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Common Cat Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them: Slideshow


Learn the most common cat behavior problems and how to solve them.

Common cat behavior problems.

If your cat is an angel most of the time but there are just one or two things that he does that are bothering you, you're probably not alone. There are a handful of inappropriate behaviors in which many cats like to indulge. Continue through this slideshow to learn what they are and how you can solve them.

Cats that urinate outside the box are trying to communicate something.

Inappropriate urination.

This is one of the most frequently complained about behaviors for cat owners. If you have a cat that is not using the litter box, it can be extremely distressing. Cats that are doing this are trying to communicate something with you; they aren't trying to make you mad or get back at you for something. A cat that urinates outside of the box is either saying that he's sick, stressed, or doesn't like something about his box. Learn more here: "Cat Not Using Litter Box? Inappropriate Urination in Cats."

Use positive reinforcement to solve cat biting problems.

Biting or nipping.

Does your kitty bite? Maybe a little nibble at your fingers here and there or maybe a bite after he's invited you to pet him but decided quickly that he's had enough? Cat bites can be quite dangerous, so this is a behavior you'll want to take seriously. Here are some articles, with links to even more specific articles inside, to read through and find out more: "What to Do About Cats That Bite," and "'Love Bites' or Softening You up to Eat?"

Remember, never yell at or hit your cat, even for biting. It can cause fear, stress, and even more aggression.

Learn how to get your cat to let you sleep all night.

Keeping you up at night.

Cats are crepuscular, which means they're most active in the twilight hours of dusk and dawn. But some cats are up, trying to get their owner's attention, all night long. This might happen because your cat gets bored with being home alone all day. If you have a good interactive play session with your cat before bed, give him his own cozy spot to sleep, and be sure he's getting some cuddle time with you every day, you may reduce this problem. Learn more: "How to Train Your Cat to Let You Sleep."

Cats that scratch at items in your home may need more scratching posts.

Inappropriate scratching.

Cat scratching can be a problem in some households if the kitty is scratching furniture or door or window frames. Luckily, this behavior issue can be solved if you understand why cats scratch. Cats use scratching as stress relief and a way to mark their territory. Providing great scratching posts in the right spots, doing what you can to help your cat with stress, and making sure all the cats in your home have plenty of access to the resources of litter boxes, food, water, beds, scratching posts, and playtime with you can all help solve this problem. Learn more in these helpful articles.

Keep your cat from chewing on houseplants.

Chewing plants in the house.

Does your cat chew at or eat your houseplants? Not only is this annoying, but it can also be dangerous for your cat. Whenever possible, keep your houseplants out of reach of your feline housemate. You can also try spraying bitter apple spray around the plants periodically, but don't rely on that for toxic plants. You may wish to plant some cat grass that your cat is allowed to chew on. That might keep him from bothering your other plants.

Cats like to be near their humans.

Jumping on countertops.

Jumping on kitchen counters is another cat practice that is not only annoying and unsanitary, but it can also be dangerous for your cat. He could jump onto something hot or find some food that's toxic to cats up there. It may seem like an impossible task to teach your cat not to jump on counters, but it is doable. First, it's important to understand that many cats love being high up. Provide your cat with tall cat trees and high-up real estate in your home so he can get up there and overlook his territory. Next, follow the other tips in this article to teach your cat to stay down: "Training Your Cat To Stay Off The Kitchen Counter."

You can also learn "How to Use Clicker Training to Keep Your Cat off the Counter."

Cats knock things over for fun and attention.

Knocking things over.

Have you ever come home from work to find a pile of knick-knacks broken on the floor? Or heard a glass go crashing down from the table while you're in the other room? Why on Earth do cats like to knock things over? Well, cats love to play, and they love attention. Try museum wax to anchor your knick-knacks to their spots on the bookshelves. And be sure to give your cat lots of time to play with you by using interactive toys to satisfy his needs for attention and fun. Learn more: "Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?"

Playing with toilet paper is just plain fun for cats.

Unrolling the toilet paper.

It's funny the first couple of times, but after a while, it's tiresome to find your toilet paper roll has been unrolled, torn up, and spread throughout the house by your playful cat. You might have to resort to keeping the bathroom door closed to keep your cat from having fun with the toilet paper, but you can also try a toilet paper guard. This is another time when you'll want to make sure you're doing enough interactive play with your cat, so he will consider leaving your toilet paper unharassed.

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