DogTime Blogs

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cat Bad Habits

Examples of unwanted cat behavior:
• scratching,
• biting,
• climbing on benches,
• playing at night,
• talking

Cats need scratching posts to help renew their sharp claws. To prevent your cat from scratching at the carpet or furniture, keep tall, carpeted scratching posts near its favorite resting spots. Give positive reinforcement through praises and treats when your cat uses the scratching post. Place plastic covering over the areas you don’t want them to scratch. Eventually your cat will learn where the right places are to scratch.

Play biting is a bad habit that can continue onto adulthood if not fixed. As kittens learn what is right and wrong behavior, it is always a good idea to wear long-sleeve clothing to prevent yourself being scratched or bitten. Use pole-like toys and avoid your hands being used as toys. When your kitten plays well, praise it and give it treats. When your kitten plays roughly, stop playing and walk away. It’s always important to play gently and avoid any rough play like wrestling from the start.

As in the wild, cats tend to climb to the highest spots so that they can see everything that is going on. So, it is natural behavior for your cat to want to climb onto the kitchen benches and cupboards. This is not a good idea for cats – cats can transfer dirt and bugs onto the kitchen area, it is difficult to reach the cat if you need to, and you cannot observe its behavior at tall heights. To prevent your cats from climbing, provide it with tall, indoor scratching poles and cat trees and place catnip, treats or toys to encourage it to climb.

Cats, being nocturnal animals, are naturally more active at night. If cats don’t get enough exercise and play during the day, they can disturb you at night when everyone is asleep. So, remember to give your cat plenty of exercise of at least 20 minutes a day and playtime before bedtime, to prevent it from waking you at night.

Some cats are very talkative. Breeds such as Siamese and Burmese cats are very vocal. Cat cries can mean that they are lonely, hungry, anxious, or bored. If your cat talks a lot after you have been away for a while, it usually means that it has been lonely. Try giving your cat plenty of toys and climbing posts for it to play with during the day. It is best not to give praise or treats following excessive vocalization as this can encourage talkative behavior. Wait until your cat is relaxed and calm and then give them attention or food.

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