Library

Cats + Behavior

  • Losing a pet is difficult for all members of the family including surviving pets. Dogs and cats view family members, animal and human, as part of a pack. The stability of the pack is important to the pet’s sense of well being. Disruption of the pack dynamic that occurs when one pet dies can impact the other pets in the family. Pets form relationships with each other and with humans and they respond to the loss of a family member with physical and behavioral changes that manifest as grief. Recognizing and dealing with pet grief can help re-establish a healthy family unit.

  • Learning to eliminate in the chosen area is a crucial skill for pet kittens and cats. Most cats prefer unscented, fine grit clumping style litter, a deep box with at least 3” of digging material, a large area inside the box, and boxes located in quiet areas that are easily accessible. Provide lower-sided litter boxes for kittens and senior cats and multiple litter boxes for multi-cat homes. Doing our best to keep the litter clean and appealing to cats is one of the most important factors in maintaining good elimination habits in our pets. If you find a mistake after the fact, calmly and quietly clean the area, and resolve to better supervise the kitten in the future. Do not punish your kitten or cat for making a mistake. If your cat is ever seen frequently going to and from the litter box, standing or squatting in the litter for prolonged periods, posturing or standing in the litter box and vocalizing, these are all urgent concerns and require immediate veterinary attention.

  • Cats are very good at hiding signs of pain, so cat owners need to be very observant to recognize behavior changes that indicate their cat needs help. Some of the most common behavior changes are associated with grooming and litter box habits. This handout describes these and other changes to watch for, as well as advice on how to support your aging cat.

  • Inappropriate elimination generally refers to a cat is urinating and/or defecating in the house in places other than its litter box. Most successful treatments rely on a combination of behavior modification techniques and drug therapy.

  • Counterconditioning and desensitization are powerful ways to change behavior. They are usually used in combination. Desensitization provides a means of safely exposing the pet to the stimulus at a level at or below which fear is likely to be exhibited.

  • Play is a very important part of the feline world and kittens need the opportunity to play in order to learn vital adult skills both for communication and for hunting.

  • A la mayoría de los gatos no es necesario adiestrarlos para enseñarles a utilizar su bandeja. En general es suficiente con disponer una bandeja con un sustrato apropiado que les atraiga. Alrededor de los 30-36 días de vida, los gatitos dejan el nido para encontrar un lugar separado donde hacer sus necesidades.

  • Cat Behavior and Training - Cat Neutering and Behavior

    Cuando son machos, los animales de compañía, de trabajo o de producción suelen castrarse a menos que se quieran utilizar como reproductores. La castración es una práctica muy común para prevenir comportamientos sexuales inadecuados, reducir la agresividad y evitar la descendencia accidental o indiscriminada.

  • Socialization and Fear Prevention in Kittens

    La socialización es un proceso a través del cual los gatitos reciben información sobre sí mismos, sobre su especie y sobre otras especies con las que convivirán en el futuro. Una socialización adecuada permite a los gatitos interactuar con otros seres vivos y con su ambiente.

  • Crate training is most commonly used with dogs, but it can be useful for kittens and cats too. Crate training is useful in many situations, such as providing a safe place when home alone or unsupervised which prevents housetraining mistakes, a safe place to sleep undisturbed, to travel by car or airplane, for medical care and visits to the veterinarian, and for boarding or vacation camp. Starting while your pet is young makes training easier, but most pets can be trained. If your pet shows signs of distress (e.g., prolonged vocalization, trying to escape, salivation, rapid continuous movement) while using the training methods provided in this handout consult with your veterinarian.