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Cat tales: Bad cat!

May 10, 2014

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CAN you get your kitty to break his naughty habits?

I hate being called a bad cat! My human does that when she is cross with me. Fair enough! I confess do certain things that she doesn’t approve of but I love doing them because that is what makes me, me! A cat, who obviously thinks in his own particular way just like we have our own way of looking at things and perceiving stuff.

Do humans ever think of how the world looks like to us from say mmm… our eye level? Which is half a foot from the floor, or from the top of the cupboard that we like to climb on? Well, you see, it is a different world for us so we have our own objectives.

Sometimes our human owners get upset when we don’t use our litter box properly. But then we have certain issues about litter boxes. They should be of appropriate size, and immaculately clean or we just will not use them. Also they should be placed in a quiet, safe and private place.

The other most upsetting thing for humans is when we scratch furniture. While it is always seen as a destructive habit, you have to understand as cat owners why is it that your cat chooses to scratch your furniture and belongings.

Well, cats have an instinctive drive to scratch and claw which has ruined many a couch and stereo speaker. Scratching is normal feline behaviour but somehow it works against your furniture …

While the act of scratching removes the sheaths, or outer layer of dead cells, from the claw; it is also great fun for us. Not just that, it also serves as a visual and olfactory territorial marker. Out in the jungle, we would naturally claw trees and wood. Since all that is not available inside homes, perhaps we could be provided with an adequate surface in the house. You could get us some sisal rope matting or place some rugs around that we are allowed to dig our claws deep into. Scratching posts are always welcome. However, if the less intelligent among us do not quite understand where we are supposed to scratch and where not, then the best way to train us is mild punishment which is a loud clap. Nothing else. It is inhumane to hit animals.

The third offense that cats are often wrongly blamed for is aggression. It is mostly play that is misunderstood as aggression. The most common type of aggressive behaviour that we show is play aggression. Let me explain what play means to us. It includes stalking, pouncing and fighting. Kittens normally play with each other, with their mother and with a variety of moving objects. If none of these are available, they will treat human arms and legs as playthings.

Playful cats ‘attack’ silently and do not typically break the skin when they bite. Seriously aggressive and potentially dangerous cats often hiss or growl and bite more severely. Using a water spray bottle to keep the cat away is sometimes helpful.