Common Behavioral Problems in Cats

If a cat deviates from its normal behavior, it can be due to many different things.

It is important to always first and foremost find the underlying cause of the behavior change that can be both physical or mental.

Regardless of what behavioral problem a cat has, it is very important to always make sure that the cat is healthy.

Many behavioral problems come from the underlying physical cause. Behavioral changes can come from pain and discomfort such as from dental problems, joint problems, allergies, kidney and liver problems, hormonal diseases, gastrointestinal problems, yes, a lot can be behind it.

It is of utmost importance that you always rule this out first before tackling the behavioral problem itself. Step one is to contact your veterinarian.

The cat’s emotional register

Many cat-related questions are about why cats show different behaviors that we perceive as aggressive and to that the most common question; why the cat does not use his box. Cats do not experience the feeling of aggression and anger as we humans, they have a different emotional register.

It is easy for us to say that the cat is angry, sad and disappointed, but these are not the cat’s feelings, but usually we who put our own feelings on the interpretation we make of the cat’s behavior.

The reasons for the above-mentioned problems, that the cat is felt angry by us and that they pee and / or poop outside their litter box, are many and are often due to the fact that the cat has grown in popularity as a pet, that it is taken early from its mother, that we have many cats in too little space and that the cats are not allowed to be outdoors

It can also be due to the fact that cat owners partly lack knowledge about their animals or that the cat is given too little attention and therefore becomes understimulated and protests in some way.

First time important

A kitten should never be separated from its mother until it is twelve weeks old.

The most important socialization period in a cat’s life is between the second and seventh week of life.

Kittens, raised in solitude, need extra understanding of how the cat works and how to respond to the cat’s behavior.

A predator

The cat is, despite the domestication several thousand years ago and all the care we give it in our homes, deep down a predator, whose instincts can lie just below the smooth fur surface. It is common to think that if a cat has never been outdoors, it does not know about all the stimulation that is outside or the behavior that it would have had if it were allowed to be outside and can therefore not feel bad about not having this in its environment. . However, this is not true as there is a lot that instinctively lies with the cat, such as territory thinking, digging in its litter box and hunting.

Aggression – really a defensive behavior

Maybe you recognize that your otherwise so cozy, cuddly cat buddy turns into a tiger on the go. Then you should not go on the counterattack but instead try to understand the underlying causes, which can otherwise trigger even more behavioral problems.

Many cats’ behavioral problems are a direct result of the cat’s reaction to a stressful situation, much depending on how much the cat has learned during its previously formed weeks in life.

All animals are normally equipped with a set of defensive behaviors, which the species needs for its survival and the cat is no exception. It has an impressive arsenal of defenses. In most cases, what we experience as aggression is precisely a defensive behavior. When a resort is closed, claws and teeth are put to use. This can often be a natural behavior on the part of the cat, strange as it may sound.

Behavior we experience as aggression

  • Derived (lateral) aggression
  • Horror aggression
  • Cuddle and bite aggression
  • Pain aggression

Why does the cat pee outside the litter box?

These behaviors may be due to

  • Veterinary causes
  • Fear
  • Hunting instinct
  • Pain
  • Dominance
  • Territorial thinking
  • Competitive instinct
  • Ownership and play

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