Usually your kitty gives you a special calm and inner peace by showing her love and trust for you when she curls up in your lap and purrs herself to sleep as you gently stroke her body. She makes you laugh as she plays with her ball, runs through the house or becomes immersed in her own little kitty game.
But there can be some days…Days she does everything she’s knows not to do, like when she scratches your furniture, sneak attacks your ankles, stops using the litter box, knocks over your plants, insists on getting into things and places she’s never bothered before or other strange and frustrating behavior you just know she’s doing to get back at you for some reason. Then, unbelievably, you’re looking right at her when she does something else!
Of course, your first thought is to discipline your cat. Let me tell you right now that a cat doesn’t respond to discipline by learning in a positive way.
For one thing, grabbing hold of your cat to begin administering the punishment will only result in kitty fighting back. She has no idea that she has just done something outside of her set boundaries. All she knows is that right now, her other Mama, that has always been kind, is holding her against her will. Rubbing your kitty’s nose in the piddle she just left will probably get you bit or scratched but will also start a feeling of resentment and mistrust in your cat that will be there forever more.
A common form owners use to get their cats to mind is a squirt bottle. PLEASE STOP doing this! All you’re doing is creating fear and mistrust in your cat that takes you from the “TRUST” category to the “Can’t trust her anymore” category in your cat’s mind. You’re building a fear of water in your cat plus you could accidentally get water in her ear, which can cause kitty to get an ear infection and a trip to the vet.
Your cat needs to be shown what to do. You need to teach your cat what behavior you’ll accept but temper the lessons with love and patience. You need to begin to understand the basic nature of cats and their instincts. The “reason” for their behavior.
The first step to finding out why kitty is acting like she is is to take her to the vet for a check-up. Once you have the vet’s OK on your kitty’s health, you need to ask yourself has anything changed in the home.
The best way to stay in a close relationship with your cat is to have patience and perseverance. Have you added something new to the house, changed the furniture around, changed cat foods, changed the location of the litter box, changed the litter, added a new pet, added a new baby or had a change in the social situation of the house? There are so many things that can upset kitty that it’s hard to know where to start and what to look for. Start putting all the clues together until the puzzle is finished and you know the “why” for her actions. There will always be a reason why kitty is acting out. In the end, kitty will thank you for doing this for her instead of giving up.
Studies have shown that most pets are given to animal shelters or, worse, dumped along the roadside for behavior problems their owners didn’t want to take the time to fix or didn’t know how to solve. Once you understand why your cat is behaving the way she is, you will be able to fix the problems and have your loving friend back again.