Believe it or not, there are no bad cats. Cats are just unique. They live in a cat world and do what cats do, no matter what you try to say or do to convince them to adjust to your world. The most important thing for you as a cat parent is to understand why your cat does what it does. Cats do not go to obedience school. If they had their way, you as a pet parent would go to obedience school to learn how to deal with your pet.
A cat is not a dog; a cat does not act like a dog, think like a dog or behave like a dog. If you want a pet that behaves as a dog, get a dog not a cat. That said, let’s get to the point of understanding cat behavior. Punishing a cat for wrong behavior is like trying to empty the ocean one-cup at a time. Try as you may, you will never empty the ocean or get your cat to understand why you are punishing him/her.
Punishment will never cure bad behavior; it will only make your cat frightened and leery of you. Cats are smart enough to know that once punished for a misdeed they will not do it again, in front of you. They will wait until your back is turned or you are out the door. Though you may believe your cat understands what you are saying, or rather yelling about, it will pay you no heed except to run away, ignore you or wait to do it again later.
A perfect example is our male cat Smokey, he dislikes our female cat Tiger and every chance he gets he will chase her. However, if he starts out to chase her and then sees me he stops, looks at me and then will turn away as if he was just out taking a walk. He knows I will say “No” quite loudly and scold him. Of course, it doesn’t do any good to scold him, but it makes me feel better.
There are several good reasons why your cat does what maine coon kittens for sale it does to annoy you. First of all, cats really don’t have a good grasp of the English language; they are not furry little people. However, they do understand positive and negative responses to their actions. Cats love praise, pets and treats and this is our secret weapon. Screaming, yelling, spanking or throwing (heaven forbid) will only traumatize your cat and make it fearful of you.
Stop for a moment and think about the life your cat is leading (okay, you wish you could lead that life) take into consideration its day. You are at work all day and may get home late and tired. Your fur ball has been sleeping all day and wants to play.
You want to sit, eat and watch TV. You give your cat a few pets and while you are doing that he/she gives you a little nip on your hand. You react by jumping up and possibly yelling and chasing him/her. Hey, this is fun your cat got your attention and you are “playing.” We humans sometimes reward our cats for their bad behavior by giving them the attention they want.
In our house I am the perfect example of what not to do. Our Smokey is a night eater. Why? Cause he sleeps all day while I am at work. He started at a young age to come into our bedroom and nudge me with his head when he wanted to be fed, even though I would feed him before I went to sleep. Knowing what he wanted I would get up and feed him. This would happen several times a night and I would get up (truthfully this has been going on for years.)
However, since I started doing research for this book I suddenly came to realize that this is silly, the cat is not starving and I do not have to get up at all hours. I gradually started to push him away (nicely) whenever he nudged me and quietly said “No” as a result he moved over to the nightstand where he likes to sleep and laid down. It has been several weeks and he will once in a while nudge me and I say “no” and he goes away and waits until he sees me stir. Most cats when they are doing “wrong behavior” are really doing exactly what a cat should be doing.
Cats need to scratch and stretch their claws. It is a natural thing to do and it feels good. It is up to you as the pet parent to provide scratching material, whether it is the couch or a scratching post, it is immaterial to the cat. Cats learn by experience, if they do something and it turns out to be a good experience in their eyes, they will do it again, a bad experience may eliminate, the behavior or they just might try it again to see if something good happens.
One important thing to remember, if your cat suddenly starts doing things that he/she never attempted before and the behavior is not to your liking, observe the current situation in your household. Have there been sudden and unusual changes in the household routine, new furniture, new people or a new pet? Has there been a change in your cat’s bathroom routine; is kitty eating, do you notice any changes in your cat’s grooming habits?
It does not take much to disturb the serenity of a cat’s world as cats like routine and changes can cause reactions, which are not always to their liking. Also, consider medical problems, your cat may not feeling well and this too can cause behavioral problems. Since cats cannot talk they may misbehave in order to show their concern or displeasure to the changes that have occurred.