Cats are wonderful, fun and furry friends that bring a lot of joy in your life. If you’ve been a long time cat owner, or you’ve just adopted a new cat or kitten, some of their behaviors might confuse you or make you wonder. Unlike dogs, whose behaviors are a little more straightforward, cats have a wide range of different quirks. Some behaviors aren’t always welcome though, and can be problematic for you, your pet or the house in general. Here are some of the most common problematic behaviors in cats, and a small explanation about them:
Cats use their urine to mark their territory and tell other cats to “back off”. This usually happens when they’re in conflict with another cat, when they’re feeling insecure or when they are looking for a mate. If there are multiple cats in the house, or if there has been a sudden change in the routine, there is a higher risk of your cat spraying. Neutering or spaying your cat can stop the spraying, but if he/she continues even after, talk to your vet.
It can be hard to tell whether your cat is playing or attacking sometimes. Pouncing, biting, scratching and swatting are normal cat behaviors, but can actually hurt even when you’re just playing. Your cat might have a lot of energy, so it might be helpful to channel all of it into toys like balls or fake mice. A paper bag can also entertain your cat well. Never encourage your cat to play with your hands and feet when they do, because they will continue this behavior even in their adulthood.
Playing At Night
There are some cats that become hyper at night, and can cause a lot of ruckus as you try to sleep. If you think your cat prefers the night, plan beforehand for it. Play with your cat through the evening so she gets tired out, and feed her just before you go to bed so that you will be undisturbed. You can also get a timed feeder that can save you the trouble of being woken up for more food. Don’t attend to your cat unless you think she is hurt, however, as too much attention can encourage the same behavior.
Too Much Meowing
Grown cats meow only for people, and don’t meow to each other. Most of the meows are to greet their owner, to ask for food, or to ask for attention. If your cat cries as she meows for food though, feed her when she is a little quieter. If she keeps meowing for attention, give it to her when she is quiet. If you always respond to her crying, it will encourage her to keep doing it. However, if she meows a lot and you can’t figure it out, or if she seems distressed, make sure to visit the vet to figure out why.
Cats groom themselves to look good as well as to calm themselves. However, if they overdo it, it can actually hurt their skin. If this happens, ask your vet o check for any skin conditions first. If there has been a sudden stressor, such as a change in routine or a new pet in the house, you can reassure your cat and play with her to reduce the stress.
If your cat becomes extremely aggressive, call and talk to your vet immediately. Don’t approach a cat that is showing signs of a stiff legged stance, widened eyes, or growling. Even if you have a strong bond with your cat, don’t touch her or go near her. She may be stressed or frightened, or it could also be due to other health issues. Safety of your cat as well as the people in the house comes first, so ask for professional help.
Avoiding The Litter Box
This could be happening because your cat doesn’t like the litter or the box. The best way to keep your cat going to the litter box is to use unscented litter in an uncovered box that is cleaned out once a day. Keep the box in an area that isn’t crowded or noisy, and try out different types of litter till your cat agrees with one.