The love for your cats doesn’t change, regardless of the cat behavior issues they sometimes exhibit. Here is a list of the top 5 cat behavioral problems that sometimes drive cat parents nuts – and suggestions for improvement.
1. Running through the house in the middle of the night.
Does it ever seem like your cat sleeps all day and then wakes you up at 3 am running through the house like a crazy cat on speed? It happens to us too. A way to remedy this is by having a ‘before-bedtime’ play session with a string, ball or the little red dot. Then feed them a nighttime meal. Just like children, some exercise and a full belly will help them sleep at night.
2. Going outside the litterbox
This is one of those cat behavior issues that almost made us clinically crazy. First thing’s first: If your cat starts urinating outside the litterbox (without having any changes in his environment), get him checked for FLUTD. Cats with urinary tract problems will go outside the box to let you know that it really hurts.
If there’s no urinary problem, try changing the litter. You may have to experiment with several different types, but some cats are super picky and like their litter a certain way. You also want to be sure it stays scooped and is in a private and comfortable spot. They like their privacy just like humans. We have one cat that requires his littler be scooped twice a day, every day.
3. Scratching on furniture
Cats scratch stuff to work off energy, mark their territories, fix their nails and show excitement. The best way to remedy this is by providing furniture that they can scratch. Make their cat tree or cat furniture is inviting by spraying it with cat nip or putting it in their favorite scratching spot. Then put something discouraging on the furniture that you don’t want scratched, like double-sided tape. Cats can’t stand their paws getting sticky, so this will stop them from using your furniture as a scratch pad.
4. Excessive play aggression
You’ll see more of this in kittens than in older cats, but it can sometimes be overwhelming to always have your ankles attacked by a kitten hiding under your couch. The scratches hurt too. Providing plenty of toys and distractions will help. Make sure that you have ample play time with your kittens. If this doesn’t help, try taking on the role of the feline and hiss at them when they attack. Don’t scold them though, as they don’t understand punishment – like spanking or yelling.
5. Spraying in the house
This is also one of those cat behavior issues that make pet parents crazy. If your cat is spayed or neutered and still sprays in the house from time to time, do everything you can to reduce their stress. Some cats only spray when their owner is gone, which is a co-dependent type of behavior. Other cats spray to mark their territory because someone/something new has been introduced into the home. Extra love during times of change in your cat’s life will drastically help to reduce the stress – and hopefully stop the spraying.