As cat owners we’ve all witnessed behaviour from our Favourite Felines that can only be categorised as Naughty. I have a litany of things Pussa has done from stealing roast lamb, to bullying Soph, to escaping over the fence and onto the neighbour’s balcony (requiring Mrs Pet Parent to risk life and limb to retrieve the escapee). Soph on the other hand is the poster child for angelic cat behaviour. The naughtiest thing she seems to be able to come up with is eating my hair. Probably more strange than naughty. Despite their mischievous carryings on, naughty cat behaviour is not done to spite us owners, but rather as a way of communicating and getting more of our attention.
There are a few cat behaviours which are tell-tale signs that your puss-cat wants more of your focus:
- Scratching where they aren’t supposed to: The arms of our couch still shows the signs of where Pussa has had a go. Cats need a surface to scratch on to remove loose layers from their claws, aid their flexibility by stretching, and to lay down pheromones from the glands on their feet. Mostly cats will only go for the couch if they don’t have a better option. Sometimes though they will do it because they know it will get a reaction from you:
- Meowing… a lot: Adult cats in the wild don’t meow at each other. Cat’s meow when they are kittens and want their Mum’s attention, then give it away until they realise that it works just as well on their hooman. They will meow at you when they want food, a head scratch, to be let outside and then to be let back in 5 seconds later. Soph is the have-a-chat at Cat Habitat HQ, especially when Pet Parents get home from work. Pussa is the silent type unless it’s close to dinner in which case she won’t shut up. If your cat starts to meow more than usual you’ll know that you’ve been preoccupied elsewhere and someone is feeling neglected;
- Not using the litter tray: Have you got up in the morning and found that somebody has done a poo next to the litter tray? Ugh. The message here might be that the litter tray needs cleaning (and I won’t be using it again until that’s happened thank you), or it’s not in the right spot (even if it’s been there for the last 3 years….it’s not right anymore), or I just couldn’t be bothered walking in (that’s just puss-cat letting you know that they are far superior to you hooman).
In most cases these behaviours really are your cat’s attempt to get your attention. Sometimes though it’s a sign that there is an underlying medical issue, and if you feel they are displaying a behaviour that is out of the ordinary for them, then off to the vet you should go. However, it’s not a bad idea every once in a while to do a quick check to make sure you’ve got your Favourite Feline’s basic needs met:
- Provide a scratching post: otherwise the couch gets it;
- Provide a variety of cat toys: you should provide both independent cat toys such as our Fur Balls, CAT-erpillars, and Mice which they can play with when you’re not home. They also need interactive cat toys such as our Cat Teasers because just like human children your cat wants to include you in their play as well;
- Keep the litter tray clean: nuff said;
- Provide an appropriate feeding space: it should clean, well-lit and somewhere your cat feels secure. Feeding them in a high foot traffic hallway might be convenient for you but it’ll stress your cat because they’ll worry someone wants to eat their lunch. Make sure there is always a bowl of fresh water available and think about spoiling them with one of our personalised Feed Boards.