Saturday, May 18, 2013

Unusual Pet Behavior: What It Means and How To Communicate Better with Your Pet




 Unusual Pet Behavior


Bonnie Taplin, M.A.
Animal Communicator
(949) 636-5500


Throughout the years I have been working intuitively with animals, the typical requests for help I receive deal with issues such as aggressiveness, inappropriate toileting, unresolved health-related issues, and facing the grief and mourning connected with the loss of a pet.  Every now and then, a client calls on me to help figure out why their pet is behaving in what would be called “unusual.”  In most cases, these behaviors appear as a result of a pet’s effort to get a message across and be acknowledged for something important.

Simply put, behavior is a reaction to stimuli.  But sometimes, there appears to be none.  What we must look for then, is some kind of stimuli we would consider passive – or more likely – unintentional.  One case in particular stands out:  a husband and wife came to me to hear what their cats had to say; they told me they each had one cat of their own, and the husband was baffled, and almost annoyed by, his female cat’s continuous staring at him.  When I asked the cat about this, she told me, “I adore him so much!” And, because of the intensity of her love, I was brought to tears.  The husband reacted with surprise, because he was expecting an answer, he said, that had nothing to do with his cat’s love for him!

Another interesting case I was called in for involved a cat who was pulling his fur out.  My client was a middle-aged single woman with three cats; they had recently moved to Southern California from New York.  Two of the cats seemed to have made the transition smoothly; but the other one began biting himself and literally pulling his hair out.  During our conversation, this unhappy kitty eagerly shared with me that he was “offended” that he had not been asked about the upcoming move.  He stated that he was so angry, that he didn’t know how else to get the message to her; so he began pulling his fur out—and THAT certainly got her attention!  Ultimately, I asked the mom if she would apologize and explain the moving issue so her cat would understand.  Later, on follow-up, I learned that this cat’s hair was growing back…and he apparently forgave his mom.

Having met a wide variety of cats, I have learned exactly how intensely emotional these beautiful animals can be.  You may wonder, what about dogs?  Interestingly, canines also have very intense feelings; but they generally have a more diplomatic approach to explaining their feelings and thoughts.  One memorable dog stands out for me:  a beautiful black lab, who lived with her single mom and her male roommate, willingly shared lots of information during our session.  I was contacted by the young lady to find out, among other things, why her dog was showing clingy behavior, displaying separation-anxiety type behavior.   At the very end of our talk, when I always give the animals one last opportunity to say what’s on their mind, this lovely dog said:  “I know my mom loves me, but could you please ask her to stop calling me fat?”  When I presented the woman with this request, her response—as she gasped—was “Oh!  I do call her ‘fatty’ sometimes!” 

In conclusion, I’ve discovered that animals really are much more “conversational” than we might think.  My advice to all who have special animals in their lives:  please tell them what is happening in their lives—keep them “in the loop” so to speak; they do pick up some info, but really could benefit by some details; also—before it gets too complicated, please look for those subtle signs that they are trying to “tell” you something important.  Animals do have lots to share with us, they want to be heard, and they always welcome the chance to say how grateful they are to be a part of our homes and hearts.


Bonnie Taplin, M.A.
Animal Communicator
(949) 636-5500
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