Learn more about cats and common cat behaviours by browsing the sections below:
The following information will hopefully make the litter box experience a good one for both you and your cat.
Placement and Location:
Problems Using the Box:
A cat urinating or eliminating outside the litter box may be the result of illness, such as a urinary tract infection. Therefore, it is always a good idea to rule this out with a trip to the vet’s office before trying to modify the behaviour. If your vet determines that the inappropriate urination or elimination is behavioural, try a different brand of litter than what you are currently using. Also, remember to use praise or treats when the cat does use the litter box appropriately.
Soft bedding or piles of laundry appeal to some cats as an alternative to the litter box, especially when a cat is settling into a new home and may be nervous or unfamiliar with new surroundings. With kittens, they may not have the bladder or bowel control to make it to the box. First of all, remove these items temporarily or prevent access until the problem has been overcome. Soil at the base of potted plants can also look very inviting to cats. Cover the base with tinfoil or get rid of the plants if this is a problem.
For cats, scratching is as natural as breathing and not something that can be eliminated. However, it is possible to promote good scratching behaviour.
Provide at least one scratching post. Some cats prefer vertical ones while others prefer horizontal surfaces for scratching, such as a door mat or cardboard scratcher from a pet store. Try different types until you find one that works for your cat. A sprinkle of catnip at the base of the scratching post or a cat toy hanging off the post will encourage use.
Use positive reinforcement; reward your cat for good scratching behaviour with treats and affection.
Trim your cat’s claws regularly, especially if they do not go outdoors. Lots of website exist, such as Web MD: Cat Nail Clipping, with instructions on the best way to do this.
Inappropriate Scratching Behaviour:
If your cat is scratching inappropriate objects, there are a number of effective ways to prevent the behaviour. De-clawing is never an acceptable option.
Another option is a product called Soft Paws, which are acrylic claw covers.
When Cats Bite or Nip is a wonderful article to read if you have any issues regarding this behaviour in your kitty. The author of the article is Steve Huxter, an animal behaviourist who helps us out with advice when it is required at CCAR.
A Simple Little Trick to Use During New Cat Introductions, written by a certified cat behaviour specialist, gives tips to help with the acceptance process.
How Do Cats Show Affection to People?, written by a certified cat behaviour specialist, dispels the myth that cats are aloof and unemotional.
One of the first things to do is to put food and water right by the door that the cat escaped from. Do this immediately and put some kind of shelter, or covered bed close by. Most cats do not go too far (unless chased away by other animals) and if you call the cat softly, throughout the day and especially at dusk and during the evening, your cat may hear a familiar voice and feel comfortable about coming to get the food.
Remember, if the cat is an indoor cat, he or she will be terrified about being in the big, wide world and will hide as much as possible. If the cat can hear or smell someone familiar, it may come for food. Persist at doing this for a couple of weeks. In addition, put posters up in your area with a photo of your cat and contact the CRD Pound and SPCA to alert them that your cat is missing.