When clients ask for our assistance, they frequently have their own theories about why their cat is acting in ways that are considered unacceptable by human standards. Retaliation, grudges, and retribution are frequently cited as cat motivations for misbehavior. A frequent example is, “Every time I travel for work, my cat craps on my bed as a form of retaliation.” But was it actually what occurred in this case?
Humanizing our felines
We cat parents frequently humanize the habits and acts of our cats. Admit it: You two are proud to call yourself “cat parents.” (Yeah, we agree! We often converse with and confide in our cats in a similar way to how we would with a good friend. We frequently refer to cats as our BFFs (best feline friends) or even as our fur kids since they play such an important role in our daily lives. After all, there are numerous parallels between the behavior of our cats and that of our human kids.
It’s not a smart idea to give our pets human feelings, though. Actually, cats are driven by something more significant than feelings.
Behind the behavior
Humans are highly expressive, and we frequently base our decisions on our feelings. However, a cat has no feelings; everything it does is centered on survival. If you compare what your cat is doing, whether it’s good or terrible, to how stray or wild cats live, it becomes obvious that they are acting in a way that is consistent with their survival instincts.
Cats certainly have long memories, but they don’t seem to harbor grudges the way some people do. Cats who have had negative experiences with them may avoid particular individuals, locations, circumstances, or items. Cats of all sizes use their natural instincts for survival in this way in the wild. Cats are born with the instinct to protect themselves, even if they have never lived outside. Every cat has this as a constant driving force.
But acting out of instinct or out of recollection is not the same as harboring resentment. Your cat is not acting out in retaliation for something that upsets him. Even the definition of a grudge escapes him. He’s truly afraid, but he’s just acting to safeguard his resources.
It’s important to understand as much as you can about cats, their history of coexisting with people, and their typical behaviors as a cat parent. Cats are more cautious about their safety than your dog could be since they are in the center of the food chain and are both predators and prey. Understanding what makes cats tick can make it much simpler for you to understand what your cat is doing as well as for you to more effectively divert undesired behaviors.
Think like your cat
Put yourself in your cat’s shoes the next time you think his behavior is motivated by resentment or hostility. What is he actually attempting to say? Evaluate the overall issue, identify what or who is causing him to misbehave, and then look for solutions to reduce the threat, fear, and anxiety that are driving his actions. Make adjustments or refocus his efforts to reduce stress. Together, you’ll be more happy, and your home will be calm with a cat curled up on your lap.
Why is kitty acting this way?
Here are a few instances of unwelcome cat habits along with the message they are trying to convey. Always consult your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical causes for your cat’s annoying behavior.
Peeing or pooping on your bed: This is a common occurrence, and most people assume that it either implies the cat is being vindictive or that he doesn’t like them. Both are true. Your cat will find comfort in combining his fragrance with yours when he is feeling tense or frightened.
Spraying: Spraying activity, which differs greatly from peeing, is a cat’s way of saying “I live here, and you do not!” when he feels that his resources are in danger. Changes in the household, like as new pets or the presence of stray or feral cats nearby, are a few examples of what may make your cat feel as though there aren’t enough of his resources to go around. He thus marks them with his scent to recapture them as his.
Scratching: This isn’t retaliatory behavior either; your cat’s ancestors were scratchers. His paw pads help him scent track where he’s scratching, keeping his claws and paws in good condition. It’s a normal and essential aspect of your cat’s physical requirements.
Aggression: A cat acting aggressively is one who is in fear for his life and/or his well-being. That fight-or-fight mentality is triggered when a cat feels threatened, and he will do whichever one he feels is necessary to survive. Moving, new people in the household, new pets and any type of major change could create aggressive behavior in your cat. But again, this is not any type of hatred nor grudge your cat is harboring.
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