The origin of problems
The cats are non-static beings. New behavior peculiarities develop with them during all their life. Behavior problems can have two ways of development and these are very meaningful. Generally sudden development of some new undesirable peculiarity of behavior is a sign of some new serious scrape or stress in the life of the animal.
Misbehavior usually doesn’t come out of nothing, but if it happens I begin to search the reason for it. If a clean cat suddenly begins urinating on the carpet I would run - not go, but run! to the veterinary. Such a behavior is a symptom and you and you should find out the reason of it. Liquidate the reason - the symptom also disappears. Ignore the reason and then try to cope with the symptom!
If your cat is physically fit, look for any visible changes in the environment which could start undesirable behavior. Probably you tried to use new kind of a cat’s toilet filler or redecorated your house or your wife moved in or left or you moved cat’s litter box. May be your cat’s world some how changed: new furniture, new cat, new schedule? As the animals can’t tell you what happened, some investigating work, on the owners side, taking into consideration the cat’s point of view - usually it is the right thing to do.
The other reason of development undesirable peculiarities of cat’s behavior lies in the fact that cat gets some satisfaction from it. Good example is a cat climbing up the kitchen table. The cat that has never climbed that table before can make itself comfortable if once bumps into chicken brisket. If it finds and eats something tasty, it will be a good reward for climbing up the table or committing the raid on the kitchen sink, or upsetting the dustbin. You can say to your cat that doing such things is the display of moral weakness but it won’t influence it. And if you change the situation so that the cat will get what it doesn’t want at all (for example a jet of water from the atomizer for plant) instead of what it wants, it will be the safest way of changing its behavior.
Boredom - is another key to the problems of behavior. While most of the cats cope with the loneliness, boredom is getting them down. If they are closed in the flat for the whole day and nothing happens around it means for them an invitation for having fun by themselves. And a conception “to have fun by itself” may include a wide spectrum of cat’s activity in it, main part of which doesn’t seem to be good from the human’s point of view.
Such sort of problems, connected with the boredom, usually displays with young cats in the age till two and also with active cats such as Siamese and Abyssinian.
If your cat plays most of its pranks in the time when you are not at home think over the possibility of getting a friend for it. Even if your cat will never be a real friend to another cat or dog it will be busy with it all day long and keep it’s interest. I know cats that were anguishing for disappeared friend after its death, while being alive no attention was paid to it.
Enrich the environment of the cat, offer her special things where she’ll be able to climb. The more horizontal surfaces will be in your house, the more interesting it will be for the cat there. Leave many surprises at home - may be very small heaps of the feline mint, or some trough, which you may set for a certain period of time - than you’ll be able to feed the cat when you are absent. Leave a small ball so, that if the cat pushes it a little, it’ll fall and rebound. Be a creature person! Your cat will appreciate it and when the cat is happy, you’ll also appreciate it.
To alternate favorite toys of the cat - is a very easy way to support her interest. Divide her toys into 3 or more groups. In some days you'd change the groups of the toys. The variety of the toys really attached acuteness to life when we are talking about toys.
It is obligatory to play with the cat and to teach her. It’ll train not only her mind, but also her body, and it will increase the possibility that when the cat is alone, she’ll not sleep. Cats are clever animals, but they are not disposed to concentrate their attention on something during long periods of time. If you force them to do it, it’ll result in sleeping.
May be you, yourself, are a part of the problem?
Many of us, owners, make our contribution into the development of the problem of our cat’s behavior, sometimes even when we don’t want to do it. I think we show our love and support to the cats and we behave unequivocal when in fact we are too powerful, emotional, unsuccessive and we are inclined to punishments. Do you recognize yourself?
Dirt in the house and slaps
It is possible that many of us got a piece of advice to poke the cat into her dirt or just to slap her. Physical punishment will only make worse. Of course, you’ll teach her something, but you’ll teach her only to be afraid of you and absolutely you won’t teach her how she should use a toilet. Many of the problems, connected with toilet, are the results of animals nervous shock and physical attack will make this shock stronger, and the intensity of the shock will increase the quantity of the cat’s mistakes.
Most of the people punish their cats physically when they are disappointed, when they don’t know how to express their necessities and desires. But it is impossible to interfere disappointment with performing or teaching: they are incompatible. It is the loss of the control and your cat’ll easily recognize it. There is nothing more important for the cats than their self-defense. They’ll try to get the self-defense and if it is for away from you, your cat is ready to leave you or to drive you away if she wants to get its self-defense.
The change of rules
There is one classical example. Your dear cat usually slept on your pillow but now you punish her and slap, when she sleeps on the bed because your new friend doesn’t like the cat to be in the bed. For the first time in your life you wake up in the morning and see the toilet paper to be torn to pieces. You punish the cat but it doesn’t bring any results. You think that the cat is jealous and angry because of your new friend, but you should better think once more! I can guarantee you that your cat getting up in the morning doesn’t think at all: “I wonder what should I do to make my owner angry to punish me?”
A cat feels stress, because her ordinary life changed without any reason. She was attacked in her own house by the man, who is adored by the cat most of all simply for nothing. If the cat were the men, she would throw the boxes with the biscuits, cry or shout in anger. But she cannot do this, because she is a cat. She has more limited spectrum of behavior, she wants to meow, scratch, piss or defecate in the wrong place, gnaw or overturn different things. So she preferred to scratch. She also could leave the wet spot on your favorite chair.
You ignore your cat completely
She was your best and frankly speaking the only friend when you moved to this town. You were coming home from work, throwing your shoes and playing with a ball with a cat. She slept on your pillow and licked you eyelids in the morning when the alarm clock rang. She had dinner with you, cried with you. And now you started working and participating in social life. You are very seldom at home. You are trying to be with the cat much time but you are getting tired! And suddenly she began to scratch your favorite chair or throw the books from the shelves. She was always so nice. Why does she spoil your life now?
If may be ridiculous, bur your cat asks you the same question! Why do you spoil her life? Don’t expect, that you can deprive the cat of your friendship. She doesn’t understand what is happening in your life. The only thing she knows is that you had always been her and now all changed. Perhaps you should find a friend for her. A grown up cat is not bad, especially of she was growing up with other cat. There are always grown up lots, which need a home. If you are busy at home or at work it’s not the right time to buy a cat.
The reward for undesirable behavior
You are tired and lying on the sofa in front of the TV set. You hear the meow from the kitchen. Then once more. You are trying not to pay attention, but your cat is persistent. There is one more appeal, louder, more persistent. So you give up. “Do you want to eat, my baby?” - as you ask and go to the kitchen. “OK, come to me” - after that you fell on the sofa again, hoping to lie in silence for some time.
So what has happened? To cut a long story short, you are well trained. But you training is not the most important question to discuss, let’s concentrate on the other and let’s say that right now your cat got the reward for meow. What will be the result of it? The cat will meow more in the future. And, what is worse you taught it just now to meow repeated. But the persistence is not the quality, you wanted to develop in your cat, because it is implemented very quickly in the animals of such find.
So there are two rules of treating your cat, the same rules work with the children or other members of your family. First, successful extortion is always repeated. Second, if you are going to yield, do it at the very beginning.
If you admit and even encourage bad behavior when you like it and then punish for it when you don’t like it, - it is the quickest way to develop undesirable behavior practically in every specious of animals. There is the example. When a kitten, it rushed at your fingers and you found it delightful. You image with your hand a spider walking on the floor. When it attacked your hand you laughed, laid it on its back and tickled its stomach, and it bit you with its small kitty teeth. Now that it is a grown up pussy it attacks your feet when you turn yourself in bed. When you wave your hand to your cat and say “Don’t do it!”, it bites you even stronger and beats you with its rear legs. You think it might be crazy and guess the reason of it. At least its behavior is disorderly, is it?
There exist such words of a wise man: “Be careful with your wishes - they can really be fulfilled!” This is you who accustomed your cat to conduct this way, don’t blame it when your cat does this. You should be careful and don’t encourage your cat when it is scraping up on your trousers, attacking your fingers, biting your hand, chewing your hair, sucking tips of your ears, catching your legs, etc.
Cats are amusingly logical creatures, and very seldom their behavior has no reason, as it can seem at first. As we are people who guard them, conduct them, take care of them and are their friends, our task is to look at things from cat’s point of view and react accordingly. In many cases it is possible to change the cat’s behavior, if we understand the motives of this behavior. Actually cats aren’t so mysterious, though at first their acts may seem mysterious.