Cats are notorious for their bad behavior. While dogs are definitely more active, cats have the most access when in the house. They can leap kitchen counters and reach places where you store food, which means that it becomes extremely important to train your cat into not reaching for the food.
Unfortunately, that is just one of the few bad cat behaviors every cat owner has to contend with. If your feline is driving you insane with his persistence, following are some tips on how to correct bad behavior.
Shoving Stuff Off the Counter
Cats are normally nimble and can easily avoid items on the counter. This is why when something is knocked down, it is almost always done on purpose. Cats do this for absolutely no reason at all or in order to bring their humans by their side fast. Cats that are bored or who think food is overdue may also do this often to get their human’s attention. The best way to handle this problem is by giving your cat toys to keep him happy. Ideally, these toys should tempt them away from the counter and onto something more exciting. Kitty towers are perhaps the best example of this, allowing the feline to lounge and slighter their way through boxes and caves. Remove temptation from the counter as much as possible, especially if you have got breakable materials or things that could spill.
Litter Box Acclimatisation
Cats are meticulously clean animals and where a cat is not using the litter box or cleaning itself it will more than likely be stressed or unwell and needs to be seen by a veterinarian. It is rare that a cat will urinate or defecate outside a litter tray inside the house and if so there is a very good reason beyond their control.
Cats are not naturally trained to use litter boxes but they learn quickly - show the cat the litter box and place it in the litter box a couple of times, they will learn very quickly, usually within a matter of hours. You must however keep the litter clean and dry – if you allow the litter tray to build up with too many faeces or get too wet a cat will not use it as they are very clean animals and will then use the floor/carpet – your fault not theirs.
The litter box and type of litter itself should be taken into consideration.
Ideally, there should be one litter box per cat and two litter boxes for every three cats should suffice.. Hence, if you have one cat, you should have two litter boxes ready for the little guy. What you put inside the litter box also matters.
Try to stick to a good quality basic kitty litter for your cat as, like their food, this is not a place to cut corners.
Scratching the Furniture
This can be an expensive problem, so provide your cat with an alternative scratching post where he/she can work on those nails. If your cat persists with the habit pick him/her up and say NO, and take your cat to the scratching post and place their paws gently on the post so that they get the picture.
Sometimes a cat will stretch up and put their claws into your furniture while looking at you to you’re your attention. Animals are fur kids and need attention and play.
Simultaneously, use a spray on the furniture to “repel” the cat and force him/her to find a different scratching post for his/her personal use. You can also get the vet to trim your cat’s claws regularly but never remove claws as it makes cats vulnerable to predators such as dogs because doing so renders them unable to climb.
Most cats have no problem with eating the food that is given to them – in fact, they demand it!
Some cats can however be picky eaters and like humans and some dogs eating is not a big issue in their lives, or perhaps they just do not like the taste.
Do keep an eye on their condition that it does not deteriorate and also ensure that your cat is drinking water and not dehydrating as this would be an indication of a medical issue.
First off, if you are introducing new food to your cat, he might not take to the new one immediately. In this instance, slowly changing the food would be best. For example, you can mix 50-50 of his old food and new one. Gradually, you can lower the amount of old food and increase the new one, allowing the cat to get used to the taste.
Leave pellets down all the time and keep them fresh but soft foods should be fed only in small quantities and only in the morning and evening with adults. With kittens, frequency of feeding increases.
Unless your cat is not eating for days, there’s really no need to panic. Some cats can be stubborn and for those of you who are cat owners you will know that a cat will outlast you. Lack of appetite combined with abnormal lethargy should be checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The good news is that cats are quick learners and will bring you many years of wonderful companionship albeit that they expected to be worshipped, a sad legacy of the Egyptians but which cats have not forgotten.
Annie Anderson is the founder of MeowKai, where she and her associates write about cat behavior, health issues, and tips and tricks on how to get your cat to behave!
It concentrates on creating the best life for you and your cat so you can enjoy each other’s company and build that trust that is so important between pet and human.