Cats have been domesticated since the dawn of civilization.Â Theyâve been worshipped, owned, traded, bred, and killed over the course of human existence.Â In short- theyâve always been a part of us, and they still very much are.Â Housecats are one of the most popular pets in the world.Â Theyâre easy to train, small enough to house, and independent enough to spare your attention.
They seem like the perfect pet, right?Â Maybe not.Â Tell that to the tattered corner or your couch, or your urine soaked mattress.Â Thereâs nothing more frustrating that doing everything right, and having everything go horribly and disgustingly wrong.Â
Youâve taken perfect care of your sweet fuzzy housecat.Â Heâs had his shots, been fixed, is well-fed, and has a regular bevy of household admirers.Â In other words, he has no reason to be unhappy.Â One evening he hops up on your lap, purring like a revved up engine, and being as sweet as any cat can possibly be.Â You start to pet him, congratulating yourself on being such a fabulous pet owner- and thatâs when you feel it.Â The warm spray hitting your chest and bouncing up to mist your hair.Â The feral fur-ball is spraying all over you and your thousand-dollar mattress.Â You can put up with a cat scratching the couch, but this- this is taking it too far!Â
No, your catâs not possessed- heâs just trying to tell you something. Unfortunately, heâs using his pee to do it.Â Hereâs a very basic guide to some very disruptive feline behaviors:
Those ragged corners of your couch, or that bare spot on your favorite carpet arenât there because your cat is angry or trying to upset you.Â In fact, itâs not about you at all.Â Your catâs claws are necessary to their survival (because Fluffyâs so fierce), and they need to keep them in shape.Â Just like you clip your nails, a cat needs to remove the dead skin from around their claws.Â
Scratching helps keep their claws sharp, and helps to establish their territory.Â Cats actually have scent glands in their paws, and they use these to take ownership of parts of your home.Â If this is a problem, try getting them a scratching post.Â You may have to get several different models before you find one that your kitty will choose over your couch.
Sharing their Kill
If youâve ever woke up to find a mouse carcass sharing your pillow- donât worry, itâs not the mafia.Â Itâs just your catâs way of telling you how much they love you.Â Cats associate food with survival.Â You feed them, and they may be trying to feed you in return.Â Itâs their way of saying, âHey, I want you to liveâ.Â Thatâs about as sentimental as a cat can get.Â So, dispose of the âofferingâ, clean your pillow- and pet your feline companion a little bit more than usual.Â
Ignoring the Litter Box
It can be really distressing to discover that your catâs been using your laundry pile as their personal bathroom.Â Cat urine is notoriously strong smelling, and difficult to get out of pretty much everything.Â Their feces isnât much better, and can cause infection.Â
This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, and can signal a need to get your cat to the vet.Â If a UTI isnât the culprit, you may need to clean the litter box more frequently.Â Or, change the litter box altogether.Â Having options can help.
If a cat is fixed and still spraying, then it may be due to psychological issues.Â Try to identify any major changes, and try to make your cat feel more secure.