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Can animals be cruel?

As I frame the argument in my head, only humans can be cruel, since everything animals do (on their own, no training or instruction) helps them survive in some shape or form. Can you help me explain the following examples: [more inside]
posted by cgs on Mar 20, 2014 - 15 answers

How does the mother bird know which baby bird to feed next?

Little daughter and I were watching a birds' nest this morning where four little sparrows were getting fed by their mom (or maybe dad?) Each time the mother bird came back, all four sparrows would screech and open their mouths wide and the mother would give one of them some food. My question is: how does the mother ensure that each chick gets enough food? I can think of at least two theories: 1. The adult bird has enough working memory to know who got the last bit of food, or even who's gone the longest without food; or 2. Hungrier chicks screech louder and the adult bird gives food to the loudest screecher. Do we know which of these is right, or whether the real answer is something else entirely?
posted by escabeche on Aug 16, 2013 - 8 answers

How do I tame this obsessed stalker cat?

Asking for my sister: Her sweet cat is being obsessively stalked by the neighbor's crazy unstable cat. What can she do to curb this? [more inside]
posted by Ms. Toad on Jan 31, 2013 - 16 answers

It's not me, it's you - rabbit edition

Should we get rid of the rabbit? And what about this cat? [more inside]
posted by kat518 on Nov 24, 2012 - 17 answers

A frog in a water nest?

On a hike in East Granby, CT, my friend came across this. Its a frog sitting in a fluffy nest sitting on top of a swampy pond. I really have nothing else to say other than is this normal frog behavior?
posted by arveale on Apr 28, 2011 - 9 answers

Birds of a feather...do WHAT exactly?

Is there a specific term to describe the coordinated movement of a collective group of animals? [more inside]
posted by Ouisch on Oct 5, 2010 - 21 answers

Describe the tether experiment

Can you describe the experiment in which an animal is tethered for a period of time, the tether is removed, and the animal still stays within the radius of the tether?
posted by markcmyers on Sep 4, 2010 - 10 answers

nature, red in tooth and claw, green in turgid stomate.

Please to be giving me your most awesome wild animal/plant videos on the internets. For the Children. [more inside]
posted by Maude_the_destroyer on May 19, 2010 - 11 answers

like cats & dogs?

let the cat/dog flame wars begin! My dog wants to eat cats - what should I do? [more inside]
posted by youchirren on Apr 8, 2010 - 29 answers

Cat adopts stuffed animal. Weird?

My cat has grown attached to a stuffed animal. Specifically, a raccoon. What instincts are at work here? [more inside]
posted by inkytea on Jan 19, 2010 - 55 answers

Cat, I don't like it like that.

My kitten is dry nursing me at night. She won't let me pick her up or pet her during the day. What can I do to strengthen our bond while preserving my sanity? [more inside]
posted by xiaolongbao on Sep 12, 2009 - 20 answers

How to make a career out of canine behavioral rehab?

Say I wanted to make an earnest stab at shifting my career path to becoming a canine behaviorist/trainer/rehabilitator. What would my best options be for training/certification and what jobs could I expect to find afterwards? [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones on May 14, 2009 - 3 answers

Cat and Dog Integratin

We're inheriting a dog, but we have two cats. [more inside]
posted by clarkstonian on Oct 22, 2007 - 23 answers

Tips on Introducing a Big Dog and a Small Dog

This weekend, I will be introducing a small dog to a big dog. I would rather they not kill each other. Help me. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 24, 2007 - 18 answers

Everyone's Pissed

Our cats are urinating inappropriately, and seem to be targeting our kid. Can the situation be salvaged? [more inside]
posted by scrump on Sep 14, 2006 - 11 answers

For the birds

The family bird hates me, help! [more inside]
posted by viachicago on Mar 20, 2006 - 13 answers

Administering Eyedrops

CatFilter: How can one person restrain a cat in order to put eye drops in the cat's eyes? Without inujuring the cat or person, of course.
posted by Fat Guy on Jan 12, 2005 - 20 answers

How can I find a home for a troubled pet?

How can I find a home for a troubled pet? [more inside]

I am at my wit's end and don't know what to do. The problem started when my girlfriend moved in over two years ago, bringing two adult cats along. My two adults did not get along with hers, and we've tried just about everything to get them used to each other. Eventually, we had to just separate them, but it broke my heart to have cats barricaded in my basement, so we decided to just open the basement door to let the cats come and go. It's been like that for about a year without many problems, and I thought I was making some progress when one of my cats started coming upstairs willingly and tolerating the others (being able to sit in the living room with the other cats while we watch TV).

The past month or so has been different, though. My cat started peeing (and worse) on our bed. I draw the line there, because I cannot afford to buy all new bedclothes and mattress pads every couple of weeks.

I would like to find this cat a new home, because I think the basic problem stems from having too many cats in a small space. I know if I take her to the animal shelter, they will have trouble adopting her out, given her past and her age (nine). I doubt an ad would work because she's very skittish (and I cannot in good conscience give a cat away without telling someone about her problems).

Does anyone have any suggestions?
posted by anonymous on Dec 12, 2004 - 13 answers

How do I properly socialize a dog-aggressive dog?

How do I properly socialize a dog-aggressive dog? [more inside]
posted by mr_roboto on Oct 18, 2004 - 8 answers

cat peeing outside the box

Why would my 6 year old cat suddenly stop using the box? (more) [more inside]
posted by mathowie on Oct 17, 2004 - 19 answers

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