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Do Cats Deliberately Misbehave?

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Amplified Anxiety

Any unwanted behavior your cat displays is actually causing her anxiety. The behavior itself may be due to anxiety and then that gets ramped up in intensity because the cat is now getting punished for the behavior. Punishment doesn’t solve the problem and, in fact, makes it worse because the cat will likely develop a fear of you. So in addition to the initial behavior problem you will now have to deal with the fractured cat/human bond. Not a good plan.

Is it Medical or Behavioral?

The first thing to look at when it comes to a cat behavior problem is whether there’s an underlying medical cause. For example, the cat may be peeing on the carpet due to a urinary tract problem. Kitty may have started biting when petted due to pain or illness. Rule out potential medical issues and then you can tackle this from a behavioral standpoint. If you overlook this step you may be subjecting your cat to needless suffering.

CatWise book and a quote from Dr Lore Haug

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What is Your Cat Really Saying by her Behavior?

Don’t get hurt and take it personally when your cat pees on bed or scratches your favorite chair. Instead, look at the situation from your cat’s point of view. You may find that kitty peed on the bed out of anxiety or fear. Perhaps she’s afraid to walk the path to the litter box because another cat in the household is bullying her. Maybe she’s scratching your favorite chair because the scratching post you supplied is totally ineffective. With a “think like a cat” attitude your eyes will be opened in a way that allows you improve communication, reduce your cat’s stress, provide for her needs and rebuild the bond between the two of you. If you feel hurt or offended by your cat’s behavior you will only end up hurting her – if not physically, then certainly emotionally.

Even Behaviors We Don’t Like Make Sense to the Cat

Cats are smart animals and particular behaviors are repeated because they work. The end result of the behavior might not be pleasing to us, but it makes sense to the cat. When the cat eliminates on the bedroom carpet it certainly upsets us but it may work for the cat because she might feel safer there. After being ambushed by a companion cat whenever she tries to get to the litter box, she may decide that the bedroom provides security.

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