Living with cats will mean experiencing cat problems in some form at some point. In each case the first thing to look into is the cat’s health. Changes in a cat’s well-being can often lead to changes in behaviour. Other problems with cats are often a reaction to changes and other things cats perceive to be stressful. Problems with cats are often more pronounced with cats that have been adopted from animal shelters.
Cat problems can have serious causes. Mistreatment may have had adverse effects on a cat’s personality. In many cases, to gain such a cat’s trust requires extra patience and reassurance. But it’s very rewarding in the end.
It’s important to be prepared for the kind and amount of effort it can take to gain the friendship of an abused cat. There’s nothing worse for a cat than an unprepared person having to return it to the shelter. This not only exposes the cat to extra stress and another instance of rejection, but many shelters put cats down that are difficult to place.
On the other hand it’s important to remember that what we consider cat problems may be just natural behaviour patterns. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the feline personality to avoid misunderstandings. Trying to override the feline nature will not lead to good results. If someone’s situation in life can’t accommodate cats’ natural behaviour, it’s best for everyone’s sake not to adopt a cat.
But it is possible to avoid or get a handle on existing cat problems. Some compromise can be achieved with the right training.
The five most common cat problems are:
– avoiding the litter box
– scratching furniture
– being too noisy
– eating/digging up houseplants
After eliminating health problems as a possible cause, you can explore them further as to other possible causes.Interestingly, many cat problems are in some form manmade. Let’s look at a few examples.
Many types of cat litter and litter boxes are designed to appeal to the human customer. They might not appeal to cat quite so much. Or the litter box in kept in an awkward place. Cats like them to be as far as possible from their food and water dishes, away from drafts and allow them some privacy, or you can try to use dog food in Malaysia. Some cats don’t like sharing with puppy malaysia. A new litter box can solve this. Even the most conscientious cat person may be stressed and forget to clean out the box. The cat might just have reacted the way we react to a dirty public toilet, by going somewhere else.
Scratching is also a normal activity. Clipping the claws can minimize the need to scratch. The absence of proper scratching posts may give cats an excuse to take it out on the furniture. To further put off cats, non-toxic scents that they dislike can be applied to the furniture. It can also help one’s peace of mind to keep valuable pieces of furniture in a cat free room.
People that complain about cats scratching and biting have often brought this on by themselves. Whether it’s playful or serious, it should be discouraged firmly but kindly. Over time cats will come to understand that such behaviour doesn’t get them what they want but gets them ignored.
Similar to the previous problems, cats that practice vocal blackmail have trained their human to give in to harassment. Steadily ignoring it is the only way to end it. But it requires patience. The cat should never be punished physically or go without anything it really needs.
Eating grass and other plants is another unpopular but perfectly normal habit. One wouldn’t really be happy about one’s prize orchids being eaten or chewed. In addition to being unpopular with humans it can be very dangerous. By providing safe grasses (most are safe, but prior research is vital) and keeping dangerous and valuable plants out of a cat’s reach, danger and damage can be avoided. Citrus and eucalyptus essential oils can be applied to the soil to discourage digging.
This article illustrates that many cat problems are relatively simple to manage. But in some cases, more elaborate measure are needed. I plan to discuss this in future article.