Cat behavior is a mystery to many cat guardians. An article on CatBehaviorAssociates.com helps solve the mystery of why cats often continue an unwanted behavior, even after punishments like squirt bottles are used as a deterrent.
As the article points out, often the behaviors we consider as undesirable are natural for cats. Punishments like squirt bottles usually only do three things:
- Frustrates the cat
- Makes the cat fearful of you
- Causes the cat to wait until you’re gone to engage in the behavior
Cat behavior is based on a pay-off , not purposely setting out to frustrate us as many would believe. Scratching furniture is often a behavior that leads to punishment, but cats have a natural need to scratch. It provides exercise and also grooms their nails. If your cat scratches furniture, there’s a good chance there isn’t an alternative, such as a scratching post for him to use; or the location or type of scratching surface isn’t right for him.
The article recommends thinking more like a cat rather than being quick to administer punishment. If scratching furniture is a common problem, be observant about his scratching “style”, does he scratch standing up or down on all fours. For cats that are in a standing posture when scratching, try a scratch tower, for those that are on all fours, a scratch pad or other flat scratching surface should work well.
Thinking like a cat to solve behavior problems versus punishment will reduce stress for you and your cat and will allow him to trust you rather than be afraid.
To read the entire article, go to http://bit.ly/135e4Xq.
For detailed information on a variety of cat behavior subjects, check out Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat–Not a Sour Puss available on Amazon.