(StatePoint) From inappropriate marking to excessive meowing to scratching, a misbehaving cat can cause disruption in your home. Unfortunately, behavior problems are the number one reason for pet euthanasia, resulting in the death of approximately 15 million pets annually, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
But not all these bad behaviors are your pet’s “fault.” Stress, caused by a variety of factors, can contribute to these issues. After visiting a veterinarian to rule out any physical causes for your feline’s follies, take steps to encourage good behavior and decrease stress in your cat’s life.
“You don’t need to resort to drastic measures to stop a cat’s behavioral issues,” says Caryn Stichler, vice president of marketing for Sergeant`s Pet Care Products. “There are a number of ways to create a calm, stress-free environment for your pet including using pheromone-based products.”
If your cat’s stress is causing you stress, here are a few steps you can take to change your pet’s behavior:
• Litter box: Is your kitty’s use of his litter box unreliable? Make sure you’re keeping it clean and changing the litter on a regular basis.
Don’t relocate the box. Animals, like people, form habits and can be stressed out by change.
• Noise: If you’re the host with the most, be mindful of the consequences. Loud noises and a room full of strangers can add stress to your pet’s life. Take steps to limit the burden by never blasting music and ensuring your pet has access to water, a litter box and food in the less trafficked areas of your home.
• Be proactive: More than two million cat owners have used a calming product on their pet. If your pet’s behavioral problems are triggered by travel, thunderstorms, fireworks or new social situations, consider a calming collar for your cat that’s been scientifically proven to reduce or eliminate such behaviors. It mimics the pheromone that the mother cat produces to calm and reassure and calm her kittens. Pheromones are chemical substances used for communication between members of a species.
• Comfortable space: Make sure your cat’s living space is not just a place to survive, but a place to thrive. Cats love to observe the world around them, so make sure your kitty has access to windows. Be sure to provide your cat with plenty of toys and spend some quality time together each day as mental and physical stimulation are important
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