Many cat owners have a love/hate relationship with their pet. Of course cats are warm, snuggly and comforting to have around, but they can also be annoying at times. If you’re struggling with a cat who refuses to use the litter box, loves to lay on the table or shows aggression toward other members of the family, here are some ways to nip that behavior in the bud.
Litter Box Training
Most cats know how to use a litter box without any training at all. However, there are always exceptions, and your cat may be one of them. Here are some tricks to help:
- Make sure the litter box is clean and easily accessible at all times.
- Consider locking your cat in a room with the litter box throughout the day at regular intervals.
- If your cat goes outside the litter box, move the waste to the litter box. It’s a messy task, but the smell should help attract your cat to the litter box for potty time.
- If your cat isn’t trained with the above methods after a few days, you may need to “show” her how to use the box. After meal time, place your kitty in the box, and then lightly scratch the surface of the litter with your finger.
- Try a different brand of litter. Your cat may not like the smell or texture of the one you’ve chosen.
- If all else fails, ask your vet to check your pet for possible medical conditions.
Almost everyone has an annoying habit, and pets are no exception. However, there are ways to train your cat to stop destructive or obnoxious behaviors.
- Never hit your cat. This won’t stop annoying habits, but it may teach your cat to be aggressive or even cause physical harm to your cat.
- Try to figure out the reason why your cat keeps performing the habit. If the cat is scratching the furniture, for example, it’s because cats are born with a need to scratch.
- Provide an alternative solution for the behavior. With the scratching example, a good scratching post and encouragement to use it should eventually get rid of the furniture scratching completely.
Just like dogs, some cats can be aggressive at times, either to their owners or other members of the family (including other pets). When your cat shows aggression, use a two-step process to stop the behavior. First, startle the cat out of the behavior using a loud noise or sudden movement. Then, quickly exit the room (or remove the other pet from the room). Eventually, the cat will learn that aggressive behaviors gain a negative reaction. With any luck, they’ll stop the behavior quickly.
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