The Burgess Bumper Christmas Pet Quiz
Test your knowledge of all things pets with our fun quiz!
With different rounds on dogs and cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets and small furries, it’s your chance to see just how much you know about the wonderful world of pet animals.
Answers at the bottom – but no peeking!
ROUND 1 – Do you know the truth about cats and dogs?
Q1: Dogs can sniff at the same time as breathing – true or false?
Q2: You can have a conversation with your cat just by blinking at them – true or false?
Q3: Which breed of dog is generally recognised as being the most intelligent? a) Brittany Spaniel, b) Border Collie, c) Border Terrier
Q4: Why do cats scratch furniture? a) To stretch their muscles and keep their claws in good condition b) To anoint everything from table legs to the sofa with their personal scent c) To annoy their human
Q5: Dogs enjoy being patted on the head – true or false?
Q6: Which of these types of domestic cat is not actually a breed? a) Ragdoll b) Calico c) Turkish Van
ROUND 2 – How much do you know about bunnies, guinea pigs and ferrets?
Q7: Guinea pigs spend most of the day asleep – true or false?
Q8: Rabbits lick you to show that they like you – true or false?
Q9: You can take your ferrets out for a walk – true or false?
Q10: Rabbits are extremely territorial and very particular about their favourite places to forage, snooze and play – true or false?
Q11: Guinea pigs are not naturally observant – true or false?
Q12: How many hours a day do ferrets like to sleep? a) 8 hours b) 12 hours c) 20 hours
ROUND 3 – Are you ready to test your knowledge of small furries?
Q13: Rats like to share treats with their friends – true or false?
Q14: Your pet hamster recognises you by the way you look – true or false?
Q15: Chinchillas will never sleep upside down – true or false?
Q16: If a gerbil senses danger they’ll thump their rear feet on the ground – true or false?
Q17: Degus communicate with each other by tapping their head against the roof of a tunnel – true or false?
Q18: Mice like to be tucked up in bed by nightfall – true or false?
Q1 ANSWER: True. A dog's nasal cavity is divided into two separate chambers and opens into two nostrils that can wiggle independently and take in smells separately. As a dog sniffs, particles and compounds are trapped in the nasal cavity by mucus while scent receptors process them. Some of the inhaled air goes to olfactory analysis and some of it goes to the lungs. This enables dogs to sniff interesting smells uninterrupted while being able to breathe at the same time.
Q2 ANSWER: True. Cat slow blinking – sometimes known as the cat smile or cat kiss – is typically a series of half blinks followed by narrowing the eyes or closing them. Slow blinking is something that you can use with your own cat as a way of greeting them and speaking cat language. Feline expert Professor Karen McComb says: “Slow blinking is something you can try yourself with your own cat at home, or with cats you meet in the street. It’s a great way of enhancing the bond you have with cats. Try narrowing your eyes at them as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”
Q3 ANSWER: b) Border Collie. However, rating dog intelligence is far from straightforward. As canine psychologist Stanley Coren wrote back in the 1990s, there's adaptive intelligence (figuring stuff out), working intelligence (following orders), and instinctive intelligence (innate talent) – and dogs of any breed (or a mixture) are all individuals. In his book, The Intelligence of Dogs, Coren featured the results of a lengthy survey of 199 dog obedience judges. He found the responses were remarkably consistent with the Border Collie coming out on top.
Q4 ANSWER: a) and b) For your cat, scratching stuff is really, really important and it’s an activity that plays a large part in health and wellbeing. When a cat scratches, they are stretching muscles and keeping their claws in optimum condition. Cats also have scent glands between their toes in the pads of their feet, so they’re also leaving behind their personal scent. You can try, however, to encourage them to use a scratching post rather than the table leg.
Q5 ANSWER: False. When stroking a dog, the worst thing you can do is go straight for their head. After all, how would you feel if someone suddenly reached out and tried to touch your face and pat you on the head? It would feel quite intimidating – and it’s exactly the same for your dog. It’s much better to get down to their level, offer your hand and let them come to you. Stroke their side, back or chest rather than their head. If they relax, they might enjoy a scratch behind the ears. To tell if they’re enjoying it, stop for a moment and, if they push their head back under your hand to ask for more fuss, you’ll know they’re loving the attention.
Q6 ANSWER: b) The Calico cat isn’t actually a breed. It’s a domestic cat of any breed with a tri-colour coat, most commonly orange, black, and white. Its name refers to the colour pattern of its fur, taken from colourful printed Calico fabric. Calicos are almost exclusively female, due to genetics. Because the genetic determination of coat colours is linked to the X chromosome, calicos are nearly always female with one colour linked to the maternal X chromosome and a second colour linked to the paternal X chromosome. In most cases, males are only one colour, as they have only one X chromosome. Male Calicos can occur when a male cat has two X chromosomes, but they’re generally sterile, which is why you can’t breed a Calico cat – they happen just by chance.
Q7 ANSWER: False. Although crepuscular creatures, who are most active during dusk and dawn, guinea pigs are awake for up to 20 hours of the day, taking several short naps. This means they need constant access to food, water, companion guinea pigs, safe hiding places and toys to keep them occupied, as well as an exercise area with tubes to tunnel along, shelters to hide in and deep areas of high-quality hay to forage in and nibble on, with some placed in hay racks and areas that are separate to their sleeping area.
Q8 ANSWER: True. Two bonded rabbits will groom each other, and licking is your rabbit’s way of telling you: ‘I do like you’, showing that you have been fully accepted as a great bunny owner.
Q9 ANSWER: True. Blue Cross says: “Ferrets are very active and curious, and some will enjoy going for walks with you. You'll need to spend time introducing them to their harness and lead and getting them used to the experience.” The charity advises that in order to take your ferrets for walks you'll need to make sure they’re used to and happy with being picked up and handled. You’ll also need a specialist ferret harness and lead. Their harness needs to be secure so that they don't wriggle out of it.
Q10 ANSWER: True. In the wild, each group of rabbits has its own territory, which it defends against other bunny intruders – and territoriality remains very important to pet bunnies too, which is why disputes can cause a scuffle even between close bunny friends. In wild groups of rabbits there’s a dominance hierarchy among males and females, and both sexes can be quite feisty towards lower-ranking members. Even pet rabbits need to know where they stand in order of rank – that’s why introducing a new bunny chum needs careful planning.
Q11 ANSWER: False. As prey animals, guinea pigs constantly observe everything that’s going on around them. According to animal rehoming charity Wood Green, once you have piggies in your life “your home will never be quiet again and opening the fridge door or rustling a bag will achieve as much excitement from your guinea pigs as saying ‘walkies’ to a dog!”. As prey animals, constantly on the alert for danger, they’ll also become highly attuned to when good things are happening – such as when dinnertime is imminent!
Q12 ANSWER: c) When they’re awake, ferrets are bundles of energy who love to run, climb, dig, burrow, forage, groom, hide and play. After all that activity, it’s no surprise that ferrets rest and sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Provide a selection of napping spots such as soft hammocks, a nesting box and some fleecy blankets – ferrets love to make nests in them. Giving a range of options enables your ferrets to enjoy a solo siesta or a cuddle with a friend.
Q13 ANSWER: True. It's been shown that when a rat is given a choice between receiving a treat just for themselves or having a friend receive a tasty treat too, they'll choose the option that also enables their friend to get a treat!
Q14 ANSWER: False. These small, nocturnal rodents have poor vision, so your hamster will not get to know you by sight, but by scent. Hamsters are endlessly curious and intelligent. With a little time and patience, they can be taught their name, pick up routines easily, litter train themselves and can be trained to come when food is presented or to perform simple tricks.
Q15 ANSWER: False. Most active in the evenings and at night, crepuscular chinchillas sleep during the daytime, often while squeezed into very small spaces and usually upright in a huddled position. They will also sleep on their sides and yes, they can even sleep upside down! In the wild, chinchillas are hunted by other animals, so even as pets, they like to have a range of hiding places so they feel safe and secure and will often try to wedge themselves into a tight space for protection, mimicking their natural behaviour of seeking cover in rocky crevices.
Q16 ANSWER: True. Gerbils have long rear legs, which are not only brilliantly designed for fast digging, but are also used to raise the alarm – if a gerbil senses danger they’ll thump their rear feet on the ground to warn the rest of the community. If you hear your gerbils thumping, it means they’re worried about something, so it’s a good idea to investigate what’s causing the disturbance.
Q17 ANSWER: True. Degus use a variety of methods to generate sounds including beating their tail rapidly on the ground to indicate excitement, drumming their feet as an alarm warning and tapping their head against the roof of a tunnel to communicate with each other through burrows systems. Degus also use a variety of sounds to communicate. For example, you’ll likely notice a chirping sound when your degu is ‘talking’ to you or to their cage mates. In fact, it’s estimated that degus use as many as 15 unique sounds to chat to each other. A rapid succession of squeaks usually signifies that your degu is worried about something, whereas warbling and chirping sounds mean that your pets are happy and content.
Q18 ANSWER: False. Mice are extremely active at night, preferring to sleep for most of the day in a quiet, comfy nest box, lined with soft, paper bedding. In fact, mice absolutely love nest-building and use nesting material to help regulate their body temperature. Your pets will have hours of fun shredding their own bedding to create the perfect place to snooze in.
How did you score?
16-18 – Merry Xmas Everybody!
12-15 – Walking in the Air
11 or less – Baby, it’s Cold Outside
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