes. Too much insulin in a cat’s system can be harmful, so constant monitoring of your cat’s weight is vital to ensure that they receive the right insulin dosage.

Never put your cat on a starvation diet or quickly reduce the amount or type of cat food they receive. Gradual change is best to ensure that your cat’s health isn’t negatively affected when necessary dietary changes.

Nutrition

Follow your veterinarian’s advice about how many calories your cat needs to achieve their ideal weight. For example, your DVM may recommend switching from dry food to wet food to lose that layer of fat. Wet food generally has more protein and can be more filling, whereas dry food can be carbohydrate-heavy, which makes weight gain much easier.

It is also a habit to put dry food into a bowl and allow your cat to graze all day. Food intake can be tricky to measure, especially in multi-cat households. Feeding canned food is easier to track as the amount is listed right on the can.

The hard part is monitoring how much and what type of treat you give to your cat. Instead of giving a good treat when your cat does something good, reward them with their favorite toy or a long scratch session.

Increase Activity

Just like humans, cats need to keep active. KONG has all the right toys needed to keep your kitty pouncing and engaged. Just like dietary changes, gradually increase your cat’s activity level to improve their body weight.

You don’t want your cat to go from zero minutes of play to an hour over one day. Think if you went to the gym for an hour and did a hard workout, you would feel out of shape and sore the next day. Our cats may feel very similar; remember that slow and steady will win the race.

Keep Active with KONG!

As mentioned, helping your cat be more physically active is a way to help them keep off the extra weight and stay trim. KONG is your one-stop-shop for all things cat toy-related. We have a variety of cat products and information that engages your cat’s natural instincts so they can keep their bodies (and minds) active.

As your cat becomes accustomed to being more active, they’ll love feeling more energetic and spending quality time with you.

Keeping your cat’s toy box full is easy when you are a member of the KONG Club. Your cat receives a new box every month full of toys and treats to keep them busy and active. You also receive health and wellness information centered around a building block of wellness. You’ll feel well-informed and ready to spend some one-on-one time with your favorite furry pal and their new toys.

Join the KONG Club today to keep you informed and your cat active at play.

Sources: 

Ideal Dog and Cat Weight Ranges | Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

Obesity | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Feline Diabetes | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

Salmon skin rolls may be one of your favorite sushi rolls, and we have to admit it is one of ours too! We know that salmon itself is a healthy protein for humans, and we also see salmon being featured as the main ingredient in different dog foods these days.

What about salmon skin, though? Is it safe for dogs to consume? Let’s take a look at some foods our dogs can tolerate and whether or not that includes salmon skin.

What Foods Can My Dog Tolerate?

We may also be guilty of giving our favorite furry pals a little morsel of what we are eating from time to time, but we always want to be careful of what we give our dogs. Their tummies and bodies cannot handle the same ingredients that we regularly consume. Being a pet parent means knowing what foods your dog can tolerate, so when the strength to say no to those pleading eyes fades, you are tempted to not give in.

Proteins like chicken, lean beef, turkey, and fish are all great sources of nutrition for our dogs. We understand the feeling of wanting to share, but it’s definitely best to steer clear of sharing food that has been seasoned or covered in a sauce.

Your dog may enjoy fruits like apples and blueberries, but since fruit is high in natural sugar, this should be a special occasion treat, like when enticing your dog to take a bath. Vegetables like plain pumpkin and carrots are yummy and can be a special add-on to your dog’s normal kibble, but make sure to ask your vet first.

As always, your best bet for nutritional guidance is to refer to your pet’s veterinarian. Your veterinarian will also be able to let you know what foods dogs can absolutely not have. This is equally important, as we don’t want to cause any digestive upsets in our pups. No matter how sad those puppy whimpers are, sometimes we have to just say no.

What About Mercury in Fish?

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Mercury intake can be a concern when consuming fish, as all seafood and fish usually contain trace amounts of mercury. Thankfully, the use of mercury in health and farming practices has been reduced. The amounts of mercury found in humans and animals have come down in recent years as well.

However, mercury bioaccumulation in animals is a concern. This occurs when a larger fish consumes a smaller fish, and then that fish is consumed by an even bigger fish. Mercury is not easily broken down by the body, so as fish after fish is gobbled up, so is the mercury.

Large, predatory fish like Swordfish and King Mackerel can contain the highest amounts of mercury in the fish world, so limited consumption is recommended for these certain species who are at the top of the fish food chain.

Even though the use of mercury in health and farming practices has been reduced, mercury poisoning can still occur in animals, albeit rare, especially if their diet only consists of fish, and they eat lots of it.

Mercury saturation in a dog’s body can negatively affect the brain, digestive system, and renal system. Signs of mercury poisoning include a lack of coordination, abdominal discomfort and/or swelling, and the inability to urinate. These changes are irreversible and treatment may not be effective.

It’s not all murky waters — Fish is still a healthy protein, containing high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid in the reduction of inflammation, promote joint health, and keep your dog’s skin healthy and coat glossy. Omega-3s also keep the mind alert and sharp.

What About Dog Food Containing Fish?

In recent years, dog food has featured salmon as the ultimate protein instead of chicken, lamb, or beef. This is fantastic for changing things up for your pup when they are just tired of the same chicken-flavored kibble day after day. You would certainly grow tired of eating the same daily meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your pup may feel the same and probably enjoys the change.

Some of our dogs ] have sensitive skin and tummies. Salmon dog food can be just the ticket if your dog doesn’t tolerate other types of protein. If your dog has dry or itchy skin, the nutrients in salmon can have your dog’s coat glowing with a healthy sheen.

If your dog does eat salmon dog food, you may be tempted to confiscate their food bowl after reading about mercury and what can happen to your dog if they ingest too much. However, we have some good news on the salmon dog food front.

A study found that only a small portion of dog foods sampled for mercury detected low levels of the metal. Out of 24 types tested, only three were shown to have any detectable levels. According to one of the researchers, the levels detected were unlikely to cause any negative effects on the dog diners.

Rest assured, your pup can continue to crunch on their favorite salmon kibble. Even if your dog doesn’t eat an all-fish diet, you can add salmon oil to their food for the added nutritional benefits. We also know that our pups love the scent of Eau du salmon on their kibble and will happily crunch away.

Of course, you can take any concerns to your veterinarian, who can give you the best info going forward about what your dog consumes.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

We know that salmon itself is a healthy protein. We also know that chicken is a healthy protein, but veterinarians sometimes advise against feeding our dogs chicken skin because it is too rich and fatty. If fried or heavily seasoned, chicken can cause canine digestive problems, like vomiting and diarrhea.

So what does that mean about salmon skin?

If salmon is on the menu for your dinner (invite us, please!), you’ll want to set aside a small, unseasoned piece for your pal as a special treat. Your pooch will be glad to know they can safely eat the salmon skin as long as the fish is fully cooked and not fried or heavily seasoned. Wild-caught salmon is also the best to serve, as these lucky fish were able to swim unencumbered.

Just like the salmon itself, salmon skin is full of nutrients. The skin is rich, so make sure it is a small piece. Plus, it’s critical to remove any fish bones ahead of time. Despite the myth of dogs loving to chew on bones, salmon bones can get lodged in a dog’s throat or intestinal tract.

The most important thing is to ensure that the salmon is thoroughly cooked. Raw salmon can contain some yucky things like worms and bacteria that can make your pup not feel so well. If your dog consumes raw salmon that contains a parasitic flatworm infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia, this is called salmon poisoning.

Symptoms typically develop within one week of ingesting raw salmon and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, muscle tremors, seizures, difficulty breathing, among others, and can be fatal if not treated. Cases of salmon poisoning are usually treated with antibiotics. If you suspect your dog has consumed raw salmon, make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately so they can run the necessary tests and prescribe treatment if required.

If your dog is the outdoorsy type and likes to swim in the river or pond, make sure that they don’t consume raw fish. If you do catch any fish, make sure that any pieces you may cut off while cleaning the fish stay far away from those sneaky snoots.

Ultimately, a small piece of salmon would make a fantastic treat for your pup’s birthday pawty, and they’ll love having a piece to themselves.

KONG CLUB – A Fintastic Idea

Here’s the top catch of the day: we promise that you’ll love being a part of the KONG Club if you are a pet parent. We offer monthly subscription boxes that will keep you and your buddy waiting by the mailbox.

Your furbaby will enjoy their new toys and treats; maybe a package of Salmon Bites will end up in the box? You will enjoy the tips, tricks, and recipes that will keep you in the know about pet health centered around a building block of wellness each month.

While salmon and salmon skin are great sources for Omega-3s that keep your pup’s mind sharp, you’ll want to keep that mind engaged with our carefully curated and designed KONG Toys. We love knowing that your dog’s natural instincts will be triggered by our toys. Your dog will feel mentally stimulated and engaged, and boredom will not be afloat in your home!

Although we cannot recommend a sushi date with your furchild, incorporating a little cooked salmon in your dog’s diet may be a healthy and tasty way to help your dog meet all their nutritional needs (with your veterinarian’s approval).

Sign up today and know that your favorite furry buddy will have a fin-tastic time with their monthly rotation of new toys and treats!

Sources:

What Kind of Human Foods Can Dogs Eat? | Nasa Pet Hospital

What to do about mercury in fish | Harvard Health

Mercury Poisoning in Animals | Merck Veterinary Manual

Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids | NCBI

Preliminary study suggests mercury not a risk in dog foods | University of California

Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Pets | Family Veterinary Clinic

Salmon Poisoning In Dogs | Merck Vet Manual

14 Unique Cat Names For Your New Fur-Baby

Welcome home, new kitty! Whether you are a first-time cat mom or cat dad, or if you are increasing your cat collection, welcoming home a new kitty is a fun time. You get to set up new cat areas and get new cat dishes, not to mention your new “Cat parent” mug and apparel options. No worries about all the cat toys and treats, though; KONG Club has you covered in that department.

One of the most important tasks of making your house a home for your new kitty is giving them a name. Your pet’s name will become a part of them and give them the distinction of becoming part of the family.

You want to give your cat a unique name that fits their unique personality. Let’s look at 14 unique cat names so you can find the purrfect name for your feline friend.

How Do I Pick the Best Name for My Cat?

The sky’s the limit when it comes to picking your cat’s name. Of course, you want a name that your kitty will respond to. A study found that cats respond best to hard sounds — think words that contain T, K, and B. However, cats can also distinguish between some vowels, like A, E, and I.

Refrain from picking a name that is the same as commands, like “sit” or “here.” You don’t want to create unnecessary confusion, especially if you have a pet like a dog that follows those commands. Your cat may also learn to ignore that word, effectively learning to ignore their name.

Although some like giving their cats multiple names, like Pudding Von Sugarsweet, it’s sometimes wise to shorten that name into a nickname your cat will likely respond to. One or two syllables are best, especially if you need to call for them outside.

In this case, you have plenty of options like Pudding, Sugar, and Sweetie. After all, are you really a pet parent if you don’t have multiple nicknames for your cat (some that make absolutely no sense to an outsider)?

Trending Cute Cat Names for 2022

When considering a name for your cat, looking at the most popular cat names is always a good start. The list below includes both boy cat names and girl cat names, as well as a few unisex cat names.

Let’s look at some of the most popular cat names for 2022:

  • Coco
  • Leo
  • Lucy
  • Max
  • Chester
  • Nala
  • Onyx
  • Cleopatra
  • Tigger
  • Smokey
  • Tuxedo

Keep an ear out for the most popular cat names in your neighborhood. Things could possibly get a tad confusing if four Oreos live on the same block.

Unique Cat Name Ideas

If you want to give your cat a name as unique as they are, you have a lot of places to look for inspiration. Literary or movie characters, gods and goddesses from mythology, and popular names from foreign countries offer endless possibilities.

Let’s look at some unique names (and their origins) that your cat will love:

Nature-Inspired Cat Names

  1. Zinnia – a botanical choice for your cat that allows you to name additional cats after flowers. What’s better than a bouquet of kittens?
  2. Nebula – an out-of-this-world name for the cutest cat in the galaxy. It’s a great name for a black cat!

Old-Fashioned Names for Your Cat

  1. Ellsworth – a popular name with aristocrats, your cat will be a part of the upper crust with this name.
  2. Valentino – a stylish choice for your debonair gentleman. If you have multiple cats,
  3. Orson – meaning “bear cub,” this name is perfect for your super fluffy boy.
  4. Cecily – the female equivalent of Cecli, Cecily is an adorable feminine name for your little lady.
  5. Amadeus – if classical music is your forte, naming your cat after one of the most cherished composers allows you to combine your two loves.
  6. Saoirse – This unique female cat name is a pretty moniker of Irish origin; you’ll be sure to have the only kitty on the street with this unique Gaelic name. Just don’t be surprised if every vet you visit asks you how to pronounce it.

Movie-Inspired Cat Names

  1. Simba – A perfect name for Disney fans with cute orange cats
  2. Bigglesworth – This adorable name fits a cat who loves the refined things in life. In other words, this cat just loves to lounge around, meow and purr all day long.

Literary-Inspired Cat Names

  1. Crookshanks – If you’re a fan of Hermione from the Harry Potter series, this is the best cat name for your furry friend.
  2. Gandalf – If you’ve got a gray cat who you can tell is wise, Gandalf is the name for him.
  3. Fitzwilliam – This is one of the most unique male cat names. It’s a lovely literary choice for the Jane Austen lovers out there. It’s particularly amazing if you already have a cat named Elizabeth or Darcy.
  4. Gulliver – if your kitty enjoys exploring the outdoors, this literary name will match your cat’s adventurous spirit.

When Do Cats Learn Their Names?

One of the best parts of being a pet parent is being able to call your kitty, and they respond by coming to see you. Now responding every single time you call their name is a completely different conversation.

We know that our cats tend to listen only when they want to, or so it seems. Our cats are independent creatures, and sometimes they may just want to be left to their own devices.

Cats have a whole set of body language that can sometimes be hard to decipher. If you call your cat’s name, and they don’t come running directly to you, it isn’t a sign that they don’t love you.

The key is their body language. Pay close attention to your cat’s ears. If they move or twitch when you call their name, they have heard their name and are listening for more.

Help your cat come to your call by helping them associate the sound of their name with something positive. After you pick out their name, call for them and give them a treat when they come to you.

You can also get pats and scratches in their favorite spots. After a while, your cat will learn that they will receive something positive when they come to you when they hear the sound of their name.

What if My Cat Ignores Their Name?

Have you called your cat’s name over and over, but your cat won’t answer your call? Welcome to being a cat parent!

We know that our favorite felines follow their own rules, and that may mean not coming when they hear their name called. They may be further engaged by a bird by the window, or they are lying in their favorite sun spot and are too comfortable to move.

Is Your Cat Ignoring Their Name?

There are a few logical reasons why your cat may be ignoring you when you call their name, and it has nothing to do with their own free will.

First, your cat’s name may sound too much like another word. If your cat’s name is “Blair,” but you use the word “chair” regularly, your cat may not be able to decipher between the two.

Additionally, there is a possibility that your cat may be experiencing hearing loss.

While we always recommend visiting your vet when you suspect something is amiss, you can always test this theory by making a loud noise behind your cat. Based on their reaction, you can make a guess about their hearing capabilities and think about if you should make an appointment with the veterinarian.

Your cat may also ignore their name if they have come to learn a negative association with the sound you call them. If your cat is the mischievous sort, you’ll probably say, “OH WHISKERS!” when you discover the shredded toilet paper or blinds yanked out of the window.

Your call will hear their name, plus your angry tone, and they’ll start to learn that hearing that particular word means that you are angry. Then they will start to ignore you or even hide when they hear their name being called.

KONG Club – Another Name for Fun

No matter what you call your new fur-child, you want to ensure they are happy and well taken care of. KONG Club makes it easy to keep your new kitty busy, and you stay well-informed on the latest pet health and wellness. KONG will become another name for fun in your household.

Each month’s box centers on a building block of wellness, like Nutrition and Behavior. Included in the box are training tips and recipes to help keep your pet healthy and engaged. Your cat will be fully satisfied with their treats and toys, and you’ll be satisfied with all the pet knowledge you’ll have right at your fingertips.

Each box is developed with your cat’s natural instincts in mind, and they will be kept busy playing with their toys while pouncing, hunting, and putting their claws to good use.

This monthly box will become such a huge hit that the mail delivery will be your cat’s favorite time of the day. They will definitely listen out for their name being called when their KONG Club box has been delivered. Join the KONG Club today!

Sources:

Vowel Discrimination in Cats | The Journal of Acoustical Science of America

Domestic Cats Do Not Show Signs of Secure Attachment to Their Owners | PLOS ONE

Popular Cat Names 2022 | Nameberry

Unique Cat Names | Nameberry

The cat’s meow | The Humane Society of the United States

Male Cat vs. Female Cat: Five Important Differences

A cat is the perfect addition when you are looking to add a member to the family. Cats can bring laughter to your family through their evergoing shenanigans of knocking things off counters and randomly getting cases of the zoomies. They can also bring warmth to your heart with their ability to form relationships with you and other family members.

Petting their soft fur can also be a comfort when the day has been rough, and their purrs can bring you some relief when the day has been stressful. Also, there is nothing quite as cute as your cat hopping next to you on the sofa and proceeding to “make biscuits” and get comfy.

What Factors Do I Need To Consider When Choosing a Cat?

Adopting a new kitty is a big responsibility and time commitment, but we must say that the rewards are quite worth it! There are vet visits to make, decisions about which food and litter to buy, and steps to take to make sure your home is a cat-friendly space.

When it comes to making sure that your cat has toys to keep their curious nature occupied, a KONG Club Cat Membership contains toys that will help satisfy your cat’s natural instincts of pouncing, scratching, and hunting. Inside every cat reluctantly wearing a sweater lies the ferocious instincts of their wild cat ancestors.

During the important decision of picking out a kitty, there are several decisions to take into consideration. Even when you have a particular breed in mind, choosing which gender to adopt can make the decision a little more complicated, as there are differences between males and females. Although both make the best of buddies, you may find that you have a preference for one gender.

We want to clarify that these are clunky guidelines; as all cat lovers know, every cat is unique and impossible to put in a box. (Unless it’s an actual cardboard box — cats love those).

Let’s discuss the basic differences between male cats and female cats so you can be well-informed and prepared to bond with your cat.

How Are Male and Female Cats Physically Different?

When it comes to gender, physical differences are the most easily noticeable. Of course, the first and biggest difference between male and female cats is that they have different genitals.

Genital Differentiations

When cats are kittens, it can be a little hard to tell if they are male or female. To determine the gender of a kitten, look at the area below their anus. If you see an organ close to the anus that resembles a small slit, this would be a female cat. If you see a small dot about an inch of space from the anus, this would be a male cat.

Need a second opinion? If you’re a member of the KONG Club, you have access to the best, highly-trained animal experts. If you are trying to determine the gender of your kitten with little success, these experts can help you with ease since they are available 24/7.

Color Variations

Physical color is the second physical difference that can help you determine which gender a cat is. Almost all calico cats (black, white, and orange in color) are female. Orange cats are typically male, but there can be female orange cats as well.

Cats’ chromosomes are behind this coloring and gender relationship. If you are looking at a few cats who need homes and spot a calico kitty, it’s likely this feline is a female. That being said, male tabbies and calicos can exist but are rare and generally sterile.

Weight Classes

Male and female cats differ physically in their appearance. Female cats tend to be smaller and lighter when compared to male cats. It may be a little hard to determine if your female cat is small and light, but when a lady cat sits next to a male cat, the male will typically look larger and heavier.

Male cats also tend to have chubby cheeks, especially if they have not been neutered. Their cheeky appearance is caused by testosterone. Some believe that this chubby-faced appearance serves as protection in case they were to get into a skirmish with another male cat.

Do Male and Female Cats Behave Differently?

Like many species, there are also behavioral differences between male and female cats. While personality differences can also be attributed to age and breed, it can be helpful to know some general differences when it comes to gender. These differences can also be observed if your cat has been spayed or neutered or not.

4. Behavior of Unaltered Cats

The fourth notable difference between male and female cats is their behaviors if they are unaltered. If your cat has not been spayed or neutered, you may see gender-specific behaviors when your cat’s instinct to breed kicks in.

When female cats are in heat, they will become very vocal and meow and yowl loudly. This is to attract males to her area. She will also rub against objects, knead her back feet, and will move her tail to one side.

When female cats are in heat, any male cats around her who have not been neutered will also show some specific behaviors. They may become more aggressive to other male cats nearby. Male cats can smell the pheromones of female cats in heat and will become restless until they are able to mate.

5. Behavior of Altered Cats

If your cat has been spayed or neutered, any reproductive-related behaviors will not be present. However, there are still personality tendencies that set male and female cats apart. These personality tendencies are our fifth difference between female and male cats.

Female cats can be more territorial with new cats in their space, and females are more likely to use the litter box consistently. Female cats also value their personal space and their alone time. Male cats are said to be more friendly, sociable, and form stronger bonds with human family members. Although they may mark with urine, this tendency does go down drastically after being neutered.

For any cat, it is vital to socialize them from an early age if possible. This helps ensure that your cat feels comfortable around people and that they do not feel too fearful around new people or noises.

Importance of Spaying and Neutering

An important factor when caring for a cat is whether to spay or neuter your pet. When your cat’s reproductive organs are removed, so are breeding-based instinct-related behaviors.

Spaying and neutering your cat also helps to keep the cat population down. With cats being able to reproduce quite rapidly, many unwanted kittens are taken to shelters.

Practicing reproductive measures with cats can also help to keep unwanted health problems at bay. Both female and male cats have smaller chances of developing infections and cancers in their reproductive systems.

Boy or Girl: Cats Rule the World

No matter if your cat is a boy or a girl, we love our furry felines and the joy they bring to our life. Although there can be personality assumptions made about our cats depending on their genders, we know that our cats are special and unique. Certain breeds may have personality quirks or habits they picked up from their life before they met you.

Since no two cats are alike, your pals at the KONG Club can help you understand your cat and their behaviors a little more clearly. Being a KONG Club member gives you access to veterinary professionals and animal behavior experts who can help you navigate your cat’s instinctual behaviors.

Being a member gives you access to coaching with our experts but also access to the KONG Clubhouse. This spot is where you can chat with fellow pet parents for advice when you want to know if any pet parents have traveled down the same road you have with your cat.

Not only do you have access to all these valuable resources, but you also receive a new box of carefully curated toys and treats based on a particular feline wellness topic. These toys will encourage your cat to use their instincts to play through chasing, pouncing, and hunting.

While your cat is being engaged mentally and physically, you’ll get to watch them being absolutely adorable and get all the new content you need for your cat’s social media accounts. (Be sure to tag us!)

Being a KONG Club member gives you and your cat something to look forward to each month. Not only does your cat receive new toys to keep them happy and busy, but you get to learn more about your cat and receive support when you have a question or concern.

Show your love for your cat by being a member of the KONG Club; sign up today!

Sources:

If You Love Cats, This May Be Why | Psychology Today

Determining Gender of a Kitten | Vet Med Washington State University

Fun Facts About Calico Cats | All Cats Care Center

Breeding and Reproduction of Cats – Cat Owners | Merck Veterinary Manual

Spaying and Neutering | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

How To Train a Cat: 9 Tips From Feline Experts

We know that cats are fairly independent family members. We don’t worry about leaving them alone in the house during the day while we are at work. They are probably counting down the minutes until the pesky human who lives in their house gives them some alone time!

You may be a part of the camp who has always thought that training wasn’t within your cat’s realm. They just do what they do, and we supply their food, water, and litter. We are rewarded with some cuddles and an appreciative meow every now and again.

Training is definitely within your cat’s realm and might make both of your lives easier. Training your cat to accept nail trims and willingly going into their cat carrier for a trip to the vet may take some time. However, the investment of a scratch-free grooming session and a headache-less trip to the vet will make the time spent training your cat well worth it.

Not only will your cat learn new tricks, but the time spent with them will only strengthen your relationship with your cat. Let’s dig in and look at some cat training tips.

1. Determine What You Want Your Cat To Learn

Figuring out what you want your cat to learn is the very first step in training your cat. Do you want them to go into their cat carrier more easily? Do you want them to use their cat flap instead of meowing loudly for someone to open the door? Or maybe you want to teach your cat a new trick like rolling over?

Starting off with the basics, like learning to sit, gives you and your cat a strong foundation for training. Since this is an easy trick to teach, this is a behavior that you can constantly reward them more since they can easily perform this behavior several times per day. This consistent positive reinforcement shows your cat that when they perform desirable behaviors, they will be rewarded.

2. Focus on One Trick at a Time

You may have found that trying to multitask can be difficult, and with cats, this is no exception. Trying to teach your cat more than one trick at a time can cause confusion.

To start, you may want to focus on a trick that is easy to teach, like how to shake paws. This trick is fast to teach. You also get acquainted with training practices and create a consistent training routine. Your cat is exposed to training techniques that will lay a strong foundation for more complex tricks later.

3. Keep Training Sessions Short and Sweet

If you’ve ever sat in a meeting for work that was too long, you have found yourself getting distracted and unable to focus. It’s the same idea for your cat: Keep training sessions short and sweet so that your cat doesn’t lose interest. A few daily sessions, topping out at five minutes, will have your cat learning new skills in no time.

Even if it does feel like your cat is taking a long time to learn a new skill, be patient and persistent. We know that cats do things in their own time, and with consistency, it will happen!

4. Reward Good Behavior

Positively reinforcing the behaviors you want your cat to partake in is the most effective way to get your cat to perform tricks. Whenever your cat performs a desirable behavior, you’ll want to reward them as soon as possible.

Giving them a bit of their favorite treat or cat food is a surefire way to keep them intrigued and wanting to please you. Make sure that this food doesn’t add too much to their regular meals.

5. Keep It Positive

Although our cats can certainly get themselves into trouble from time to time, cat parents always want to avoid punishing their cats — even for scratching furniture, making you a human scratching post, or leaving poop somewhere other than the litter box.

If you punish your cat, it can affect the relationship negatively. Instead of associating a spritz of water with the fact that they were on the kitchen counter, they may associate the spritz of water with being in your presence.

This action enforces the idea to your cat that they do not want to be around you. Then, when you try to call your cat for a little training session, they may actively try to avoid you.

6. Clicker Train Your Cat

While we know that treats and food rewards are a great way to reward our feline friends for new behaviors, we sometimes don’t always have a treat in our pocket when our cat completes the desired task, such as giving you a high five or standing on its hind legs.

If you catch your cat being good by using the cat flap or going potty in the cat litter box, it’s time for a reward. The moment you place a treat in front of your cat’s paw is only a few seconds due to a cat’s limited attention span. This precious moment in time can be lost while you scramble around to find a treat for your cat.

Using a clicker while litter box training is a great way to signal to your cat that they are doing a job well done while also buying you a few seconds to put your hands on a treat. Luckily, the KONG Club Subscription Box contains treats for your cat every month, so you can stock your cat’s favorite spots with treats when you want to reward them.

How To Clicker Train Your Cat

Using a clicker is easy peasy. When your cat does the desired action, you click and immediately follow with a treat. Your cat will get the hang of the idea quickly that the clicker means that a treat will soon follow.

In the beginning, it’s important to keep treats on hand so you can reinforce the idea. After your cat gets the hang of clicker training, you’ll be able to buy a few seconds to place your hands on a treat as your cat has learned that a click means a treat is coming.

Clickers can also help you be more precise with helping your cat learn what exactly they are getting rewarded for. If you want your cat to roll over, they’ll hear the click at the exact moment they roll as opposed to receiving praise when the roll is over.

Studies have found that cats respond positively to clicker training and that it can even be more powerful than simply lure-based (treat only) training alone. Pairing a clicker with a treat seems to be the ticket to training your cat.

7. Ignore Unwanted Behaviors

Since our cats learn by being positively reinforced, this can be to our detriment when it comes to bad behavior. If your cat constantly wakes you up in the middle of the night because they are hungry, and you get up and feed them, you have just positively reinforced their behavior.

If you have fallen into the trap of positively reinforcing behaviors that you want to avoid, like the 2 am snack call, ignoring unwanted behaviors is your best bet. It takes a strong will, but if you can show your cat that you will not pay attention to the behavior they are exhibiting, they will see that they will not receive any attention. Hopefully, they will soon stop performing that behavior.

8. Try Creative Solutions to Unwanted Behaviors

Sometimes, we want to curb unwanted behaviors. We can use creative solutions to help ward off these exploits without needing to punish or get upset.

If your cat likes to hang out on the kitchen counter or table, put aluminum foil or double-sided tape on their landing areas. Your cat will not enjoy this textural change and will keep them off your counters.

Keeping cats off of the furniture can be an especially difficult task, and your cat will take advantage of this when you are not at home. There are specially designed mats that can be placed on furniture that emit a loud noise when it senses movement or pressure. Your cat will quickly learn that jumping on this furniture will activate this undesirable noise.

With your subscription to the KONG Club, you have access to chat with animal behavioral specialists who can further help you with solutions to eradicate unwanted behaviors from your cats.

9. Keep Your Cat Busy & Engaged with KONG

Although our cats have gone from being predators in the wild to being adorable couch potatoes, they still have held onto some of their instinctual behaviors. These behaviors include hunting, pouncing, and chasing. Giving your cat opportunities to play and put these instincts to use helps keep them happy and healthy.

Additionally, keeping your cat engaged with toys designed for their needs helps keep them out of any shenanigans. After a fun play session, your cat will be ready for a nap in a sunny spot on the floor instead of using the side of the sofa to sharpen their nails.

Being a member of the KONG Club is an easy way to check off the box of keeping your cat’s toy box full and updated. Every month’s subscription box is carefully curated to a specific wellness building block, and the toys and treats will support that specific month’s topic.

No matter how well trained your cat is, they will still need an outlet to play and satisfy their curious nature. They’ll also love attention from you, and you won’t be able to help yourself after seeing them with their adorable cat toys.

KONG Club’s Monthly Subscription Box will have you and your cat looking forward to each month to see what fun and engaging toys will have them feeling stimulated and engaged. You’ll also feel like an awesome pet parent for keeping your cat’s toy box up to date, and your cat will love you even more for it!

Sources:

Assessment of Clicker Training for Shelter Cats | PMC

Tips on Teaching Your Cat to Do Tricks | Blue Valley Animal Hospital

Positive Reinforcement: Training Your Cat | Napa Humane Society

8 Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs Naturally

In the pet world, there is a common dividing line between “dog-people” or “cat-people.” Both sides of the debate may contest that they only like dogs or cats solely on the stereotypical behaviors they know each species to exhibit.

Most of us may feel that certain animals have stereotypical behaviors. We know that sloths move slowly, raccoons can be sneaky and try to get into the trash, and dogs are fun-loving and obsessed with their people.

When it comes to cats, some might suggest that cats prefer to do their own thing, like to be left alone, and don’t like to cuddle. This may be true for some particular breeds of cats; they are descendants of wild cats, after all. However, some domestic cat breeds act more like dogs than tigers.

Knowing which breeds of cats act like dogs naturally can be helpful in a few specific situations. If you have a family member or significant other who is wholeheartedly a dog lover, introducing them to cats can give them a wonderful first impression of the feline world.

After a positive interaction with an affectionate and playful cat, they will likely come over to the cat side. They’d probably even be up for joining the Cat Fanciers Association!

Introducing the Puppy-Cat

Particular living situations are well-suited for a boisterous and friendly cat who is dog-like, affectionately known as a “puppy-cat.” Living in an apartment may not be ideal for a dog who needs to get outside multiple times a day, but it would be perfect for a cat who can utilize a cat perch and a litter box. When you come home, you might find that your puppy-cat is excited for a game of fetch or even a belly rub.

This is great for those who may not be able to give a larger dog the exercise they need because of long working hours or issues with health or mobility. This is a perfect compromise with a cat’s natural tendency to use a litter box and need less physical exercise than a large breed dog.

Let’s take a look at the cat breeds who have dog-like tendencies.

1. Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is a large cat breed (upwards to 20 pounds!) and has become a very popular cat. While they are beautiful cats with luxurious coats, they are surprisingly low-maintenance, with hair softer than some shorthaired tabbies. They also have a dog-like temperament, making them ideal house cats for families and children.

Maine Coons can even be larger than some smaller dog breeds, like Yorkies or Chihuahuas. Maine Coons have a friendly disposition and will even be waiting for you at the door when you come home. We all love a furry welcoming committee!

Highly intelligent Maine Coons can learn tricks and will enjoy playing with a laser around the living room. They are also highly affectionate and will enjoy spending time with their family, forming close bonds.

These cats are more than just family pets. They will consider themselves as part of the family as the human members. As such, it is their duty to regularly check up on family members and follow them around the house (which they will do so diligently). For a cat, they are quite the social butterfly.

2. Ragdoll

Ragdoll cats also top the list as one of the largest breeds of cats. Just like a Maine Coon, Ragdolls can tip the scales at twenty pounds. Similar to the laid-back personalities of Basset Hounds and Irish Wolfhounds, Ragdolls are very even-keeled cats who are great with kids. They are truly gentle giants.

Ragdolls have the patience to be doted on by kids who just want to love on their fluffy kitty (with you closely monitoring!). Just like their name implies, Ragdolls are known for being physically limp when you pick them up, so be sure to offer supporting and gentle hands when handling your Ragdoll kitty.

Like some dogs, Ragdolls are very vocal. They will regularly communicate back with you when you speak to them and let you know when they enjoy pets and scratches. They enjoy snuggles and will regularly hop into bed and get close to you. Ragdolls have also been known to present their tummy for rubs.

3. Bengals

Bengals are a popular choice for the experienced cat parent looking for an active feline. Beloved for their lovely, exotic-looking coat, Bengals bring a touch of the wild side to their families’ life.

They are also high-energy and can get into the wilder side of cat behavior. They can even enjoy playing in water. Being a Bengal cat parent means keeping one eye open while in the shower, as your cat may poke their head in wanting to play.

Bengals are the type of cat who will get into good-natured shenanigans. Their hobbies include leaping around, getting cases of the zoomies, and long walks on the beach (probably). They are as affectionate as they are lively. You may find yourself with a cat who will leap a great bound to cuddle with you on the sofa.

4. Manx

Protective and playful, a Manx will have you easily wrapped around their paw. These lovable cats are famous for their almost tailless appearance with a stubby tail and longer back legs.

These physical characteristics make the Manx a great jumper, and they’ll love watching over everyone from a high vantage point. Play up to this characteristic by installing cat perches high on your windows so they can have a good view of the birds.

Manx cats enjoy chasing and playing with toys. They love their family and form tight bonds with the members that play and spend time with them. They are also fiercely loyal. In fact, they even display loyalty to their home and don’t particularly like to move.

5. Bombay

Bombay cats are sleek and black, resembling a panther. These chill cats are affectionate and have an extroverted personality. They love to play games and can even be taught to walk on a leash. Imagine the turned heads when you take your cat on a walk on a pleasant stroll.

Bombays also like to be the head of any welcoming committee when it comes to greeting you home or welcoming guests that come to your home. Bombays have a friendly temperament and are definite lap cats.

They will likely find a nice warm spot on a guest’s lap to receive some pats and happily snooze and refuse to let their human chair leave. Their talent is jumping, and they will enjoy a bird’s eye view of the house from the top of cabinets or shelves (proceed with caution walking under doors!).

While Bombays are friendly and love to form relationships with you, they may experience separation anxiety if they are left alone for hours on end. If you are a work-from-home warrior, a Bombay will love being your office companion on Zoom calls.

6. Siberian

Siberians may be the perfect cat for the self-proclaimed “dog person.” With the Siberians’ lovely coats and beautiful eyes, any animal lover will be entranced by these good looks. They are affectionate cats and enjoy forming relationships with their family members.

Siberians are intelligent and inquisitive. Just like your dog enjoying a good puzzle to obtain treats, the Siberian cat will also enjoy putting their feline prowess to work on an engaging puzzle filled with treats from their monthly KONG Club box.

When caring for a Siberian, be used to their adventurous streak. They love to explore the house and land around them, and you may be surprised to see them trotting on the sidewalk around your neighborhood. Quick to get into mischief, the Siberian enjoy making a game out of anything that dangles in front of them.

7. American Bobtail

With its cute little fluff of a tail, the American Bobtail will have you wrapped around their paw in no time. American Bobtails are sweet and devoted cats. They can even be fantastic therapy cats as they love to bond with any person who will offer their lap and some loving pats.

Like the Siberian, American Bobtails can also go through leash training for walks outside. They are also natural Houdinis and have the seemingly magical ability to get out of spaces they don’t particularly like. They can quickly escape closed rooms and crates.

Like most “puppy-cats,” American Bobtails adore playtime. They love playing games with their people, including the dog classic, fetch. They are also wonderful around children as they are patient and gentle while being picked up and carried around.

American Bobtails are laid-back when it comes to forming relationships and will accept other dogs or cats in the home with ease. You’ll probably witness them forming fast and lasting friendships with their pet brother or pet sister.

8. Abyssinian

Abyssinians, also affectionately called the “Abys,” are loving and relaxed cats. They love to climb, so having a cat perch is a wise option for an Aby, or they may decide to climb your curtains.

Abyssinians are playful cats and love an evening play session with a dangling cat toy. Abys are also known to “play up” and show off for their admirers. They have an affectionate nature and love to spend quality time with their family. Plus, they take well to sharing their home with other cats.

Their adventurous and curious streak will have them wanting to explore and roam the grounds around your home. Maintaining a watchful eye over your Aby and making sure they get their energy out with toys and companionship will help keep your Abyssinian from trying to escape.

KONG Club: For Cats & Dogs and Cats Who Act Like Dogs

Being a member of the KONG Club is the perfect way to stay informed as a pet parent while also making sure that your cat receives plenty of treats and toys to keep them busy.

When your cat’s personality is more dog-like than cat-like, you’ll want to ensure they have plenty of toys to keep up with their natural instinct to play. With our fun and engaging KONG toys, your active and lively cat will have plenty of opportunities to hunt, pounce, and chase to their heart’s desire.

Any cat who has a dog-like personality will love playing and spending time with you. Keeping their toy box full and updated helps them to stay out of hijinks and will satisfy their curious nature. You’ll love watching them chase and pounce on our specifically designed toys. Don’t throw the box out either, as we all know with cats: If it fits, they sit!”

When you are a member of the KONG Club, you not only receive a new round of toys for your furry pal, but you’ll also receive expert-led guidance for every stage of your pet’s life. Our different monthly wellness building blocks will have your pet parent toolbox full of tips and tricks to keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy.

Join the club today, and enjoy the fun and guidance of us being right by your side.

Sources:

House Training Your Kitten | Veazie Vet

The Bengal Cats Fascinating Character and Temperament | Bengal Cat

Bombay Breed Info | Midway Animal

Learn About The Abyssinian Cat Breed From A Trusted Veterinarian | Lowell Animal Hospital

Training Cats to Become Therapy Cats | The IAABC JOURNAL

Where Do Cats Like to Be Pet & Why?

When it comes to cats, we love giving our fluffy feline friends physical attention in the form of head scratches and back rubs. We listen for that tell-tale sign of enjoyment from our cats, purring. When our cat is purring, they are showing that they are enjoying the physical attention we are offering them.

We know that our kitties can be a little temperamental at times, and if they are not enjoying the way they are being petted or the area, they’ll be sure to let you know with a hiss or a swipe of a paw.

Being a pet parent involves wanting to keep our pets feeling content and loved. Let’s chat about where cats like to be scratched and why — so you can keep your cat purring all day.

Where Do Cats Like To Be Pet?

Cats can sometimes be hard to read, but we have a good idea of where they may enjoy most and why. You may have noticed that cats tend to rub their faces on your leg, or maybe on furniture.

This is because there are scent glands in cats’ faces that allow them to leave their scent behind to claim their territory, and your cat actually going through the motions of leaving their scent is called bunting.

Your cat is sweetly showing you affection when they bunt on you. Not only do they get a good scratching session for their cheeks, chin, and neck but they also get to deposit their scent on you. They are telling other cats that you are their human.

If your cat isn’t down for chin scratchies, try their backs. Try various petting pressures or scratching as opposed to petting to see which your cat prefers. Cats love being scratched on their rump in front of their tail; it’s a hard spot for them to reach by themselves.

Purr-fect Petting Signs

Your cat will give you optimal feedback when you are giving your cat the ultimate petting experience. If your cat is enjoying the way you are petting them, they will show a few signs. The first and most recognizable is purring. Cats purr to show that they are in a state of contentment and as a self-soothing mechanism.

If your cat is lying on their tummy, and you are giving head or neck scratches, your cat may show they are enjoying this by kneading their paws. This action is also affectionately known as “making biscuits.” Additionally, you’ll find that if you pause while petting, your cat may gently nudge you like a hint to keep the petting going.

If you really hit the right spot, maybe you’ll get the double effect of purring and “making biscuits.” An adorable moment for sure!

When To Stop Petting Your Cat

Sometimes cat parents need to press “paws” on the pets.

Your cat may not enjoy how you are petting them, and they will be sure to keep you updated. If your cat’s ears are flat against their head, or if they are moving their head away from you, they are showing that they do not care for this petting session.

You may find that your cat will show these signs when you pet them on their tummy or tail. The hair follicles in these areas can be very sensitive, and your cat may feel a little too overwhelmed if you are petting them in this area. Cat whiskers are very sensitive and prone to fatigue and irritation, so watch out for those too.

All cats are different, and it may take a little experimenting on your part to find that “purr-fect” spot that your cat enjoys. Your cat may also show that they have reached their petting quota for the day.

If your cat changes positions or starts to distance themselves from you, they are just letting you know that they have reached their petting fill for the moment. Of course, they still love you but be sure to give your cat the space they want so they continue to come to you when they want pets.

How To Bond With Your Cat

While it is always nice to sit and pet your cat for a spell, there are different ways of showing your cat affection. One way is to brush your cat. Although our kitties can usually take care of themselves in the grooming department, we can help them out with a little brushing.

By offering extra brushing, you can help keep extra hairballs at bay and reduce the amount of shedding around your home. Your cat will also love the extra grooming, and this can be a way to bond with each other.

Offering new and engaging toys is another way to show your cat affection. Your cat loves to nap, but they also love to play. By offering different outlets of focus and mental stimulation, your cat will have the motivation to exercise their mind and body more.

You can rely on the KONG Club Monthly Subscription Box to bring new enrichment to their lives every month. Each box is designed around a monthly wellness theme for cats.

It might be unpleasant when you pet your cat’s belly and they attack your hand, but it’s really the lion inside of them. Our domestic feline friends descended from wild cats. The toys and treats from KONG Club Box are built to help cats manage their instincts — scratching, chasing, and more!

This will prevent them from getting too bored, which can manifest into anxiety when separated from you or even participating in destructive behaviors, like scratching up furniture or knocking down breakables. Playing with your cat is also a fun pastime, and we love to see our kitties get excited and zoom around.

KONG Club: A PAWSitive Treat for You and Your Cat

Being a part of the KONG Club is a great way to enhance your kitty’s daily life with monthly new treats, recipes, and toys.

Being a member of the KONG Club gives you access to the KONG Clubhouse, and you can read up on stories that other pet parents have shared.

If you are having trouble with your cat responding to your pets and scratches, you can chat with vets and cat behavioral experts within the app for advice. Our specialized subscription boxes will have your cat excited to receive their special monthly treats and toys. Plus, every cat knows that a KONG Club Box is only part of the fun — when it’s empty, it’s another amazing box for your cat to climb inside of.

The best part about being a member of the KONG Club is that you have helpful experts right at your fingertips, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Treat your cat and treat yourself by becoming a member!

Sources:

Why do cats purr? | New Scientist

Feline Scent-Marking: Cat Communication | TexVetPets

Whisker Fatigue in Cats | Oklahoma State University

Do Cats Like Belly Rubs? | NOVA Cat Clinic

Top Seven Picks for Best Dog Toothpaste in 2022

Dogs can start to show symptoms of gum and dental diseases by age three, but the risk can lower with consistent tooth brushing. Recent studies have found that upwards of 86% of dogs might have periodontal disease.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is characterized as infection and inflammation of the gums due to abundant plaque bacteria. Gingivitis, a more commonly known condition, is a less severe version of periodontal disease.

The effects of poor mouth help have far-reaching implications. Bacteria from mouth infections can enter dogs’ bloodstreams, causing the bacteria to accumulate near the heart.

It’s so important to be mindful of what methods you use to clean your dog’s teeth. Do your research, and determine what types of toothpaste and dental dog toys would work best for your furbaby.

1. C.E.T. Enzymatic Dog and Cat Toothpaste

The C.E.T. Enzymatic toothpaste is a favorite among vets, pet parents, and dogs. This brand has become the #1 recommended dental product line among veterinarians, which should ease pet parents’ minds.

With C.E.T.’s dual enzyme system, this toothpaste actively fights plaque as it forms. It also lessens tartar buildup and freshens breath, two must-haves in a canine toothpaste.

This formula comes in delicious flavors that any pet will love, turning brushing time into fun time. Cleanse your pet’s palette with flavors like seafood, beef, poultry, and vanilla-mint.

The formula works for both dogs and cats, so multi-pet households will not have to look any further.

2. Toys That Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

A traditional toothbrush and toothpaste are far from the only ways to ensure a healthy mouth for your pet. Whether your dog does not tolerate brushing or if you want another method to help, dental toys are a wonderful option.

In order to make your dog’s teeth cleaning routine fun, look into toys such as the KONG Dental Stick™.

Your dog loves this toy because it satisfies their natural instincts to chew and chase. Meanwhile, you love this toy because the unique rubber grooves clean your pet’s teeth as they play. That’s equal parts mental enrichment and dental health help. Plus, with three sizes, every dog member of your household can get in on the fun.

Looking for a little more guidance? KONG has just the thing to help your fluffy friend thrive:

The KONG Club Monthly Subscription Box

It is no secret that dental health is just one aspect of a dog’s wellness. Dogs are complex creatures with unique needs based on their innate instincts.

This is where the KONG Club Monthly Subscription Box really shines.

Each month, you and your dog will receive a box filled with exciting toys, treats, and recipes. These boxes focus on the building blocks of dog wellness while also being just plain fun.

Your dog is one-of-kind; they can’t be put in a single box. That’s why each KONG Club Monthly Subscription Box is formulated by a team of animal experts based on your pet’s unique needs.

3. Try Dental Treats

Making the teeth cleaning process a pleasant one can seem challenging, but dental treats make it easy!

KONG’s Ziggies Dental Treats put the “fun” in function. They’re chicken flavored, so dogs can’t get enough. Meanwhile, pet parents can’t get enough of how fresh their dog’s breath is.

4. Pick a Toothpaste With a Flavor Everyone Can Agree On

Dog toothpaste doesn’t come in flavors like bubblegum or cinnamon. Our dogs are much more excited about bacon and other meat-inspired recipes.

However, pet parents will still have to smell their dog’s breath afterward.

Some pet parents prefer to use unflavored toothpaste that leaves no smell behind. Your dog might not be as excited about the taste, but that is okay if they don’t mind brushing. A more pungent flavor might be best for dogs who are less than happy about getting their teeth brushed.

5. Formulas With All-Natural Ingredients

For dogs with more sensitive stomachs or pet parents who prefer more organic products, there are formulas for you:

Some dog toothpastes utilize ingredients such as aloe vera. Not only will aloe vera freshen your dog’s breath, but it will also soothe unpleasant symptoms that arise due to gum disease. Other all-natural toothpaste ingredients might include coconut oil, sweet potato, and olive leaf extract.

6. Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Unlike humans, dogs are going to swallow almost all of their toothpaste. This means that their formulas cannot include potentially harmful ingredients.

Both humans and dogs are better off avoiding parabens and sulfates. However, human dentists recommend fluoride for people’s toothpaste. This is where our similarities end.

Fluoride is dangerous to dogs which is why pet parents and pets should never share a tube of toothpaste.

7. Formulas Without Artificial Sweeteners Like Xylitol

Artificial sweeteners are not ideal for anyone, but common ingredients like xylitol pose a real threat to dogs. This artificial sweetener can cause hypoglycemia in dogs. Hypoglycemia is a serious drop in blood sugar that can lead to coma or even death.

How Often Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Dogs should have their teeth brushed roughly as often as humans.

If you are not yet ready to commit to brushing your dog’s teeth on the same schedule as yours, you have options. A dog’s teeth must be brushed at least three times per week to effectively remove plaque, bacteria, and other buildup. Many pet parents will land somewhere between these two frequencies.

Signs That Your Dog’s Teeth Need More Brushing

It is often difficult for pet parents to recognize when their dog is experiencing oral pain. Dogs can be quite adept at hiding these issues, so we have to be on alert to see warning signs as they come up. By the time they are eating less due to pain, the issue is already quite severe.

Some symptoms of gum disease in dogs include:

  • Red or inflamed gums
  • Eating less or reduced appetite
  • Unpleasant odor around the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Drooling
  • Missing teeth

Should You Start Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth as a Puppy?

The earlier you start brushing your dog’s teeth, the better.

First, cleaning your dog’s teeth from an early age means that plaque and bacteria will not have the chance to build up, helping your dog’s teeth in the long run.

By starting your dog on a brushing routine when they are young, you are also getting them used to having their teeth brushed. Handling dogs all over their bodies is a necessary part of the socialization process. When this is done early, dogs are better adjusted and more comfortable as adults.

If an adult dog has never had their teeth brushed as a puppy, they might not tolerate it well. However, if they understand that there is no threat to their teeth being brushed, they will learn to tolerate it. As time goes on, they could even learn to enjoy the process.

How Do You Brush a Dog’s Teeth?

Once pet parents understand the importance of brushing their dogs’ teeth, their next question is inevitable: How do you do it? Though the prospect might seem intimidating at first, it does not have to be.

When brushing your dog’s teeth, focus more on lifting their lip rather than forcibly opening their mouth. Use small circular motions to thoroughly clean their teeth. If your dog can only tolerate so much handling, spend most of your time on the back teeth. The top back teeth are especially likely to suffer from gum disorders.

If you find it difficult to keep your dog still while brushing their teeth, it might be a matter of position. Next time, try to get either behind or beside your dog, depending on their size.

Use your arm to steady their head, but not to force it in any one position. If your dog views getting their teeth brushed as a very negative experience, it will be even more difficult in the future.

It’s best to start with shorter brushing sessions and gradually increase the time. For dogs just getting started, try introducing them to the brush with the (yummy) toothpaste, letting them taste it.

Additionally, you want to make the whole process as positive as possible. Try feeding your dog shortly after, praising, playing, or petting them. You know your dog best, so opt for what incentivizes them the most.

How Else Can We Help Our Dogs’ Teeth?

In addition to regularly brushing your dog’s teeth, you should also take your dog to the vet for special dental visits. Most veterinary professionals recommend that dogs get their teeth professionally looked at once per year, starting as puppies.

This visit can involve a teeth cleaning or potential X-Rays. Your vet will also visually inspect your dog’s mouth.

The best way to ensure your dog’s smile remains healthy for years to come is by combining an at-home dental routine with regular dental visits. We indeed know our pets best, but vets are specifically trained to see abnormalities that we might not know about.

Brushing Up

Over time, dental issues that seem insignificant can become serious problems. If left unattended, dental disease can lead to issues in your dog’s heart, liver, and kidneys. These issues can be lessened or thwarted entirely if a dental routine is established and closely followed.

If you have more questions about your canine’s canines, you can reach out to the vets and pet experts in the KONG Club App for personalized care tips and tricks.

Sources:

A Cross-Sectional Study To Estimate Prevalence of Periodontal Disease in a Population of Dogs (Canis familiaris) in Commercial Breeding Facilities in Indiana and Illinois | PMC

Periodontal Disease in Small Animals | Merck Vet Manual

Hypoglycemia in Dogs: Causes, Management, and Diagnosis | PMC

​​Periodontal Disease in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Greensboro Vet

​​Fluoride Poisoning – Special Pet Topics | Merck Veterinary Manual

Why Does My Dog Bark at Everything That Passes By?

While it might not be the most endearing dog behavior, dogs bark to communicate with others. They might be attempting to communicate with their pet parent, dog trainer, a random passerby, or other animals. There are different schools of thought surrounding what dogs attempt to rely on by barking.

To the untrained ear, one dog’s bark could sound almost exactly similar to all the pups playing in the dog park. And yet, many dog parents swear that they know the sound of their dog vocalizing, the same way a parent will recognize their child yelling “Mom!” in the grocery store.

Dog parents and scientists agree: dogs have unique barks with unique meanings.

Recent research has concluded that dogs have plastic vocal cords. That does not mean that their vocal cords are literally plastic, but there is more room for variation than we once thought. This is also known as a “modifiable vocal tract.”

When studied more, researchers found that there actually is a difference in a range of barks. Anything from the frequency, pitch, and timing can be slightly different in different dogs (or even in the same dog at different times).

While these findings are certainly interesting, these variations are usually still not discernable to human ears. This brings us to another fascinating conclusion.

Why Do Dogs Bark at Other Dogs?

Whether you’re on a walk or sunbathing by the window, you might notice your dog bark at dogs that pass by.

They may do so in greeting, in warning, or something else entirely. Humans are only partially fluent. While we can usually tell the difference between a “play” bark and a “stay away from my mailbox” bark, we probably don’t know it all.

The incredibly subtle differences in their barks might mean more to other canines than their loving human family members.

Identify What Your Dog Usually Barks At

Really take the time to observe your pet’s behavior. Are they much more likely to bark at a squirrel on a branch than another dog? On the other hand, maybe they bark at people walking by but seem uninterested in cars? How about a TV show featuring cats?

By determining what exactly it is that sets your dog off into a barking frenzy, you are better equipped for the next step of the process. Now, you can figure out the potential causes behind your dog’s constant barking.

With the investigative work done, it’s time to redirect this natural dog instinct into something a little more socially acceptable in a human-centric neighborhood.

Your Dog Might Be Barking in Greeting

This is a polite type of barking, but it still could easily be disruptive to your day. If your dog is barking at the outside stimuli as a greeting, they are simply trying to say hello!

Dogs are likely capable of picking up intricacies in each other’s barks that we are not. It is entirely possible that this is your dog’s way of trying to convey a positive message.

Does your dog seem relaxed and happy? Is their posture at ease, perhaps with a wagging tail? These are all signs that your dog is just trying to be friendly, even if it is in the loudest way possible.

It Could Be Territorial or Alert Barking

A significantly less friendly form of barking than our previous entry, your dog could also be barking as a form of warning. If your pet sees a fellow dog, a person, or anything else inside of what they perceive as their territory, they could be on alert.

A key way to distinguish this kind of barking from the other types is to observe your dog’s body language. If there is some kind of perceived threat passing by your front door, it could easily prompt an emotional response that results in a barking dog.

Here are some of the ways that you can confirm if this reaction is telling them to scamper off:

  • Excessive barking
  • Unexplained spinning or circling
  • If your dog tries lunging at the “threat”
  • Making prolonged eye contact with whoever is outside

This Could Be an Attention-Seeking Behavior

Since dogs are slightly limited in the number of ways they can vocally communicate with humans, they often resort to one of a few options.

They might whine on occasions when they feel threatened. Or, they could growl or bark. Barking is an effective way to get anyone’s attention since it is a loud and often unpleasant sound.

When you hear your dog’s bark, your immediate instinct is likely to give them some kind of attention, but it’s often best to resist this urge in this situation. Not acknowledging them could feel counterproductive, as you want the barking to stop. However, using positive reinforcement is the best way to shape behaviors (more on that later).

Your Dog Hears Other Furry Friends Barking Outside

Although this explanation might seem the same as a greeting at first glance, that is not necessarily the case. For a proper greeting, your dog would not have to hear a dog barking nearby. Instead, they would just see a person or dog walking outside, and that is enough to get your dog to bark.

Even if there are no visual stimuli, your pooch might still hear a fellow dog barking nearby. Keep in mind that even if you can’t hear another pet, dogs have incredibly astute hearing (except when you’re telling them that it’s time to leave the park). As a result, it is entirely possible that they are aware of a sound occurring much farther away than you are.

When our canine companions hear a fellow doggy howling at the moon, they are often compelled to join in the fun. They do this as a means of communication, as well as something instinctive. If you are not entirely certain why your dog is barking, it might just be their “witching hour” — the time around dusk and dawn when dogs join together for some good, old-fashioned community chats.

Other Common Explanations for Barking

If you regularly find your dog barking with absolutely no apparent stimulation to speak of, it is worth considering several other options. First, when was the last time your dog went potty? It is possible that they simply need to go outside. Maybe their favorite ball rolled under the couch, and they need your opposable thumbs to grab it.

If you are in another room or your dog feels alone, they could feel stress due to separation anxiety.

What Should I Do To Make My Dog Stop Barking at Everything That Passes By?

Let’s move on to our tips and tricks on reducing your pet’s barking habit.

Give Your Dog Something To Fulfill Their Natural Instincts

Whether your dog wants attention, mental stimulation, or tends to stress and obsess over their surroundings, there is a way to help them.

This method is simultaneously effective while also being fun and adorable, and it is all about toys. By having a wide variety of toys available for your dog at all times, they are much less likely to make a fuss (or mess) in the first place.

Typically, a dog is barking as a result of their natural instincts telling them to react to something. Instincts are never going to go away; they’ve been carried through generations to help their descendants survive and thrive.

However, these instincts can be nurtured in a productive way that fulfills their innate desires while making them suitable roommates for life.

This is where KONG Club’s Monthly Subscription Boxes come in.

Each new box comes filled with toys, new high-value treats, including training tools, and recipes. Each box, carefully curated by professionals for your dog, revolves around a particular wellness building block that will help your dog be their best self.

Whether your dog is craving a new chew toy, an interactive puzzle, or something delicious to snack on, the subscription box has something for every dog.

Distract, Don’t React

If your dog is baking more than you would like, they might just be bored. In that case, look for interactive and puzzle toys that provide mental stimulation (and a whole lot of fun).

For example, you can fill your KONG® classic with peanut butter, dog cookies, or even frozen healthy fruits and veggies. Your dog will follow the treat-dispensing toy, sniffling for their favorite goodies; that’s mental and physical stimulation all rolled into one quiet, peaceful house.

Train Your Pet To React Calmly

Your dog will eventually stop barking, and that is when you give them the attention that they want so much. At this point, you can pet them, hand out some dog treats, praise them, and offer other forms of positive reinforcement.

This is one of the most effective training methods for stopping your dog from barking for attention. Remember to be patient, as this will require multiple training sessions to fully sink in for your pet.

Continue to reward your pet as people walk by, and they do not react. This desensitization will help even the most reactive dogs calm down.

Something Smart To Bark About

If you are perplexed by your dog’s barking, take some time to figure out its reason. If your troubleshooting doesn’t work, it might be time to reach out to a certified professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist.

Sources:

What Are Dogs Saying When They Bark? | Scientific American

A Comparison of Hearing and Auditory Functioning Between Dogs and Humans | Research Gate

Diagnostic Criteria for Separation Anxiety in the Dog | ScienceDirect