Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Understanding Cats' Meowing

At first a cats meowing may sound charming; however, it can become quite annoying.

Cat language can contain a combination of vocalisations, scent signals and body postures. Humans do not have scent signals and will often overlook ear signals and tail talk which is what makes up the majority of a cat’s communication. However, we will give our undivided attention to a cat’s growls, hisses and purrs.

So, what is your cat trying to tell you when they meow?

And can you get to understand what they are trying to communicate?

Find out why your cat is meowing and what they are trying to tell you.


cat with mouth open



Kinds of Meowing


There are four types vocal patterns that are performed by cats.

Murmur Patterns – Purring and trills
Vowel Patterns – Meows in all their variations
Articulated Patterns – Chirps and chattering
Strained Intensity Patterns – Warnings such as hisses and/or growls

Experts have also speculated that cats have vocalisations that are pitched at such a high frequency that only other cats can hear. These are called ‘silent meows’.

Not all cats are vocal, some may not make noises at all and some may be trying to speak to you all day long.



cat with mouth open up close



What Do Meows Mean?


Cats use a wide range of vocalisations to communicate with other cats, however they seem to reserve most of their meows for talking to humans.

So, what exactly is your cat trying to say to you? Are they trying to start a conversation with you, asking you for something or just pestering you for the fun of it?

Meows are actually demands.

These usually consists of them asking to be let in or out of the house, to be fed or if they want you to play with them or pet them.




cat lying on floor



Midnight Meowing


Cats will generally sleep up to 16 hours of the day and are most active at night. Some cats may like to snuggle up to their owners and sleep with them for most of the night. You may find at some point during your deep sleep that your cat will have had enough with sleeping and decide that you’ve had enough too. 

At first, they may start rubbing their head on you or nibble at your toes and may even try to tap at your face to wake you up. If this doesn’t wake you up then they may start with the midnight meowing. 

You’ll soon get frustrated and roll out of bed in order to give your kitty what they want so they stop. You fill up their food bowl in the hopes of a few more hours sleep without another disturbance. However, your cat may wake you again and again if they are bored or want something else from you.



cat lying on couch



How to Stop Midnight Meowing

If you give into your cat’s meow demands than you are telling them that pestering you is an effective means of getting their way. By yelling at your cat or pushing them off the bed, this still gives them the satisfaction. It just teaches them that the longer they persist, the more likely they are to succeed.

The best thing to do is totally ignore them. This may be hard if they are in your bedroom, so it could be best to lock them away in another room with their bed, some toys, water, food and a litter tray. Therefore, they have everything they need in one room. 


cat sleeping


Wanting to get a perfect picture of your dog to post on social media or place in a frame in your home? Click here to learn how to train your dog to look at the camera.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How to Train Your Dog to Look at the Camera

Envious of those people you see with the most perfect photo of their dog?

You may be sitting around wondering how exactly they can get their dog to look at the camera and stay still for a moment in time. 

So how do they do it? Is it just that their dog is so well trained or has an extremely relaxed and docile personality?

It may be easier than you think. 

Just follow our tips and tricks in order to help you capture that perfect kodak moment of your dog.

Corgi smiling amongst grass




Noises

Making different noises is almost a guaranteed way of getting a response from your dog. However, it may take a few trial and errors to get your dogs attention. Yes, it may sound weird but making random noises with you mouth can get your dogs attention. Try out a few different noises with your mouth to see what your dog reacts to. 

You can also use words or noises that your dog knows to get their attention to look at you. This could be anything from the name of their favourite toy, food, activity or a specific whistle or funny noise. However, if you use known words to capture your dog’s attention, you must give your dog what you promised. Therefore, make sure you give them their toy or treat after you use the words.

If your dog knows commands, this will be the best way to get them to look at you or stay still. This could include them sitting, laying down etc.



dog tilting head with tounge out



Toys 

Most dogs will not be able to resist looking at their favourite toy with a curious or playful look on their face if you are holding it. Therefore, if this will do the trick, then simply just hold your dogs toy above the camera.

 If it has a squeaker inside, then use this to your advantage. Alternatively, you can download an app called iSqueek, which will make squeak noises and most likely get your dog’s attention.



dog with ball lying on grass



Food Treats

Dogs love food treats. This is a known fact by everyone. The best way to use this in order to get that perfect shot is by holding up a treat so that your dog is looking where you want. After capturing a few great shots, reward your dog with the treat. If you would like to get a few more photos, then repeat this process. 

You can also use the treat along with commands such as sit, lay down, roll over etc in order to help get the desired picture. If your dog is a bit food obsessed and won’t sit still from excitement of a treat, try to use one of the other suggestions to get your dog to look at the camera.  


hand holding biscuit with dog looking




Distractions

If you are trying to get the perfect shot of your dog in a busy area such as a park or at the beach then it may be difficult to get them to focus on you. Other people, dogs and objects can easily distract your dog no matter how many times you ask your dog to would sit. So, a little photographer trick is to use these distractions to your advantage. Try to get in-between your dog and the distraction and quickly snap away with your camera. You will be surprised with some of the amazing images you may capture.



pug outdoors looking at camera



Eye Contact

If you are using a camera that you have to hold right up to your eyes then your dog may be put off as they cannot see your eyes. Test out looking through the camera to take the photo of your dog as well as without looking through the camera to see if this helps your dog become more comfortable.


Golden Retriever looking up at camera


Wondering what it means when you cat blinks their eyes at you? Click here to find out why.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Why Cats Blink Their Eyes at You

Do you often catch you cat intensely staring, squinting or blinking at you or other pets in your home?

You may be wondering what they are thinking or what they are trying to tell you or other cats.

Or maybe these behaviours go unnoticed and you just assume that they don’t really mean anything.

Well you cat’s eye behaviour might mean more than you think.

Different movements your cat does with his or her eyes usually has a meaning behind it.

So, what do these different eye behaviours mean and can you communicate with your cat by using them?

cat lying on bed with eyes half shut



Eye Blink Kitty Kisses


One of the most common cat eye blinks you may see when your cat is looking at you is the known as the kitty kiss. 

This is a common behaviour amongst most cats that indicates a non-aggressive, friendly or loving behaviour. 

Between cats, the slow eye blink is used as a non-threat signal to maintain good social interactions, or smooth over relationships between other cats.

The slow eye blink from your cat to you is the kitty kiss. This is your cat’s way of showing you love or is almost the equivalent of giving you a kiss.

Did you know you can show this love back?

If you want to show your cat just how much you love them, try this slow eye blink next time you see them glancing at you. Chances are, your cat will return this eye interaction with a kitty kiss.



Other Cat Eye Behaviours


Cat’s eyes will communicate information depending on how they open their eyelids and what their eyes do. Their eyes demonstrate strong emotions that can be easily recognised by other cats. Here are just a few eye behaviours between cats and what they mean.

An unblinking, prolonged stare between two cats is an intimidating gesture that will result in the lower-ranking cat of the two to turn away and leave the area. 

A long-distance stare from one cat to another is used for a cat to control the access of another cat to their territory.  For example, cats understand that the top cat will be guarding the hallway that leads to their litter box and will not dare to challenge and trespass into their territory.

A slit-eyed look from one cat to another indicates a cat’s fear of aggression, and is used to protect their eyes from a potential claw in the eye from the other cat. 

cat staring



Cat to Human Stares

If you are meeting a cat for the first time and would like to greet/pat them, it is best to not look directly into their eyes for the first part of the interaction. If you do, this will intimidate them and they will leave, or it could also bring out their aggressive nature. 

If this happens, you may never be able to form a civil or friendly relationship with this cat again. So keep in mind to be careful when greeting new cats and never start by looking directly into their eyes.