More Solutions for Demanding Cats
This is part of a multi-step series on how to change unwanted cat behaviors. Click here to learn more.
Sometimes we don’t want to only modify the behavior, but the personality, too. A few of us may have extremely demanding cats – and while it can be endearing sometimes, other times it can be a hassle.
For example, Ellie loves spending time with me while I work from home. Most days she’ll wander into my office and trill, her message that she needs some lovin’. I try to give her some snuggle time to tide her over, but sometimes I don’t always have the time to react to her immediately.
The other day, she got so impatient with me that she actually leaped at my lap! Long story short, it didn’t end well, but it did remind me that her demanding attitudes will need to be worked on a bit.
So here are a few more suggestions for cats who are especially demanding. Do you have any best practices from your own life and experience? If so, please share them in the comments!
Wear the pants in the relationship. Sometimes we let our cats walk all over us. Remember that you’re the pet parent – you’re the one in charge. Consequently, you can make the choice to reinforce or discourage certain behaviors. If this is the case, look back at the previous steps. They should give you ideas on how to modify your cat’s behavior.
Consider adopting a friend for him. Some cats cling to us and won’t leave us alone for the simple reason that they’re lonely. If your cat seems to crave attention, especially at all hours, he may need some extra stimulation. Visit your local shelter and meet the cats there, they’ll be able to tell you if there’s a good possible match for your kitty. If you’re interested in adopting another CH cat, you can find adoptable CH cats here.
Now some of you may say “But I already have another cat.” Examine their relationship. Do they hang out? Do they entertain one another? If you have a demanding kitten and an older cat at home, you may want to consider adopting a friend for your kitten.
Provide some mental stimulation. Even if you have other kitties, your little one may feel like the odd man out or feel bored. Find ways to occupy your cat’s time. For example, consider purchasing a bird feeder and posting it outside of a window your cat can view out of. Even if a bird feeder isn’t an option, a window can provide countless hours of entertainment. Also consider providing some new toys for your cat. But don’t worry – they don’t need to be expensive. Here’s a list of fun free cat toys.
Similarly, if you don’t have one, establish a stable daily routine in your household. By waking up, serving your cat’s meals, and going to sleep around the same time each day, your cat will become more confident and less nervous about when daily activities will occur. If you can, consider leaving some dry food out during the day. This way your cat can eat when he wants to, so he’s not so dependent on you for every feeding.
Spend quality time with your cat. This may seem like a funny suggestion, especially since we’re trying to work on making our cats less clingy. But here’s the idea: Spend a few pockets of time each day truly loving on your cat. Instead of getting our half-focused attention, we’re showing them that they can get all of the loving they need, simply if they’re patient. This may also make your cat more confident, as he feels more loved.
Don’t encourage the clinginess. If your cat freaks out every time you walk in the door, try not responding. If you make a fuss when you see him too, you’re encouraging his behavior. By not responding until you’ve both settled down, you’re teaching him that you do love and appreciate him, but he has to wait until the right time to get attention.
Pick up on your cat’s signals. As with the previous behavior modification suggestions, it’s important to know what your cat is thinking in order to respond. At times like these, try to figure out what your cat wants. Does he want snuggles? Food? Playtime? Or is he trying to tell you something? (CG has been known to try his hardest to wake me up in the morning if there’s something wrong, i.e., the kibble bowl has been spilled all over the floor, etc.) This can help you react properly, too.