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Feline Mysteries Solved

Would you attend a two-hour class at your local SPCA to learn what your cat's trying to tell you with its body language and behavior? I would! Just such a class was offered in Tampa, FL recently by the SPCA Tampa Bay in their Humane Education Building.

Some folks say when a cat wags its tail it's telling you it's angry. When my cat wags her tail, I think she's telling me she's happy. When my cat purrs I think she's happy and content, but some say purring is a sign of illness. Not being a "cat whisperer" by profession, this two-hour class sounded interesting.

The class was given in two parts. Part I, called Kitty Garden, was all about kittens and owners of kittens under 4 months old were encouraged to bring their kitties. The focus was on early socialization toward veterinarians, their cat carrier or crate, other animals including a dog (a cat friendly dog mind you), nail clipping and showing aggressive behavior toward other animals.

Part II, called Cat Talk, was geared toward cats older than 4 months and the cats were not invited to attend. This class continued the learning on aggressive behavior and not getting along with other animals. In addition, it also covered scratching, biting, litter box problems and excessive vocalization.

More than anything, it was about how cats are misunderstood. Donna Bainter, Behavior Manager at the SPCA Tampa Bay, taught the class. Bainter explained "When a cat's behavior changes, people tend to think they are just being resentful or mad or just being a cat. That is not the way a cat thinks, and it's not what's behind the behavior they're exhibiting."

So what are the answers? For those of us who couldn't attend the class and have behavior problems with our cats or dogs, maybe we should contact our local SPCA to see if they offer any similar cat/dog behavior assistance training. For those local to the Tampa Bay area, you can call the SPCA's behavior help line at (727) 586-3591, ext. 133.

Debbie Foster is the owner of Pet Beds Unlimited and an avid animal lover. You can find a wide selection of quality pet beds, dog crates, dog carriers [], dog pens [], cat beds, large dog beds, pet strollers and cat carriers at [].

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