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The “Must-Have” Checklist for Solving Your Cat’s Behavior Problem

Furniture scratching

Aggression toward people

Inter-cat aggression




CatWise book and a quote from Dr Lore Haug


1. Time for Your Cat to See the Veterinarian

Regardless of how convinced you are that the problem is behavioral or the cat is acting out of anger or spite, the first call you should make is to your veterinarian. There are many medical conditions that could be the underlying cause for an unwanted behavior. For example:

  • a cat may be displaying aggression toward you when you pet him because he’s in physical pain
  • a cat may be eliminating outside of the litter box due to a urinary tract issue
  • a cat may might have become fearful of people because of vision problems
  • the overgrooming that a cat is displaying might be due to hyperthyroidism

A thorough check-up by the veterinarian is always the first step when it comes to dealing with a behavior problem. Once your cat gets a clean bill of health, look at the problem from his point of view and not yours. My think like a cat technique is based on simply looking at the environment from the perspective of what a cat needs and whether the situation encourages the cat to engage in natural behavior or whether it creates stress. Look at all behavior problems with a think like a cat eye-view for effective problem-solving. Here are some other examples to get you thinking in the right cat-direction:

  • A cat may have stopped using the litter box because another cat has ambushed him there
  • Litter box avoidance might be due to the fact that there are too many cats and not enough boxes
  • A cat may be spraying because a new cat was introduced into the household
  • A cat may be showing aggression toward visitors because he wasn’t properly socialized to people
  • A cat may be hiding in fear because the family dog wasn’t properly and safely introduced
  • A cat may be scratching the sofa because there’s no appealing scratching post around
  • A cat may unexpectedly attack a companion cat because he just returned from the veterinarian and smells threateningly different



three books by author Pam Johnson-Bennett and a quote from Beth Stern


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