Behavioral Problems in Cats and What Could They be Indicating?

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Cats are notoriously independent, and it isn’t always easy to predict what is going around in their minds. What looks like a behavioral problem can often be an indication of an underlying you will need to address. A healthy and happy cat will bond with you, and will not create any apparent problems within your household. A cat that is not using the litter box properly, or that is behaving aggressively with you or another pet, or one that is howling at night and keeping you up, are all showing signs of other problems. When behavioral problems crop up in a pet, it is possible to find a remedy to the situation by helping them adjust their behavior patterns.

While occasional behavioral issues don’t cause much of a concern, when these behaviors become chronic, then you may have to consider visiting a vet. Many behavioral issues stem from underlying health concerns, and your cat could need treatment, so it gets better. For example, a cat that is not using the litter box may be suffering from a disease such as an infection or even a kidney stone. If there is no overt explanation for why your cat is behaving in an abnormal way, then visiting a vet is the only option in order to understand what your pet is going through.

What are the behavioral issues you need to watch out for as a pet owner?

 The most common behavioral problems pet owners face have to do with waste elimination outside the litter box, excessive aggression, howling, active night-times, and scratching. Many of these can also be solved right at your home with a few simple tricks. However, if the behavior persists or you notice your feline friend appearing sick in any form, take them to a vet immediately.

  • Litter Box Issues: If your pet has been eliminating their waste outside the litter box, the first thing you need to check for is whether you are cleaning the litter box regularly or not. You should generally keep one litter box per cat in multi-cat households. The litter box has to be cleaned daily because cats are very finicky about where they eliminate waste.
  • If you have a regularly cleaned litter box and your cat is still not using it properly, you will want to check for the color of the urine. If it appears red, or like blood, or your cat shows any other sign if discomfort while trying to eliminate waste, you should visit a vet as soon as possible. Certain illnesses, such as a urinary tract infection, a kidney infection or other diseases, could be the reason behind why your cat is not using their litter box. 
  • Scratching: Cat owners often complain about cats scratching their furniture and leaving scratch marks behind. The easiest fix to this is simply to buy your cat a scratching post. A cat keeps their claws sharp through scratching and scratching post, which is designed to give your cat exactly what they want, which will deter them from scratching anything else.
  •  If the problem persists, buy your cat some claw claps. These are simple clip-ons you can attach to your cat’s nails, and they won’t be able to destroy any more furniture. It doesn’t hurt your cat, it simply acts prevents them from leaving scratch marks.
  • Night-Time Activity: A cat that is over-active at night needs more activity during the day. You can tire your cat out by playing with them, engaging with them more often, or by engaging them in more playtime activities.
  • Howling: If you have a female cat, then you will notice that she suddenly starts howling during certain times of the year. This is nothing to be alarmed about, and she is howling to attract other male cats as it is the breeding season. The howling can keep you up at night, and if it becomes a problem then spaying/neutering your cat could prevent the issue from reoccurring
  • Some cats become aggressive because they are unhappy or stressed. If you have multiple unspayed male cats living in the same area, it could also cause increased aggression among them leading to fights. The only way to deal with the situation is to spay the cat. The ideal way to deal with such situations is first to isolate whether your cat is aggressive due to a medical issue, such as pain or illness, or due to territorial or other behavioral problems, and plan their treatment from there.

A cat that is regularly given food, water, attention, and care will thrive in any household. However multi-pet, especially multi-cat households, need to ensure that all their animals are neutered so that aggression doesn’t break out among your pets. Taking your cats to the vet for regular health checkups will also keep you alerted regarding any medical issues that can crop up. Behavioral problems are not uncommon among cats, and with love and care, you can overcome those problems and build a strong connection with your pet at the same time.

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