5 Human Habits that Drive Cats Crazy
By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.
Often our feline roommates tolerate our follies and faux pas. But cats are candid creatures and can convey displeasure in our lack of feline etiquette without emitting a single mew. Here are five “pet peeves” and solutions to restore harmony with your cat:
1. Forced affection. Resist the temptation to burst through your front door, chase down your cat and engage in a big bear hug greeting. No surprise that most cats react by wiggling free and racing away. The more you try to force affection on cats, the less of it they want to give you.
Solution: Act more like a cat by being still and letting your cat seek you out for attention and affection.
2. Dirty litter boxes. Picture your home minus a clean bathroom and your only option is a pungent port-a-potty in your backyard. Disgusting, right? That’s how some cats feel who live with owners who are delinquent litter-box scoopers.
Solution: Win over your cat by scooping out the litter deposits daily and by cleaning the litter box weekly. Also nix the use of perfume-scented litter.
3. Blaring music. Your napping cat is rudely jarred awake when you crank up the volume on your stereo to hear your favorite song. Feline ears are much more sensitive than human ears. Their cone-shaped ears capture more sound.
Solution: For your cat’s sake, turn down the volume or wear headphones when you want to blare music. Or opt for classical music or jazz. Cats seem to prefer these rhythmical genres.
4. Tardy feedings. Cats are creatures of habit. They want to be fed at regular hours. If you get up and immediately feed your cat each morning, she gets into a routine and starts to expect to be fed within minutes of your waking up. If you delay, you can have one really upset cat.
Solution: Stick with a regular feeding schedule that you can realistically maintain. Re-set your cat’s body feeding clock by feeding her breakfast after you shower and dress.
5. The 3 C’s of Concern: the carrier, the car and the veterinary clinic. Unlike dogs, cats prefer to be homebodies. Usually the only time cats are in crates is when they must go someplace they perceive to be unpleasant – like the veterinary clinic. Also, some cats suffer from motion sickness during car rides. Solution: Convert your carrier into a place of comfort for your cat by placing a comfy towel or bedding inside. Improve its appeal to your cat by locating it in a favorite feline napping spot in your home and keeping its door open. Occasionally place treats inside the carrier for your cat to find and enjoy. During car rides, tune the radio to a jazz or blues station at low volume and try to avoid sudden, jarring stops. Finally, consider the option of hiring a veterinarian who makes house calls.
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