In the News

January 9, 2019: Study Examines Cat-Human Social Behavior

A new study has been conducted to “assess the influence of human attentional state, population, and human familiarity on domestic cat sociability,” and reported that “[h]uman familiarity did not significantly influence pet cat sociability behaviors. Overall, a wide range of sociability scores was seen, indicating individual variation is an important consideration in cat social behavior.” Read study

December 27, 2018: Danish Study Investigates Effects of Breed Specific Legislation

A newly- published Danish study has found that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has a limited effect on overall levels of dog bite injuries and summarizes that: “In order to minimise dog bite injuries in the future, it would seem that other interventions or non-breed-specific legislation should be considered as the primary option.” Read study

December 8, 2018: Study Assesses Canine Cognition

The study argues that investigations into canine cognition should consider dogs “from three different perspectives: phylogenetically, as carnivoran and specifically a canid; ecologically, as social, cursorial hunters; and anthropogenically, as a domestic animal.” In their introduction, the authors state that:  “A principled understanding of canine cognition should therefore involve comparing dogs’ cognition with that of other carnivorans, other social hunters, and other domestic animals.” Read study

November 26, 2018: Study Investigates whether Dogs Know when They Are Wrong

New research has investigated the presence of metacognitive abilities in dogs and found that, if dogs know they do not have sufficient information to solve a problem they will actively try to seek more information. Researchers discovered this by conducting three consecutive experiments “in which dogs had to find a reward that was hidden behind one of two V-shaped fences with a gap at the point of the V.” They “varied whether dogs had visual access to the baiting procedure or not” and found that the dogs “checked more often through the corner of the V-shaped fence when they had not seen where the reward was hidden.” Read study

November 20, 2018: New Video Reveals Secrets of the Feline Tongue

Researchers created 3D scans of cats’ tongues to create a video showing how “sharp, tiny cones on cats’ tongues give their coats and skin a deep clean, instead of merely spreading their spit around” and explaining how cats exploit the use of surface tension to keep themselves clean: “Slow-motion footage of several housecats grooming revealed the felines flared their tongues outward as if taking a big lick of an ice cream cone so the papillae stood perpendicular as they move through the fur.”  Read article

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