How To Prevent Territorial Behavior In Cats
The most effective thing you can do to prevent territorial behavior is to have your cat spayed or neutered. If you haven’t done so already, its a good idea to schedule this procedure as soon as possible.
Here are some additional ways you can help your pal feel more secure and be less likely to exhibit territorial behavior:
Peeing Outside The Litter Box
A cat urinating of defecating outside the litter box is almost never doing so willingly. As a result, discipline should not be used to rectify this behavior. Grabbing a cat by the neck and rubbing its face in its own waste is unacceptable.
There are many reasons why cats may eliminate outside the litter box. These include:
Punishing a cat for accidents outside the litter box will not help. This is not a disciplinary issue, but a problem relating to physical or mental health. If you discipline a cat, it will develop further fear of elimination. You must instead manage the root cause.
What To Do When Your Cat Hisses
- Give her some space and do not try to hold or comfort her.
- Let your cat hide to feel secure.
- Do not stare at her.
- Give her ample time. It could take a few minutes to a few hours for a cat to calm down.
- Once your cat is calm, coax her with food or catnip. Avoid staring her in the eyes. Approach from the side, as you appear less threatening that way.
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What To Do If Youre Attacked:
- DO NOT HIT THE CAT. This will only enrage the cat more. Make a loud noise or throw something as a distraction.
- Leave the area of which the attack is taking place. If you cannot leave, let the cat leave. Feeling trapped only raises the stress levels.
- Isolate the cat in another room so they can have a time out to relax. If you cannot get the cat to another room, try herding them there using a towel as a barrier between you and the cat. If that doesnt work, you can throw the towel over the cat to scoop them up and relocate them to another room. Please keep in mind that picking up an already angry cat is just going to make them more upset, so only do this if absolutely necessary.
- As a last resort, you may need to restrain the cat by scruffing it in order to stop the attack and move the cat to an isolated location. Please keep in mind that it is never good to hold an adult cat solely by its’ scruff. Do your best to support the body weight with your free arm. Cat skin loses elasticity as they age, so scruffing a cat improperly can seriously injure them.
Why Do Cats Behave Badly
Many cat behaviour problems result when the animal cannot express its natural instincts properly, for instance:
- Sharpening Claws
- Or is simply not getting enough exercise and has a lot of excess energy to use up!
A bored cat can be a disruptive pet.
So the first thing to ensure is that your feline friend has lots of ways to explore, jump, play and scratch safely. This may be all that is needed to stop unwanted behaviours.
Things like indoor cat trees, scratching posts, climbing towers and other kitty furniture are a great way to provide an ideal environment for your pet.
Take a look at the variety available at CatsPlay.com Cat Furniture and see which ones your feline companion would love to explore. With its natural instincts catered for, it will feel less inclined to fuss at you or play up in other annoying ways!
It is important that as pet owners we realise that so called bad behaviour in our eyes is not in our cats world. So we need to change how we react to your pets behaviour, keep reading to find out how.
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How To Discipline Your Cat Or Kitten
This article was co-authored by Jessica Char. Jessica Char is a Cat and Dog Trainer, Behavior Consultant, and the Founder of Feline Engineering and Canine Engineering. She specializes in modifying challenging pet behavior problems, such as fear and aggression, using positive reinforcement training protocols. Jessica is a Certified Fear Free Trainer, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer. She is also a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Jessica received her BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 190,048 times.
You feel like you are at your wits end because your cat just wont stop scratching your furniture, urinating outside of her/his litter box, or doing some other undesirable behavior. You may be willing to try anything to get the bad behavior to stop, but it is important to realize that there are right ways and wrong ways to discipline your cat. You will need to discipline your cat in ways that will not only stop the bad behavior, but also keep your bond with her strong and intact.
How Do I Stop My Cat Destroying Everything
Scratching is a natural behavior for a cat to display. Its not something you can stop your cat from doing.
The reason why house cats have to scratch things is to keep their claws short. When cats live in the wild, they walk over all kinds of rough surfaces, and climb trees with rough bark. When a wild cat feels the need to shorten its claws, it claws at a tree in the same way as your house cat claws at furniture. This grinds its claws down ever so slightly. Housecats, especially cats that solely live indoors, only have the options of tearing up furniture or living with painful ingrown claws.
This therefore is a need that you have to address. You can do that by providing your cat with a scratching post and using clicker training to encourage it to use it. A scratching post is a piece of cat furniture that your cat can claw at as much as it likes. Cats are drawn to upright structures covered in rough material when searching for something to claw at, so scratchers are naturally appealing. But you can also encourage the behavior by giving your cat treats when it uses its new scratcher. Since your cat will be keeping its claws short, it then wont need to scratch your furniture.
All you have to do is wait. Set the scratching post down near the furniture your cat likes to scratch. When your cat scratches the post, click the clicker and offer the reinforcer. Do this enough times and your cat will learn to stop scratching things other than the post.
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Prepare The Older Cat First For The Upcoming Change
Try preparing your older cat and create a relaxing environment for her. The best way is to take care of its hygiene first.
Secondly, please bring it to the vet for a thorough checkup and ensure that it has been given the vaccines as scheduled. Moreover, ask for your vets advice if any nutritional supplement is needed for her to have a calming mental effect.
You may use a cat diffuser in your home to create a relaxing ambience for your resident cat to prepare it for welcoming a new kitten.
How Can I Discourage My Cat From Other Behaviors
The key to successfully stopping undesirable behavior is to associate an unpleasant consequence with the undesirable behavior. However, unless the owner remains out of sight while administering punishment the cat may learn to cease the behavior only when you are present. Punishing the cat remotely, while you remain out of sight, is an effective means of deterring undesirable behavior. However, it takes preparation, time and forethought. Another effective means of punishment is to booby-trap an area, so that the cat learns to stay away. Keep in mind that the cat must also have appropriate outlets for play, exercise, scratching, climbing, jumping, and chasing.
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What Can I Do To Stop My Cat From Engaging In Rough Play With Me
A light tap on the nose or top of the head has been advocated for owner directed behaviors such as play biting, hissing and swatting. However, even these mild forms of punishment can lead to retaliation, fear and an increased level of aggression in some cats, and cannot therefore be universally recommended. At the very least they tend to make the cat wary of your approach. Instead, whenever the cat begins to swat or play attack, immediately stop the play by walking away or by using some non-physical form of punishment such as a water sprayer, can of compressed air, cap gun, hand held alarm or perhaps a loud hiss. Although ideally you should just walk away from these forms of playful behavior to ensure that they are not reinforced, many cats will continue to pursue as part of the play and chase. Before any punishment is considered, the cat should be given ample opportunities for social play. Toys that can be chased, swatted, and batted should be provided. Species appropriate punishment such as hissing or the use of punishment devices such as a water sprayer, can of compressed air, or hand held alarm are better than using any physical techniques since they are less likely to lead to fear and retaliation. Remember that giving any form of attention to a cat that is swatting, or attacking in play, might, at the other extreme be misconstrued as play, and further reinforce the behavior.
Why Do Cats Hide Away Sometimes
Hiding makes your cat feel safe. In the wild cats will hunt for food alone. They are careful to avoid their enemies but they hide from the prey that they want to catch as well.
Cats love to be warm and when they hide they choose a smaller space to retain as much body heat as possible. They also love the smaller places because it is easier for them to defend their spot. Cats like to have emergency exits and so they may love hanging out in the new basket you just go or the Amazon box that just dropped off their cat chow.
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Common Types Of Aggressive Behaviors Between Cats
Cats are very territorial, much more so than dogs. Territorial aggression occurs when a cat feels that his territory has been invaded by an intruder. Depending on where your cat spends his time, he may view your whole neighborhood as his territory. Female cats can be just as territorial as males.
The behavior patterns in this type of aggression include chasing and ambushing the intruder, as well as hissing and swatting when contact occurs. Territorial problems often occur when a new cat is brought into a household, when a young kitten reaches maturity, or when a cat encounters neighborhood cats outside. Its not uncommon for a cat to be territorially aggressive toward one cat in a family, and friendly and tolerant to another.
Adult male cats normally tend to threaten, and sometimes fight with, other males. These behaviors can occur as sexual challenges over a female, or to achieve a relatively high position in the cats loosely organized social dominance hierarchy.
Defensive aggression occurs when a cat is attempting to protect himself from an attack he believes he cannot escape. This can occur in response to punishment or the threat of punishment from a person, an attack or attempted attack from another cat, or any time he feels threatened or afraid.
Always Work With Your Veterinarian
A medical workup is essential for all aggressive cats. Some cats behave aggressively because of a medical condition or complication. In addition to acute painful conditions, cats with orthopedic problems, thyroid abnormality, adrenal dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, neurological disorders and sensory deficits can show increased irritability and aggression. Geriatric cats can suffer from confusion and insecurity, which could prompt aggressive behavior. Certain medications can alter mood and affect your cats susceptibility to aggression. Even diet has been implicated as a potential contributing factor. If a medical problem is detected, its crucial to work closely with your veterinarian to give your cat the best chance at improving.
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How To Thwart An Attack:
- If the cat seems to be scared or threatened, leave the room and let them be.
- If the cat seems to be angry and defensive, try using a toy as a distraction. If that doesnt work, leaving the situation can often make a world of difference. And if all else fails, use something bigger as a distraction, such as a loud sound or throw an object . Often times loud noises can break their anger trance.
- Leave the area of which the attack is taking place. If you cannot leave, let the cat leave. Feeling trapped only raises the stress levels.
- Isolate the cat in another room so they can have a time out to relax.
Cats Hissing At A New Kittens Or Other Pets
Given that cats base their social structure on available resources, a new pet can be seen as a threat to those resources, says Bennett. Since cats dont like to have physical confrontations, they often use the hiss as an initial warning with the hope that no physical fighting will be needed.
A cat hissing at a new kitten or catisnt unusual. Cats may hiss at new kittens to establish boundaries, generally when the established cats boundaries are being pushed, adds Demos. A hiss is a quick means to tell the kitten to stop.
How To Stop Bad Behavior In Cats: Encourage Good Behavior
Its much easier to encourage good behavior than discourage bad behavior.
The difference here is between positive and negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement is where a person or a pet will change their behavior in response to a negative stimulus. They will change to make the negative thing, whatever it might be, go away. Positive reinforcement is where a person or a pet will change their behavior in response to a positive stimulus like petting and affection, or a treat. They will do what you want because they know that they get something out of it.
In behavioral science, these terms have caused much confusion. The terms positive and negative were used because they refer to a stimulus either being applied or taken away , rather than positive reinorcement being good and negative reinforcement being bad. But this is the common understanding of the terms in modern society.
Either way, encouraging your cat to change its behavior by giving it treats is far and away the best way to teach it something. This method can be used to mold almost any bad behavior. For example:
- You can teach your cat to scratch a scratching post rather than the furniture by giving it a treat each time it does.
- You can teach a cat to be affectionate rather than hissing at you by giving it treats when it interacts with you positively.
- You can teach a cat to use its tray by offering it treats when it does so.
Territorial Aggression Is The Most Common One
When a cat hisses at a new cat, she is expressing a form of territorial Aggression. Your cat views your home as part of her territory, so it defends itself from any strangers coming into it. Hissing not only shows Aggression but a warning to stay away. It also establishes social order between cats. These cute creatures assume that a trespasser has invaded their territory.
It mostly happens if your cat is the only cat in the house and has become the apple of everyones eyes. Your cat might hiss at the new cat to let him know that she is the dominant cat in the house. In actuality, your cat does not want to share her space with a newcomer. And due to several observations, its especially true when a new kitten is introduced your existing cat will want to establish herself as the older cat to be respected by the new little one. Usually, it is reluctant to share its personal space, which is why your cat is reacting negatively to the newcomer.
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Do Not Discipline Your Cat By Using A Spray Bottle
Spraying your cat with a water bottle may work since it distracts your cat from hissing and other negative behaviors. Cats dislike being soaked with water so they will stop what they are doing and stay away. However, it is very unpleasant for them and they may learn to dislike and fear you. Consider this step only in extreme cases when a cat endangers her health or that of other people.
If you punish a cat for hissing at you she may avoid you altogether. It is never a good idea to punish a cat for such behavior. Hissing is natural among cats to communicate fear or anger. Instead of punishing your cat, get to know what made her hiss in the first place.
Try to correct the problem without resorting to any type of punishment. Cats typically do not hiss at their owners. Avoid petting your cat if she wants to be left alone, unless there is an underlying medical issue. Create a positive relationship with your cat by spending time with her, on her terms.
Give her treats and avoid reacting to any aggressive outbursts. Show her that you are not threatening her. Eventually, your cat will learn to trust you and should stop hissing at you.