When cats join your household, several behaviors might make you wonder why you got a cat in the first place. Many of the unpredictable behaviors that baffle new cat owners can be traced to one simple fact: Cats are not dogs!
One of the first behaviors about cats that you might want to tuck away in your memory is that cats are naturally nocturnal and territorial. What this means is that your cat will not adopt your sleep schedule, and everything he sees belongs to him, including you.
A cat’s litter box is always a concern for both the cat and the household’s residents. Your cat’s litter box behavior can be a signal to you that there is a problem with the litter box and not necessarily bad behavior. Life is usually serene when the cat uses the litter box the way it was meant to be used. But, if he starts exhibiting strange behavior outside, but next to the litter box, he is trying to tell you something.
Consider that there might be something wrong with the litter box, from your cat’s point of view. The litter could smell bad to him or not feel right. The box might be in an uncomfortable location, like where there’s a lot of traffic in hallways, for instance. Watch for erratic behavior like trying to bury something you cannot see outside the box. Your cat will try to tell you when all is not right with his surroundings.
Indoor cats can start ripping up your carpet, which can rapidly become very expensive. Good sense would indicate that your cat needs scratching posts or other ways to spend that energy. Whatever you do, do not provide scratch items that are covered in carpet. Your cat will be confused. Most pet shops have several scratching alternatives that will save your carpets.
Another annoying, but fun cat activity is shredding rolls of toilet paper. Of course a simple solution is to keep your bathroom door shut, but other options can be helpful, too. The simplest method to distract your cat is to turn your roll around so the loose end is hanging over the back of the roll against the wall. You can also take advantage of how your cats hate loud noises and surprises by balancing an empty soda can with some pennies inside on the top of the roll.
If you are a gardener, your cat can become a real problem to your garden by digging up what you planted or chewing on your plants. You might plant catnip in pots away from your garden or in another garden patch to attract your cat and save your plants.
When you notice that your cat is slowly blinking his eyes at you, copy his behavior and blink yours back at him. You will be telling your cat that you love him and he is secure in your life.
Whenever you think your cat has a behavioral problem, try looking at the world like a cat and see if you can fix what’s bothering him or offer a better alternative.