This is what I’d expect from a normal cat… lazing around, walking on the compound wall with effortless ease, licking its paws and making a hobby of it, purring about when sleepy or needs to be petted, following you around if there is fish involved, guarding its territory with a zeal like no other and so on and so forth. These, of course are the basic behavior traits of a domestic cat. If you own a cat, you’ll know what they are. So now imagine if there are sudden changes in behavior that you can’t really fathom or understand. Then what? How will you know why the sudden change in cat behavior is coming about and what one is to do about them? That’s what this piece is all about. It’ll take you through the reasons behind the modification in cat behavior and how one is to deal with it effectively well.
Cat Behavior Problems
In order to understand the problems there is a need for understanding cat behavior in detail. Given below are some of the most common reasons of change in cat behavior. Read these and see if these apply to your cat in any way.
Not Using the Box
If you’ve trained your cat well then it’ll be used to using the box for doing its business. If the cat usually uses the box and has suddenly stopped doing that, it means that something is wrong. There could be a number of cat diseases and symptoms that might have affected the cat and that is why it has stopped using the box. And since it is in pain, it will not want to use the box. A condition called feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) can lead to the formation of crystals in the cat’s urine, which makes passing of urine very painful and the cat starts to avoid the litter box because it is associated with urinating. This is one of the most common cat disease. Other than this, there are a number of cat health problems like IBD, hyperthyroidism, kidney and liver disease that can lead to urinating and defecating becoming painful.
Stress is another major factor that can lead to a cat not using the litter box. Stress due to a disease, loss of someone close, moving to a new place, and other conditions such as these can lead to changes in cat behavior.
Walk into the garden one morning and find your tuna-loving cat munching on a blade of grass with relish? Is she turning vegetarian, you wonder. Hardly. All animals have an instinct to protect themselves and take care of their health. If a cat is not domesticated, it does not have the facilities of a vet, yet they survive. How? ‘Cause they have an inborn instinct of what is good and what is bad. A cat will typically eat grass when its digestive system is affected. Some types of grass have properties that help with the pain, while some allow a cat to throw up the irritants and lead to relief thus. Do not interfere with what the cat is doing. But if you notice that the cat has started to be sick more and more often, take it to the vet.
Your usually docile cat starts to act up. The most tell tale sign is that it’ll start to growl or even scratch when you try picking it up. There are a number of reasons that could lead to aggressive behavior in cats. The most common one of them is that the cat is in pain. It could either be due to a toothache, or because it has injured itself in a fight. Other reasons include aging, which affects the hearing and vision and makes the cat uncomfortable.
Many times, there is a change in the sleep pattern of the cats and they begin to keep awake at night, and worse still, they begin vocalizing. This might be due to anxiety or fear, they might start to vocalize to get your attention. If this continues for many days, you need to correct it. Try to get them to sleep by grooming and being with them so that they are relaxed. Also, make sure that you never show them that the vocalizing disturbs you or they might start using it as a means to get your attention.
A Pregnant Cat
A pregnant cat who is about to go into labor will have a distinct change in behavior. She will be more calm and composed, purring all the time. As the time of going into labor comes closer and closer, she will start following her owner from place to place because she needs support. This, of course, is the case with only some cats. Other than that, the cats will start to look for a place to deliver and you’ll find it going into nooks and crannies in search of space. This is not something that you should be worried about.
Cat behavior changes are always an indication of some underlying condition like pain or anxiety and fear and in that way it helps the owner to understand when something is bothering it and administer effective cat care. So the next time your cat is not quite itself, look deeper and you’ll know why all is not right in the cat world.