Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Easy Ways to Know if Your Cat is Happy

Top Tips for Making Sure You Have a Happy Cat

Cats are very intelligent animals that express various emotions including fear, grief, jealousy, anger and love according to animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov.  For those that are lucky enough to have a cat in their home, it is important to know if your feline companion is happy.  

Finding out if your cat is happy can sometimes be a difficult task since cats are very good at hiding their true feelings says Igor Purlantov.  Here are several ways to help you know if you have a happy cat: 

Playful Behavior
Cats enjoy playing with others that they like and trust.  Any amount of playful activity, from running back and forth and playing catch to simply patting your leg or face for attention is a good indication of happiness.  Cats can learn how to play catch and when they do it is a great sign they are happy.

Body Language
Cats that keep their whiskers slightly forward and their fur smooth with a relaxed tail are generally happy and curious.  When a cat has their tail straight up in the air, they are greeting others around them that they consider friends.  A relaxed happy cat will rest with their front paws tucked under, their ears forward, and their eyes half open.  A cat that shows a sudden dilation of the eyes is having a sudden boost of happiness and excitement.

Eating Habits
Cats that are happy have a nice healthy appetite.  Each time a cat tries to get you to give them more food and treats, they are simply playing with you and thus being happy.  

Shiny Coat
Having a shiny coat of fur is a very good indication that your cat is in good health and thus happy.  A shiny coat is also a good sign that your cat is getting the necessary nutrition and enjoying regular grooming which they enjoy.

Confident Behavior
A happy cat will show interest in their environment and will be responsive when approached.  Some cats enjoy taking a proactive approach and touching everything new around the home while others may simply watch from a distance.  In either case, a happy cat will react to a stranger with caution rather than fear and a confident cat will generally have the highest amount of happiness.  

Vocal Cats
Cats are very good at giving vocal cues to indicate what they are thinking or feeling.  Some cats are more vocal than others and like to engage in long conversation to show they are happy.  Quiet cats on the other hand may express happiness with silence, and vocalize to express unhappiness. Higher pitched sounds are generally happy while lower pitched sounds can mean they are frustrated or being demanding.  

Grooming Behavior
Cats that are happy enjoy grooming themselves so that they look their best.  Cats that enjoy grooming other cats and even their human companions are also happy and are showing that they trust you.  Although not all cats enjoy grooming others, cats that groom one another are happy with each other and enjoy each other’s company.  

Bathroom Behavior
When a cat starts missing the litter box and going elsewhere, this is a good sign that something is wrong and they are not happy.  A happy cat that is adjusted and content with their environment will always use their litter box.  

Sleep Patterns
Although some cats may sleep more when they are depressed, the location of where they sleep can be a good indication of happiness. Cats that enjoy sleeping close to other cats and seek them out are happy and showing that they enjoy being around others.  If your cat sleeps next to you then be happy to know that your cat trusts you and enjoys being around you as much as possible.  And if your cat is sleeping on its back, this is the ultimate sign that they feel safe and secure in their environment and are very happy.  

Groundhog Day 2012: Punxsutawney Phil's Predictions Over The Last 10 Years

What will Punxsutawney Phil predict on Groundhog Day this year? On February 2, the resident groundhog of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania will emerge from his temporary home on Gobbler's Knob to let a waiting crowd know how much longer winter will last this year. According to groundhog.org, for 125 years Phil "comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow. If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Video: Boxer Puppy And Cows Make Friends During Walk In Newcastle

This boxer puppy was quick to make friends with some curious cows as he took a walk through a field. In this video posted in 2010, the excited pup quickly submits to the herd of at least 10 cows vying to check who and what had come to pay them a visit.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snowy Owls Soar South From Arctic In Rare Mass Migration

Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called "unbelievable." Thousands of the snow-white birds, which stand 2 feet tall with 5-foot wingspans, have been spotted from coast to coast, feeding in farmlands in Idaho, roosting on rooftops in Montana, gliding over golf courses in Missouri and soaring over shorelines in Massachusetts.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Video: Puppy Bowl 2012: Kittens, Pigs And Birds Play Supporting Roles

What do puppies, piggies and birds that use Twitter have in common? They're all going to be a part of the Puppy Bowl, a Super Bowl alternative which celebrates cuteness over gridiron prowess. With Super Bowl XLVI barely a week away, some fans are already asking, "Are you ready for some football?" If you aren't, then get ready for some puppies. Puppy Bowl VIII, which will air on Super Bowl Sunday on Animal Planet, is the cutest bowl you've seen since, well, Puppy Bowl VII.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Video: Kentucky Senate Penguin Poops On Floor

Things got a little wild on the floor of the Kentucky Senate this week, but it wasn't a late-breaking political scandal that shocked lawmakers. It was a pooping penguin. Paula, a penguin from the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati, Ohio, was visting the Kentucky Legislature Tuesday as part of a resolution honoring the aquarium for its work with penguins and other marine animals, reported the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Malaysia Saves Endangered Pygmy Elephant On Borneo

Malaysian wildlife authorities said Monday they had rescued a pygmy elephant calf on Borneo island and expressed hope a planned sanctuary would provide protection for the endangered animals. The male calf, which is less than a month old, was pulled out of a deep moat surrounding a palm oil plantation in remote Sabah state on Friday, said Sen Nathan, a senior official with the Sabah Wildlife Department. It is the fifth calf rescued by wildlife officials since 2009. Three of those previously saved have died but a female has recovered and is now at a wildlife park. There are fewer than 2,000 Borneo pygmy elephants left in the wild, according to authorities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snow Leopard Discovery In Tajikistan Shows Need For Conservation

A recent biodiversity survey in a remote corner of Tajikistan has yielded surprising results. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) recently teamed up with local and international scientists to conduct a survey of life in the Zorkul nature reserve, near the Afghan border. FFI's team planted camera traps which captured images of five different snow leopardsin one valley, according to a press release.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sumatran Elephants Could Be Extinct In 30 Years, Environmentalists Warn

The Sumatran elephant could be extinct in the wild within three decades unless immediate steps are taken to slow the breakneck pace of deforestation, environmentalists warned Tuesday. The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently listed the animals as "critically endangered" after their numbers dropped to between 2,400 and 2,800 from an estimated 5,000 in 1985. The decline is largely because of destruction of their habitat, with forests all across the Indonesian island of Sumatra being clear-cut for timber, palm oil and pulp and paper plantations.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dogs Looking Out Windows: Submit Your Own!

There's a lot you can learn from a dog. But perhaps one of the healthiest is one we consider near and dear to our hearts: Dogs are pros at unplugging and recharging! When they're not sleeping or eating, dogs just want to play -- whether it's fetch, tag or "Squirrel!". But even when they can't run around, they always are sure to enjoy a few relaxing minutes to themselves looking out the window. A few minutes of serene gazing may not seem like a big deal, but the de-stressing benefits can help everything from your hair to your heart and more.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Habitat For Endangered Leatherback Turtles Designated

According to the Associated Press, more than 41,000 square miles off the West Coast have been designated by the National Marine Fisheries as a habitat for endangered leatherback sea turtles. The designation will go into full effect Feb. 25 and will help protect the area, which is used by the migrating turtles for feeding on jellyfish after traveling thousands of miles across the ocean from its original nesting grounds.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Expedition White Shark App Lets You Track Great Whites

Want to travel the oceans alongside great white sharks, but your busy schedule and fear of death always seem to get in the way? There's an app for that. Now anyone with an iPhone or an iPad (and $3.99 to spare) can follow along in near-real time with a dozen of the world's most iconic predators with the app Expedition White Shark.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Video: Animals Playing With iPhones: Slacktory's Definitive Supercut

By now, most people probably know that cats and iPads are a match made in heaven, but they're not the only members of the animal kingdom that have a good time with touchscreen technology. Even bearded dragons and bullfrogs have come forward as App lovers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Southern River Terrapin, Endangered Turtle, Released Into Cambodia River

Conservation groups are celebrating after an endangered turtle was successfully released into the wild in Cambodia this week. The Southern River terrapin (Batagur affinis) wasreleased into the Sre Ambel River after a special ceremony attended by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Singapore Embassy, the Cambodian Fisheries Administration's Conservation Department and other local officials, reports The Cambodia Herald. The 75-pound female turtle, which has been fitted with a satellite tracking tag, is "one of the most endangered turtles on earth," according to a WCS press release.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Video: Crow 'Snowboards' On Snowy Rooftop In Russia

It seems snowboarding isn't just for humans anymore. Turns out birds know how to have some winter fun, too. In this astonishing footage posted on YouTube byRussia Today, a crow climbs on a round disc and slides down a rooftop in Russia. After a solid first run, the bird's second attempt is somewhat disappointing. But without delay, the crow clutches the "board" and tries again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Video: Golden Collars Awards: Dog News Daily Dogs In TV & Film Awards Announced

Whether he gets that that Oscar nomination or not, it looks like Uggie the dog won't be going home empty pawed this award season. Dog News Daily, the news service that covers Hollywood canines, has announced that they will be jumping into the busy trophy-giving fray by presenting the first ever Golden Collar Awards. The awards will honor the past year's Best Dog performances in five different show business categories, three in film and two in television. The big screen prizes will go to Best Dog in a Theatrical Film, Foreign Film, and Direct-to-DVD Film; the small screen awards will fete Best Dog in both a Reality Television Series and a scripted Television Series.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Video: Bear Named Jewel To Birth Cubs Live On Internet Via Solar-Powered Webcam In Her Minn. Den

A black bear in Minnesota is believed to be days away from birthing cubs, and the event could have a worldwide audience--thanks to bear researchers who have set up a video camera in the three-year-old bear's den. "Jewel is showing all the signs of preparing to give birth as her older sister Lily did," Lynn Rogers, senior biologist at the Ely-based Wildlife Research Institute, said in a written statement released by the institute and its partner, the North American Bear Center. "The den cam video is showing her active and raking in bedding. It could be any day."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Video: White Penguin Spotted In Antarctica

This penguin seems to have decided to go against the grain, sporting a cream tux instead of the traditional black and white as he waddles around Antarctica. This rare, nearly all-white leucistic Chinstrap penguin was snapped by naturalist David Stephens on Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Explorerat the Aitcho Islands this week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Video: Great White Shark Circles Fishing Boat Off Oahu, Hawaii

Cue the theme from "Jaws" -- a massive shark was spotted by a pair of fishermen off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Addison Toki caught on camera his encounter with what he believes was a 15-foot great whiteshark. According to KITV4 News, Toki and his friend Dominick Gaballo were fishing about five miles off Yokohama Bay on the west side of Oahu on January 12, when they spotted one of the ocean's largest predatory fish.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Busch Gardens Adds Animal Care Attraction

Visitors to Busch Gardens will soon be able to closely observe and take part in the animal care experience when the park’s new Animal Care Center opens. The center is slated to open Jan. 23 and will offer guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse into various animal care practices ranging from nutrition to treatments and X-rays to surgeries. The new, nearly 16,000-square-foot facility, which replaced the rhino exhibit in the Nairobi area of the park, will care for more than 2,000 animals in the park.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oklahoma Woman And Her Pet Kangaroo Plan To Move To Another Town After Spat With City

An Oklahoma woman who keeps a partially paralyzed kangaroo as a therapy pet said Wednesday that she is moving to another city over a spat with local officials, even though they insist they haven’t told her to go or threatened to seize the animal. Christie Carr, who says she has been diagnosed with depression, plans to take Irwin the kangaroo from Broken Arrow to McAlester to stay with her parents because of the fuss. Carr said she hastily packed what she could in her car Wednesday afternoon because she could “no longer trust” city officials.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

College Football: The Key To Success Is To Be An Animal

Whether you growl, chomp, bark or roar, college football has always been won by the animals. A football head coach ultimately wants his players to play like animals on the gridiron. But that metaphor is only half the story. The key to winning is not playing like an animal, it's the animal you're playing for. Animals have taken over college football (figuratively of course, actual animals haven't taken over, but the animal mascots have). The last seven national champions have been animals (Elephant, Tiger, Gator and Longhorn). Actually, the last "human" to win a national championship was in 2004 with the USC Trojans' victory.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Animals are Social Networkers Too: How Creatures’ Natural Relationships Are Mirrored By Human Facebook And Twitter Use

Humans didn't invent 'social networks', says a new study into animal behaviour - instead, our use of networks such as Facebook and Twitter actually mirrors group behaviours that can be found in whales, monkeys  and dolphins.  Intelligent animals 'use' groups to share information with one another - albeit without computers or smartphones - just like humans do online.  Experts found evidence of animals forming cliques and gathering information to help make group decisions - in much the same way as humans use Facebook Groups to streamline discussions.  The famous 'six degrees of separation' rule - which states that anyone can be related to another person in six steps - also applies to the way animals group with one another.  .

Monday, January 9, 2012

Is Your Pet Psychic? A Cambridge Scientist Believes We Have Only Seen The Beginning Of Animals' Telepathic Powers

One of my former neighbours in my home town of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, was a widow whose son was a sailor in the merchant navy. He did not like to tell his mother when he would be coming home on leave because he was afraid she would worry if he was delayed on the way. But his mother always knew anyway — thanks to the family cat. This pet was very attached to this young man and, an hour or two before he arrived, it sat on the front door mat and began miaowing loudly as if equipped with some sixth sense which told it that he was on the way.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Video: Dogs Use Subway, Cat Takes Bus And Other Adventures In Animal Intelligence

Stray dogs figure out how to use Moscow’s subway system to get downtown to neighborhoods where the food is better. For years, a house cat in England takes the public bus to get around town, unbeknownst to its owner. A jungle leopard in India, needing to cross a swollen river with its cub, gets a man to ferry her and her cub across in his canoe. Dolphins at a dolphin show in Hawaii instantly figure out a mistake their trainers have made and cover for them pretty well, preventing embarrassment all around.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Armed Commandos To Protect India's Tigers

Armed commandos are to be deployed in the jungles of southern India to deter poachers from capturing and killing endangered tigers, state government officials announced on Wednesday.  The 54-strong Special Tiger Protection Force will patrol the two main tiger reserves of Bandipur and Nagarhole national parks on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu state border, the Karnataka government in Bangalore said.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Listen Up, Oscar: These Animals Are Naturals

This winter's film slate features a zoo full of creatures, a War Horse and a pack of adorable dogs.  "It's amazing how many animals there are this year," marvels Mathilde de Cagny, the lead animal trainer forHugo and Beginners, two animal-friendly movies with award aspirations. "Animals add such character to a movie, and people just automatically relate to them. They bring such warmth."  "Besides," she says, "they are a lot cheaper than actors." Four-legged thespians have long been unappreciated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But in this year of banner performances, here are five animals worthy of acting nominations.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

London Zoo's Annual Stocktake Sees Penguins, Chimps And Cubs Counted

Counting sheep is fairly commonplace, but what about counting penguins, lions, tigers and bears? London Zookeepers have the tricky but essential task of counting every animal in their care, in order to keep their zoo licence for the coming year.  Dodging meerkats and going cross-eyed over grasshoppers, the annual stocktake is made doubly difficult by the enclosures' careful camouflage created by London zoo for its much-loved inhabitants.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Florida Man Reunites With Lost Kitty In Colorado

A cat who wandered away from his new home in Florida has been reunited with his owner after being found nearly 2,000 miles away in Colorado.  Waylon, an orange-striped tabby cat, was reunited with Daniel Johns on Wednesday at the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cat Survives 2 Euthanasia Attempts In Utah Animal Shelter’s Gas Chamber, Now Has New Home

A stray cat that survived two trips to a Utah animal shelter’s gas chamber now has a new home.  Officials at West Valley City’s animal shelter in Utah say the cat named Andrea hadn’t been adopted for 30 days when shelter officials tried to put her to death in October. She survived, so they gassed her again.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Video: New Year's Resolution: Help Fido Get Fit

Think you could stand to lose a few around the waist in 2012? Chances are someone close to you could, too: your pet.  "We all love our pets, and we love to reward them with treats," said Dr. Travis Stork of TV's The Doctors, "but that can pack on the pounds and shorten their life." Just like humans, obese dogs are at risk of cardiovascular problems, arthritis and trouble breathing, according to StopCanineObesity.com.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Endangered Species Which Need Our Help In 2012

Across the globe, hundreds of animal species face a grave and increasing threat of extinction. While many of these animals may live in remote locations, the spread of human populations and commercial activities poses a tremendous threat.  The is a list from the World Wildlife Fund of 10 endangered species that received attention from the group in 2010. Some, like the Irrawaddy dolphin, mountain gorilla and Vaquita have global populations that number in the hundreds. Another animal on the list, the Javan rhino, has a population of around only 40 animals.