Cats are wonderful creatures that grace our homes and brighten our lives. But sometimes they exhibit unusual or unwanted behavior that sends you to your wit's end. Some changes in behavior can be an aversion to using a litter box or aggression with other cats in the household. And sometimes the cat acts out against its human caretakers. There's usually a reason behind a change in feline behaviors, but because cats don't talk, it's up to their human guardian to figure out what's going on. Following are some common cat behavior problems and how to handle them.
When a seemingly quiet cat starts howling and yowling with no warning, it could be an indicator of a number of different issues. If you have female who is not spayed, then she has probably gone into heat and is announcing her status to anyone who will listen. In the event you have an older cat, it could be hyperthyroidism or the start of senility. Or it could simply be that your cat is lonely and not getting enough stimulation.
Apart from giving your cat toys and engaging in play time, the issue may require a trip to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Failure to Use the Litterbox
Cats instinctively use litterboxes as a place to bury their waste and avoid detection by other predators. It's why they make such good indoor pets. But sometimes they stop using the box and it's difficult to figure out why. In the meantime, you're dealing with a cat that is defecating and urinating in the most inconvenient places.
Some causes can include a urinary tract infection that makes urination painful, another cat attacks the offender while they're in the box and causes them to not feel safe. A new addition to the household can cause stress to your cat and make them feel a need to protest. Or perhaps you're not cleaning the box frequently enough for their hygienic tastes. If you're unable to find a cause, schedule a vet appointment to rule out physical issues such as infection or painful joints that cause your cat to stay out of the litter box.
Aggression With Other Cats
Sometimes it happens that cats don't get along even if they're littermates. It's important to note that cats tend to play rough and hard with one another, but rarely attempt to wound one another. In the event you have cats that are showing more than playtime aggression with one another, you need to take steps to keep them from harming each other. This doesn't mean rehoming a cat that's been a part of your household since it was a kitten, but it does mean taking extra steps to keep them apart and figuring out the source of the aggression.
Try separating the cats to make sure they have minimal interaction with one another, feed them separately and give them more space to get away from one another. If nothing seems to work, consult your veterinarian for advice on the next steps to take.
Patience is key when it comes to dealing with problematic cat behavior. Talk to your vet about finding solutions, implement them and work with your cat to help them overcome the issue so you can restore peace to your household.