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Unwanted Cat Behaviors? Here Are The Steps You Can Take (A Series)

April 4, 2013

I’m pretty sure we could all write a book on unwanted cat behaviors if we wanted to.

Just a moment ago, Ellie climbed across the bed to push a remote off of one of our nightstands. Earlier this evening, CG thought it was essential to paw at and knock over the wastebasket in the bathroom.

Ellie 15

Some days Ellie will swagger her way into my home office and try her hardest to get my attention with insistent trills and tumbles. A few years ago, that is B.E. (before Ellie), CG would absolutely not sleep through the night – he’d wake up my husband and me at 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., and other times. It was insufferable!

Throughout my time as a cat parent, I’ve tried many things to “correct” a cat’s behavior. Sometimes those efforts ended in success, other times they ended as massive failures. I would try several things to modify the behavior, but the truth is I didn’t always understand why certain things worked and others didn’t.

Here’s the good news: A cat’s behavior can be modified. The trouble is we often approach fixing that unwanted behavior from our perspective, rather than looking at the situation through our cat’s eyes. As a result, our efforts don’t always work. Sometimes we end up encouraging the very behaviors we’re trying to get rid of, and sometimes we get so frustrated we even try punishing our cats (which doesn’t work).

Understanding the motivations behind our cats’ behaviors is difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Sure these behaviors may take effort to discourage as they’re engrained in your cat’s personality, but with some creativity, flexibility, and patience, you can better understand and encourage your cat to adopt a new, preferred behavior.

I’ve spent a good deal of time looking into this – and have decided the best way I can convey the most opinions, suggestions and solutions is to chop up everything I’ve found into a series. I thought this method would be best so that we can all digest the information from one section before moving on to another. So, over the next few days I’ll be posting on the topics below. As I do, I’d love to hear from you to find out what has worked for you, what backfired, and more!

Step One: Determine The Root Of The Problem (4/6)

Step Two: Provide Options & Remove Problems (4/10)

Step Three: Ignoring & Encouraging Behaviors (4/14)

Bonus: More Solutions for Demanding Cats (4/18)

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