Hamsters Are Short-Sighted, Fish Have Emotions, And Other Cool Pet Trivia

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Hamsters Are Short-Sighted, Fish Have Emotions, And Other Cool Pet Trivia

STORY: Amanda Lee
07 December 2020
Original photo: Unsplash/Kim Green

How much do we really know about our pets and their physical abilities? And I’m not talking about their personalities or the things that make our hearts go “aww” but things that will make you go “Huh?? I didn’t know that!”. You’ll never look at your pet the same way again!


CATS

Cats are near-sighted

What does that mean? You know that blurry vision you get when you take off your glasses? Yep,  that’s what they see! Sounds so poor thing right, it’s like ‘how to enjoy the beauty of the world’? Well, they may lack vision in the daylight, but their peripheral and night vision are wayyyyy better than that of humans!

Cats’ claws curve downwards only

You know how you always see videos of firefighters taking their ladders and savings cats from being stuck in the tree? Now you know why. Because they are not sure how to come down! They have no problem climbing up trees, but they must go down the tree backwards.

Cats meow to talk to us

Cats came up with the meow language to communicate with humans. Yes, you read that right – cats don’t meow at each other, only kittens do to signal to their mothers. Other than that, if you do hear a cat meowing, it’s probably talking to you!


DOGS

Dogs see colour but they’re not as vibrant as the way we humans see them

Now you can sort of gauge what a dog’s vision is like! But don’t worry, colour or no colour, you are still everything to them in their eyes. Whatever flaws you have, pimples or scars, you are still their No. 1.

Dogs have a sense of time within their bodies and can tell how long you’ve been away 😔

This is so sad to hear. Just take a minute to imagine how sad those dogs who have been abandoned must feel… BRB, my heart is breaking. Never abandon your pets!


RABBITS

Rabbits that live in cages are more likely to break their bones

Rabbits who are caged up don’t get enough exercise and therefore, do not have the opportunity to strengthen their bones. One fall could be fatal. Believe me, I know ☹️ Rabbits are better off in playpens or as free-roam bunnies, but please remember to bunny-proof your home. If not, it’s bye-bye furniture or… bye-bye bunny because they chewed on wires.

Rabbits’ teeth never stop growing

Always ensure that your rabbits have an unlimited supply of hay throughout the day and night. Rabbits that don’t will develop dental issues that will be hard to maintain. Hard on your pocket, but also harder for the bunnies themselves because they would have to be subjected to general anaesthesia every time they go for a dental procedure to cut and file their teeth. So, to prevent all that, always give rabbits unlimited hay.


RED-EARED SLIDERS

Their gender is based on the temperature they are kept in

No “surprise gender reveal party” for red-eared sliders! This is because, they are not born already with a gender – instead, they are moulded into their gender based on the temperature during development. Eggs that are kept warmer at 32 degrees Celsius will hatch as females, while eggs kept at cooler temperatures like 26 degrees Celsius, will hatch as male turtles.

They are a 30-year commitment!

You first see them in shops as tiny little turtles who don’t need much space, but a little known fact is that they grow at an exponential rate if they are fed too much too fast – which is bad! They should be fed a strict diet to ensure they grow at a constant rate. And yes, who would have ever thought those tiny little turtles could live up to 30 years. So please, before buying a red-eared slider, take time to really think about your commitment to one.

Click here to read our piece on how to care for a Red-Eared Slider, and whether you’re really ready for one.


FISH

Fish do not have a 3-second memory (No thanks to Dory, from “Finding Nemo”)

Many simple experiments (no fish were harmed during these tests) have been done to test whether fish can retain information, and the test results have always been surprising. Fish are smarter than we think, which is why their aquarium should be big and complicated enough for them to explore their surroundings, and always stay interested.

Fish have emotions

Do your fish swim around in their aquarium actively? Do they swim up to the surface for food (unless they are bottom feeders), and move their gills at a constant pace to take in oxygen and water? Do they have a vibrant glow to their scales and not have white spots or blemishes, torn fins and bulging eyes (unless that’s a characteristic of their breed)? If you’ve answered yes to all the above, then yay! You have a happy fish! If not, maybe it is time you find out why and make some changes.


HAMSTERS

Hamsters are near-sighted and colour-blind

Yikes! Sounds like hamsters have it real bad with their eyesight... But they use their whiskers and sense of smell to navigate. Don’t be offended if they bite your finger. Remember, they can’t see well so having your finger suddenly pop up in front of them might startle them and hence, nip you.

Hamsters can run up to 9km in a day

And that’s the reason many of the hamster cages you see in pet shops are not suitable. Hamsters need a cage size of at least 80cm in length.

If this sounds extremely surprising to you… then please make that change for the welfare of your hamster. A wide cage is always better than a high cage because hamsters need the unbroken floor space on the ground as it allows more room for enrichment activities and accessories such as hide-outs, a sand bath, tunnels, cardboard tissue rolls etc.

Think about it this way; would you rather live in a one-storey home or a 4-storey home, if the space inside both amounts to the same volume?

Well, there you have it! I hope these facts have enlightened you guys and have helped you understand why some of our pets behave the way they do. Now that you are equipped with this new knowledge, it’s the best time to make changes to your furkid’s living conditions, and to also spread the word and educate the people around you.

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TAGS: Pets
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