Showing posts from January, 2022

Your Invite to my Webinar on How to Make Your Cat Happy

A webinar in celebration of the upcoming book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy . By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.   Join me on Thursday, February 3rd for a discussion of my upcoming book, Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy .  I will be sharing fascinating insight into cat psychology and her top tips for helping your cat lead a happy life. The webinar is free to attend, and will include a Q&A, so come prepared with your burning questions about your feline friends!  A recording will be available and I'll send the link out 1-2 days after the webinar. Sign up here.  Purr will be published on 3rd May in the US and Canada, and on 19th May in the UK and can be pre-ordered from all good bookstores. Preorder from Amazon    Chapters/Indigo    Barnes & Noble    Indiebound    Blackwells    Waterstones    Signed copies are available from Black Bond Books if you order via

Scientists surprised to learn that cats are freeloaders

Pet cats prefer food from a bowl rather than a food puzzle toy, study finds.  Photo: Okssi/Shutterstock By Dr. Katherine Cronin One morning last summer I fed Barley his dog food as I usually do, half in his bowl and half in a knobby, pineapple-shaped toy that he has to nose around the floor to release food little by little. Although this time I was in a hurry, and I provided him both the bowl and the silly-looking pineapple at the same time, placing the pineapple next to the bowl as I turned away to start making breakfast for my daughters. A moment later, I heard the sound of the pineapple bumping around the kitchen floor and pieces of kibble scattering out. At first, I was surprised Barley had chosen to work for his food by tossing the pineapple around rather than just eating the same food out of the bowl. Then I smiled to myself as I realized Barley had just demonstrated a phenomenon shown by many animals: the preference to work for food when the same food is freely available. Scient

Time for Self Reflection? Exploring Developments in Animals' Abilities to Demonstrate Self-Awareness

The mirror test isn’t the only way to test for self-awareness—but thinking about the kind of mirror can make a difference to results.  Chimpanzees exploring mirror reflections using large and handheld mirrors respectively. Reproduced from Kopp et al. 2021 under Creative Commons 3.0 License .    By John Binks and Lucie Mellish Theory of Mind (ToM) is the term used to describe the cognitive ability to understand that others around you are their own separate agents that have thoughts, beliefs, or desires that can differ from your own (Premack and Woodruff, 1978; Reznikova, 2007). Previously thought to be an ability unique to humans, the question of whether non-human animal species possess this understanding has gained interest in recent decades (Penn and Povinelli, 2007).  This question is significant because ToM abilities suggest that animals may have greater awareness of the world around them and have sensitivities towards their environment. Animals with a deeper understanding of their

Specialty Webinars at the Ottawa Humane Society

A series of four webinars on The Science of Making Pets Happy. Photo: Tomáš Jíra/Pexels By Zazie Todd PhD In February and March of this year, I'll be presenting a series of four webinars on the science of making pets happy. The specialty webinars are hosted by the Ottawa Humane Society. The four topics are: Tips and tricks to making dogs happy (Monday Feb 28) How to prevent common behaviour issues in dogs (Monday Mar 7) Tips and tricks to making cats happy (Monday Mar 14) How to prevent common behaviour issues in cats (Monday Mar 21) All of the webinars are from 6.30pm to 7.30pm Eastern time.  The webinars are aimed at ordinary pet guardians and will be full of practical ideas that you can use with your pet. You can register for individual webinars or get a discount if you register for a package of all four. You can find more details of each session and registration options on the Ottawa Humane Society Specialty Webinars website . 

Good Habits and Resolutions for Dog and Cat Guardians and for Writers (PPiC Ep 2)

Zazie and Kristi talk about good habits for people with dogs and cats, New Year's Resolutions, and good habits for writers too in episode 2 of The Pawsitive Post in Conversation. By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. We talk about New Year's Resolutions, habits that are a good idea for pet guardians, helping dogs and cats cope with winter, grooming dogs and cats, writing habits, and what we're reading right now. Watch this episode on Youtube , listen via your favourite podcast app, or watch or listen below. We talk in particular about dog walking as a habit, and giving cats lap time as a habit. The other habits we consider are to do with nail trims, grooming, where to store treats so they are to hand when you need them, scooping the litter tray, and giving pets their medications. Of course, it helps to keep a habit if your dog or cat learns that something happens at the same ti

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