Help with 4 Common Cat Behavioral Issues
Similarly, when cats struggle with behavioral issues, it tends to be for one of the following reasons.
1. Litterbox or Spraying/Marking Issues
When it comes to litterbox training, cats generally don’t need a lot of help. Most learn to use a box from their mothers. All you need to do is show them where yours is and keep it clean.
Still, it’s not unheard of for a cat to decide they want to mark their territory or to just quit using their litterbox out of the blue.
If the problem is that your cat is urinating around the house, the problem could actually be a medical issue. Your poor puss may have a urinary tract infection or is trying to pass painful crystals – a problem seen most in males.
Another common reason cats snub their litterboxes is because it’s not being kept clean enough. Cats can be fairly particular about where they relieve themselves.
You may also want to try a new location. Many felines don’t feel comfortable near large appliances that make noises.
Finally, have there been any recent changes that may be causing your furry friend some stress? Have you moved recently? Did you introduce a new pet? Even another cat may be enough to break their litterbox habit. The same goes for a houseguest or new (human) arrival.
2. Scratching Up Your Furniture
Cats feel the need to scratch for a number of reasons. It removes the outer layer of their claws after it has died off. It helps them stretch. Scratching is also a way of marking their territory.
Of course, sometimes, cats decide to scratch on their pet-parents’ furniture, along floorboards, on doors, and other areas that require expensive repairs.
The good news is that this is almost always a very simple – albeit, annoying – problem to solve.
Purchase scratching posts posts and place them in the areas where your feline-friend likes to do the most damage. Be sure to run your fingers over it first, so they hear the noise and understand this new item’s potential.
Then, it’s just a matter of training. Whenever you see your cat sizing up your property, intercede and redirect them to the post.
You can also use nail caps until your kitty figures things out. Your cat can keep scratching, but they won’t be able to do any damage.
Here are some more helpful resources about this issue:
- Train Your Cat to Stop Scratching Your Couch in 7 Days or Less
- Prevent Cat Scratching with the “3 D’s”
- The Best Products to Stop Your Cat from Scratching Your Furniture
3. Scratching or Biting People
It’s not uncommon for kittens to scratch and bite a bit when you first bring them home. They’re still very young and just learning the ropes, which is why it’s important that you teach them that this is not okay.
What you don’t want to do is teach your kitten that your hands are toys. For example, if you make a game of pawing at their faces, don’t be surprised if they react by clawing and biting back. Even if this is tolerable at a young age, keep in mind that their tiny teeth and claws will soon be much bigger.
If you want help staying scratch-free while your kitty quits the habit, check the above section where we introduce cat nail caps. This will render your cat’s claws harmless until they quit scratching.
Many pet-parents become understandably frustrated with felines who scratch or bite them during a loving session of petting. Usually, though, the problem is just a miscommunication. Your cat tried telling you they wanted you to quit. When you didn’t, they stepped up their signal.
Here are common signs your cat is ready to be left alone:
- Ear flicking
- Narrowed eyes
- Shifting their position
- Tail thumping
- The sudden stop of purring
Many cats simply don’t like to be touched in certain areas. If you realize they only lash out when you pet them on a certain part of their body, that’s the spot to avoid.
If you’d like further help teaching your cat to play nice, check out the following articles:
- 9 Tips to Stop Your Cat From Biting
- How to Stop a Cat from Biting When Playing
- Pet Subjects: How Can I Stop My Cat from Clawing Me?
4. Socializing with Dogs and Other Cats
Cats can be extremely social creatures, but they can also become very stuck in their ways at an early age. It’s actually a personality trait most of us find very endearing.
That said, sometimes, this means a cat doesn’t want any nonhuman friends. While it may be flattering that they think you’re more than enough, it can will things very difficult if you’re trying to live in a multi-pet household.
When it comes to two cats, it’s usually a good idea to begin introductions slowly, starting with scent. Put the new cat in a room where you can shut the door, so they get comfortable with this foreign space. Then, let your other cat sit outside the door and get their smell down. Slowly but surely, you can then go on to introduce them after they’ve become accustomed to each other’s scents.
Now, if you plan on introducing your cat to a dog, you should begin with a similar method. However, the first time they meet face-to-face, your kitten should be safe inside their crate and your dog should be on a leash, so they can get familiar from a safe distance.
Here are some helpful guides that will go into greater detail about both scenarios: