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Understanding Cat Behavior — 12 Comments

  1. I do understand and respect your concerns.I adopted her declawed and she is thriving being an indoor cat. I live next to a busy street and would not let her out regardless. She is so little (6 pounds?) but when she hisses at a dog, they cower.
    She is healthy and seems be be very happy, so that is what counts for me.
    And she only gets on the places she is not allowed maybe once a month so I can deal with that.
    Keep up the good work and remember that every situation is different.

    Joe

  2. Dear Sir,
    I must comment about #8 and #13.
    I have a 2 year old Russian Blue and I got her from a friend who could not provide for her. She is declawed and fixed. I have no problem with her being declawed because she is a 100% indoor kitty. I walked her out side just a few days ago and she wanted nothing to do with outside.She ran right back to the door to go inside. A window works fine for her.
    #13- never punish a cat.
    I agree with you but I have to tell you how I deal with my mostly perfect kitty. There are only 2 places she is not allowed. On the kitchen counter top and the dining room table. I do not leave stuff up there as not tempt her but I do catch her up there, and all I do is in a stern voice say ” you better get off that table” she hops right down and runs to a window to watch the birds.No punishment!!!
    She is a wonderful cat. She has NEVER gone outside of her little box.
    Joe

    • Hi Joe. Thanks for visiting and sharing. It seems to me you’re doing just fine. I disagree with declawing cats as you well know (probably). And you have a beautiful pedigree cat. I think it is all right to talk to a cat the way you do because in doing that you have in fact trained her to jump off the table. You have trained her informally.

      To be honest, I think the reason why she wants nothing to do with going outside is because she is now fearful of the outside which in turn is due to the fact that she spends all her time inside. I don’t think the reason is because she does not like the outside. It is more to do with the fact that she is not used to going outside and therefore it is a strange place to be and it makes her feel insecure. If she was given free rein to do as she pleased then gradually she would learn to go outside. I’m not suggesting you do that I’m just trying to explain what I think is going on.

      I sincerely hope that you did not declaw your cat. Perhaps you did because that is the culture where you live. I would hope though that you understand why it is not a good idea to de-claw a domestic cat. There is no need for it, in point of fact, because there are far more humane alternatives and a recent survey indicates that many cats who have been declawed have bits of bone in their paws which caused great discomfort although it can be difficult to tell if a cat is in discomfort, sometimes.

      The declawing operation is inherently badly designed and is likely to be botched by a veterinarian for 2 reasons (a) the operation itself as mentioned is inherently badly designed and (B) veterinarians do the operation very quickly using a very crude tool normally which is a type of guillotine.

      Please read these:

      http://cat-chitchat.pictures-of-cats.org/2014/05/interview-with-dr-kirsten-doub-director.html

      http://cat-chitchat.pictures-of-cats.org/2014/05/complications-of-declawing.html

      Thanks for visiting.

  3. If a dog did any of those things that you allow, it would be put down for being unworthy of human protection and companionship.

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  5. Hi Jasmin, I work to rehabilitate (socialize) “problem” cats as well as teaching humans how to have the best relationship with their cats. Changes in behaviour are common in cats when there is a change in their living environment (eg someone moving in/out, renovations, change in work schedules). Problems after a new human baby arrives happen fairly frequently. Before the baby was born you probably spent a lot more time paying attention to your cat. With a new baby at home you are much busier and probably spending less time with your cat. Also the cat has to get used to a new being in its space.

    There are several things you can do to restore your household and Baby to a more contented place.
    1. Make sure to have 2 quality sessions of play/ snuggle with your cat at the same times every day. Cats like routine and knowing that they can rely on always getting that time with you.
    2. Pet Baby while holding your daughter. The more the cat sees that she isn’t being ignored in favour of the baby but is included with the family the better.
    3. As soon as your daughter is old enough have her feed the cat, brush the cat, play with the cat. Make sure your daughter is always gentle and kind to Baby. This will help cement the association that they are both members of one big family and build a stronger bond between your daughter and your cat.
    4. Be patient. Cats take time to adjust to new situations.

  6. I have a cat that has been living with me for almost 7 years. Her name is Baby and she has been spayed.

    She sleeps with me every night ever since we adopted her from an animal shelter.

    Ever since our daughter, Leah came into our lives last September, Baby has been showing signs of jealousy towards our girl.

    The latest incident happened on 01-24-13 at about dinner time. Baby turned around instead of joining us for dinner (my wife, daughter, another cat named Sophie & myself). We didn’t see Baby at all during the entire time we had dinner.

    What happened was Baby went into my daughter’s room and defecated in one corner of the room.

    Baby has previously smacked Leah on her head and cheeks. She has even lured my daughter into giving her a kiss and then smacked her on her head.

    Baby has hissed many times at Leah even though both of them have played together nicely as well and giving each other kisses.

    How can I stop Baby’s behaviour or is she just plain jealous of my daughter?

    • Hi Jasmin, the way I see it is that Baby does sees your daughter as an incoming “cat” for want of a better description. A challenge to her territory, her home range. She seems stressed by Leah’s presence but has adapted to a large degree. The defecation in the corner of the room is territorial marking in the same way as spraying urine or scratching a tree or the ground etc. That indicates that Baby feels a need to assert her rights to her home range which has been intruded upon.

      What to do? All you can do is give Baby more time to adapt. She may never totally get used to it. She may be upset (or less content, put it that way) for the whole time Leah is around. That is my honest assessment. We hear of cats being upset by the presence of new babies and this seems to be a good example.

      I would, though, check if anything else is stressing Baby. For example you might give more of your time to Baby by playing with her more often and being close to her etc.. That may help. She may feel she has lost a “fried” (an “associate” in cat language) you who is giving more time to Leah. I don’t believe there is an easy answer to this sort of dilemma. Ultimately there has to be an adjustment from all parties to the new family member, Leah. That does take time. But as I said I believe that some cats never really adjust fully to the presence of an unwelcome incomer.

      What I will do is seek the input of the regular visitors to PoC and do short post/article on this. It would be nice to get the advice of others. They have some great ideas sometimes.

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