Are you paying attention? Do you know why your animal friend is behaving in a certain way? Have you ever thought that you may be the cause of how they show up and interact with you?
“Wait…what?! Me?’ I hear you say…yes you!
Now that I have your attention and before you before you take a deep dive in reviewing your behaviour, let me explain a bit more about this important aspect in the relationship we have with our pets and other animals around us.
This article is extracted from my book “Hello? Can you hear me?”, which you can find on my website here: www.biancadereus.com/bookshop
How we show up, move, speak and interact, has a big impact on our animal friends.
When we do not listen to our animals, and know what they are telling us by observing how they show up, then our animals tell us what we need to pay attention to, by changing their behaviour. And if we still don’t listen, they will keep persisting, and this can cause major upsets in the family. Granted, some behaviour the animals experience, is related to something other than merely us being the cause. However, having worked as an animal communicator and mentor for more than eight years, I have learned that they keep behave in a certain way, which is usually experienced to be negative, and that this may be a result of our own behaviour.
How we show up, move, speak and interact, has a big impact on our animal friends. So yes, they are certainly keen to let us know that some of these have a negative impact on them, and also others around us.
What can I do to help my animal?
I believe that some animal behaviour should not be tolerated, and that it is not the right way the animals should behave. Such behaviour might include barking for no reason, mouthing, screaming, or even becoming unfriendly. However, we can not ignore these. Things like plucking feathers, sulking, following you everywhere, staring at you all the time, not eating, or perhaps presenting with the same aches and pains you also experience, are all things we need to be extra diligent with, in finding out why they are doing this.
Therefore we need to observe our animals more closely, rather than yelling at them, punishing them, or ignoring them.
Sometimes, it pushes us to connect back to ourselves, tune into our heart, do a stock-take of our life; where we are at and what our next steps are.
When you have a dog suffering anxiety, a cat who is shying away from humans, or a bird plucking feathers from their body, then we need to address this with and for our pet, and also look at ourselves and ask:
- “What am I doing (or not doing) that might create this behaviour?”
- “What is happening in our direct environment to create this behaviour?”
- “What can we do to change that?”
Once we recognise this, and trust me, it’s sometimes not easy to acknowledge, we can implement the right changes for ourselves and our animals. Sometimes, it pushes us to connect back to ourselves, tune into our heart, do a stock-take of our life; where we are at and what our next steps are.
The important thing here is to not just acknowledge it, but to actually implement the changes required and let your animal know that you are working through this and show them you are. Only then can they adjust their behaviour.
Here is an example of a cat’s change from being loving to aggressive…and back again:
Audrey the cat
One of the animals I worked with, was Audrey the cat. She was always very mellow and grounded. Not overly loving everyone, but she was pleasant, friendly and enjoying life. All over sudden, she started behaving so aggressively, because one of the people in the household was drinking excessively after work. That started to affect not only him, but also the other people in the household. Once he recognised this, he started taking steps to reduce his alcohol intake, having tea instead. This changed his behaviour for the better, and the family was happier for it as well as Audrey. She became her happy self again.
For our crazy cat people, here is another example of this – I can’t let this one pass you by!
Rami, the cat with the keyboard fetish
Rami was an eight year old cat who lived for cuddles and belly rubs. His normally docile behaviour changed over the course of a few weeks, when he began sitting on his guardian’s computer keyboard. If she moved him, he would either jump straight back up, or turn and bite her. This was very uncharacteristic behaviour for him.
Rami’s guardian tried all the tricks in the book to distract him, but he insisted on sitting on the keyboard or pushing it off the desk. As she worked from home, it was important to Rami’s mum that this behaviour stopped. At her wits’ end, she called me for help.
Rami was finally able to explain that the work his guardian was doing was actually not suited to her, and she was doing herself a disservice by continuing. This was confusing and alarming for her, as she was working three different roles from home, and was uncertain which one he meant!
I was able to clarify this for her, and she began to pay attention to when Rami was particularly persistent (and annoying!)
Within a month, she reduced her workload significantly, and Rami returned to his usual docile, snuggly self. He still lets her know when she is being distracted from what he sees as her “true work”, but for the most part he picks a cushion near her desk and snores while she types.
Our pets really do know what’s best for us, and will do anything to try and let us know!
My invitation to you
As animal lovers, we already know our pets very well. Deep down we know what may have changed in their world. Even so, I’d love to invite you to observe your animal friend more closely for a few days. When you do, take note of the following each day:
- How they behave
- Has anything shifted in their behaviour, how small this may be?
- Are they asking for more attention?
- Have their eating habits changed?
- Are they more vocal?
- How are their energy levels?
- Their sleeping patterns
Once you know what the shifts are, then ask yourself the questions suggested in this article. Take a breath, connect to yourself and observe you, as you are, right in that moment. Observe if anything has changed that is related or similar to what your animal is experiencing. And then decide what you are going to do about it to make a correction, or take a step in the direction you truly want.
Together, you can make a significant impact on each other’s lives, your relationship and be much happier for it.
Our animals are our guides, our teachers, and our mirrors. They want us to be happy, fulfilled and at peace.
Stay connected, with love and grace,