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Cat Behavioral Issues

 Submitted by Michael Adams on April 13, 2010

The cat is a very independent animal and is not as demanding of attention as dogs. Cats are generally easygoing creatures that are polite and self-possessed. However, cat behavioral problems can be varied and can sometimes become annoying.

  Keep in mind that it may not always be easy getting your cat to do things your way. Training your cat has to be done on feline terms.

Cat aggression takes many forms such as fighting, biting and scratching and can stem from many causes.

You need to understand the reason behind problematic behavior in cats and then take the necessary steps to prevent or stop such behavior. Here are a few cat behavioral problems and ways to cope with them:

  • Surface Scratching: This behavior in cats will leads to surface damage on walls or furniture, but you must remember that your cat is not trying to be destructive. In fact it is totally natural behavior. A properly constructed scratching post can help you to deal with this problem. By doing so, you will prevent your cat from damaging household goods and allow it to have fun with the post.
  • Biting: Cats generally bite when in pain or when being forced to do something they don't want to do. Most cats that have been treated well and share a bond with their owner will not really bite, but simply nip or pretend to bite. This can also be the result of a nervous system disorder or a serious disease. You should never allow your pet kitten to play with your bare hands or feet. This will prevent the full-grown cat from repeatedly climbing your leg or batting your thumb. You should have a spray bottle or squirt gun full of water and when your cat digs in with its tooth or claw, give it a spritz of water. This will help it in associating the action with the inconvenience of suddenly getting wet.
  • Finicky eater: Finickiness is a famous feline trait. If you provide your cat with nutritionally complete and tasty food, it will eat the same food daily. You shouldn’t stock up on a variety of foods. Doing so will only make your your cat a finicky eater. You must try the 20 minutes-and- up-method where you put down the food and wait for 20 minutes. If your cat doesn’t eat it, take it back and don’t give any snacks or other meals. It may take few days or several weeks but through persistent cat behavioral training you can teach your pet not to be fussy about food.
  • Spraying: Urine spraying is one of the most common cat behavioral problems. This type of behavior most often appears in unneutered young adult male cats. The main purpose of urine spraying seems to be marking territory. Spraying may be stress induced when there are multiple cats in the house. You must ensure that every cat gets enough attention and exercise as this helps in coping up with the problem.
  • Litter box problems: You must put out separate litter boxes in case you have multiple cats. Change the litter frequently and never use strong smelling chemicals to wash or disinfect the litter box. You must try and find the most preferred location where your cat wants to use the box. It may also be due to texture preference problem, so you must experiment with different textures of litter boxes. You must provide constant access to the litter box and eliminate any frightening noises near it.
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