One of the most common complaints people have about cats is problems with eliminating (urinating or defecating) outside of the litter box. In one study, 57% of cats referred to a veterinary behaviorist were referred for this problem.1 In another study, roughly 1 in 4 cats surrendered to a shelter had a history of daily or weekly elimination outside the litter box.2 And a third study showed 9% of cats showing this behavior within three months of adoption.3
While it is one of the most common issues cat owners face, it is also one of the most frustrating, and is one of the reasons there are countless numbers of cats now in animal shelters across the country. Many cat owners feel there is nothing they can do about the problem, but that isn’t the case. Making a few environmental changes can improve or even solve the problem and make everyone in the household much happier.
Topics: Cat Behavior, Urine marking, Cat marking territory, Urine marking in cats, How to stop cat from spraying, Cat marking in house, Stop a cat from spraying, Stop cat spraying, Female cat spraying, Cat behavior problems, Cat spraying, Cat Tips
Just like with humans, cats can experience stress that may cause them to act in unpredictable ways. One of the most common causes of cat stress is when they perceive their environment to be unpredictable or unsafe. If the environment does not provide the cat what he needs, he reacts unfavorably.
If you have an aggressive cat, life can get rough.
While aggression in cats is tough on you, it may be even tougher on your cat. Identifying the root cause of the aggression and taking steps to alleviate the situation could lessen the aggressive behavior or eliminate it all together.
The first step to take when you notice aggression in your cat is to visit your veterinarian. There are many underlying medical issues that can cause aggression, including elevated thyroid levels and joint, muscle or stomach pain.
A veterinarian may take a blood sample, x-rays, an ultrasound, or run other tests to rule out any medical issues. Once those are ruled out, you can implement behavior modification strategies and start making environmental changes to see results.
The truth is that cats do have these needs and providing an environment that addresses these needs is important. Cats still have all the characteristics that allow them to live a feral, undomesticated lifestyle, but think about the difference their “natural” environment looks like versus a home environment. You have to address socialization and stimulation in the home in order for the cat to live a full, happy life.
Many pet owners don’t realize that cats need socialization and stimulation. Cats are characterized as “independent” or “self-reliant” and some people actually choose to bring them into their home because they are considered less “high-maintenance” than dogs.
Topics: Signs of a Happy Cat, Playing with Your Cat, Happy Cat, Play & Environment, Environmental Enrichment, Cat Socialization, happy cat behavior, environmental enrichment for cats, how to make your cat happy, how to play with your cat, socializing a cat, is my cat happy, Cat Toys