Cat Behavior Problems – How To Prevent and Help Them

Does the cat show behavioral problems? What causes cat behavior problems and how to prevent, help and treat most common disorders / Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson - Flickr

Living together with cats is a lot of fun. People who love cats are often getting appreciated because of their stubbornness. Sometimes, however, the kittens show severe behavioral problems.

They become dirty, suddenly bite their owner or start nibbling on their tail. We need to start a root cause research; if the reason for the behavioral problems will found, this can usually be getting treated well.


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Common Behavioral Problems In Cats

Common Behavioral Problems In Cats
Common Behavioral Problems In Cats / Image Credit: Susanne Nilsson – Flickr

Uncleanliness is one of the most common behavioral problems in cats and can be getting expressed in very different ways.

Some cats mark specific points in the house; others suddenly stop looking for the litter box.

Another common problem is that the cat becomes aggressive, or the cat bites its owner or hits its legs and paws as it moves.

Especially in households with small children, aggressive behavior can be dangerous. Other cats hurt themselves, nibbling on their tail or their paws.

Some behaviors that have been getting seen as a problem by humans are part of the cat’s natural behavioral repertoire.

These include, for example, urine marking or scraping on wallpaper and furniture. Cats mark their territory in this way and send out signals to conspecifics.

In the household, however, these behaviors are undesirable. With a little patience, these behaviors of the cat can be getting changed.

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Real behavioral problems occur when the cat injures itself or others or harms their social network, such as suddenly responding aggressively to their fellow roommates.


Cat Behavioral Problems: Find The Causes

Behavioral Problems Find The Causes
Behavioral Problems Find The Causes / Image Credit: 游 焰熾 – Flickr

If the cat shows behavioral problems, the cause research must first be getting conducted. In case of sudden un-cleanliness, aggressiveness, or self-injurious behavior, the first way should lead to the veterinarian.

Frequently, organic causes are responsible for the alleged wrongdoing. Medical treatment often brings improvement.

Sometimes cats have to “unlearn” the misconduct, but additional behavioral therapy may be needed.
If organic causes are getting excluded, the life situation of the cat must be analyzed.

Through conspicuous behavior, cats often express that they bother something in their immediate environment.

Has anything changed recently?

Were new furniture purchased, were there any offspring or where the litter boxes changed over?

Humans can immediately recognize not all changes.

Perhaps a new cat has moved into the neighborhood, which now makes its babe disputed the area.

Maybe a cat feels uncomfortable in a pure housing attitude and expresses these behavioral problems.


Cat Behavioral Problems Due To Premature Separation From The Mother

Behavioral Problems Due To Premature Separation From The Mother
Behavioral Problems Due To Premature Separation From The Mother / Image Credit: Anderson Carlos Bueno dos Santos – Flickr

Many behavioral problems can also be getting traced back to incorrectly learned behavior during kitten time.

Kittens that are separated too early from the mother can often not learn proper cat behavior.

It is especially true when they grow up in isolation. Often cats play too aggressive, biting, and scratching.

Are the kittens still small, this looks cute on many people. Cat owners then often unconsciously reinforce the misconduct.

Once the cat is grown and can bite powerfully, the once cute beast becomes a dangerous behavioral problem.

We can prevent behavioral cat problems: kittens should be allowed to stay with their mother and siblings for at least 12 weeks, better still 14 or 16 weeks.

During this time, the little kittens learn essential rules of behavior.

If they are too frenzied or too intrusive, the cat mother quickly puts them in their place. When playing with the siblings, the kitten learns how far they can go in the fight.


Cat Behavioral Problems In A Multi-Cat Household

Behavioral Problems In A Multi-Cat Household
Behavioral Problems In A Multi-Cat Household / Image Credit: Jennifer C. – Flickr

Loneliness is another common cause of behavioral problems in cats. Contrary to popular belief, the velvet paws are not loners.

Not only kittens but also adult cats should be able to live together with conspecifics.

However, life in the multi-cat household can put a cat or cats under stress. It happens, for example, when too many animals live together in a small space.

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Maybe the cats living in the household just do not fit together. Because cats can not suffer, it starts to bullying.

Cats are after their conspecific, do not let him on the litter box or expel him from resting places.

Cat bullying can be so subtle that people only notice it when the annoyed cat shows behavioral problems.


Most Cat Behavioral Problems Can Be Treated

Most Behavioral Problems Can Be Treated
Most Behavioral Problems Can Be Treated / Image Credit: bartlettbee – Flickr

Once the causes of behavioral problems have been getting found, it’s time for therapy. Very important: People should never punish cats for their wrongdoing.

Cats express behavioral problems that make them feel unwell and under stress anyway. Punishment only increases the pressure and scares the animal besides.

The therapy always depends on the cause of the unwanted behavior.

In the case of dirtiness, it can often help to set up more litter boxes, to try a new cat litter, or to put the toilets in a different calmer place.

If there has been a significant change, more attention can boost the self-esteem of the cat. Some aggressive animals feel under-challenged and need more animal welfare.

Rewarding desirable behaviors is an essential part of the therapy.

Also, people need patience and understanding for their four-legged friends. It may take some time until the trigger for unwanted behavior is getting found.

It can take several weeks for a therapeutic approach to be successful. Sometimes different methods have to be tried out until the cat feels well again.

The faster cat owners respond to behavioral problems, the better they can be treated.

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FAQ Cat Behavior Problems

Should we punish unclean cats?

Do not punish unclean cats! All this can make the cat feel uncomfortable and insecure and react to it. Most often, the animal becomes unclean, urinating next to the litter tray, in shoes or pillows. People are often helpless, do not understand this, and then act wrongly out of ignorance. Some owners shake their animal or pull the cat with their nose through the puddle of urine. It is supposed to help as an educational measure, but it only makes things worse. The animal is even more insecure and frightened, which only increases the problems.

Can cat mobbing lead to a problem?

If several animals live in the same household, the problem can also be bullying. People often only notice it when a cat becomes unclean or aggressive. It is usually getting observed that the animals cannot stand each other. They visit humans and cats at home and look at the living conditions. The view from outside helps because I see things that the owner does not understand.

What to do about the behavioral problems of the cat?

More attention can help. With a baby or a new partner as a cause, sometimes more attention to the cat can help. Basically, the faster you intervene, the better and quicker a problem behavior can be getting treated.

Is tail nibbling a behavioral disorder in the cat?

Tail nibbling is a behavioral disorder. There is a difference between behavioral disorders and behavioral problems. The first category includes, for example, continually chasing the tail, or nibbling and sucking it. It can lead to inflammation and damage, so that in the worst case, part of the tail may have to be amputated.


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The best health advice for your cat will give you your vet. Ask them about Cat Behavior Problems and How To Prevent and Help Them.


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