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Correcting your cat’s bad behaviour

Do you want to teach your cat to pee in the litter box or prevent scratching and biting? We will help you get started!

Correcting your cat’s bad behaviour: where to begin

If your cat is exhibiting bad behaviour, it is important to find out how the behaviour is being caused. There is always a reason behind a cat’s behaviour. We also need to keep in mind that cats are originally wild animals; nature is ruled by very different laws. There is no way for a cat to know, for example, that the condition of the couch or table matters. It is also important to note that cats are quite solitary animals and aren’t always keen on housemates, or – as they tend to see it – intruders. This is why they usually need more time to adapt to a new family than dogs, who are used to living in packs.

Reasons for a cat to pee outside the litter box

If your cat is often peeing outside the litter box, you need to find out why it is doing this. Did it start when you moved the litter box? Tried a new type of litter? Added another cat to the household? Forgot to clean the litter box? These are all very common reasons for a cat to start avoiding its litter box. There may be a medical reason too, such as a bladder infection. Keep an eye out for pain symptoms. A lot of mewing while peeing can be a sign of bladder infection. When in doubt, always visit a vet. Medical causes are especially likely if a potty-trained cat suddenly starts peeing outside the litter box. Ageing can play a role as well. A lot of senior cats suffer from arthrosis which makes it difficult to step into the litter box. A litter box with a low entry will prove a good solution.

Correcting a spraying cat

Spraying is a frequently occurring problem with cats. It is a misconception that only male cats can exhibit spraying behaviour. A cat can have several reasons for spraying. The most frequent reason is to define its territory. They spread their scent with their urine which tells other cats to keep out. As a result, spraying is a much more frequent problem when cats share a home with other cats or when a lot of other cats are in the area. But all a cat really needs to start spraying is a piece of clothing of yours that smells of another cat or someone visiting your home. Some cats are more sensitive than others.
Finally, changes in a cat’s living environment may cause persistent stress which may lead to spraying behaviour. For example, the arrival of a baby, a new partner or a relocation. Learn how to correct a cat’s spraying behaviour.

Scratching or biting

We’ve all been through it: you just bought a new couch or leather chair and within a day your cat is using it to sharpen its nails. There are many potential reasons for such behaviour. It may be to spread its scent; cats also demarcate their territory by scratching. But there may be another cause, for example the lack of a scratching post. A cat needs to sharpen its nails. If there is nowhere to do it, your couch or chair will become its scratching post. Scratching or biting can also be an invitation to play. For example, when it grabs hold of your legs as you walk by. Read more about why cats scratch and bite and how to correct them.

How to correct the bad behaviour of a cat?

To us humans, getting angry and punishment may seem like a sensible solution when correcting bad behaviour in a cat. And yet you will see that it doesn’t always work and can often cause the opposite effect. Your cat grows anxious, stress-levels increase and the bond with the human is broken. It is better to reward your cat when it does something you approve of. Or have it associate the bad behaviour with something negative. But not linked to you! For example, you can startle your cat when it’s sharpening its nails on a valuable rug by throwing your keys on the floor, but make sure the cat doesn’t notice you did it. Or cover the kitchen counter (or another place it isn’t supposed to go) with tin foil. Cats don’t like it and will prefer to stay away. Another option: spreading a scent cats don’t like in places you don’t want them to go. Lemon, for example.


One thought on “Correcting your cat’s bad behaviour

  1. I know this post is a few months old and already has lots of suggestions, but just in case anyone still needs another solution, I felt compelled to post. I used to rescue cats and ended up with quite a few sprayers. Out of desperation, I accidentally found something that worked called “Cat Spray Stop”.

    Everyone I have recommended this to since I discovered this trick has been amazed at how well it works. You should definitely check it out, we don’t even buy Odorban and the likes any longer 🙂

    Cats don’t just pee on floors and beds because they’re in pain – could be a multitude of other reasons! Most common is that male cats feel the need to mark their territory.

    What a relief to finally have gotten rid of the horrible cat pee smell, and for a decent price as well.

    One of my 2 cats (both neutered males) had taken to painting all of my walls, furniture, and anything else he could reach. I was horrified when I got a UV light. He never did that in all of the 9 years I’ve had him and didn’t when I got him a buddy (they love each other and did so right away) but when a strange black cat started showing up outside both of my cats went nuts and the older one (9) started his wall painting, as well as the curtains out in the kitty room. I couldn’t keep up with it.

    My cats are indoor cats so it’s not like the stray is actually going to get in here but they both hate him (and he is weird…my neighbor’s cats hate him too). I’ve tried cleaning with a pet urine enzyme and then spraying some “No More Spraying” but that hasn’t worked.

    He’s a sneaky little bugger too; he waits until he thinks I’m not looking and then does it. He’s learned that the minute I see him backing his butt up to something he gets yelled at. It wasn’t until I found “Cat Spray Stop” that I was able to finally get rid of this tiresome behavior. Now my house doesn’t smell like a litter box anymore 🙂

    Here’s a link to their site: https://catsprayinginsider.com/go/catspraystop

    I HIGHLY recommend this if you own a cat with inappropriate urination problems.

    No I have not been paid for this post nor do I make any commissions off of it. I really just want to help you guys out. I hope you don’t mind.

    I’m based in Sweden, by the way, so you should be able to get it too.

    Good luck with the odor! It really lowers your quality of life, doesn’t it?

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