Why Are Prairie Dogs Called That?

Prairie DogMy feline  furriend Wabby from Scratchings and Sniffings sent me this question in an email:

“Mom is out visiting  the prairie dogs  – although, I’ve seen them and they don’t look at all like dogs, so…why are they called that?”

Good question Wabby. Seems that prairie dogs are rodents, not dogs. Why are they called dogs then?

Well, I checked Wikipedia, and they say it’s because these critters that are a type of ground squirrel are “named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog’s bark”.

Now one of my best Twitter pals is a Rodent of Unusual Size, so I have come to accept that rodents can be decent critters. Still yet, a barking rodent is not exactly somethin’ a cat likes to ponder.

The fact that Wabby’s human was out visiting these varmints is doubly troublesome.

I am thinkin’ an intervention is in order. What do you think?

Just Meowin’,

The Brew


  1. Wabby says:

    Brewskie, Mom is getting some of that hot stuff she drinks in the morning. I just knew Prairie Dogs weren’t dogs! They do make a lot of noise like dogs, though. I don’t mind it when Mom visits them…gives me the whole house to myself! Way better than having that ferret here! I hope everbody visits that BlogPaws blog today – to see the post you did on your human! Mom says she will twitter it.

  2. Well, that is super interesting – we assumed that the prairie part was because they lived there but had no clue where the dog part came from. We don’t really have those around here (though we are a prairie state so that is weird) but we have seen them on tv – we don’t know if it is weird to spend time with them or not – we just know they like to stare at the camera on tv.

    • I know some cats who like to sit up like prairie dogs sometimes. Not really my thing, though. Wonder why there are no prairie dogs in the Prairie State? Maybe the humans chased them out. None here–I live in the city.

      The Brew

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