Our beautiful feline friends are one of the most beloved and cherished of pets. It’s hard to find someone who has not spent at least part of their life with a cat. They are beautiful, entertaining, affectionate, and do double duty as self appointed rodent catchers, and even insects will be attacked and kept in their place by diligent cats. Humans and felines are a match made in heaven, but problems can and do arise. If problem cat behavior is not addressed, it can lead to great frustration and heartache for the human, and possibly a loss of home and family and even life for the cat.
Many of the problems with cat behavior, are not really problems, but instinctual feline behaviors. A kitten is driven by instinct to jump out from the shadows and attack. The fact that it’s your leg is of no difference to that kitten. That doesn’t mean that cute bundle of fur can’t be taught. A quick squirt from a water bottle can begin to teach that legs should not be attacked. Yes, it’s hard to carry around a water bottle, but it won’t take long for that little kitty to learn and your legs will once again be safe.
Biting is another issue with kitten food. I live with a 17 year old neutered male who has been known to grab my arm and bite it in the middle of the night! Not too hard, but of course this is unacceptable behavior. He want’s my attention, wants his tuna and thinks he can get me to do his bidding. Cat’s are very focused on what they want! I stopped this behavior by reacting loudly, clapping my hands and not giving him what he wants. I have learned to watch his body language during the day. A flicking tail from him means he’s annoyed and beware!
Another big problem for cat owners can be the litter box. If a cat isn’t using his litter box, the first thing that should be determined is if there is a medical problem. A cat urinary issue, or some other digestive upset can cause this behavior. A cat is very sensitive to stress and these stresses can be difficult for us to determine. It might be a new cat or person in the house, or even a cat or poodle in malaysia that he sees lurking around his yard. It could be as simple as your cat not liking the new cat litter you bought, or the type of litter you’re using. Until you learn the reason for the misbehavior, your cat should not be given free reign of the house because you do not want soiling of clothing or furniture to become a habit. This behavior has caused many cats to be surrendered so it is necessary to address it early on. There’s always a reason, you just must find it. A good place to start is with your vet.
Whatever you do, never scream at or strike a cat. They won’t know what they did wrong and will only be frightened and stressed further. A cat doesn’t understand that scratching on your new leather couch isn’t ok. Especially if you haven’t given him an scratching post as an alternative. The butter left on the counter is almost irresistible to a cat, and hissing and puffing up is a natural way of warning that they want to be left alone or are afraid. None of these behaviors make the cat bad, but they are a problem for us. With understanding and patience we can learn why our cats are acting like they do and then find a way to modify the undesired behavior. Our cat companions are certainly worth it.