The world of cats and dogs is a surprising one and despite us sharing that world with them, there are a lot of things they do that we don’t understand. Those with a furry friend learn with time that bark means pain, that meow means hunger, we know when they’re sick, but even so, there are still several questions hanging above us, like why do cats eyes shine at night and why do dogs have the habit of sniffing the butts of their fellow canines?
In this article Pets Forever will clarify those and other questions that pet owners always had about their furry family!
1- Can cats really see in the dark?
Felines are nocturnal animals and they can see up to seven times farther and better than human beings. But even cats need at least a little bit of light to guide themselves. In complete darkness, they also won’t be able to use their sight, but due to their whiskers, they are able to guide themselves well and not hit corners or objects like us humans would in the dark.
2- What is a dog’s sense of smell like?
A dog’s sense of smell is much better than those of his human buddies. While the olfactive cells of a human being can reach 5 million, dogs can have them up to 220 million, making them the best sniffers of the entire nature! If the membranes situated inside a dog’s nose were extended flat, they would always be bigger than the dog itself. That is why police use dogs to detect illegal substances in large, open spaces and when there’s a certain quantity of luggage or bags to be verified. Dogs are also commonly used in borders, airports and also strongly solicited when searching for people that have disappeared. Their sense of smell is incomparable!
3- Why does a cat’s eyes glow in the dark?
Many animals with a habit of nocturnal hunting (like some reptiles and several mammals) possess a surface on the retina called Tapetum Lucidum. Such part of the eye works as a mirror and helps those animals see better in the dark because it reflects the light back into the photoreceptive layer of the eye, offering a second opportunity for the image to be captured appropriately by the retina. The composition of that reflective layer is very diverse, but it works the same way in all animals. When they are in the dark, their pupils get completely dilated and expose the Tapetum Lucidum. For that reason, when a stream of light coming from a headlight or even moonlight hits their eyes, that surface is reflected, giving us the impression that their eyes are glowing on their own. Those who have cats who love to hide under the bed have definitely seen that scenario hundreds of times!
4- In what ways are dogs similar to humans?
There’s a reason dogs are often called “a man’s best friend” because we really are alike in several biological factors! Just like us humans, dogs can suffer from depression, low self-esteem, they feel when they are truly loved, feel when they are being treated unfairly, can be fearful of their owners and analyse situations to not make us upset (which they should never have to do!). What you probably didn’t know is that just like humans, the dogs from the Chihuahua breed are born with a soft spot in their skull, that closes as they get older. Crazy, right? Generally speaking, dogs are just as smart as a child between 2 and 3 years of age, which means that they are able to understand up to 200 words!
5- Why do cats purr?
Scientists are still not quite sure why cats purr. Plenty of veterinarians believe that a cat purrs by making their vocal cords vibrate in the lowest portion of their throat. In order for that to be possible, a muscle in the larynx opens and closes the passage of air up to 25 times per second. The purr can come from a variety of reasons not quite well defined yet, but it is still believed to be a condition of extreme joy, love and happiness.
6- Why do dogs nibble so much?
The teeth of puppies start surfacing when they are around three weeks old, while the definitive teeth replace the infant ones when they have about four to seven months of age. For that reason, they are extremely inclined to nibbling things during that period to alleviate discomfort and pain of the teeth that are coming by from under their gums. Already in the adult phase, they usually nibble to sharpen their teeth.
7- Why are cats so independent?
Cats are lonely hunters. They are extremely intelligent creatures, able to calculate, solve problems and invent new ways of hunting for their survival. Even domesticated, cats are always in touch with their wild essence. When they scratch sofas or climbing through your house, they imagine themselves in a tree or a cliff. Have you noticed how they are very light sleepers? That’s because they are always focused, even during bedtime.
8- Why do dogs sniff butts?
Since dogs don’t have hands to greet each other and say: “Nice to meet you, I’m Dog!”, they usually sniff each other’s butts as a way of getting to know one another. Almost for the same reason that they lick each other; they want to show reverence, to demonstrate that they like another dog. For that reason, if a dog licks you, be happy! It means they love you.
9- Why do cats lick so much?
Everyone knows that cats are extremely clean and tidy creatures, but do you know why that is? They are great hunters and as such, they cannot allow themselves to be noticed by their prey or a potential predator, so they lick themselves a lot in order to mask or remove their own smell. They hide their feces and urine in the sand for the same reason; they want to leave no trails of them being there! Wild dogs always walk in packs so they don’t need to be so cautious about their presence. If they ever came into attack there are others around to help, unlike cats who are always alone but are much more lethal.
10- How do dogs see the world?
The common belief that dogs are colourblind is actually not false when comparing to humans. Dogs can see colours, but not in a scheme like we do. They can distinguish between blue, yellow and grey, but are not able to see spectrums of red and green, which are the spectrums that humans are able to identify the easiest, blue being the third in our human eye.
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