Everyone knows that cats do what they want, when they want. For the most part, behavioral issues with cats are minor, and they can easily be corrected. But, there are occasions when a cat’s bad behavior can be over the top, and it is important to know how to correct that behavior before it becomes a habit that can’t be broken. If you have a cat that is starting to exhibit signs of bad behavior, it is time to nip it in the bud before you can’t do anything about it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common bad behaviors of cats, and what you can do or how to correct cat behavior.
Learn to Understand Your Cat
Cats have a body language all their own, and if you learn to read that body language, you can learn a lot about cat behavior. For instance, if your cat is crouched or their ears are pinned back, it is a pretty good sign that they are angry, upset, or afraid. You may notice that they begin to behave badly after exhibiting these signs, so you will be able to tell when they are going to misbehave just by watching their body language.
Cats are very vocal creatures, and they can make hundreds of different sounds. Once you get to know your cat, you will probably find that you are able to understand what they are trying to tell you from their various meows. One sound may mean that they’re hungry. Another may mean that they want to go outside.
There is one more thing to watch for with your cat, and that is how they play, as well as how they interact with humans and other pets. For instance, if they play rough, it may be a sign that they could turn into an aggressive cat.
Cat Training: The Basics
Now we are going to look at some of the most common bad behavioral traits in cats, how to identify them, and what to do about them. Many people think that cats cannot be trained, but this is a huge misconception. Actually, cats are highly intelligent creatures, and they can be trained for many things. For example, you train your cat to use the litter box, or to eat their meals in a specific area. If they can be trained to do these things, they can be trained to do other things. It just takes a lot longer than it does with dogs, likely because cats are a lot more stubborn.
The Biter and Scratcher
If your cat tends to bite or scratch, you need to take steps to discourage and change this behavior. You don’t have to just accept that your cat has a bad temper, and you don’t have to put up with bad behavior. First of all, do not encourage rough play, even if you do find it loads of fun. That is going to give them the idea that biting and scratching is good, and that they should to it more. Talk to your vet about other ways to stop them from biting and scratching.
The Finicky Eater
Cats are well-known as finicky eaters, and this can be extremely frustrating for pet owners when they have to keep looking for something that their cats will actually eat. One of the first things to do is to stop trying. Give them one type of food, and don’t give them anything else. When they get hungry enough, they will eat what is put out for them. Do not offer any alternatives, because they will start turning their nose up at her regular food. Yes, they can have treats, but when it comes to meals, they get what you give her, period.
If the world were flat, cats would have knocked everything off by now. Cats are known to love to push things and watch them drop to the floor, but as cute as this can be, it is not behavior that you want to encourage. You need to find ways to discourage your cat from knocking things down. If necessary, get yourself a squirt bottle or a squirt gun. Most cats hate water, and if you squirt them a few times when they are trying to knock things down, they will soon get the message that every time they do it, they are going to get wet.
The Furniture Scratcher
Cats need to scratch things. Not only does it help to keep their claws sharp and trim at the same time, it is also a form of exercise for cats. But, this doesn’t mean that they need to start destroying your furniture, curtains, etc. If your cat starts scratching at the furniture, you need to correct this behavior as soon as possible. Get a spray for the furniture that will repel the cat, and make sure that they have their own scratching post, where they can dig to their heart’s content. If necessary, spray the scratching post with catnip to make it more attractive to them.
The Wool Sucker
Some cats love to suck on wool. While this is a habit that is harmless for your cat, it is not good for your sweaters. Obviously, one of the first things to do is to make sure that any wool items are out of the reach of your cat. If you are wearing a wool sweater and your cat tries to suck on it, gently reprimand her by saying “no,” and then divert their attention by petting or playing with them. This is a very common behavior for cats, and it is often seen in kittens that have been taken away from their mothers too early.
Here's a short video about the 3 most common cat behavior you should know:
These are just a few of the most common bad behaviors commonly exhibited by cats. These behaviors can be changed with a bit of work and a lot of patience, both on your part and on the part of your cat. If your cat has very serious behavioral issues, it is a good idea to discuss the problem with your vet and ask for advice you can use to change these behaviors so you and your cat can enjoy each other more.