These animals have soft, almost wet eyes and a warm and cuddly coat. They put on weight easily and develop very round middles - perhaps because they love fattening "people" food! They tend to walk with a slightly side ward gait and are known to trip over their own feet.
A young Cancer pet is very attached to the warmth and nourishment of its mother and is frequently slow to wean. They stick close to her and make the most unpleasant noises if they are separated before they are ready. Cuddly and affectionate, they're protective of their loved ones and tend to bond permanently to one person. But they are shy and large groups of people frighten them. This makes them the perfect pet for small residences. Cancer pets like to have control of their environment and prefer close, small spaces. They don't like having too many rooms to keep an eye on because they are very concerned with what is going on inside their domain. They don't respond to new people or situations very well. It takes time fort hem to accept a stranger - no matter what the stranger's age - into the house. It may take a while before your pet stops treating the newcomer as an intruder every time he/she enters the house. Their normally shy behavior turns fierce when they go into the protective mode. But even then, there is still a shyness when dealing with strangers in the house. They will noisily let the intruder know that he/she doesn't belong, all the while backing away or partially hiding while doing it! They have a tendency to stay near the warmer areas of the house, tucked into a corner or cozy space where they can see everything that is going on without being noticed much. Even when Cancer pets grow up, they don't like being left alone for too long and don't adjust well when the family goes on trips. They will often whine - loud and clear - when their feelings are hurt. And they certainly don't like rough or noisy play.
In groups, Cancer animals tend to prefer quietly watching on the sidelines to rough-and-tumble play but will definitely and quite fiercely nip back at anyone who is silly enough to test them. They have a tendency to stay very close to one member of the family at a time and will whine when excluded or shut out for any reason.
The Cancer pet needs a close-knit family that gives it lots of time and attention. These pets can be jealous of small children and will often compete for attention if they feel they're being replaced. They tend to bond very closely with a single human so care must be made when introducing a new member to the family.
Cancer pets are emotionally sensitive and take everything you do personally. It's important to discourage whining early or they will learn to manipulate them with it. Loud words and sharp sounds tend to upset them for longer periods of time than other pets. Firm but calm words are the best methods of discipline. They retain what they learn so they so if they associate good behavior with loving words and gentle coaxing, training them need not be unpleasant. Teaching them to be alone for short periods of time is very important, otherwise any absence will cause them great distress. Upset stomachs, refusing to eat and generally irritable behavior are indicators that they are not feeling secure or safe.
They associate love with sharing human food so unless you want to create a beggar, resist the temptation to feed them table scraps. If you encourage this behavior and then decide it's gotten out of hand, your refusal to share food with them will cause them great distress and confusion. Special treats are a delight but only give them as a reward. Cancer pets associate every little gesture on your part with love, so the absence of them causes alarm. A soft, warm bed somewhere near the human they've bonded with is their greatest pleasure and reward. Having their own special place will help to alleviate some of their separation anxiety when they're away. Rubbing them gently on their bellies, baby talk and soothing words are other ways to relieve stress.