Tag Archive | Behavior

Rough Housed by Your Kitty? Here are some tackle tips…

 

Play aggression in cats/kittens is a very common cat behavior problem. Biting and scratching during play are typical of play aggression, a behavior most commonly observed in young cats and kittens. To read more about why and how of cat behavior problem of aggressive play you can also visit http://www.tailwaggers.in/cat-behavior-problems-play-aggression.html. Meanwhile we give you some easy and helpful tips to tackle your cat’s aggressive behavior problems.

 

English: A Persian kitten play fighting with i...

English: A Persian kitten play fighting with its owner. When separated from mother and siblings, a kitten would engage in active play fighting with humans. Play fighting may involve playful biting, but the bite is generally not serious. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What can you do to tackle this play aggression?

 

 

 

  • Firstly it is very important that you keep a track on your cat’s behavior to understand the pattern of aggression so that you could detect and rectify this problem in the early stages of cat’s development.
  • Secondly A bell on a breakaway collar around your cat’s neck clues you in to his whereabouts thereafter you could deny him/her his favorite stalking places. This will contribute to discourage the cat from stalking.
  • Usage of noise deterrents like human-generated hiss, a can filled with pennies or a hand clap at the onset of stalking could be very useful and discourage your kitten from being aggressive. Remember, your aim is to startle the cat not scare him.
  • Another cat companion for your lonely cat could help a lot. The new friend will give him an outlet to vent his youthful energies as well as show him the boundaries of playful biting and scratching.
  • Simply walking away and ignoring your kitten is highly effective; it teaches him that the consequence of rough play is no play.
  • Keep all of your play objects at a distance from your hands, so your cat has no opportunity to bite or scratch you. If you can predict when the attacks are likely to happen, toss a toy ahead of you to attract the cat’s attention away from your feet. Avoid rough play with the cat, and make sure all family members comply.
  • Toss moving objects like ping-pong balls, walnuts, or aluminum foil balls for your cat to chase. Provide climbing perches, scratching posts, and ball toys that deliver food when batted about. Buy a fishing pole toy with feathers on the end to dangle in front of your cat. Imitation bugs on wires, feather wands and catnip mice on a string that can be made to bounce erratically work best. (For safety’s sake, keep these toys out of reach when the cat is not supervised.)

 

Always remember never slap/beat your cat. It is not only cruel but also the pain of being struck can lead to more aggressive behavior, and your kitten will learn to fear and avoid you. So good luck and have a blast!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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How to make your cat use the litter box..

The most common of all cat behavior problems is that of elimination outside the litter box. Besides the mess and damage, inappropriate elimination is unsanitary and creates an unpleasant (and often malodorous) atmosphere in the home.

 

Sometimes your kitty suddenly begins eliminating in inappropriate places which could be a sign that she doesn’t feel well. You’ll never make any progress on getting her to use the litter box consistently if there’s a physical cause for the unwanted behavior, so get her to the vet as soon as possible.

 

Apart from physical reasons, it could also be something psychological such as the location of the litter box. Maybe it’s too far out of the way (for example, down in a basement or up in an attic) or too hard to get into or out of for small kittens or elderly cats. Sometimes, air fresheners or other odors in the room will keep the cat away. Pine and citrus, for example, are pleasing smells to us but may be offensive to cats. Also, loud noises, such as a nearby stereo, may disturb your cat when she’s doing her business.

 

Before you try to treat inappropriate elimination as a behavior problem, take your cat to the vet for a thorough exam. If your vet rules out a physical cause, you know it’s probably a straight behavior problem. However, even if there is a physical problem and your vet treats it successfully, your cat still has developed the habit of eliminating someplace other than litter box; you’ll still need to follow the steps for correcting the behavior problem. Here are some helpful tips:

 

Give your kitty a lot of options: Litter boxes and litter should be bought simultaneously with the decision to get a cat. Set them up before the cat sets a single paw in your home. Make sure they are clean, easy to find, and numerous enough as many cats dislike using a box that another cat has recently used (even if that other cat is herself). A litter box in every room could help your cat feel more comfortable. A useful thumb rule to follow is: The number of litter boxes in the house should equal the number of cats in the house plus one. Thus, if you have two cats, you should have at least three litter boxes; even households with just one cat should have at least two boxes.

 

Keep it simple silly: These days a lot ofinteresting options are available in the form of Deodorizing litters, antibacterial litters, high-tech litters etc. There’s nothing wrong with using a litter that makes your job of tending to the litter box a little easier but it is likely that your cat may be put off by the additives, perfumes, and chemical deodorizers used in some of these products. And that means they’ll choose to do their business elsewhere. A plain cat box clumping litter (unscented) usually works fine.

 

Stop the behavior initially: Once a cat starts eliminating outside of the litter box, do not assume she’ll learn to use the box on her own. Cats habitually return to the same places to eliminate, a habit that’s re-enforced by the lingering odor of urine or feces. Since a cat’s sense of smell far superior to ours, cleaning up a litter box accident so that you can no longer detect the odor may not be enough to deter the cat from doing it again. Therefore it is necessary to stop your cat after her first accident itself. You can do some of the following things:

 

  • Block the favorite spots: Deny your cat access to places where she’s eliminated outside the litter box. Physical barriers work well, but if that’s not possible, try covering the spots with tinfoil or double-sided tape. This provides a barrier to the odor and a texture the cat won’t want to walk on. If possible, consider placing a litter box directly on top of the inappropriate spot, and then gradually move the box an inch or so every few days, until it’s where you want it to be.
  • Appropriate restraint and reward always works: When your cat first comes home, keep her in one room with a litter box. Once she’s using that box consistently, give her the run of more rooms. Usually, this is enough to lock in the habit. However, a cat that doesn’t completely get the hang of the litter box — or backslides and starts eliminating in other places — needs some additional training. The best method is to use a large portable dog kennel. Set the cat up in the kennel with litter and water and give her meals in there, too. When you see her use the litter box, let her out for a recess. Keep an eye on her, and return her to her private quarters after an hour or two. The next time you see her use the litter box, let her out again. The idea is she only gets free run of the house when she uses the litter box. This strategy can train (or retrain) a cat to use the litter box in as little as two or three weeks — but longer isn’t uncommon, either.

 

Always remember that Cats have an instinct to dig in loose materials and bury their urine and feces, and many of them adapt this instinct to the litter box with few problems. But it’s still something they have to learn, and they often need help to get the lesson right.