Oregon State researcher proves cats can be trained

New Media Mention: OSU Stories, June 2016
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kristynkitten1It’s a Friday evening in the Oldfield Animal Teaching hospital, and while most of the faculty has checked out for the weekend, Ph.D. research fellow Kristyn Vitale Shreve finds herself in the classroom with a few students. Some are sitting nicely in chairs, but others are jumping on desks, wandering the room or sniffing each other. These “students” are kittens between four and eight months old, accompanied by their owners to Shreve’s six-week training and socialization course….

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Kitten Training Classes? New Research Suggests Cat Stereotypes Are Just That

New Media Mention: Kyle Bunnell, The Corvallis Advocate June 22, 2016
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CA_June-23_cover2Kristyn Shreve, a graduate research fellow in OSU’s Human-Animal Interaction Lab, or HAI Lab, loves cats. She plays with them, talks to them, and, most importantly, studies them. It turns out we know rather little about cat cognition. Science has a lot left to tell us about the best way to communicate with our feline friends, including whether or not they even consider us friends at all. And this is where the research at the HAI Lab comes in. A study they are currently conducting aims to shed some light on the ways in which cats and humans socialize with one another. Not only that, but as part of the study, free kitten-training classes are given, providing a foundation for communication between owners and cats. This is research that has not been done before, and, looking at the numbers, is sorely needed…….

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What We Understand about Cats and What They Understand about Us

New Media Mention: Felicity Muth, Scientific American March 30, 2016
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A big part of cats’ lives are spent around their human owners, yet scientists are just starting to understand what they think of us

 

stoshpetIn my last post I introduced the topic of cat cognition and what we broadly know about how these animals think. In this post I’m going to talk more specifically about what we understand about cats’ interactions with the animal they spend most time with: us….

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What’s Going On in Your Cat’s Head?

New Media Mention: Felicity Muth, Scientific American March 29, 2016
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Cats are often depicted as being less friendly, cooperative and caring than dogs, but what’s really going on in your cat’s head?

Spirit meet cameraUnsurprisingly, scientists use dogs in behavioural experiments a lot more often than cats. There are whole ‘canine cognition’ lab groups and conferences, which has led to a much greater understanding of our canine friends (see for example the blog ‘Dog Spies’). Cats are generally less cooperative and more nervous in social situations, meaning it’s difficult to use them in experiments. However, a recent paper in Animal Cognition by Shreve & Udell at Oregon State University reviewed what we do know about our (sometimes unfriendly) friends regarding how they think. I’m going to divide what we know about cat cognition into two main areas over two posts: firstly, what we know about cat cognition per se and secondly cat cognition that relates to their relationship with humans…..

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Communicate with your cat through training!

Here Cecilia and I show off her basic behaviors & tricks!  Interested in learning how to train your cat? Check out this link for more information!

Free kitten training classes are available in Oregon!