Top 10 Cat Behavior Problems Owners Should Know

Cat Behavior ProblemsEven owners of many cats for many may come across behaviors that are unfamiliar or worrisome. Many cats are different, and react to stimuli in different ways. When dealing with what looks like cat behavior problems, try to understand the reasoning behind the behavior, and how best to handle or alter the behavior. Punishment rarely works for cats, so keep this in mind.

Below are the Top 10 Cat Behavior Problems owners should know, and the best ways how to handle each.

1. Excessive Grooming — Cats who are under great sense of anxiety may develop a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, licking until there are signs of damage. First discover if there are health reasons for this, and if not, find ways to reduce stress and encourage healthy behavior.

2. Dominant Behavior — Not all fights that cats get into are aggression, but may be a cat seeking dominance. A dominant cat may also demand more attention, food, high places to perch, or not cover their waste in their litter box. It is best to not attempt to discourage from what seems like cat behavior problems, as these are natural ones for cats.

3. Predation — When owning other pets, a cat who has spent time outside may mistake a parakeet or gerbil for prey. To curb these tendencies, keep a cat indoors from an early age. Lessen potential danger by placing negative stimuli (like double sided tape or repellent) around the other pet’s cage, and play often with your cat to release some of his desire to hunt.

4. Phobias — Cats are naturally skittish by nature, harkening to their wild ancestors. However, if phobias develop, try to gradually ease the cat into the situation or stimuli in non-threatening ways until their fears lessen.

5. Spraying — Cat spraying causes are usually explained as territorial and sexual markings. When your cat is twitching his tail and padding the floor, it is often a sexual behavior. If spayed or neutered, most cats will stop spraying.

6. Cat Aggression Towards Other Cats — Always gradually introduce cats to one another, get them used to each other in non-threatening conditions before allowing them to associate.

7. Cat Aggression Towards People — Often this is a case of a human not understanding cat’s body language. Kittens separated from littermates very young will not understand when “enough is enough,” or may stalk at inappropriate times. For this, toss treats or toys in a direction away from yourself, and the cat will usually move its attention elsewhere. A cat who’s aggressive to small children may only be so because children don’t understand when a cat does not want to be messed with. Monitor child play with cats, read the cat’s body language.

8. Not Using Litter Box — A cat can be picky if they smell waste. Remember to clean litter at least once a day, if not twice. Use unscented litter, and place the box in a calm environment away from their food, water, or too much activity.

9. Hypervocalization — Some cats react to stress or new situations by meowing “too much,” while some breeds are just naturally chatty. If the cause is stress, do as much as possible to lessen it.

10. Cat Scratching Carpet or Furniture — Although significantly less dire than most on the list, it tends to be the number one of cat behavior problems. Buy proper scratching posts, place negative stimuli around furniture, and reward use of scratching posts through attention or treats.