There has always been a clear division between Cat People and Dog Lovers. Cats and dogs are classically opposites and natural enemies. While dogs are social and eager to please, cats are seen as aloof and overtly independent. For better or worse, the two make very different pets and it’s natural that some people would be drawn more to one than the other. However, there are some cat breeds that defy all stereotypes and frequently make their owners ask, “What do you think you are? A dog?”
Certain cat breeds act more canine than feline with traits like: socialness, increased need for affection, an affinity for water, playing fetch, greeting their owners, and even learning basic dog-like commands… All things that most cats just don’t seem to have the time for! Here are six cat breeds that tend to act more like dogs.
Immediately recognized for their luxurious white coat, these furry beasts crave more attention than your average house cat. The Turkish Agora is a fun-loving cat that thrives on playing games, like fetch. This breed is known to be friendly even to strangers, although they are fiercely loyal to their owners. They love swimming and need frequent social activity to stay happy.
The Maine Coon is well-known as one of the largest breeds of domestic cats. By size alone, this breed frequently gets to the size of a small dog. Lesser known is their incredibly intelligence and “handiness.” Maine Coons have been known to open doors, turn on lights, and get themselves food. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train and particularly good at games. Their size also just makes them like giant teddy bears…if they ever run out of energy!
These vocal felines talk even more than your average dog. It seems like they’ve got a mewl, meow, or growl for every mood. Just like a moody teenager, they’ll even sass back when you tell them, “No!” But aside from their chatty demeanor, they are also one of the most affectionate breeds and are likely to form deep bonds with their owners, uncharacteristic of your average house cat.
Notorious for their lack of tail, the Manx form some of the strongest bonds with their owners. Just like a puppy, a Manx will follow its owners from room-to-room, never wanting to be out of sight. They’re also one of the few breeds that love car rides and are easily leash trained. They’ve also been known to growl at intruders making them a good candidate for a “guard cat,” if a little less effective than their canine counterpart.
Ragdoll cats are named for their floppy demeanor when picked up. These cats are notably quick to train by using positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise. They’re a quiet breed, but they are attached to their owners, preferring to stay in the same room whenever possible. Ragdolls are most easily compared to a lapdog due to their cuddly nature.
Perhaps the exact opposite of the calm Ragdoll, the Abyssinian is the athlete of the cat world. These cats love heights and can jump just about wherever they want. While not overly affectionate, Abyssinians love to play and are full of endless energy, making them a great pet for kids.
While there is a “typical” personality for each breed, it’s important to keep in mind that every cat is an individual. Personality traits and behaviors may vary from cat to cat. You might find a Turkish Angora that hates water or a Ragdoll that can’t stand being touched. Overall, it’s important to get to know your pet and to make sure they are as comfortable as possible so that their true personalities can shine through.
To find out more about different cat breeds check out our CatTime Breed Center.
The government shuts down at the end of the month, and Democrats and Republicans seem unable to make a deal to keep it open. They are, however, united in trying to stop people from eating pets.
The House passed a bill Wednesday by voice vote banning the slaughter, transportation, sale and possession of dogs and cats for consumption. The “Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018” was sponsored by Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan and Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, both of Florida.
Buchanan wrote in his statement about the bill that 44 states do not have laws banning consumption of cats and dogs, adding that this practice “should be outlawed completely given how beloved these animals are for most Americans.” California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New York and Virginia are the six states that explicitly ban cat and dog consumption.
“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said.
After the bill passed, Hastings released a statement discussing the importance of the bill and urging the Senate to take it up.
“The House of Representatives has voted to unify animal cruelty laws across the country, which would prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption,” Hastings said. “I am proud to have championed this effort in Congress to explicitly ban the killing and consumption dogs and cats across the United States, and am greatly appreciative of my friend and colleague Congressman Buchanan for taking the ‘Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act’ across the finish line today.”
The bill also prevents foreign and interstate trade of cats and dogs for consumption purposes.
However, there is an exception to this rule for Indian tribes. The bill declares that Indian tribes can engage in this behavior “for the purpose of a religious ceremony.”
The maximum penalty for eating cats and dogs is $5,000.
An important aspect of our Living with Tigers project is to engage the communities around Chitwan and Bardia National Parks in Nepal in devising participatory approaches to ensure their safety, improve their livelihoods, and prevent retaliatory killing of tigers.
To know more about the local communities we work with, we worked with an external expert to conduct a livelihood and market analysis study within our project study sites. The study assessed the existing and potential alternative livelihood options; identified livelihood training requirement needs and conducted a market analysis of the potential alternative livelihood options in four ‘buffer zone’ community forest user groups in Bardia and Chitwan National Parks based on qualitative analysis using participatory rural appraisal tools to collect data.
The report identified goat farming, ecotourism, non-timber forest product cultivation, fish farming and vegetable farming as potential differentiated livelihood options and also recommended supporting local people to enhance existing options.
Delivering training in processing plants and developing irrigation facilities for non-timber forest product cultivation, providing predator proof pens, introducing fecund cross breeds for goat farming, providing fish rearing training, provisioning micro-credits for vegetable farming, developing infrastructure and facilities for ecotourism would assist local communities to become more resilient
The Living with Tigers project also recently hired street performers to deliver a social behavioural change campaign by bringing the theatre to our project site communities! Using the data we collected from social surveys and focus group discussions both Chester Zoo and Green Governance Nepal, with the help of a Nepalese script writer and our Social Marketing Advisor Diogo Verissimo, created a thirty-minute performance.
The story followed the lives of several families who had experienced human-tiger conflict and what human behaviours led to the encounters. Using humour and local folklore, stories were told about ways to reduce the risk from tiger and leopard attacks and practical mitigation measures to keep people and livestock safe were acted out.
In parallel of working towards achieving social behavioural changes in the local communities, the Living with Tigers project also aims at gathering data about the tigers and leopards living in the area. To do so, our Conservation Scholar Amy Fitzmaurice has been collecting faecal samples to identify felid species and find out what the big cats are eating.
We have partnered with RZSS WildGenes, which have their laboratory facilities based in Edinburgh Zoo and the Centre for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN), to conduct cutting-edge conservation genetic research, using microsatellite genotype data to identify individual animals and DNA metabarcode data to understand what items the tigers and leopards might have eaten.
Insights into diet can be gained by examining fragments of undigested items that get passed as faecal material, such as seeds, bits of bone, and hair/fur or feathers. Although this can give an indication to the types of food that are consumed, many items can be difficult to identify even with specialist knowledge and equipment.
Metabarcoding is a form of DNA analysis able to pick up the DNA present in a faecal sample, including that from the items that the animal has eaten. The fragment of DNA looked at is one that is good at distinguishing between different species, usually a portion of the mitochondrial or chloroplast genome. It is amplified using a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and then sequenced using next generation sequencing technology. The DNA sequences are sorted, filtered, and then compared to a database which contains all known possible species sequences. Using sequences that give a positive match against the database attempts can be made to identify the items consumed by the animal.
In Nepal, many of the rural communities’ own livestock that are grazed around the forest edge and thought to be easy prey for wild animals. Tigers and leopards are frequently blamed for killing livestock and communities can retaliate, which results in human-wildlife conflicts that can negatively affect both the rural communities and these endangered species.
RZSS WildGenes will develop laboratory protocols for examining large carnivore diets which will be transferred to CMDN, where they will be used to analyse faecal samples collected by Amy and her field team. The results aim to determine what proportion of the wild large felid diets consist of livestock compared to the natural prey.
The Living with Tigers Chester Zoo-led project is ran in partnership with Oxford University WildCru, Green Governance Nepal and the Centre for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) and funded in part by the Darwin Initiative.
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