While cats are amazing, complex, and unique creatures, life with them isn’t all cuddles and catnip. Scratching, splattering, and other common cat problems can frustrate you and cause you to lose touch with your four-legged friend.
If you find yourself in this position, don’t despair! Most of these behavior problems have simple solutions.
The first thing to note is that if you notice your cat exhibiting destructive behavior, schedule a visit to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.
HOW TO SOLVE THE TOP 5 CAT BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
- CATS THAT BITE OR SCRATCH PEOPLE.
Feline aggression can derail the warmest of cat-human relationships. If your cat is getting on your nerves (literally), ask yourself this question: has my cat always bitten, or is this behavior new?
Whether you have a cat that has been biting for a long time or a newcomer to the clawing scene, there is hope for change. Most cats can be taught to be gentler than humans, as long as they are given plenty of opportunities to express their aggression in acceptable ways, such as positive forms of play.
All cats need to play. They attack, fight, kick and bite. When your cat scratches or bites your hand, she probably thinks she’s playing with you. Do not use your hands or legs to play with a pet kitten or cat. Get plenty of sticks, feathers, scarves, and other interactive toys, and set aside at least 15 minutes a day to play with your cat.
- CATS THAT KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT – OR WAKE YOU UP TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING.
What’s the worst thing about a cat alarm clock? There’s no snooze button! If you have dark circles under your eyes from your cat’s nighttime or early morning activity, try these solutions.
Understand your cat’s nighttime behavior. Is your cat waking you up “on purpose” or is it just too loud after bedtime? If it’s the latter, put away the bell toys after dark and replace them with soft foam balls that your cat can spin without waking the whole house.
If your cat wakes you on purpose, such as by coming into your room and meowing loudly or pawing at your face, try to figure out what she is trying to get from you. Is he bored or lonely? Make sure it has plenty of (silent) toys. Provide stimulation, exercise, and companionship during the day so he doesn’t have to search for them at night.
If you only have one cat, consider finding a companion that will keep him busy and active during the day.
Does he wake you up because he’s hungry or thirsty? Make sure you provide adequate food during the day and enough water to get him through the night.
- CATS THAT SCRATCH FURNITURE, CLOTHES, OR CARPETS.
Does your cat have a habit of destroying furniture in your home? Try using a little behavior modification to stop his bad habits.
If you don’t want your cat to scratch your couch, you need to provide plenty of acceptable places for her to claw. Invest in posts your cat will use and sprinkle them with catnip to encourage her to choose the position over the sofa.
If you notice your cat scratching your clothes or furniture, gently discourage this behavior by spraying him with a bottle of water.) Praise him enthusiastically and generously every time he approaches a post.
- CATS THAT DON’T WANT TO USE THE BOX.
The litter box problem is one of the most frustrating and difficult for cat parents to solve. Litter box aversion is the number one reason cats are surrendered to shelters, but there are many ways to combat this problem and help your cat learn to always use the litter box.
When it comes to litter box aversion, it’s important to rule out medical problems first. An infection or other illness could be preventing your cat from controlling her bladder.
Next, consider the location of your kitty’s litter box. Is it easily accessible, in a private but comfortable area? Just as you wouldn’t want to use the toilet in a dark, cold corner of the basement, your cat won’t either.
Make sure you have several litter boxes, especially if you have several cats, as they can become territorial. A good rule of thumb is to keep one litter tray per cat, plus an extra one. Make sure they are large and comfortable. You should also note the age of the litter boxes and replace those that are more than 2 or 3 years old, as plastic boxes can absorb residual odors over the years.
In addition to these tips, try slowly switching to a litter containing a cat attractant in your cat’s current litter box, to attract her to the litter box. Be sure to clean the litter box daily to keep it clean and fresh.
- CATS THAT ARE “SCARED” IN “SCAREDY CAT”.
Cats are independent, but they are also social by nature.. Your shy cat may never be the main attraaction at the party, but your dreams of feline cuddles may still come true. It’s important to remain patient with your cat because if you get upset, you risk increasing their anxiety and reclusive behavior.
Respect your cat’s need for space. Your cat needs to be alone to feel comfortable and safe. Provide enclosed spaces that allow your cat to “hide” while being part of the action. Try placing baskets or covered cat beds in social spaces, such as the living room. If your cat can watch you from her safe space, she will gradually feel more comfortable.