How to Discipline a Cat: Do’s and Don’ts

How to discipline a cat

Correcting unwanted behaviours in cats is a topic that is plagued with misinformation that is not only counterproductive but can also be abusive. Most pet lovers don’t want to harm their pets, which is why it is so important to use safe and kind methods when attempting to correct unwanted behaviours in cats.

While some feline behaviours can be frustrating,  cats aren’t inherently naughty and they don’t engage in behaviours out of spite, no matter how much it sometimes feels that way.

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Why Do Cats Flop Down In Front Of You?

Why do cats flop at your feet?

Why do cats flop down in front of you?

Flopping at your feet is an effective way to elicit attention from you. We have two choices, step over the cat or respond to the cute ball of fluff at our feet. For most people, the flop is guaranteed to make a person react with attention and by responding to the cat, we are rewarding it with positive reinforcement.

The belly is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, and cats instinctively know this. Several critical organs (kidneys, liver, pancreas) are located in the belly, therefore cats will only show their belly to people they trust, or when they are being submissive towards another cat. The submissive and vulnerable cat will have his or her ears pulled back and the limbs raised in defence. This is very different from the flop at the feet of a human companion.

Submissive cat

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Why Do Cats Like To Sit On Our Things?

Why do cats sit on our things?

Every cat owner has experienced their cat sitting on our laptop, book, newspaper or clothes. There are a few scenarios when it comes to cats sitting on our things. While cats have retained some of their former wild behaviours, thousands of years of domestication has also created a loving and sentient creature who wants to be a part of their human family.

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Boredom in Cats

Boredom in cats

Signs of boredom in cats at a glance

  • Clingy behaviour
  • Overeating
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Excessive grooming
  • Going to the toilet outside the litter tray
  • Fighting with other cats in the house
  • Inactivity

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Tail Sucking in Cats

Tail sucking in cats

Tail sucking is a common behaviour in which the kitten or adult cat sucks or chews the tip of the tail; it is similar to thumb sucking in children. Some cats will suck their tail compulsively, which can lead to hair loss and trauma.

Why do cats suck their tail?

Sucking is a natural reflex that goes back to infancy when kittens suckled from their mother, which was comforting. Some cats will continue to suck well into adulthood. Tails aren’t the only target, others include soft toys, clothing, blankets, people and other cats.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Cats

Obsessive compulsive disorder in cats

Key points What is an obsessive-compulsive disorder? Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterised by abnormal and repetitive behaviours with no real purpose. Causes: Stress, anxiety, boredom, and in some cases, genetics. Symptoms: Overgrooming, self-mutilation, wool sucking, pica, increased vocalisation. What is obsessive-compulsive disorder? Obsessive-compulsive disorder (abbreviated to OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which … Read more

Why Do Cats Chew Your Hair

Cat chewing hair

Why do cats chew on your hair?

Every cat lover knows how much time cats spend grooming, second only to sleeping. Cats groom themselves (auto grooming) and cats who are closely bonded will often engage in social grooming with one another (allogrooming). Many cats will also groom their human family, which can include licking their skin and hair as well as chewing and pulling the hair.

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Cat in Heat (Estrus)

What is a cat in heat? A cat in heat (also known as estrus or calling) is where an entire female cat is fertile and receptive to mating. It usually seasonal but can depend on several factors including the number of daylight hours, age and general health of the cat. There are four phases of … Read more

Why Do Cats Lie On Their Back?

Why do cats lie on their back?

Anybody who follows our Facebook page will have seen the many photos of our cat Norman, lying on his back. No matter how many times I see it, it never gets old. Norman will flop down anywhere and at any time on his back.

Norman will lie on his back when he is awake or asleep. While definitely not unheard of, lying on the back is less common than other positions, especially when sleeping.

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How To Help Cats Scared of Thunder and Fireworks

How to help cats scared of thunder and fireworks

We have recently had a spate of thunderstorms and when they occur, there is an increasing number of calls for help from people whose cats and dogs have run away. The loud noises which come with not only thunder but also fireworks (which sound similar to thunder) can trigger extreme fear and anxiety in our pets.

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