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The Reflex Arm of Behavior - Research Paper Example

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Despite the absence of speech, animals are very much capable of communicating with other animals, including humans. One of the most studied groups of animals is cats, including both domesticated and wild. They are interesting to study because of the wide array of emotions they possess, and the numerous ways they can express them…
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The Reflex Arm of Behavior
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Download file to see previous pages We should thus not treat cats, or animals in general, badly if they happen to do something to hurt us. Most likely, they were only responding to the environment as they sense it, and they did not mean to cause any harm. Why Study Cat Communication? The most important drive for the study of cat communication, particularly those of domesticated cats (Felis catus) is the prevention of untoward incidents between these pets and their owners. Despite their advanced communicating skills relative to other animals, theirs is still primitive as compared to humans. Thus, they are still incapable of giving explicit signals for the message they want to give out. As will be mentioned later, they have similar behavior for two different emotions. Idiosyncrasies of Cats One of the most characteristic traits of domestic cats is its knack for going for long periods without face-to-face encounters with other cats. They may not tolerate long periods of interaction. A moment of showing affection is fine; although cats may feel agitated once they feel they are confined to such for a long time (animal.discovery.com). ...
Thus, domestic cats are capable of moving from being fully man-dependent, through commensalism, to total independent existence just within a few generations. One implication of this change within a few generations is that the ancestral, wild side of domestic cats is still retained, as evidenced by the occasional mouse-hunting inside their owners’ homes. The retention of their wild side is also influenced by the fact that most of the time, the home-made foods given to them by their owners are not enough to provide for the nutrition they need as obligate carnivores, such as arachidonic acid, niacin and taurine. They need to retain their hunting abilities to provide for the other nutrients that the food man provides lack (Bradshaw et al., 1999). What is interesting about cats, the owned ones especially, is that they are not really particular with the breed of their mates. Except for the purely domesticated, totally human-dependent Persian and Siamese cats, populations of domestic cats are free to interbreed with one another. However, the isolation of these pure breeds may have been artificially induced. In cases in which a Persian or Siamese cats mate with other cats, the pure breed genes that have penetrated the general pet population do not stay for long, because the phenotype of the interbred progeny, particularly their shortened jaws and long coats, is not ideal for a free-ranging lifestyle (Bradshaw et al., 1999). Fear and Aggression Despite being seemingly different, fear and aggression illicit a similar response of showing superiority over the object of fear or aggression. That is why both behaviors are the ones most difficult to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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