Have you ever stared at your cat, wondering what is going on in its cute little head? Of course you have. Cats are very mysterious creatures, and their behavior frequently defies rational explanation. Or does it? The truth is, while a cat’s behavior may seem to make absolutely no sense, there is usually a reason a cat does the things it does. Here, we will explore the most common cat behavioral problems, why they happen, and what to do about them.
Litter Box Avoidance
This is among the most common, and most annoying cat behaviors cat owners experience.
It happens when your cat needs to relieve itself and opts to do so anywhere in the house, but the litter box. Commonly it will do this right next to the litter box, almost as if it is making a disgusting mess out of spite.
But it is not out of spite that your cat does this.
There are actually a number of reasons your cat may be avoiding the litter box, and spite is not one of them. Your cat may be experiencing a health issue concerning its bladder or urinary tract. This is why it is recommended that if your cat is steering clear of the litter box, you will want to visit the vet to make sure a medical condition is not the culprit.
Your cat may also feel that the litter box is a poor fit or is uncomfortable using it. This is often due to the fact that the litter box has been used by another cat, or that the litter box is too dirty.
You may want to try using separate litter boxes if you have more than one cat, and clean the litter box more frequently.
Cat Scratch Fever
Another common annoyance that most cat owners contend with is a cat which overzealously paws and scratches everything it can, from curtains and wallpaper, to clothing and furniture. This can be incredibly frustrating to those who want to keep a perfect home, especially those with leather furniture.
Cats usually do this to let out excess energy, but they also do it as a display of territory ownership or even just to file down their claws.
The most popular solution is to place a designated scratching post or two around the home as a cat scratch lightning rod. Hopefully, the cat will recognize the post as the best thing to scratch and leave your precious fabric and upholstery intact. You can buy these at the store or even make one by wrapping a rope around a block of wood.
If this does not work, you can attack the problem at the source, by trimming your cat’s claws or fitting your cat with nail caps, rendering its claws useless.
Did you know cats are naturally nocturnal animals? It’s true. Though this may not surprise you if you are one of the many pet owners who deal with a cat who thinks 2 AM is the perfect time to do wind sprints across your bed and have a party.
Luckily, it is perfectly possible to calm your cat down at night and sync up your bed times.
Like many items in this post, you will want to rule out any medical explanation for erratic night time behavior. The explanation could be that the cat is in pain and cannot sleep, so a visit to the vet may be in order.
Other ways to mitigate this are to make sure your cat is tired by the end of the day. You can do this in any number of ways, including playing with your cat just before bed, leaving toys around the house for your cat to play with, or even feeding your cat just before bed.
Are you noticing tender spots with no fur on your cat’s skin? How about constant scratching, licking and biting? This is not normal behavior. In fact, it is indicative of a wide range of medical causes including allergies and fleas. No one wants to see their cat in pain, so what do we do about it?
You will want to start by speaking to your vet about what the ultimate cause may be. If it is fleas, the good news is, there are plenty of flea control options available.
Pawing and Biting
Sometimes when you’re spending time with your cat, she will bat your feet with her paw, pounce at you, or even bite you. Don’t worry. Your cat is (probably) not trying to kill you. In all likelihood, it is just playing.
If you aren’t for taking on your feline friend in a spirited bout of play fighting, it is recommended that you provide your cat with other distractions to draw her attention. The traditional ball of yarn works well, but to really allow them to let out their aggression, a stuffed toy with the likeness of prey (like a mouse) is recommended.