Bad cat behavior problems can really push their owner away. In reality, though, most are very common cat behavior problems that are known to trainers and owners alike, and can be easily fixed. So, don’t feel alone if you’re struggling with a cat who misbehaves. It’s almost a given that you’re not the only one with shredded blinds and done in sofas in your home.
Many of the cat behavior problems pet owners face are common among their fellow cat lovers because unlike dogs, cats all share a lot of similar characteristics. Most of these problems are actually due to the cat’s natural instinct. The behavior they’re displaying for you is the only behavior they know. In a way, these “bad behaviors” are just them displaying their natural behavior. That is, if they were no longer domesticated.
It’s up to a cat’s human counterpart to fix the problem. Just like dogs need training to understand; cats do, too. As their owner, it’s up to you to show them the appropriate way to handle their behavior problem. There may not be an appropriate way to handle it. In the long run, you may need to find a way to eliminate your cat’s behavior problem.
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3 Most Common Cat Behavior Problems
…and how to solve them quickly
Among cat owners, there are three cat behavior problems that are quite common. These issues are seen in many households with cats. Thankfully, with a little time, patience, and knowledge you’ll be able to regain order in your home again.
In order to achieve success, you’ll first want to identify the behavior problem. Once you identify that, you’ll be ready to address it. You’ll be able to find a way to redirect the behavior. In some cases, you’ll finally be able to eliminate the problem.
1. Cat Litter Box Behavior Problems
Some cats do great with their litter box. While others tend to have their own idea of where the bathroom is. Have you ever smelled lingering cat feces and urine? If so, you know how unpleasant the smell can be.
One thing people should know about cats is that they are finicky. If you’re a cat owner, you’re probably well aware of this. Cats are finicky about being touched, even about the type of cat litter you use in their boxes. Some are even a little picky when it comes to food. There’s no exception when it comes to their litter box.
As you probably already know, this can lead to quite the tension between you and your cat. Especially when it involves the lovely smell of urine on your favorite blouse.
How to fix it: Cats who urinate and/or defecate outside of the litter box could be having a number of different problems. First you’re going to want to determine why your cat has abandoned their litter box. This can take a little patience and time on your part. It may also even take a little bit of money on your end as well.
Dirty litter box? Clean it up!
First things first, cats do NOT want to use a dirty litter box. They may find somewhere else to relieve themselves. Then again, they may just refuse to use the bathroom all together. Make sure that you are scooping out feces and urine on a daily basis. As well as doing a COMPLETE “dump and replace” of the litter at least once a week.
Add an extra litter box to the mix.
It’s actually recommended that you have an extra litter box per cat. For example, let’s say you have one cat. In that case, you’ll need two litter boxes. You may be a little more adventurous. Let’s say you have 4 cats. Then you’ll need 8 litter boxes. Yes, you read that right.
Location, location, location!
Cats may stop using the litter box is they simply don’t like where it’s located. Place the litter box in area where they have privacy. It should also be placed where they can get away fast if they feel “threatened” as well.
Just not feeling the litter box setup.
Cats may also refuse to use the litter box if they don’t like the litter box itself. It could also be due to not liking the litter that you are using. This would be something you should definitely consider. Especially if you just changed to a different litter.
There is an unfortunate reason why your cat may refuse to use the litter box. Your cat may be suffering from an underlying medical condition. You see this often in cats who haven’t had an issue previously with using the litter box. In fact, refusal to use the litter box may warrant a call to a veterinarian. They’ll want to check your cat’s urine.
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2. Scratching the Furniture Cat Behavior Problem
A shredded couch is the last thing a cat owner wants to walk in and see. But, as cat owners, sometimes our furniture and belongings may suffer. These can end up being an expensive fix. Especially if you have to replace the furniture. This common cat behavior, thankfully, does have a fix.
The Problem: Everything you own has became fair game to your cat. The arms to your sofa are shredded. Your favorite recliner now sports a throw due to the scratch marks. It almost feels like it’s almost never ending.
Scratching is a normal behavior for cats. But, for their owners, they tend to see it as one of the bigger behavior problems. The reality of it is, it’s just a natural thing cats do. Cats don’t do this as revenge. Regardless of the evil look they give you while they do it.
Cats do use their claws to defend themselves. But, they also use them for self grooming. As well as for exercise. See, when your cat is shredding your furniture, he or she is doing this to maybe groom their claws. They may also do this in order to stretch and exercise their claws.
How to fix it: This common cat behavior problem may be normal for your cat. That doesn’t mean that cat owners are pleased with the results. Cat owners usually resort to declawing their cats in order to rectify the situation. There are other options available though. Options that aren’t as costly as declawing. Plus, they don’t require surgery like the declawing procedure does.
Provide other options for you cat to use their claws.
If you have a cat, having a scratching post is important. Providing a proper alternative for your cat to scratch will finally bring peace in your home again. Plus, scratching post have came quite a way since the beginning. There are so many possible options.
For example, some scratching post come infused with catnip. This is a dream come true for many cats. The catnip doesn’t just entice your cat to use the post for scratching. Scratching post infused with catnip also make your cat fall in love all over again. Your cat is going to WANT to use this post to stretch his or her claws.
Scratching post have also evolved design wise. They are available in so many different designs and sizes now. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it. Many post also come in neutral and modern colors. This makes most products great for any home decor.
Keep your cat’s claws groomed on a regular basis.
People who own cats often see them as “self groomers”. Think about it, when you see a cat what are they often doing? That is if they’re not chasing a laser light. They’re often grooming themselves. You’ll notice them nipping and licking their paws and fur. It’s true, some cats even chew their claws.
That isn’t the case for all cats though. Some cats use scratching to keep their nails how they like them. That’s when you step in and help your kitty out. You’ll do this by providing them with regular claw trims.
Trimming your cat’s claws is something you can do at home. It isn’t recommended to use your own nail trimmers. Pretty much any store you visit will have affordable trimmers, made just for cats, available.
Not comfortable clipping your cat’s claws? You’re not alone. Thankfully, many veterinarian offices and grooming salons offering claw trimming. In fact, most places do not require an appointment for a claw trim. The prices are usually quite affordable, too.
Keep in mind, it’s recommended that cat’s claws are trimmed at least once a month. It’s important that you keep up with this. Neglecting regular trims may result in overgrown claws. This can especially be painful for your cat. Overgrown claws can begin to curl under. They can actually curl under and become stuck in your cat’s foot pad.
Invest in caps that cover your cat’s claws.
There’s a great product available that helps save your belongings. There are caps available that are placed on your cat’s claws. These caps are extremely easy to put on. The caps also stay for quite a while. They will fall off once your cat’s nails begin to grow out.
You may not be comfortable applying the nails. No worries, once again. More than likely a local veterinary office and/or grooming salon will be happy to do this for you.
3. The Midnight Cat “Zoomies”
There probably isn’t a cat owner out there that hasn’t experienced the midnight “zoomies”. These episodes probably often make you wonder if your cat is, well, losing his or her mind. Let’s face it, all you’re trying to do is get a good night sleep. But, your cat has other plans.
The Problem: Not sure what he midnight “zoomies” are? Here’s an example. You’re finally ready to settle down for the night. Then all of a sudden your cat jumps up and takes off. This may last for several minutes. You’ll see your cat dart back and forth. They may stay in one room. Some cats may “zoom” from room to room.
According to PetMD, a cat is actually a nocturnal animal. So, needless to say, they see night time as playtime.
How to fix it: Are you ready to resume your regular sleeping schedule? If so, it’s going to take some planning, dedication, and time on your end. You’ll have to help your cat kick the “zoomies” to the curb.
Ask yourself: is this a new issue?
Have you owned your cat for a while? If so, take note if this midnight behavior is new. Sometimes when cats are not feeling well they may not know how to express this. As a result, to you, their agitation may look like the midnight “zoomies”.
If this is the case, it’s recommended that you contact a veterinarian. They’ll be able to do a thorough examination on your cat. Hopefully, if there is an underlying issue, you would have caught it soon enough. If everything turns out fine, maybe your veterinarian can give you advice for your specific case.
Create a feeding schedule.
You’re probably wondering what food has to do with a cat running back and forth. Here’s the deal: just like us, all a cat wants after a big meal is a nap. That’s why it’s recommended that you feed your cat his or her’s biggest meal right before bedtime. Your cat will get a full belly, hopefully ending with great sleep.
Offer your cat plenty of stimulation.
Cats are curious creatures. Most of the time this burst of energy is due to the popular “cat napping” ritual throughout the day. But, you don’t have that luxury during the day. In exchange, you’ll want to offer your cat plenty of chances for play during the day.
Offer your cat toys and opportunities to keep them busy. Some options available are puzzle, feather, and ball toys. Also offering a scratching post is a great way to keep them entertained.
When’s the best time for playtime? Right before bedtime, of course! Just like kids, you’ll want to get your cat on your routine. If you’re not able to do play during the day, offer a good session of play right before it’s time to hit the hay.
Knock out these common cat behavior problems and live in peace with your cat once again.
You’re obviously not alone if your cat suffers from any of these common behavior problems. After all, they are common. The great thing is, you can alter these behaviors. All it takes is a little time and dedication.
Always remember that is consistency is key. Make sure you keep up with the routine that is working for you and your cat. There will be peace in your household before you know it.
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