immagine Perché il gatto fa le fusa?

Why do cats purr?

Purring is one of the most special characteristics of our cats. What is its meaning? Let's find out together.

How is purring produced?

Purring is very often produced not only by the cat, but also by many other felines, such as the lynx or the cheetah. What we hear from the outside is the typical "ron ron" that owners like so much, because it always symbolized the affection of the cat.

In reality, the sound we can perceive when the cat purrs is the result of a series of events that occur within its body. Over the years, many hypotheses have been advanced to explain the functioning of the purr, but at the moment the most accredited are only two.

The first is that the purring would correspond to vibrations produced by the blood flowing in the large veins that carry the blood to the heart.

The second, on the other hand, states that the purring would be generated by the repetition of some events involving the diaphragm and the vocal cords. When the cat breathes, the air is emitted at great speed through the vocal cords, causing them to vibrate, with a series of alternating movements.

Until a few years ago, it was believed that cats had another pair of vocal cords, although this theory has not been properly demonstrated yet.

Why do cats purr?

Some owners will be disappointed with the explanations that we will see now.

Contrary to popular belief, in fact, cats would not purr to communicate affection and esteem to their "human", but for a long series of completely different reasons;

  • gattino fa le fusa con mamma gattaTo communicate with the mother cat: the mother cat begins to purr at the moment of birth, to stimulate the little ones to get closer to her body to feed themselves. At the same time, kittens also purr at only two days of life, especially while they are being nursed, probably to tell the mother that they are fine;

  • To relieve pain and stress: some cats purr to release stress or when they are not feeling well. In fact, when they feel pain or feel particularly agitated, they can begin to purr without other people or animals being around. It seems, in fact, that purring is able to stimulate the release of pain-relieving substances from the brain;

  • To relax: until a few years ago it was believed that purring had a communicative purpose only. Cats purr to send a message to humans or other animals. According to the most recent theories, however, felines could simply purr for themselves. This hypothesis could be confirmed by the fact that the purr frequency (25-50 Hz) is very similar to what can be recorded on our brain when we are relaxed. By producing the purr, therefore, the cat tries to relax, indirectly involving anyone who is nearby. This is why when we are close to our cat, we magically feel calmer;

  • By regression to the infantile stage: when the cat begins to produce the typical "ron ron" sound without anyone around, he is probably so relaxed and dozing, that he is imagining that he is still a small, sweet newborn kitten, next to its mother's belly;
  • To repair bones: According to the latest findings, the frequency of the cat's purr may also stimulate bone healing in the event of fractures or any other joint disorder. This theory could confirm the popular belief that cats heal faster than other animals. Cats probably don't really have seven lives, but they sure do have an edge. 

In the light of this new information, some of us will continue to confirm without a doubt that our cats purrs simply because he loves us. Regardless of the conclusions, we can't help but appreciate the wonderful characteristics that make cats so special.

immagine Insegnare al cane a non saltare addosso

How to teach your dog not to jump on you

Raise your hand if you do not appreciate your dog's manifestations of enthusiasm when returning home, perhaps after a day of work. Nobody or maybe just someone, probably. Dogs are so loved by owners because they tend to express their happiness in the best and most active way possible. However, the demonstrations are not always limited to energetic wagging and broad smiles. In fact, most dogs inevitably jump on the owner or other people to say hello or to communicate a message.

While this attitude gratifies the owner on the one hand, it can also be annoying on the other. 

In the case of large or giant sized dogs, most people tend to fall down. Of course, a small loss of balance does not cause any noticeable damage, but if we think of children or elderly people, this aspect is very important.

Why does the dog jump on people

There are those who say that the dog jumps on people for reasons of dominance. In reality, there are many theories about this, but the dog philosophy of thought is becoming more and more popular, according to which dominance is not actually sufficient to explain most of the behaviours of our animals, as it did until a few years ago.

cane salta addosso anziana

So why does the dog jump on people? The reason may be different depending on the situation.

If the dog jumps on us as soon as we open the front door, he is probably just happy to see us.

At the same time, if he huddles on us during the walk, he may be intimidated or frightened by a stimulus that may not be relevant to us.

In essence, however, one thing is certain: the dog jumps on us because he likes to do it, and animals do what causes them pleasure.

Let's explain this statement with a question. How do we react when the dog jumps on us? Do we caress it, talk to him softly or enthusiastically, raise our voices to intimidate him...? Well, as strange as it may seem, each of these reactions represent a reinforcement for the dogs attitude, the dog will understand that by jumping on its owner it will obtain what he is looking for, attention. He will therefore continue to do it more and more often to receive it.

For a dog that felt alone in our absence, it does not matter whether this attention comes from a caress or some shouting. The important thing is that we dedicate a sound or a gesture to him.

Exuberant and playful dogs, inevitably translate a slight push into an invitation to play.

Not everyone might know about this but dogs often greet one another by licking each other's noses. The dog, which is only in a few cases taller than the owners, will then try to touch our face by lifting up on its hind legs or jumping on us.
bambino insegna al cane a non saltare seduto

What to do to teach the dog not to jump on us

The best solution is definitely to ignore it. Even our gaze could be interpreted as a manifestation of affection or attention. Therefore, every time we enter the house, we avoid talking to him, caressing him and even looking at him. We keep doing our daily duties, ignoring his persistent jumping attempts.

Usually, after a few seconds, the dog should feel quite confused by our behaviour. When he finally stops jumping so energetically, we are allowed to praise him by giving him a small snack.

If he starts jumping again, ignore him again until he calms down. We then reward him again with a snack or a treat when he stops again.

For the first few times, it will be enough to wait for the dog to stop jumping, but in subsequent attempts, it may require more effort, that is to sit down. Then click when the dog has sat down and give him a treat.

Cousins, uncles and friends will certainly recommend foolproof methods, such as stepping on his paws every time he jumps or tripping him. Let's leave these methods to past eras, and stick to the more modern and above all more effective ones.


immagine Insegnare al cane a rispondere al richiamo

How to teach your dog to respond when we call him

The basics of dog education include all those essential commands to ensure optimal safety for us and for our pet. One of these is the come command, which is used by us owners to make the dog returns back home under our command or call, such as "come!". Here are some tips to teach your dog to respond when we call him.

The call from the owner is a fundamental signal for the dog, which very often tends to run away from home. In these cases, the provident owner who has already taught his dog to respond will be able to avoid numerous risks on the road.

If, on the other hand, you have not "gifted" your friend with this command, in most cases you will begin to run after your pet, who will only increase the speed to gain freedom. In fact, most dogs react to the chase by the owner, running even faster. This is why it is very important to know how to get the dog back home safely.

If the dog walks away, there can be many reasons. To get an idea of ​​the most frequent reasons that lead the dog to run away from home or to move away from us, read the specific article, which will also explain in detail how to solve the problem.

In any case, one of the most frequent situations is linked to the dog being released in the dog area or in the open countryside, without having in any way the opportunity to interact with the owner (who is more keen in other things such as talking with friends or staying on the mobile phone). So what happens if you only talk to the dog when it's time to go home? Considering that, dogs are highly intelligent; they will understand this and refuse to respond to your call because they want to play longer.

The goal of this command, on the other hand, is to teach him to run towards us, regardless of whatever activity he is doing. Here's how to do it.

How to teach him to respond

For the first few times, it is advisable to get close enough to the dog, possibly without any particular distractions in the surroundings that could distract our friend's attention. Of course, in order to entice the dog to get close to us, we must make ourselves as “palatable” as possible. We equip our pockets with tasty morsels, show off a cheerful and convincing tone of voice, lower ourselves as if we wanted to cuddle him or play with him, but above all  leave behind bad moods. Which child would gladly approach an angry parent ready to shout at him?

cane scappa di casa scava terreno recinzione

While the dog is free just ahead of us, let's put all these tips into practice, let's get down and call him joyfully by its name or with the command "come!". As soon as he approaches, let's grab him firmly but not abruptly by the harness and give him some treats. We continue by increasing the distance between us and our dog from time to time.

Lets always remember to take him by the harness or collar before rewarding him, because if we did it only when we want him to stop, he would not be able to accept the gesture willingly, associating it with returning home, therefore with something negative.

Once the dog has managed to run towards us several times in a row, we repeat without rewarding him with food treats, but only with cuddles and compliments.

The hardest part is surely using the call in the presence of other stimuli, such as other dogs, food, children playing ball and even fearful situations. To succeed, we will have to have a lot of patience. Compared to other more "immediate" commands, the calling one certainly takes longer, so do not be discouraged if the first attempts are not successful, but try again until they are.


immagine Aggressività nei gatti: quando Fuffi si trasforma in Terminator

Aggressiveness in cats: mood swings

Aggressiveness in cats is very common. However, we might come across an untamable animal, which will attack both us, and animals surrounding it. Therefore, what is the reason to this behavior? What can we do to solve this problem?

immagine Cosa fare se il cane morde mani, piedi e oggetti

What should I do if my dog bites my hands, my feet and random objects?

One of the most annoying behaviors that some dogs can develop since they are puppies is definitely the tendency to bite hands and feet. Whether he does it to attract attention or for fun, it is always an inappropriate action, which should be eliminated from the first months of the puppy's life, because otherwise you risk finding yourself with an adult dog that continues to pounce on the hands, feet and clothing. Let's try to understand why the dog takes this attitude and how to teach the puppy and adult dogs not to bite.

Why does the dog bite?

Firstly, it would be better to talk about chewing rather than biting. All dogs, in fact, have this particular need to chew to keep the muscles well trained, to clean their teeth and even as a game. We must also add the fact that the dog's complete dentition is fully developed only after 18-24 months. Therefore, just like babies, puppies need to massage their gums to relieve discomfort.

Normally, after this period, the attitude of inappropriate chewing should disappear. In some cases, however, the dog can continue to bite objects, clothing or people's hands and feet even as an adult into old age.

Let's see what are the reasons that push the dog to bite:

  • Teething: the puppy feels discomfort in the gums, so he gnaws everything that happens to be in front to him;
  • Puppies separated too early from the mother: during their growth, the puppies are educated by their mother, who also teaches them how to inhibit the bite. When the puppy bites his mother or a little brother too hard during play time, he takes a good bite from his mother. This allows him to understand what is the limit beyond which he must not push himself during the game. This is why puppies should not be adopted before they are 2 months old;
  • Uneducated or inexperienced mothers: mothers are not always able to teach their puppies the inhibition of the bite, because they do not know how to become good teachers or because they have never learned this control themselves;
  • Inappropriate reaction from owners: if the puppy bites our hands and feet while we are engaged in another activity, we should ignore it. By laughing, picking him up to move him or even just talking to him, we make him understand that by biting he will get our attention, so we will reinforce this attitude;
  • Inappropriate playing: If we play with the dog by moving our hands in front of his muzzle and holding our hand between his teeth, we will show him that we like to play this way, so he will keep biting us as soon as he feels like playing.

What to do

What we have to do in these cases in general is to make the dog understand that by biting he will not get what he likes, whether it is a caress or simply our attention. This type of association is called "negative punishment": inappropriate action drives away the pleasant stimulus. We consider that even shouting can be pleasant for the dog that feels neglected, because in any case we are giving him attention.

The first thing to do, therefore, is to stand up, put our arms folded and ignore it. If we are sitting on the sofa next to him, let's get up immediately and stop cuddling him as hard as it may seem.

  • cane gioca mastica kong gioco

If he does not get the message and moves on top of us, we leave the room and pass into another one, closing the door. We even avoid looking at him in the eye and remain silent until he has stopped biting or following us.

A very effective solution is to introduce a voice command, such as “Ouch!”, Every time it bites us. Therefore, as soon as he grabs our hand with his teeth, we immediately say "Ouch!" and stop cuddling or playing.

Of course, teaching your dog what it shouldn't do is not enough, it also needs to be shown what it can do. For dogs, it is very important to chew, so we will simply have to make them understand what objects they can bite.

We enrich his personal playground with balls and chewable toys made of hard plastic. An excellent idea may be to use special toys that can be filled with appetizing snacks, which they will immediately find irresistible.

We can also begin to introduce the "Leave" command, which is particularly useful even in dogs that do not have the habit of biting hands, feet and objects. It is a command that must be taught to all puppies sooner or later, because it helps to safeguard animate or inanimate prey that you absolutely do not want the dog to destroy, whether it is expensive objects, birds or even poisoned baits.

There are several methods for teaching this command to the dog, all based on the reward with a clicker or snack when the dog drops the object we are using for training, for example one of his favourite toys. Playing who pulls harder is useless and stimulates the dog to bite even more.

What not to do

As we have just seen, some of the causes that can lead the dog to bite objects and people are to be found in our way of behaving and relating to him.

Among the most frequent errors we find:

  • Have the puppy play with inappropriate toys, such as shoes, socks, rags and newspapers. As clever as he is, a dog will never be able to figure out for himself which of these objects he can play with and which he cannot. A shoe always remains a shoe, regardless of brand, colour and use, so if we show him that you play with shoes, he will deem it appropriate for all of them;
  • Let the puppy bite our hands: the dog finds interesting anything that he considers pleasant. By letting him bite our hands and feet or tug at our pants, we only reinforce this behaviour;
  • Shout at him or beat him: violence never leads to anything, not even with our dogs. If the dog is biting us, shouting at him or hitting him will give him what he is looking for: attention and fight.

By following these tips, your puppy will begin to understand the correct behaviour to become an educated dog.


immagine Gli errori più frequenti dei proprietari di cani e gatti

The most common mistakes dogs and cats owner make

People who are animal lovers already know it: over time, our animals become an integral part of our family. They make us move, they entertain us, soften us up, keep us company in all situations and listen and alleviate our daily problems. Not to mention all their funny expressions and attitudes. However, us owners are not always able to grasp the limit between the things that make us laugh and those that make our animals uncomfortable. Here are the most frequent situations we do wrongly in our daily activities.

Using vocabulary they cannot understand

To communicate with each other and with the owner, animals mainly use non-verbal language, made up of movements of the tail or ears, particular facial expressions and gestures with an unequivocal meaning. It is also true that dogs bark and cats meow, but in any case, they do not speak our language, although a "meow" can sometimes be similar to the "mom" word. Thanks to their great intelligence, animals are able to pick up some "human" words and the tone of voice with which we say them. The fact remains that, apart from a limited vocabulary, they are still not able to perfectly understand what we say to them. For this reason, when we ask the dog to stop barking, screaming and squirming, in most cases he will not be able to understand what we are saying and will undoubtedly feel confused and disoriented.

Make gestures of clear dominance towards him

In canine language, the hug (or in any case the gesture of placing a paw or muzzle on the back of another dog) is a clear manifestation of dominance. For this reason, especially if we do not know the animal in front of us, we should avoid hugging it and teach our children to do the same. Among other attitudes of this type, we find all those gestures that dogs use among themselves to establish the hierarchy. For example, we should never stare straight into his eyes, proceeding towards him frontally and quickly, and putting your hands on his face or head. What might be the reaction to such behaviour? The dog may become nervous or feel threatened by our gesture.

Not providing adequate education/training

We are not saying that all dogs and cats should perfectly master every command of advanced training. What we should avoid, on the other hand, is to let them live without basic rules that are especially useful to them so they avoid feeling disorientated inside the house. The same thing stands for children, who live with the constant presence of their parents during their educational process. Our animals, in the absence of rules can create considerable inconveniences. We should teach them basic commands, such as "sit" or "stay", and make sure they can be applied to everyday aspects, even during playtimes outside. The direct consequences of the absence of rules translates above all into discomfort, insecurity, confusion and the inability to be together with humans and other animals.

bambino insegue tira coda gatto

Imposing unwanted attention from people, children, or other animals

If we see that our four-legged friend just can't stand the presence of people, children or other animals, let's simply leave him free to go somewhere else. Otherwise, he may become stressed or even react with aggressiveness.

Not limiting children's teasing

Dogs and cats need their spaces. For this reason, we should always try to prevent children from invading their territory by pulling their tail or whiskers, beating them or disturbing them while they sleep. This point is fundamental and should be taught to all children, as a basic rule to avoid any bites or scratches, and to ensure a peaceful environment for our four-legged friend.

Not providing the daily physical activity he needs

Animals are not meant to stay indoors all day. Sure, they fit perfectly in our one bedroom apartment in the city, in exchange for baby food and pampering, but they still need a certain amount of exercise throughout the day. The best way to guarantee what they need, is to let them play inside and outside the house by taking them out for long runs and walks, and not just for bathroom needs. Depriving it of these sources of entertainment, would probably soon end up with overweight, depression and stress problems.

Always keeping him on a leash

If we have the opportunity, at least once a day, we should find a way to free our friend in the dog areas or in the countryside. Keeping him constantly on a leash, especially in the presence of other animals, will make him feel constrained and prevent him from exploring the environment and interacting with his peers.

Refuse to comprehend their language/body language

The first act of love that we can and must perform towards our four-legged friends is to learn their verbal and physical language. By doing this, will we be able to understand their real needs, while communicating what we want them to do. Mutual understanding is the basis of any relationship, so we must begin to interpret the language and attitudes of our animals.