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March 23, 2017

Do Not Punish Cats

03.22.2015 Do not punish cats when they do unwanted behaviors. When cats act out they’re not being bad. They’re responding to an event or circumstances in their environment. Because punishing cats can make them more stressed and feel insecure, it can escalate problems and cause others. Punishment also ruins relationships. Kitties associate the punishment with the punisher—it breaks the bonds between them and their people.

Instead of punishment, identify and then address the causes of the behaviors. Behavior does not happen in a vacuum. Once the reasons are pinpointed they can be addressed—cats taken to vets, litter box situations improved, neighborhood cats managed, etc.
For lively discussions about cat behavior, please check out The Cat Coach on Facebook.

Don’t punish cats. Instead, identify and address the causes of the behavior.

Don’t punish cats. Instead, identify and address the causes of the behavior. by Shutterstock.

Redirected Aggression

03.08.2015 Redirected aggression is frightening. It makes enemies out of bonded friends. It happens when animals of any species, unable to respond directly to a threat, vent their frustrations on the nearest animal. Common causes of redirected aggression in cats are neighborhood cats. The inside cats can see and sometimes smell the outsiders but are unable to reach them. Frustrated, they turn their angst onto whoever is nearby. Immediate action needs to be taken. Without risking becoming a victim of the aggression, herd the reactive cat into a room where there are no other animals, including people, and close the door. The room should have a litter box, food, water and a place to sleep. It may take a few hours, over night or longer for the cat to calm down.

Cat looking out of a window.

Cat looking out of a window. by Fotolia.

For lively discussions about cat behavior, please check out The Cat Coach on Facebook

 

Cat Behavior and Medical Issues

03.01.15 Cats need to be examined by veterinarians whenever their behavior changes or they have behavior issues. Felines are subtle—sometimes the only indications of medical problems or injuries are changes in behavior. Elimination issues, aggression as well as other behavior challenges can be caused by painful and sometimes serious diseases, injuries and chronic conditions. Even subtle changes in behavior need to be checked out.

Cats need to be examined by a veterinarian when they display changes in behavior.

Cats need to be examined by a veterinarian when they display changes in behavior. by Shutterstock.

For lively discussions about cats and cat behavior, please check out The Cat Coach on Facebook

Train Cats to Scratch the Right Furniture

Set up for success: cat scratching info-graphic

Many cats are unnecessarily declawed because they scratch household furniture. Although cats have to scratch, they can be easily trained to scratch appropriate objects and avoid scratching couches and carpets.

This info-graphic describes why cats have to scratch and how you can train cats to scratch the right furniture. It is my hope that it will help keep cats from becoming declawed. It first appeared in an article I wrote titled How to Train Cats to Scratch Only Where They Should for Catster.com

You are welcome to use and distribute it as is, without alteration.

Cats can be trained to scratch the right furniture by Marilyn Krieger, CCBC

For lively discussions about cats and behavior, please check out The Cat Coach on Facebook.

Cats Show Affection by Head Bunting

11.16.14 One of the many ways that cats show their people affection is by head bunting them—rubbing their foreheads, temples and sides of their heads on their favorite people, cats, dogs and other companions. They leave their scent on whomever they head butt, mingling their scents with their companions. The behavior is a social and comforting behavior, limited only to those the cats have friendly relationships with.

Cats Use a Variety of Ways to Mark

11.02.14 Cats use a variety of ways to mark territories and objects. Cats, who have not been fixed, typically mark their territories through urine and fecal marking.  Other ways cats show ownership is by scratching objects and by lip/mouth rubbing them.

Cats mark by scratching objects

Cats mark by scratching objects

Cats Sweat through their Paw Pads

10.26.14 Cats sweat through sweat glands that are located on their paw pads. They do not have sweat glands all over their bodies like people do. Hot temperatures, stress and excitement can cause cats to sweat. Sometimes cats who are frightened, stressed or hot leave damp little paw prints where they walk.

Cats sweat through their paws

Cats sweat through their paw pads

 

Three Theories about Primordial Pouches

10.12.14 Primordial pouches are the loose skin found on cats’ bellies. Three theories about them: they provide extra protection for vulnerable, vital organs during cat fights. Primordial pouches allow cats to be more flexible, extending further when running and jumping. And, they provide a little extra room after eating a large meal—especially important for wild cats who do not know when they will eat again.

Example of a cat's primordial pouch

Example of a cat’s primordial pouch

Pet Emergency Documents

09.28.14  Be prepared! Add pet emergency documents in the pet supply kits. Important documents include: description of pets; species; sex; age; pictures of you with your pets, diet details, medical information including prescriptions, veterinarian contact information as well as your and a friend’s contact information.

Include important documents to emergency pet supply kits

Include important documents to emergency pet supply kits

Pet Emergency First Aid Kit

09.21.14 Ask your veterinarian for help putting together a pet emergency first aid kit that is appropriate for your companion animals. Mine includes: bandages, bandage tape and scissors, wound dressings, non-toxic antibiotic ointments and disinfectants, e-collars, sterile gloves, pet thermometer, medications, medication instructions.

Emergency First Aid Pet Kits

Emergency First Aid Pet Kits