I’ve heard so many of my friends complain about their cat urinating on the carpet, tearing the curtains, or biting into something of value. They call it vandalism. Is this correct? And in my opinion, it’s likely a conditioned response to environmental stimuli and I think I can help you improve your cat behavior.
I’ll come back a bit to the question I posed at the beginning: What do you expect from your cat? And I think all the traits that I’ve come up with to answer the back can be summed up in one phrase: Ease of control. That is understandable because no owner wants to be the reluctant janitor to clean up the mess his little friend makes. But raising a cat is not that simple. And even though it has been tamed a long time ago, the cat still retains in it the spirit of a wild animal.
I will list a few behaviors that can be classified as “destructive behaviors”:
- Urinating indiscriminately
- Scratching, chewing, or biting objects in the house
- Spanning the body too much
- Eating feces and foreign objects
- Attacking strangers or even the owner
You consider these behaviors destructive simply because they annoy and tire you. But have you ever tried to figure out why your cat presents herself/himself in such a negative way?
The above behaviors all have their explanations and I think you can study them a bit. For example, cats scratch furniture because they want to sharpen their nails, remove dead skin, or hide their sovereignty. Or the fact that cats urinate indiscriminately may be because the litter tray contains materials that they do not like. However, if the above behaviors are persistent and destructive, it could be due to a medical condition or because you spend too little time with your four-legged friend.
How to improve your cat behavior
Different destructive behaviors of cats come from different causes and of course, come with different solutions. This is my experience.
1. Spend time with your cat
I’m not going to “teach” you how to own a cat because I’m simply not qualified to do it. But I can show you how to be its friend.
Many acts of vandalism simply stem from your cat wants your attention because you spend so little time playing with it. So what do you think about spending about 30 to 45 minutes a day playing with them instead of just coldly leaving the food bowl in the corner to complete the obligation? It’s that simple, isn’t it?
You can hold it in your lap, pet it and play with it. When your cat shows signs of progress, you can reward her with some cake or dried fish. This will strengthen the bond between you and your cat as well as show her/him that there is much more to play with.
2. Give her/him some toys
Manifestations such as biting, scratching, chewing on objects in the house come largely from the cat’s instincts. Because their teeth and claws grow very quickly (especially adult cats), they see these activities as solutions.
To deal with this you can turn cat living spaces into portable play areas. One of the things I recommend to have in your home is cat trees. They have a surface exactly as required by cats, rough, hard, and have great friction to create a feeling of pleasure when grinding. Plus, depending on your cat’s behavior, you can choose between horizontal or vertical cat trees. But I also have to share that Alesha (my British Shorthair) took quite a while to get used to this new friend. You need a little patience to encourage and reward them when they start interacting with cat trees. Besides, you can also arrange them near the places where cats often play to distract them.
Along with cat trees, biting toys are also a reasonable choice for cats to perform martial arts. You can add stimulants like catnip to increase your little one’s enjoyment.
3. Renovate the cat’s toilet or diet
Excretion is an essential life activity of any animal. And having your cat go to the toilet in the wrong place is not only annoying for you but also a manifestation of mental problems. The selection of the litter tray with the wrong size, the sand layer is too dirty or the placement of the tray is not reasonable inadvertently put pressure on and prevent the cat from going to the toilet as you would like.
If the cat pees indiscriminately occur with a high frequency, make a little renovation in the cat’s “toilet”. You should try different types of sand to find the one that your cat likes best. Most cats don’t like smelling sand, dusty sand, or deodorizing sand. Besides, you should remove dirty sand at least once a day and add new sand. Wash the sand tray weekly with soap. Do not use harsh cleaning agents or ingredients containing ammonia. Cats like quiet places, so you need to choose a certain corner for your little friend to relax without worrying about the dangers around and at the same time avoiding the sand from getting out.
You also need to train your cat to go to the toilet in the right place from an early age.
In addition, cats can be mentally inhibited by inappropriate foods. You can mix fresh and dry foods.
4. Take care of cats more
With their exploratory nature, after long naps (cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day) they will have a surplus of energy. And the fastest way to relieve it, of course, is still to play. A small yard is enough for the cat to stretch, sunbathe, scratch, bite, or do whatever it likes. Don’t hesitate to take your cat outside. If you have spare time, surprise your cat with a picnic.
My Alesha loves going to spas. And believe me, no one doesn’t like beauty. Trim nails short, exfoliate in between toes. However, you also need to balance your budget because the fees are not cheap.
5. Talk to your doctor and find a solution
You may be the one who knows your cat best. No one can deny that. But that is if in terms of personality, habits, or emotions. If we take the matter a little more scientifically, many cats tend to be spoiled by the diseases they have.
I’m talking about the cat’s self-ingestion of feces or other foreign objects. This symptom can come from pathological causes such as intestinal inflammation, malnutrition, … Or one of the most difficult manifestations in cats is their “grooming” (self-licking). Too much can stem from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
If you can’t deal with “destructive behaviors” in your cat on your own, take her to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Biochemical tests or motor-reactive tests will give accurate results up to 80% or more of the problems your cat is having. And then, the treatment regimens given by your veterinarian will be the most effective way to improve your cat behavior.
Depending on the different behavior of your cat, you can consider different treatment options. But from my point of view, all four-legged friends’ destructive behaviors have their causes. Give your cat care and understanding, that’s the shortest way to help you improve your cat behavior.
Good luck and thanks for reading!