Articles

Cats + Behavior

  • Behavior problems can be due to medical or behavioral causes, or both. A clinical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing will help determine if there are underlying medical conditions contributing to the problem.

  • Aggression is defined as threats or harmful actions directed toward another individual and can include threat displays, lunging, growling, snarling, snapping and biting. In animals, aggressive behaviors are a means of communication.

  • Seeking guidance before obtaining a new pet can prevent many behavior and health problems in pets. Such a consultation will help you select the best pet for the household, but also provide information on how to prepare in advance for the new arrival.

  • Cats are highly attached to territory, and movement away from that secure base is not something that is undertaken lightly! Traveling in cars, planes and other forms of human transportation can be a very stressful experience for all concerned, in part because the cat is no longer in control of its own experience.

  • Most male animals that are kept for companionship, work, or food production (stallions, dogs, tomcats, bulls, rams and boars) are neutered (castrated) unless they are intended to be used as breeding stock.

  • There are many circumstances in which keeping a cat indoors may be safer for the cat and therefore, arguably, better for the cat. Indoor cats are at lower risk for injuries associated with the outdoor environment (cars, trains, dogs, predators, humans, etc.) and are at far less risk of contracting parasites and infectious diseases such as feline leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis and feline immunodeficiency virus.

  • Some cats seem to take moving in their stride, but for others the loss of their familiar territory can be very traumatic, and settling in to the new home can pose problems for owners and cats alike.

  • The toys that you choose for your cat must take into account the natural behavior of the species. Often the simple ones are the best and ones that offer unpredictable movement, rapid movement and high-pitched sound are likely to provide your cat with hours of entertainment.

  • Some cats are active at night, or are awake and “raring to go” very early in the morning. Since many owners are out at work or school during the day, the cat may spend the daytime hours in rest and relaxation, especially if it is the only pet in the household.

  • House soiling or feline inappropriate elimination, is the most common behavioral complaint of cat owners. The problem may be urine and/or stool deposited outside of the litter box, or marking behaviors. When cats urinate on vertical surfaces, it is known as spraying or marking.

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