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Home Remedies for Bad Cat Behavior

Independent and with a mind of their own, some cats can get into some real trouble…or take your patience to the limits. A naughty feline may shred your curtains, scratch your furniture, or leave behind unwanted “gifts.” Luckily for you, there are home remedies for bad cat behavior that you may want to get acquainted with.


When your pet isn’t playing nice in your household, they may exhibit one or more of the following common bad cat behaviors:


• Jumping on countertops (also known as “counter surfing”)
• Escaping out of the home
• Boredom that leads to destruction in the home
• Constant meowing
• Urinating in the home


If you own a cat, then you already know their tendency to jump, pounce, run, scatter, hide, and shred. Sometimes, the most common actions can wreak havoc in your household. To take back control and enjoy indoor spaces with your pet, consider the following home remedies for bad cat behavior:


ESCAPING the HOME


Some cats are curious about the great outdoors or have already developed a habit of bolting outside whenever the door is opened. Train your cat to avoid running out of open doors by spraying water. A spray bottle filled with cold water spritzed in their face should do the trick.


We all know that cats are typically not too fond of dogs, which is why a recording of a dog barking can come in handy. As your cat approaches a door to the outside, play the recording to discourage their curiosity.


A can of coins kept close to your exits could scare a cat away. Shake the can when your feline makes his or her way to your front door. The noise is loud and startles your pet.


Think fast with a cat trying to make a great escape by tossing a toy in the opposite direction. A cat ball makes a decent distraction, as most cats will choose to chase after the ball – giving you time to close the door.


BOREDOM


An entertained cat is a happy pet that is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors. Suggestions to provide stimulation for your cat include:


The simple pen laser or kid’s toy with a laser light is enough to send a cat into stalking and hunting mode. Felines enjoy pouncing, running after, and jumping on laser lights. Shine the lights on the wall and other safe places to provide stimulation that doesn’t take much on your part to perform. A flashlight in a dark room can also provide the same effect.


Use catnip as a stress reliever for anxious cats that need a calming outlet.


Owners often purchase expensive cat toys to keep their felines happy, but you’d be surprised just how much fun a cat can have with a simple box. Try it out and you may find your cat perfectly content with jumping in and out of a box.


DESTROYING the HOME


Aside from providing enough stimulation and buying a scratching post, you may consider the following home remedies for cats to help prevent destruction of the home:


Put your nail trimmer to good use and lessen the damage of your cat’s claws by trimming the nails. A cat with shorter nails will also feel less compelled to scratch something.


If you want to save your furniture, a simple solution is to cover up. Use sofa covers to protect your upholstery. You may also opt for wooden furniture sprayed with cat repellent to solve your problem.


Exchange your curtains for blinds if you have a cat that likes shredding the material.


JUMP ON COUNTERTOPS


The scent of dinner or something shiny can easily attract your cat to the countertop, but what they don’t know is just how dangerous a jump up can be. Oftentimes, kitchen counters are attached to the stove, which can burn paws. To discourage your cat from jumping on countertops, consider the following remedies:


A cat that climbs on the countertops may be on the prowl for crumbs and other tasty vittles. However, if you put your foods away, frequently clean the counter and don’t let the dirty dishes pile up, you can make the countertop a rather unattractive place for explore for cats. Also, keep the sink free of dirty dishes.


Place soda cans filled with coins in a place that your cat is most likely to knock down when climbing on countertops. When they knock down the can, the sound will startle them and the countertop will not seem as fun as it once was.


Arrange strips of aluminum foil along the borders of your counters. The noise that the foil makes when the cat steps on makes this part of your house less unattractive [1].


Place two-sided tape on your countertops where your cat likes to explore. The feeling on their paws is enough to send them running in a different direction.


For when you are in the vicinity as your cat jumps on a countertop, have a spray bottle handy. Spray a bit of water in their direction to deter climbing. Keep in mind to not aim for the face or drench your pet.


CONSTANT MEOWING


Although not exactly a bad behavior, constant cat meowing can quickly become a rather cumbersome sound. Sometimes, a cat is seeking attention while other times they are simply trying to tell you something. To remedy a constant meow, consider the following suggestions:


Sometimes a cat will let you know that you are not feeding them enough. Your pet may let you know with insistent meows every time you get close to the kitchen, refrigerator or location where you keep their food and/or dishes.


If you have a cat that likes to grab your attention with constant meowing, try your best to ignore the feline and only give attention when they have quieted down.


If you’ve never dealt with constant meowing before, your cat may have injured himself or herself. Thoroughly check their body for splinters in their paw, open wounds, or anything else that may seem out of the ordinary.


URINATING in the HOME


Oftentimes, the common cat practice of spraying is misidentified as a cat willfully urinating in inappropriate places. Most owners do not know the difference. Spraying takes place when a cat squirts urine on a wall or other vertical object. For example, a tom cat will walk, point its tail up, and squirt some urine on a wall as a way to communicate or mark their territory [2]. This is considered a normal behavior.


Inappropriate urination is marked when a cat pees on rugs, furniture, and blankets. Stress can cause a cat to act in this manner or a sudden life change, such as a new pet, recent move, or a newborn. A few ways to deter cats from urinating in the house include:


There are cats that look for other places to urinate if their litter box is dirty. Felines exhibit high levels of cleanliness and will find other options for urination to prevent a buildup of odor in their personal spaces.


The location of a litter box is an important part of keeping cats happy as well. If it is positioned in a place that receives a lot of traffic, your cat may seek out a quieter place to go to the bathroom.


When cleaning, opt for products that do not carry an ammonia scent, which actually encourages a cat to urinate in the same spot if they have done so before.


Resources
[1] http://www.dailypuppy.com/articles/how-to-stop-a-cat-from-jumping-on-counters/0b1dec61-a5f6-59b7-a1a0-edb610cf2b6f
[2] http://www.petco.com/caresheets/cat/Cat_Spraying.pdf


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