2. Act Early When it Comes to Cat Behavior Problems
Don’t wait on a behavior problem with the hope it’ll resolve itself. If you have two cats who aren’t getting along and you’re of the mind they’ll “work it out” you may be setting them up to establish an ongoing tense relationship. If you notice your cat has peed on the carpet and assume this is a one-time event, you may miss the fact he has already peed in a number of undetected places. Don’t wait when it comes to a problem. The earlier you address it, the greater the chance of success.
3. Be a Detective to Help Your Cat
You won’t be able to successfully solve the behavior problem unless you know what’s causing it. If your cat is peeing outside of the litter box, the problem may have less to do with the litter box itself but might have more to do if the fact that a companion cat is stalking and ambushing him every time he walks down the hall in the direction of where the litter box is located. In that case, you’d now have the information you need so start a behavior modification plan that would not only include adding more litter boxes in secure locations but would also include addressing the cat-to-cat relationship. Working on a behavior problem requires you to first uncover the cause (as best as you can) so you can then create a specific plan or make appropriate environmental modifications.
4. Never Punish Your Cat
Any type of punishment, whether it’s spanking, shaking, scruffing, squirting with water, electronic correction, rubbing the cat’s nose in his mess or yelling, will only serve to elevate your cat’s stress level. It doesn’t send the message to the cat the behavior he displayed was unwanted – it sends the message he should fear his owner because of the threat of physical pain. This method of problem correction will damage the bond you share with your cat, decrease his trust of you, increase his fear and could even lead to a more serious problem such as aggression. If he’s now unsure whether the hand coming toward him is going to stroke him or strike him, he may lash out in defense if the option to get away isn’t available.