Solving Cat Behavioural Problems


A lot of people make mistakes with cats because they think they will behave the same way as dogs. Unlike dogs, however, who form social groups through respect of a pack leader, cats form social groups through the respect of territory.

NEVER hit a cat. Your hands should be associated with affection, not corporal punishment. a bottle that squirts water is much better than a slap to remind a cat not to jump on the kitchen table or claw your sofa. However, you have to squirt the cat with water as soon as he misbehaves; if you wait too long, he may not know what he is being corrected for.


•  Cats are very attracted to houseplants and many plants are poisonous. If your cat is chewing plants, try spraying them with bitter apple, or put the plants out of reach. We recommend kitty grass so they can have some legitimate greens. If your cat digs in the soil around houseplants, put aluminum foil or gravel around the plant. Putting Popsicle sticks or twigs in the soil may also curb digging.

• “Love bites” may be kind of cute, but they can lead to more serious biting. Cats don’t usually break skin, but they can nip you quite hard at times when they get affectionate. This may sound nutty, but we learned that when a cat bites you, you should howl like a cat in pain. Although skeptical, we tried it, and believe it or not it does work!  **One note of caution: don’t allow other people to tease your cat or encourage biting. Some people like to rub the cat’s belly and get the bite reflex.

• Some cats are street cats before adoption, and may have lunched out of garbage cans, which can cause problems with your cat knocking your bins over. The only remedy is to get garbage cans with lids. Some people even have to hide their garbage cans under sinks in cupboards, or weigh them down with bricks. We haven’t had to go that far, because the lids worked for us.

• Training your kitty to go on a leash will not be as easy as training a dog. However, the leash can be a safe way to let a cat go outdoors. start training your cat to a leash when he’s a kitten, if you can. “It could take a few days to perhaps a week to train a cat to a leash, depending on his personality and how often you try the lessons,” says Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior.

• Around the holidays, cats may smash an ornament and have a shard of glass in their mouth!  We suggest moving ornaments to higher shelves and keeping your cat(s) away from the area with a squirt gun. Here’s an interesting tidbit: cats can develop a vocabulary of about 100 words, so mention the object’s name and guess what? Your cat will take off like a shot!