Author Topic: Understanding your cat  (Read 5146 times)

Offline Tan

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Understanding your cat
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 14:36:50 PM »
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Since the days when ancient Egyptians elevated cats to goddess status, the animals have been known for their independent, mysterious ways and aloof nature. (Translation: they're snobs.) Although they can be every bit as emotionally demanding as dogs - they, too, want to be petted and played with - cats typically are much cooler customers, frequently pretending they couldn't care less about their human caretakers.

No matter how vexing cats can be, just remember that they're not trying to get your goat, but rather, they have reasons for their actions (either biological, medical or psychological). Your cat, for example, does not know that she has ruined your £5,000 rug! All she knows is that you have moved her litter box next to the washing machine, and she's scared. Or that you have bought a new type of litter that she dislikes. While cats have excellent memories, they won't understand if you rub their noses in misplaced poop and yell at them. Being hit will only teach your cat to fear you, which is the worst move you could make if you want to train her to do anything right in the future. Cats are quite logical creatures and in most cases, there is a clear explanation for your cat's behavior.

The following characteristics are biologically inherent in cats:

Cats are hunters (mice, take note).

Cats are territorial.

Cats like to jump onto high places and creep into small, dark nooks and crannies.

Cats are nocturnal.

Cats sleep 50 to 75 percent of the day.

Cats defecate away from where they eat.

Cats like to scratch things (and they need to scratch things to keep their claws healthy).

Cats like objects that amuse them, especially when left home alone for long stretches of time. These objects include: house plants, curtains that blow in the breeze, electrical cords, shoelaces, feathery boas left on the backs of chairs, and open garbage cans.

Cats do not respond well to physical violence, screaming, intimidation, or being chased by infants with scissors.

Cats like to perform on Broadway.

Now that you know what makes cats tick, it should be a bit easier to figure out what's at the root of "bad" behavior. Often the cause is either medical or due to a change in lifestyle or environment.

When your cat starts acting weird, you should first make sure that the cause is not medical-related. Urinary infections can cause random peeing, while rabies-although unlikely due to mandatory vaccinations-can cause aggression. The last thing you want to do is reprimand your cat when the behavior isn't her fault.

Lifestyle or environment.
Is there a new baby, dog, cat, or mother-in-law to introduce stress? Did you move recently? Has your schedule shifted so you are working different hours or longer periods of time?
Despite their independent nature - cats in the wild come together only to mate - house cats suffer from boredom and stress. So if you think excessive changes are the cause of your cat's naughtiness, give the cat lots of attention and playtime when you get home. Limit your kitty's interactions with the cause of the stress (say, another cat or a new baby) at first, and then gradually allow her to have more and more contact with the new entity.

Take a look at our other threads on spesific behaviour patterns and learn why 1st, you are then half way there to solving any problems!!  :)


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