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