Cat Behavior – How to Deal with Bad Behavior in Cats
By Claude West
Is your cat misbehaving? An aggressive or overly angry cat is not a very pleasant animal. Cats can actually be a danger to those around it and especially if that anger is directed at you with biting or excessive scratching. Kittens that play rough are trainable provided you do not play rough with them. How does a cat owner deal with this situation? Bad cat behavior when handled in a tactful manner is correctable without much retaliation from your cat.
- Do not yell at your cat. This action will do more harm than good. Cats, much like other animals, do not respond well to yelling and that will only make the cat fearful of you, or worse yet, angry with you. Pets that are angry with their owners tend to act out and misbehave on purpose, which creates an entirely different set of problems and does not correct the behavior problems.
- Cats hate water. The easiest way to discourage bad behavior is by spraying a cat with water if they are doing something you do not approve of. It will help reduce the chances of happening again because it learns faster from the negative conditioning of getting wet. Cover up your efforts and hide the spray bottle so your cat does not associate the spraying coming from you. You do not want the cat to become afraid of you because of the water bottle. This is called modifying behavior through repetition. Stick to that standard, and the cat will soon realize what is “bad” and what’s “good,” because bad behavior gets a spray to the face.
- Loneliness or boredom and make a cat become aggressive. In either case, give the cat with something to do. A scratching post or a toy is a simple way of entertainment, or you can handle it yourself and give your cat some personal attention. Playing with your cat makes him feel wanted and loved. Cats require less maintenance than dogs, but they do not handle loneliness and boredom as well.
- If you own a cat that routinely fights with other cats then the aggression is far too much to tolerate. Have your cat spayed or neutered if the activity is sexual in nature, or you can quit putting your cat out at night to stop the chances of getting into fights with other neighborhood felines.
- A firm “no” is a sign to a cat that such bad behavior is not wanted. As mentioned before, do not combine this “no” with hitting or slapping, because that will just make the cat act out more. However, a firm “no” without yelling, combined with a lack of affection such as petting or treats will send the message to the cat that in order to get the things he or she enjoys, (namely treats and affection), a change in behavior is necessary.
These five steps can change your cat’s behavior for the better and leave you with an all-around better pet than before. Changing your cat’s bad behavior requires patience, but the cat will eventually learn what to do if you deal with the behavior effectively.
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