Feline Behavior Problems -
How to Stop Them from Driving You Crazy
by Ann Wong
A question to all cat owners: Have you ever been driven to the brim of insanity by your beloved feline companion at times when it starts to display "odd" cat behavior problems like scratching on your furniture, or what about that all familiar litter box problem like "My cat is peeing outside the litter box". I can see you nodding your head now in agreement.
I bet your next question would be: "How can I solve these behavior problems?"
Well, to begin with, before accusing your cat of exhibiting these eccentric behaviors, which always seems the least bit logical to us as human, we have to first get to understand what is "normal" behavior to a cat.
For example, do you know that:
-Cats are predators in the wild and they need to sharpen their claws to kill preys and to defend themselves from predators.
-Cats by nature are not social creatures? Unlike dogs who like to live in groups, cats prefer to live alone and would not hesitate to defend its own territory even among its own species.
-Cats by nature are very clean animals (that's the reason for the constant self-grooming) and may be bothered by anything that is messy, smelly or dirty.
So, do these "normal" behaviors explain some of the "abnormal" behavior that you see in your cats?
Cats need to sharpen their claws and since they are kept indoors, their target would naturally be your furniture. Get them a scratch pole and these may very well be able to solve the problem.
As cats are not social animals, you get to see their aggressive nature especially when you introduce them to another cat or human. To avoid this or lessen the impact of aggressiveness, it may help by adopting a slow introduction.
Making sure that the litter box is clean at all times may help to stop or reduce the incidents of "out of litter box peeing or pooping", knowing that cats are by nature a "Cleanliness Freak".
Having said that, there are certain feline behaviors that are indeed "abnormal". Though it's nice to think that we can solve these undesirable behaviors simply by changing one thing, it is oftentimes, more complicated than this, and the root of the problem has to be established before a possible solution can be provided.
There are basically 4 categories of causes to the abnormal behavior in cats
1.A Stressful Environment
Many of the behavioral problems stem from one or more of the above causes. Most animals, including humans and especially cats are creatures of habit and they just simply prefer to do things routinely. This gives them comfort. Any changes in the environment which affects this routine would very often cause frustration to them and lead them to do things, which are deem to be "abnormal" by their owners. One of such behavioral problem seen is the beginning of a series of litter box behavior changes and inappropriate spraying.
Medical illness like diabetes, Feline urinary tract obstruction or even pregnancy may also lead to some behavior changes in cats which may be deemed "odd and annoying" to its owner.
Cats' personalities are very often inherited from their parents, and certain breeds may have peculiar behavior that is different from other breeds. For example, the genetics is one of the main reasons cited for Persian cat litter box behavior.
To find a solution to your cat behavioral problem, cat owners must first establish or eliminate the existence of any of these causes. To do so, cat owners may need to adopt the role of a detective and be an astute observer to your cat's daily life. It is important that cat owners keep a record of what changes in their cats behavior that they have observed and this may include details like, type of changes seen, onset of the change in behavior, duration of the change, full description of the abnormal behavior, etc.
With all these useful information on hand, the "SOLUTION" will become more evident.
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