|Common Cat Behaviors Explained|
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Common Cat Behaviors Explained
Cat behavior can at times prove intriguing and irritating. Your cat behaves in an extraordinary
fashion only because of some special cause. There are never any bad cats. It is only that your
cats are trying to inform you about something, probably, which you are unable to understand.
Therefore, train your cat right from the start and pay attention to its behavior patterns to
understand what your cat wants to convey.
Cats could sometime howl incessantly and at odd times. It could also meow or cry loudly. Or it
could keep going round your legs. It could try inappropriate scratching on furniture or carpets.
Often such attention seeking behavior is due to stress or anxiety. Such emotions could be due to
a recent change of residence, your new baby or pets in your home, your prolonged absence from
home, or aggression or sickness of another cat.
An old cat howling in the middle of the night may be due to growing senility with increased
deafness. Sometimes, cats race around the house rolling fur on their back. See your vet to confirm
if it is due to Rippling Skin Disorder or feline hyperesthesia. Veterinarians suggest simple dietary
changes coupled with medication for eradication of fleas and toxins. A regular exercise program
can bring marked behavioral changes in your cat.
Cats asking for your attention would keep going round your legs. Insistent meowing is also
another form of getting vocal with you. Schedule some time to sit and talk to your cat. It will
meow back and soon would be happy talking to you. Make it a routine and your cat will mostly
stop meowing and wait for the specific time to come. Similarly, inappropriate scratching is a form
of getting your attention.
Incessant meowing could also be due to pain. In case of excessive stress or anxiety,
veterinarians might suggest anti-anxiety drugs, (tranquilizers used to relieve anxiety and reduce
tension and irritability).
Aggressive Behavior towards People
Aggression in cats towards people could take the form of biting, fighting, or scratching. Some cats
behave aggressively due to inadequate training as a kitten. Biting and scratching are natural
instincts of a cat. Right from the start, you should teach your kitten or cat that your hand is not a
toy for scratching or biting.
The most effective way to instill discipline is to hold your cat by the scruff of the neck, push
downwards, and utter a firm ‘No’. This mimics similar disciplinary action by the mother cat in its
childhood. You can release your hold after few seconds. This incident stays in its memory for a
Bored cats also resort to aggressive behavior. Provide a new and interesting toy. Sometimes
excessive petting could stimulate your cat. You may not pay attention to its feelings expressed
through pulled back ears and narrowed eyes. It could be also due to hormonal imbalances,
unnoticed wounds, or distress due to fleas and mites. Veterinarians could suggest simple
remedies for these problems.
Aggression towards Other Cats
Cats within the same household could behave aggressively at times.
Play fighting or aggression between related and unrelated kittens and cats is normal. Their
natural survival instinct induces them to be predative and stalk other cats. On a playful note, one
will pounce on the other and it will continue into a repetitive process. Although, this is harmless in
the short term, it could establish the pecking order, if this play continues for too long; it could lead
to severe aggression with scratching sessions.
Sexual Aggression is easily identifiable. One cat would try to mount another with hip thrusting
movements and bite at the nape of the other cat’s neck. Try hissing at the cat. Your action should
be gentle yet firm. This should cause your aggressor cat to be in a subservient posture for some
time. It could roll over. The victim cat would move away whining.
Territorial Aggression could erupt suddenly between cats of the same sex or different sex. This
aggression is normally through territorial marking or urine spraying. Normally, the aggressor cat
would attack other cats with laid-back ears, straight posture, hissing, and growling. The victim cat
would move away submissively accepting the social hierarchy. Sometimes, the victim cat will
refuse to accept this and serious fighting could ensue.
The best way to deal with this is to separate the two cats physically and keep them in separate
places so that they do not come across one another. Be careful while separating them, as they
may not recognize you in their fight and you could suffer injuries. Separation could be for few
hours or days. The cats later find ways of settling scores between themselves. They may even
forget the incident.
In serious cases, your veterinarian could suggest medications like Buspirone, Amitriptyline, or
Valium. Feliway Plug-In releases pheromones into the atmosphere to calm aggressive cats.
Chewing Incidents by Cats and Kittens
Cats and kittens engaging in destructive chewing could cause a lot of harm to your possessions
and health of your pet. Chewing could be gnawing at furniture, computer cords, electrical wiring,
and other things. Chewing could be due to boredom, simple curiosity, nutrient deficiency, or
teething in kittens. You can provide lot of different toys and playthings for your cats and kittens to
relieve them of boredom. You could give them self-exploring cat towers, tunnel shaped cardboard
boxes, or wall or mounted toys.
Chewing on electrical cords could cause instances of choking, electrical shocks, and even death.
Discourage such action by making all electrical cords and wires inaccessible to your feline pets.
You can cover all cords with pre-split hollow tubing or try using corrugated tubing. Apply various
rows of double-sided sticky tape around any cord tangles.
Spray bitter apple spray on your cords to prevent such chewing incidents by your cats.
Cats could chew on houseplants, some of which are poisonous for them. Remove such plants or
spray them with bitter apple spray. Some cats chew on leather and fabrics. You can try hiding
these chewable favorites or spray bitter apple spray on them. You can also provide specific
teething toys for your little kittens to chew on while their teeth come in. Plastic drinking straws
prove to be an ideal chewing plaything for kittens and adult cats alike.
Cats and Their Destructive Scratching
Claws prove to be the greatest weapon of a cat. It is their natural instinct to scratch claws
against hard surfaces like furniture and carpet sheaths. This is to sharpen their claws and remove
a transparent sheath that grows over their claws restricting free movement of the claws.
Additionally, it tones the shoulders and back muscles of your cat. Yelling or physical punishment of
your cat for this behavior only causes confusion. Instead, use simple remedial measures to
protect your furniture and allow your cat to scratch.
Build a few sturdy vertical scratching posts and cover with a hard material like sisal. Put them
around the common scratching places in your house. Play around this new post for some time and
soon your cat would recognize and use it as an ideal scratching post. Give small rewards to your
cat for using this post. This refrains cats from going to other scratching options.
Another way of discouraging unwanted behavior is to spray your furniture with citrus-scented
spray. You can spray a little water on your cat when you catch him in the act. Otherwise, place
some aluminum foil on couch arms and sides. Similarly, stick double-sided stickers around your
furniture to prevent cats from venturing anywhere there. Shake a can with a few pennies the
moment you notice your kitten or cat scratching at some forbidden place. Cats dislike this sound
and will stop immediately.
Litter Box Misuse
Kittens need appropriate litter box training in their initial months. Normally, cats and kittens like to
have individual litter box. Their box should be immaculately clean. A slight change or odor can
make your cat go to the bathroom outside the litter box. Also, check your cat for any urinary tract
problems. This causes pain while urinating, so cats associate this with the litter box and therefore
pee outside the box. Immediate medical help is necessary to fix the problem.
Cats are jealous and possessive. A new pet, baby, or anything that restricts his share of your
attention can disrupt your cat’s behavior. Cats are habitual creatures. If you have moved in
recently or shifted the litter box elsewhere, give adequate time for your cat to adjust to new
surroundings and come back to a regular routine.
Sometimes male or female cats indulge in spraying to mark their territory. Stress could also be
one cause for such unjustified action by your cats. Veterinarians suggest anxiolytic drugs,
although the results take time to work.
Compulsive Behavior by Cats
Cats and kittens sometimes develop compulsive behavior of wool sucking, fur pulling, or excessive
licking. There is no explainable cause for such behavior, although many associate it with early
weaning from the mother. The best way to keep your fabrics safe is to keep all woolens like
sweaters in closets and drawers out of reach of your feline pets.
If you cannot move away carpets, try spraying it with bitter sprays or cayenne pepper. This
dissuades cats from chewing. A water pistol or shaking a can of coins can scare away your cat if
caught in action. Another way of stopping such unwanted chewing habits is to change the diet of
your cat or kitten. Include more fiber by adding wheat or oat bran in every meal. Chewing lettuce
leaves proves very effective. Include crunchy foods like bacon or green beans in your cat’s diet.
Anxiety and Stress in Cats
Stress can stem from anywhere but it affects cats drastically. Stress can causes severe behavioral
and health problems. It causes aggressive behavior, litter box avoidance, withdrawal, or
depression. Cats cannot accept environmental changes easily. Moving into a new house, having a
new spouse, the inclusion of a new baby or new pet can cause stress. You need to reassure your
cat that he is still the most preferred. You can do this by giving him sufficient time to adjust, and
allow him to accept the new environment and people at his own pace.
Death of a family member or another pet can cause extreme stress in cats. You can overcome this
by giving the cat a piece of clothing of the deceased. This makes up for the absence of their
Restrict and lower your personal stress levels to bring about changes in your cat’s stress levels.
There are various homeopathic and other medical remedies.
||The above is an extract from the ebook Understanding, Caring for And Training Your Cats
|Table of Contents
Cats – An Overview
Cat Breeds Info
• American Bobtail
• American Curl
• American Shorthair
• American Wirehair
• British Shorthair
• Cornish Rex
• Devon Rex
• Egyptian Mau
• European Burmese
• Exotic Shorthair
• Havana Brown
• Japanese Bobtail
• Maine Coon
• Norwegian Forest Cat
• Russian Blue
• Scottish Fold
• Turkish Angora
• Turkish Van
Common Cat Colors
• Solids And Smokes
• Cats with white markings
• Tortoiseshell, Patched Tabbies, And Calicoes
• Pointed (Siamese) Pattern
Before You Buy a Cat
• Your Situation
• The Breeder
• The Cat Itself
Selecting a Cat that is Right for You
• Kitten or Adult
• Male or Female
• Behavioral Patterns
• Physical Appearance
• Purebred or Mixed Breed
Where Can You Buy a Cat?
Common Cat Behaviors Explained
• Attention-Seeking Behavior
• Aggressive Behavior towards People
• Aggression towards Other Cats
• Chewing Incidents by Cats And Kittens
• Cats And Their Destructive Scratching
• Litter Box Misuse
• Compulsive Behavior by Cats
• Anxiety And Stress in Cats
Creating a Healthy Environment for Your Cat
Common Cat Diseases And Health Problems
• Cat Diseases And Health Problems
The Vaccinations Your Cat Really Needs
Caring for Your Sick Cat
• General Instructions
Keeping Your Cat Healthy the Natural Way
Twenty Tips for Caring for Your Cat
Grooming Your Cat And Hygiene
• Regular grooming
• Nail trimming
• Additional Foods for Your Cat
• Essential Tips
Playing And Exercise
• Simple Toys That Provide Exercise for Your Cat
Housing Your Cat
Introducing Your Pets to a New Cat
Training Tips for Cats
• Essential Training Tips
How to Train Your Cat - And What Not to Do
Important Do’s of Cat Training
• Important Don'ts of Cat Training
How to Train Your Cat to Walk with a Leash
Training Your Cat to Come When Called
• Essential Tips
How to Litter Train Your Cat
• Litter Training
More Litter Box Training Tips
Stopping Your Cat from Biting
Curbing Your Cat's Aggression
Stopping Your Cat from Eating House Plants
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