Compulsive Behavior in Cats

Compulsive Behavior in Cats

Many clients talk about strange behaviors in their cats.  Goodness knows I have had issues of compulsive behavior with an indoor cat.  Most people who come to our home, don’t even realize we have a cat!  She only comes out at certain times to get a little people time and that is it.  She is very happy now settled in one of our barns where she gets her people time once a day when I feed and give her fresh water.  But we don’t want that to happen to your indoor kitty, so let’s talk about a few of these common issues.

  1. Most compulsive behavior comes from stress, just as it does in people.
  2. It can also develop because a cat was weaned too soon from it’s mother

tiger the clinic cat at his best!

So we need to address these two issues:

  • Work quickly to solve the compulsive behavior.
  • having an exam with the veterinarian can resolve any medical issues that might be causing behavior such as a UTI or thyroid condition.
  • Change the environment.  This can be adding play items to release stress.  A new toy can be a great distraction from the compulsive behaviors.
  • There is a lot of literature and study about creating a game for food for cats.  Food puzzles and hiding food so cats must hunt their food can give them a much needed stress reliever.
  • You may even need to remove things that trigger the compulsive behavior.  Other animals are usually a source of stress.  I realized that my kitty did not like the new puppy that was introduced.  Some cats do well to be by themselves and others thrive with other cats and pets.  
  • If you are adopting a cat, make sure you ask questions ahead of time to make sure you have a good fit.  If you have dogs already, make sure the cat will adapt to them.  The cat you already have may not be willing to accept a new cat.  Give a new pet the best start you can.

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