Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and there are plenty of reasons why these adorable, playful creatures have earned this reputation. Unfortunately, however, not all cats are perfect little angels and sometimes you’ll find yourself living with a cat that doesn’t exactly act like your ideal kitty. Whether your cat has suddenly started to display aggressive behavior towards people or other animals in your home or she has become increasingly withdrawn and distant, there are steps you can take to help fix the behavioral problem before it gets worse.
1) Set a Routine
If your cat's acting out, it might be because they’re stressed. Cats are naturally creatures of habit and thrive when their habits are consistent. Create a routine with them—feed them at regular times; give them daily play sessions and affection; pick up their food bowl at a specific time each day. By giving your cat something dependable in their life, you can help make them calmer overall. Keep in mind that creating an entirely new routine overnight can be stressful for cats, so gradually implement changes over time instead of shocking them all at once.
2) Don’t Punish Bad Behavior
The best way to get your cat not to do something is not by trying to scare them or punish them when they do it, but instead, reward them when they don’t. Cats tend to be quite intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement; try practicing clicker training with your cat. This will reward them with treats when they follow orders (in context of course), and can even train your cat away from bad habits such as scratching furniture or meowing excessively. If you don’t have time for clicker training, simply giving your cat attention or petting when they don’t exhibit these behaviors may work just as well!
3) Provide Enough Playtime & Toys
When your cat is roaming around or scratching furniture, he’s sending you signals that he’s bored. Cats need mental stimulation—they are, after all, quite intelligent creatures. If you don’t provide enough opportunities for playtime and exploration in your home, your feline friend will get their entertainment elsewhere—usually at your expense. Make sure there are plenty of things for them to do around your house (like those puzzle feeders) and make sure they have an abundance of toys and other objects that can keep them occupied for hours on end.
4) Train Your Cat
Some behaviors are only cute when they’re kittens. When they’re full-grown, not so much. Some cat behaviors stem from stress, anxiety or other negative emotional states—so although it may seem like your kitty is being intentionally naughty, that isn’t always the case. To fix behavioral cats and make life easier for everyone in your home, you might want to consider training them. Cats can be trained with treats and discipline; some even learn faster than dogs! If you have a naughty kitty on your hands, try positive reinforcement. Teach them what you want instead of punishing unwanted behavior with swatting or harsh words. It’s more effective and will help ensure harmony in your household for years to come. For example, if you have a cat that scratches furniture give them a treat when they use their scratching post instead of your favorite chair.
5) Take Your Cat to the Vet
Another common reason cats act out is because they’re dealing with an underlying medical issue. If your cat has recently become violent or aggressive, be sure to have her checked out by a veterinarian right away—your vet may be able to identify and treat any underlying health problems that could explain why your kitty has developed these behavioral issues. Think of it as giving her a long-overdue checkup. And while you’re at it, don’t forget about yourself! Make sure you're up-to-date on your own routine wellness exams too. Regular veterinary care for both you and your pet is not only smart and convenient, but in many cases can help extend life expectancy and even increase quality of life. When travelling to the vet, you want your furry buddy to be safe, secure, comfortable and calm, plus you don't want to struggle to get your feline into a carrier with one one door. So checkout our very own Easy Load Travel Pet Carrier
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Cats are just like people—they have their own preferences, and they respond differently in various situations. Luckily, you can often tweak things at home to avoid major disputes. Next time your cat starts having trouble with its litter box, or you see that it’s scratching up your couch or knocking over its water bowl too much, consider these five tips. By making simple changes around your house and recognizing some of your cat’s most common behaviors, you may find yourself with a more content feline!