As promised, this week’s column will focus on things we may be doing without even realizing it that drive our felines absolutely bonkers. It explains some of their “acting out” behaviors towards us. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have a better understanding of just what unexpected things might be driving your cat up her Armarkat tree! Last week, we covered the first seven things you may not be aware of. This week, we’ll end with the last eight:
8. Teasing Fur Baby: Her Majesty does not take criticism well. Nor, does she like being taunted. Poking, pulling or chasing are not well liked, whether it is from you or from strangers. Instead, respect her space and refrain from behaviors which could make her feel scared. Remember, they are much smaller than we are.
9. Dressing her Up: You may think she looks adorable, but most kitties look at clothing as constraints. They can become agitated and feel that they are being restricted. It is the rare glamour puss who enjoys a wardrobe. Take a clue from her reactions, and you’ll know whether she likes or dislikes your attempts to glamorize her!
10. It’s No Joy Ride: For a cat to thrive, he needs familiarity, repetition, and constancy in his environment. He wants to know everything is the same in every way, every day. Can you imagine how he feels if you lock him up in a carrier and take him outside? Then, out for a ride in the car where everything goes whizzing by? Panic sets in and shatters any feelings of security that he counts on. Of course, we can’t help the annual vet ride. And just maybe, if you take him out often enough, he will become a car cat. But this is the exception, not the rule.
11. Ignoring her cries of “I Vant to be Alone”: We all need our “me time,” and your fluffy feline is no exception. It is especially important that she have her Armarkat tree and her Armarkat pet bed. It is in these places she draws comfort and solace away from the world. If you respect her need to be alone, she will be more than happy to play and bond and socialize with you when she is ready.
12. Not lavishing attention when she wants it: As we just mentioned, felines may need their alone time, but they also need love just like their humans. Feel free to snuggle and cuddle when they are in the mood. And always make time for play. This keeps them entertained, exercised, and looking forward to the next play session with you, their human!
13. The Nails that Scratch: Though they may appear to not like it, your cat needs you to keep feline nails cut to a reasonable length. They will not be able to injure you with claws that are short, so no matter how much they don’t like those manicures be persistent until they become used to the procedure.
14. Ignoring Cats Needs for Grooming: Aside from regular manicures, you will need to assist in keeping Kitty well groomed. Fastidious and clean by nature, they don’t like a whisker out of place. But, depending upon the length of the fur, you may need to brush their coat once a week--or twice a day. Brushing helps remove those pesky mats and keeps their fur extra clean by removing excess dander and skin cells. Performed regularly, I have seen cats (like mine) who grow to demand it. Since they are the boss, you should kindly oblige.
15. Ignoring Their Food whims: Cats love the security of a full food bowl at all times. If there is any food missing, they might alert you to the catastrophe at odd hours, so make sure there is plenty in the bowl before going to sleep at night. On the other side of the spectrum, if the food bowl stays full and kitty is not eating, you may need to recognize Miss Picky is trying to tell you that this is not the correct brand of wet or dried food. No battle of wills here. You don’t want her to go hungry. Change her food.
Again, when you do her bidding you will be a happier cat parent. Cats are pretty open about communicating their dislikes. For a happier world, respond to cat-itude with the appropriate deference, and both you and Fluffy will be better off for it!
For more on what drives them nuts, please go to: