Cats can be aloof, moody, standoffish and a little crazy, and non-cat lovers may take these mannerisms as signs that cats don’t like people at all. Cat lovers know that most kitties are cuddly furballs — but what if your resident cat seems more maniacal than cuddly? Here are ways to recognize behavioral issues and how to build a stronger bond with your cat.
Seeing the signals
According to catbehaviorassociates.com, cats are naturally territorial animals. Even though some cats may be easygoing, some are more aggressive. This aggression may be a sign that he or she is territorial and has either been introduced to an unpleasant or stressful situation. These situations can also cause this territorial animal to question his or her alpha status in the household. Signs your cat may have some issues:
- Finding those not-so-pleasant “treats” around the house
Being the territorial animal he or she is, Fluffy isn’t being cute by dropping that dead rodent on your feet. He or she is, in fact, stating his or her dominance in the household.
- Purposefully missing the mark
Cats are smart. They know that your freshly cleaned laundry isn’t a litter box. If health issues have been ruled out, he or she may be showing his or her displeasure by eliminating in inappropriate places. Visit allfelinehospital.com for more information.
Identify the issues
To avoid being on the receiving end of your cat’s anger, take the time to read his or her body language and identify any tics that he or she may have. Cues can be quite obvious (hair rising, low hissing or claws extending), but it can sometimes be a bit more difficult to identify the cause.
Behavioral issues with cats can stem from stressful situations, like introducing a new person or pet into the household, to an unpleasant litter box. According to petmd.com, a change in diet can also be a moody cat culprit.
Regardless of the cause, it’s easy to be overcome with irritation when your cat attacks you or anyone else in your house (especially if it seems to come out of nowhere), but try to take a second to find a link to what the cause may be.
Once you have found the issue, figure out a way to solve it. According to indoorpet.osu.edu, cats depend on us to keep their surroundings stable and safe. Providing a safe environment for your cat is a powerful tool for easing tension. This safe space will help him or her calm down and keep him or her from lashing out at you or any pets.
When Aggression Doesn’t Change
Not all aggressive pets are lost causes, but when aggression turns dangerous for you or for your pet, talk with your veterinarian.
If you have the time and money to invest, you might also consider talking to a professional animal behaviorist. With their help, you can try new exercises or tricks that can help alleviate those issues and create a peaceful atmosphere in your house again.