Why Cats MisbehaveAccording to folklore, cats have been favorite pets since ancient Egyptians created a catlike, folklore god, Atum-Ra. At times cats were treated like members of the Egyptian royal family and have been used for temple guards. Many cat lovers believe cats still have the “Guardian of the Temple” attitude.

Cats can be trained to be happy members of your family, but you will have to learn how cats think and what governs their behavior.

First off, you have to abandon the practices you used when training your dog. The same training techniques will not work on a cat.

Cat behavior problems are not usually a “problem” to them, but a way to tell you that they need something. They could stop using their litter box, start biting you, or begin scratching all your furniture. Even more dangerous activities could include chewing cords and eating your plants.

Yelling or hitting your cat will only train them to fear you and your family members. Who can blame them? No one likes to be yelled at or hit.

Cats, however, will associate positive reactions with positive behavior and avoid those behaviors that generate loud anger or scary actions from you. Never forget that some natural cat behavior is instinctive to them and not the result of willful behavior. Your task is to either provide positive options to end the errant behavior or take measures that protect your cat and stop the behavior.

Cats and their litter boxes can attract a lot of behavior modifying attention from you. When cats skip their litter box to urinate, they are notifying you that there is a problem. While an automatic reaction might be to rub the cat’s nose in the misplaced urine, this will only terrify the cat. Consider moving the litter box or changing the litter more often or getting a different brand. Some cat box products actually hurt cat feet or smells strange to them.

Your cat might seem fearless to you, but they are often afraid of strange objects, dogs or other cats and small children. Watch their body language for crouching. Scared cats will tuck their tail in or flatten it against their body. Their ears will be laid back. In order to head off some misbehavior on your cat’s part, remove whatever scared him. Leave him alone and he will find you when he has regained his composure.

The obvious message for you here is to watch your cat and notice the signals of approaching “bad” behavior. When cats are bothered by something you are doing to them, even if you mean it to be positive, their tail will start to twitch and their ears will either lay back or start flicking. When you see these signals, stop what you are doing because they are warnings that your cat is about to bite you.

When cats “misbehave” it is a language problem between you and your cat. For the most part, they really do want to please you. Learning what they are saying can be a big help.

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