People For Cats Enterprise Column
by Joan D. KingOne of the top reasons cats are surrendered to shelters is for behavioral problems. According to the book Understanding Cats by Roger Tabor, “The four main causes of the behavioral problems in cats can be grouped as confinement, stress, physical ailments and early conditioning.”
People for Cats puts cat behavioral problems into two groups: physical ailments and environmental issues. The most common behavioral issues are not using the litter box, scratching and biting children and adults and scratching furniture.
Prevention of these problems is the key. PFC first recommends the cat be checked out by a veterinarian for any physical problems. However, most likely the issues are environmental. Very few cats that have been surrendered to us for behavioral issues had physical/mental problems. The majority of the cats were quickly and successfully re-homed. This is not to put any blame on the former owners, as they often have tried everything to make their feline friends happy, even asking for PFC assistance.
Cats are very territorial and confinement and stress are leading causes in cat behavior problems. Limit the number of cats in your home, give your cat plenty of exercise and entertainment such as cat trees to climb on, scratching posts and toys. Recycle the toys so your cat thinks he is getting a new toy every time. Give your cat plenty of love and attention, clean litter boxes, fresh water and good quality food.