Last week, we focused on how our furry friends are helping us adapt to life at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we will take this a step further as we let you in on what you may be doing—even unintentionally—that drives your fuzzy feline so crazy it can make him go out of his (Armarkat) tree, if only temporarily.
1.Litter box fails: Not cleaning or scooping often enough can make Kitty turn up his nose at you. The rule is: One litter box per cat in the house, plus one extra. If you have two cats, you should have three boxes and scoop no less than once a day. Scooping more often is never an issue.
2. Loud Noises: Cats have sensitive ears and mine is no exception. If I watch TV in the bedroom at night, Petunia won’t come to bed until that TV is turned off and the room is quiet and dark. Cats are blessed with supersonic hearing so that they can detect the small skittering of their prey. Their tall outer ears that twist andturn work to amplify the smallest noises. Even when loud sounds aren’t directed their way, sudden noises will often send them running. To keep them pacified, keep the music low and the sound turned down.
3. Scolding Her Royal Majesty: We need to understand that little things that bother us are no worry to Kitty. When he knocks a glass from counter to floor, when he digs in our potted plants, these are non-consequential activities. When you point a finger or raise your voice (see above), you are not only confusing him, but you may also scare him. Best to use gentle guidance and training methods like rewarding his gentle behaviors.
4. Ignoring Odd Behavior: Cats will go to great lengths to get our attention. Sometimes their strange, goofy, or odd behavior is a signal that something is not right. Persistent scratching, odd movements, or a change in litter box habits can be subtle signs that kitty isn’t feeling well. Cats are pros at hiding pain and illness, so use odd behavior as a sign to call the vet and have Fluffy checked out.
5. And You Thought Their Ears Were Sensitive: A cat’s sense of smell is 14x greater than that of a human. They feel assaulted by us every day with our various odors emanating from our cleaning products to our perfumes. I can tell you that Petunia runs away whenever I get out the hand lotion. Here are some of Kitty’s most detested scents (though I don’t know how they compiled this poll): Citrus, Litter Box, Banana, Pine, Rotten Fish, Pepper, Smelly Soaps and Deodorants. Can’t much blame the cat, right?
6. Stranger Danger: Cats dislike and fear the unknown. This comes from their love of habit. What—and who—they don’t know presents a fear factor to them. To best respect their wishes, do not force them to interact with anyone new. If they see how comfortable you are with the new person, they will often come around. But sometimes they want nothing to do with anyone but Cat Mommy or Cat Daddy. You can be glad they at least grace you with their attention, and perhaps even their affection!
7. Stupid Human Tricks, The Bad Water Bowl: Most cats are notorious for being finicky about drinking enough water. We all know that hydration is important in people, so you can safely assume it is just as important for felines. When our picky felines don’t eat enough wet food, it becomes crucial they get their water. Welcome to their world: If they don’t like the bowl, or if it is not changed at least twice a day, they may turn up their noses at drinking. To keep them enticed, always fill it to the top with clean, fresh water. Or, try a fountain since it is the closest to running water. Do discourage them from drinking from the toilet. Here, the water may be cold, but it may not be pure.
Since this column is so much fun, we will save the rest of Kitty’s annoyances until next week. In the meantime, if you want to read more, you can jump the shark and go to: