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Feline Behavior Problems

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Introduction:

According to the Chicago Veterinary Behavior Consultants (2008), there are numerous behavior issues of cats that can interfere with the special bond that exists between animal and human. Cats have been one of the oldest and the most trusted pets after dogs. The adorability, cuddliness and the warmth of cats often relates to infants, as the infants are being loved and cared the most by the pet cats. The main objective of this topic is to describe the common and some uncommon cat behavior issues, the research conducted and its analysis, with the hypothesis of receiving a positive response to appropriately train and tame the cat behavior problems. The research comprises of five to six scenarios which will initiate the problem, describing its practical evidence and provide proper remedies to overcome those issues. The entire research material is taken from the journal articles of the famous veterinary resources such as American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (2008), Pet Education by Foster & Smith (1997-2011), some insights by DVM, Wayne Hunthausen (n.d.) of the Westwood Hospital, Cats International (2007), and the Chicago Veterinary Behavior Consultants (2008), and Fanciers (1991) as already mentioned before.

The reason behind choosing this topic is to spread awareness amongst the pet owners, SPCA society, animal beaters and kids who have pet cats with behavioral issues, and working on this topic might give the pet owners some insights which not only will improve the pet/owner relationship, as well will create a healthy and happy lifestyle for the suffering cats.  The society needs to beware of the dangers of neglecting or ignoring the cat behavior issues as it could be very destructive for the entire family, especially for the kids in the family who become attached to the cuddly queen of her territory. Therefore, certain methods are being presented to teach people and family on disciplining and taming the strays and untamed cats.

Overview of Cat Behavior Problems:

Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997) has covered the cat behavior issues in a sophisticated and precise manner. The basic principle that lies with any animal as Cindy (1991-1997) stated that no animal should be beaten or abused as it will never teach the poor animal the correct ways of life, and can only lead to timidity and fear for you. Some of the tactics that has been described by Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997) have been applied in real life in order to see the difference of theory and practice. Training an untrained cat could be a hassle, but with proper understanding and following the methods described in the research, pet owners might be able to restore the pleasant and adorable cat behavior. Here are listed some of the common behavior problems in outdoor as well as indoor cats.

Aggression (Play aggression, fear aggression, redirected aggression, petting-induced aggression) DVM Wayne Hunthausen (n.d.)

Cat Spraying (Foster & Smith, 1997-2011).

Fear/Anxiety (Foster & Smith, 1997-2011)

Change in Activity Patters (Foster & Smith, 1997-2011)

Scratching and Declawing (Cats International, 2007)

Litter box problems (Cindy Tittle Moore, 1991-1997)

Psychological stress (Cindy Tittle Moore, 1991-1997)

Escaping (Cindy Tittle Moore, 1991-1997)

Tree and Curtain Climbing(Cindy Tittle Moore, 1991-1997)

Biting and Chewing(Cindy Tittle Moore, 1991-1997)

Noise cats make when mating(Cindy Tittle Moore, 1991-1997)

Description of the Cat Behavior Issues:

Aggression:

Redirected aggression is the most common of all the four kinds of aggressions. The Chicago Veterinary Behavior Consultants (2008) states that this is the aggression by a cat towards another person or another cat as a result of the inability of the attacker to get at another object of their aggression; An example would be a cat at the patio window watching a stray cat. Eventually, the patio cat would like to be possessive and get aggressive towards the stray cat and might hiss or purr in a menacing tone to scare the stray cat away. 

Play aggression is merely the normal activity that occurs with kittens, like hissing, spitting and pouncing at each other, and their posture is different than real fighting as stated by the Chicago Veterinary Behavior Consultants (2008) and is also called interact aggression. The fear-based aggression is the presence of strangers in a room, and the reality is that cats do show fear, and due to this trait, their eyes get dilated, tucked tail, hair gets flared up and signs of resentment are being observed as being researched by Chicago Veterinary Behavior Consultants (2008).

Cat Spraying:

Drs. Foster and Smith (1997-2011) mentions that an inappropriate elimination is the most common behavior issue for older cats, and there are various causes for this behavior, many of them medical; medical conditions which may result in an increased frequency of urination may be the mere cause for this problem, which include: colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, kidney or liver disease, and feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

Fear /Anxiety:

This factor is determined by the increased risk of losing vision; hearing, having pain and neurologic disease which can trigger fear or anxiety in cats; therapies and proper medication should be provided to the designated cat (Dr. Foster & Smith, 1997-2011).

Change in Activity Patterns:

Studies show that some cats tend to be active at night, despite the routine change, and keep wondering in search of food or insects at home. Practically, this habit is observed in older cats as Foster and Smith (1997-2011) describes it. The best solution for this is to engage the kitty in playing or grooming before the bedtime, in order to overcome the loss of sleep and turning the sleep routine around.

Scratching and Declawing

Scratching is the way of filing the growing nails for the kitties. Cats International (2007) has found most feline behaviorist gone blank when inquired about cat training in saving the couch. Here, if people think about declawing, it would be one of the most inhumane act done to the speechless pets and most people discourage it. The solution does not lie performing this inhumane act, but to train the kitties, with trimming the nails with a scratch post.

Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997) also states that for an unwanted scratching, provide a scratch post and issue firm “no!”s on other items, and might want to spray some bitter orange spray in order to resent their behavior.

Litter Box Problems:

The issues with the litter box might be unhygienic litter boxes, uneasy access to litter box, using a different litter box, noise within the area, or an unwanted chemical used to wash the litter box are some concerns mentioned by Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997).

Psychological Stress:

Cats are possessive in nature and they might like or dislike the arrival of new pets, new baby or just someone new in the house. As stated by Cindy Tittle Moore(1991-1997), the stress aroused by this can also trigger improper urination .

Escaping :

Most cats will try to adopt this technique as an easy getaway from training. Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997) states a remedy for this is to discourage running to the door is never to let the cat succeed, by always being the first one to block or enter the door.

Tree and Curtain Climbing

Cats are natural tree climbers as they tend to do that more often since childhood. This is the last thing any pet owner would like to experience and call the fire department to rescue the cat. For the drapes, the cat might fall over it with the rod and might injure herself, thus try to prevent the cat by unhooking the drapes just in case someone not home as Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997) advises.

Biting and Chewing

Biting is a common issue with cats as they play and this make it a habit. It might get very painful for the person interacting with cat in order to show his/her love and friendliness. Try to make a hurt cat sound as to discourage cats, turn around and wait for a few seconds, as a remedy stated by Cindy Tittle Moore(1991-1997). This will train the cat to be gentle and care for people in future play.

Noise Cats make when mating

Cindy Tittle Moore(1991-1997) has noticed that mating cats make an unbelievable amount of noise. If the cats are strayed, check with a veterinary clinic, and try to get them neutered. But if they belong to someone, let the cat owner beware of this.

Methodology:

The assessment of the feline behavior problems have been described as a tool in determining the respective solutions for it. The methodology used here is to address each of the issues mentioned above, and analyze their situation and coming up with an appropriate solution for it. Aggression was the first challenging situation in which was redirected, play and fear. Imagine a scenario observed by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (2008) in which two older cats, having gotten along quite well for many years, were now fighting, and the woman’s husband was not willing to keep the cats separated any longer, as it was “too inconvenient”. Since in this care, the owners wanted an immediate assessment of the problems and to know if something could be done to resolve this issue, which involved high risk of injury to people, the researchers told the pet owners that if they were to keep their pets, they must be willing and able to manage the environment so that risks were minimized. AVSAB(2008) came up with a solution to keep the aggressing pets and their targets separated and the pets should be introduced some behavior modification exercises like training, talking, and teaching signs.

The second issue was the cat spraying. Stress can play a major role in an inappropriate elimination in cats of all ages, such as moving, changes in routine etc, loud noise and aggressive behavior of kids (Drs. Foster & Smith, 1997-2011).Reducing the stressors can help cats grow out of the trouble, such as placing the cat in a quiet place when guests arrive, and placing her food and water at the same spot will make her feel relaxed in the midst of loud noise. This is the best remedy for the cat spraying problem.

Fearful and anxious cats need to be tamed and trained with love. Cindy Tittle Moore (1991-1997) has come up with a solution of training your cat to perform alternate behavior with the inappropriate behavior.

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