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Why Cats Do the Things they Do

Cats are fascinating creatures. For centuries the feline mystique has intrigued us with their independence while captivating us with some of their very odd behaviours. Well odd to us; in the cat world it is probably considered quite natural.

Some odd behaviours are innocent and view it as what a cat does. Other times a peculiar cat behaviour could be cause for concern. To understand some of your cat’s behaviour, it is necessary to recognize signs of distress or if it is seeking attention.

A cat learns through experience. If the cat enjoys the experience they will try to repeat it. If your cat finds the experience unpleasant, they will avoid it at all cost. A few examples would be scratching and clawing at your furniture. They enjoy this activity and continue to do it. As for getting their nose to close to a burning candle is definitely an unpleasant experience and will completely avoid this activity.

When training, there are a couple of fundamentals to help understand your cats behaviour. Make sure the activity is exceptionally rewarding and pleasurable to your cat. If you don’t want your cat to indulge, such as scratching and clawing at your furniture, it cannot be rewarding or enjoyable, instead it must be unpleasant.

Here are 6 cat behaviours to watch for and what to do

Litter Box Avoidance

Is your cat avoiding the litter box? Often this could be your cat doesn’t like the litter or the box.

What to do?

Fill it with unscented litter in an uncovered box. Make sure to scoop out the waste at least once a day. Cat’s prefer the litter box where there is not a lot of traffic. Maybe try more than one box different areas of your home. Try different types of litters.

Urine Marks and Sprays

Cats use their urine for territorial purposes. It is saying to other cats to back off of their turf. Marking and spraying will appear when in conflict with another cat, feeling insecure, or on the prowl for a mate. Conflict arises as well when too many cats are in the same house space, or there has been a change in routine.

What to do?

One way is to have your cat spayed or neutered. Another is to use a natural cleaner such as an enzymatic cleaner in the spray spots. If your cat continues to spray, contact your veterinary clinic for advice.

Straining or Blood in the Urine

Watch for any sign of straining or blood in the urine. As well watch for small amounts of urine frequently voided are signs there might be trouble with the urinary tract.

What to do?

If you witness any of these signs of urinary problems you should have your cat checked by a Veterinarian as soon as possible. Male cats are especially susceptible to urinary problems.

Cat Scratching

Cat’s love to scratch. They do it for play, stretch, sharpen claws, and especially to mark their territory. This leaves your furniture, carpets, and drapes vulnerable to your cat’s pleasurable activity.

What to do?

Place different types of sturdy scratch posts around your home. Make sure they will not fall over when the cat scratches the post so the experience is always rewarding and pleasurable for them. Hang toys and balls on the post for the cat to play.

Rough Play

It can be a bit tricky to know if a cat is playing or scraping. Cats pounce, swat, scratch and bite. When a cat gets a piece of you by scratching or biting, it hurts.

What to do?

Use cat toys such as balls and a fake mouse for them to pounce, swat and scratch. Discourage a kitten from playing with your hands and/or feet. Those little innocent nips from a kitten will turn into bites or claw marks from a full grown cat.

Compulsive Behaviour

You may find your cat repeating the same behaviour over and over. It could be normal or in some cases it may be a sign of a problem.

What to do?

Your cat might need a diversion to relax. Build structures where your cat can climb or get a fish tank they can watch. If the behaviour seems abnormal to you, seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Schedule regular, routine time with your cat to provide undivided attention. Your cat is part of the family and wants nurturing in the sense of petting and playing games. Consider these tips to set up your home for your cat to be praised for good behaviour. If you like more advise or your cat is showing signs of a peculiar behaviour contact Pawsitive Veterinary Care by phone 250-862-2727 or for emergency 250-215-0547 or a Veterinary clinic in your area.

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