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Abril de 2017

Por que os gatos têm bigodes?

 Por lucy em 26 Apr 2017 |
2 Comentário (s)
They may look like a mustache, but for our feline friends, whiskers are far more than a fashion statement. A cat’s facial hair helps him judge his place in space, “see” in the dark and even avoid hungry predators and catch prey. For these reasons, it’s crucial that you never trim your cat’s whiskers, which can leave him disoriented and unable to skillfully escape from dangerous situations.   Also known as tactile hairs or vibrissae, whiskers are filled with highly sensitive nerves that help cats judge distance and space. That’s thanks to a tiny sensory organ at each whisker’s tip, called a proprioceptor, that allows cats to pick up vibrations from other animals nearby or changes in their environment. Follicles embedded deep in a cat’s skin then relay these messages to his brain, giving your cat his graceful, lightning-fast reflexes.   Cats’ whiskers don’t just grow on their upper lips, however. Our feline friends have the same sensitive hairs along their eyebrows, chin and near their feet. Each set of whiskers correlates to the position of your pet’s body and limbs, making them a crucial part of knowing where he is and making split-second decisions about his movements. Whiskers on your cat’s back legs help him climb trees, for example, while those on his upper lip are just about as wide as his body, allowing your pet to judge whether he can fit through a small opening. Whiskers are highly sensitive, too, allowing cats to feel changes in vibrations in the air, which helps them while they are chasing prey or avoiding a hungry predator.   While whiskers’ main function is as your cat’s GPS, they also act a barometer for his moods. A complex set of facial muscles controls cats’ whiskers and a relaxed feline will leave his whiskers immobile, sticking straight out from the sides of his face. Cats engaged in hunting or other intense pursuits often press their whiskers forward, while nervous, angry or defensive cats pull their whiskers back close to their face— a hint that you should back off and give your pet some space.   Just like other hair, whiskers shed and grow back, so don’t be alarmed if you find one on the floor. You should never trim your cat’s whiskers, though, since they are a crucial part of his mobility and sense of security. Without them, your cat wouldn’t be able to skilfully navigate his surroundings, leaving him disoriented and vulnerable to dangerous situations.

Por que os cães agitam suas caudas?

 Por lucy em 13 Apr 2017 |
2 Comentário (s)
Tails serve many practical purposes for our canine companions, from giving them better balance while running to spreading their unique scent to other dogs nearby. Tails are also one of our pets’ key ways of communicating, letting others know when they’re feeling nervous, excited or open to communication. By watching your dog’s wag, then, you can better understand how he’s feeling and what he’s trying to say.   Dogs use their tails, face and body posture to communicate, making his tail one of your pet’s primary means of expressing his moods. In fact, studies have shown that dogs only wag their tails when they’re with company, making it a completely social activity. Watching a dog’s tail, how it’s positioned, whether it’s relaxed and how fast it’s moving can communicate crucial information. A tail held high usually signals enthusiasm, for example, and confident canines tend to hold their tails higher, allowing them to spread more of their scent. A dog holding his tail extremely high or wagging only the tip, however, is likely on high alert and you should avoid him or proceed with caution. Those with their tails low or between their legs are more timid or feeling nervous.   Similar to tail height, the speed of a dog’s wag can tell you a lot about his mood. A loose, relaxed wag generally means a pet is in good spirits. The “full body wag”—when a dog’s whole body is relaxed and sways with his tail’s sweeping motions—usually means a dog is ready for a friendly interaction. A tense, stiff wag indicates tension or hostility. Watch for the rate of a dog’s wag, too, as brisk tail wagging is generally a good signal, while slower motions can indicate your pet is feeling apprehensive or unfriendly.   Perhaps the most common misconception about dogs is that a wagging tail means a happy pet. While dogs certainly wag their tails when they’re happy, the gesture simply means an animal is paying attention and open to communication— not that he’s in a good spirits. Because it can be difficult to gauge a dog’s attitude just from his tail, watch the rest of his body to better understand how Fido is feeling. It’s worth noting that tail movements and their meanings vary from dog to dog and across breeds, making it important to get to know your pet and his unique body language. Dogs with docked tails have difficultly communicating with their canine peers, so you leave your dog’s tail unaltered so he can fully participate in social life.
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