Don’t Let These Common Cat Behavior Problems Come Between You and Your Cat
What could be better than a fuzzy feline friend? Your cat knows just how to put a smile on your face with a well-timed purr or nuzzle. But life with a cat isn’t all cuddles and catnip. Scratching, spraying, and other common cat problems can leave you feeling frustrated and out-of-sync with your four-legged friend.
Don’t despair! Most common cat behavior problems have simple solutions. Try some of our tips for fixing cat behavior problems, so you can get back to the things you love about sharing your home with a cat. First, a few ground rules: Dealing with bad cat behavior? Schedule a trip to the vet. Especially if the problem behavior is relatively new, be sure to take your cat to the vet to rule out underlying health issues.
Top 5 Common Cat Behavior Problems and Solutions
1. Cats That Bite or Scratch People.
Feline aggression can derail the coziest of cat-human relationships. If your cat is getting under your skin (literally), ask yourself: Has my cat always been a biter, or is this behavior new?
Whether you have a long-term biter or a newbie to the scratch scene, there’s good news. Most cats can be taught to be more gentle with people—as long as you give them plenty of opportunities to express their aggression in acceptable ways.
The right kind of playtime! All cats need to play. They tackle, wrestle, swat, and bite. When your cat scratches or bites your hand, he probably thinks he’s playing with you. Never use your hands or feet to play with a kitten or cat. Get plenty of wands, feathers, scarves, and other interactive toys, and set aside at least 15 minutes every day to play with your cat.
2. Cats That Keep You Up at Night – Or Wake You Up Too Early In The Morning.
What’s the worst thing about a feline alarm clock? There’s no snooze button! If you’re getting dark circles under your eyes from dealing with your cat’s nighttime or early morning activity, there’s a solution.
Understand your cat’s nighttime behavior. Is your cat waking you up “on purpose,” or is he just being too noisy after bedtime? If the answer is the latter, put the jingle bell toys away after dark, and replace them with soft, foam balls that your cat can bat around without waking up the whole house.
If your cat is purposely waking you up—for example, by coming into your room and meowing loudly or pawing your face-try to figure out what she’s trying to get from you.
- • Is he bored or lonely? Make sure he has plenty of (quiet) toys. Also, make sure he’s getting plenty of stimulation, exercise, and companionship during the day. If you’re a one-cat household, consider getting a compatible cat companion.
- • Is she hungry or thirsty? Feed your cat on a schedule, and give her a big meal before you go to bed.
3. Cats That Scratch Furniture, Clothes, or Rugs.
Your cat’s claws can put a serious snag in your decorating plans. If you’re frustrated with your cat’s scratching habits, try a little behavior modification.
Scratching posts, scratching posts—everywhere. If you don’t want your cat to scratch up your sofa, you need to provide plenty of acceptable places to scratch. Invest in some posts your cat will actually use. Check out this link to learn how to choose a scratching post.
Accentuate the positive. Once you have plenty of scratching posts in place, combine gentle discouragement (like a squirt from a water bottle) when your cat sinks her claws into the furniture, with enthusiastic, lavish praise every time she approaches a post.
4. Cats That “Go” Outside the Litter Box.
Litter box issues are high on any cat owner’s list of undesirable behaviors. World’s Best Cat Litter™ Catvocate Layla Morgan Wilde outlines 5 easy steps for resolving litter box issues:
- 1. Rule out medical problems. An infection or other illness could be making it hard for your cat to control his bladder.
- 2. Location, location, location. Place litter boxes in pleasant, easily accessible places.
- 3. Upgrade your equipment. Make sure you provide plenty of litter boxes—at least one per cat—and that they’re large and comfortable.
- 4. Find the right litter. Cats can be finicky creatures, and the right litter can make all the difference. Try a natural choice like World’s Best Cat Litter™ to closely mimic the conditions of the great outdoors. We offer 6 natural choices so you find the right fit for your home.
- 5. Clean and fresh. Find a litter that makes it easy to keep the litter box clean.
5. Cats That Put The “Scared” in “Scaredy Cat.”
Cats are independent, but they are also social creatures by nature. Your shy kitty may never be the life of the party, but your dreams of feline cuddle time may still come true.
Respect your cat’s need for space. Your cat does need alone time. Provide safe, enclosed spaces that allow your cat to “hide” while still being part of the action. Try placing baskets or covered cat beds in social spaces, like the living room. If your cat can watch you from his safe space, he’ll gradually get more comfortable.
No one’s perfect, and your cat is an individual just like everyone else. If you can learn to accept her personal quirks, while curbing the more annoying cat behavior problems, you’ll soon be basking in cat-happy bliss.