Don’t punish your cat!
As cat people and cat sitters, we do NOT punish cats. We address causes first to correct behavior. Punishing a cat can stress them out, make them feel frightened, worsen problems, and destroy the trust and bond they have with you. It’s helpful to think of them the way you would a human child- there is a reason they are “acting out.” They are responding to something in their lives or environment. Look for the reason behind the behavior you perceive to be “bad” and try to fix the source.
Help your cat, do this instead:
Peeing outside the litter box:
Is your cat peeing outside the litter box? This could mean they do not like their litter, they do not have enough litter boxes to go around in a multi-cat household, the litter box isn’t being scooped frequently enough, or even a medical issue. Some senior cats with arthritis have issues turning around completely in their litter box. Some of our rock star pet parents of senior kitties set up pee pads outside their litter box to make it easier to clean up.
Cats playing too forcefully with your hands/nipping/biting:
Don’t hit them or spray them with water. Walk away from them, and make sure they get the chance to play and get their energy out. Introduce a toy they can swat at, chase, and bite, and never use your hands as toys.
Cats scratching furniture:
Scratching is normal behavior for cats. They do it to get rid of the outer, dead part of their nails and reveal the new part, express emotions, get a good stretch, and to mark their territory. And they prefer something that is sturdy to do it on. There is no need to declaw a cat- it’s inhumane and with some training and the right supplies, unnecessary.
How to stop cats scratching on furniture?
Introduce proper scratching posts for your kitty- tall so they get a good stretch, sturdy so it doesn’t fall over, and typically sisal so there is substance. This is scratching post from Purrfect Post is a good option. Make sure you cover the furniture your cat usually scratches on- for larger pieces of furniture you can cover it with a sheet. You can make smaller areas undesirable by applying double-sided tape to them to make them sticky and unsatisfying to scratch. Place their new post next to their favorite (now covered) locations to scratch, and give them treats, catnip, and play around it. You can also offer corrugated cardboard if they like to scratch on horizontal surfaces. Be patient, and seek a cat behaviorist’s help if this doesn’t work.
If you need care for when you leave on vacation and want to make sure your cat is getting the appropriate kind of play and interaction, please contact us! Our cat sitters are truly cat people and would love to care for your feline family.
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.