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Why Do Cats Paw Around Their Food Bowls?

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I could write a book on the strange stuff my cat does, but when I switched her food from dry to wet recently, she started doing something really weird: She’d maneuver her way around her food dish, pawing the ground as she went. Her behavior was odd enough that it warranted investigation. What was she up to?

Though most seem to agree that my cat is trying to bury her food when she paws around her dish, opinions differ as to just why she wants to bury her food.

One theory is that my cat doesn’t just have a lion-sized attitude—she also shares some of her bigger relatives’ instinctual behavior. In the wild, big cats bury their food to save it for later, hide it from scavengers and throw other predators off the scent. So when my cat eats some of her food first, then begins to paw around the dish, she’s following an instinct that doesn’t make much sense for her circumstances (she is, after all, a house cat with little competition for her food) but is so deep-seated that she does it anyway.

And then there’s the theory for what she’s doing when she paws around her dish without eating any food first. In that case, she’s fulfilling that finicky cat stereotype, because what she’s telling me is that her food stinks—just like the stuff she buries in her litter box—and that she’d prefer something else, thanks.

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Big Questions
What Is the Difference Between Generic and Name Brand Ibuprofen?
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What is the difference between generic ibuprofen vs. name brands?

Yali Friedman:

I just published a paper that answers this question: Are Generic Drugs Less Safe than their Branded Equivalents?

Here’s the tl;dr version:

Generic drugs are versions of drugs made by companies other than the company which originally developed the drug.

To gain FDA approval, a generic drug must:

  • Contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug (inactive ingredients may vary)
  • Be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
  • Have the same use indications
  • Be bioequivalent
  • Meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
  • Be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products

I hope you found this answer useful. Feel free to reach out at www.thinkbiotech.com. For more on generic drugs, you can see our resources and whitepapers at Pharmaceutical strategic guidance and whitepapers

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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Big Questions
Do Cats Fart?
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Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it.

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of gulping breaths or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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