Common Cat Problems Solved: Excessive Meowing

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Common Cat Problems Solved

Question: My cat meows and makes a lot of noise, seemingly for no reason. What can I do to stop it?

Answer: Firstly, you need to ensure there genuinely is no reason for your cat making noise or meowing excessively. One of the only ways a cat has to communicate any discomfort they are in is by making noise, so while the problem may not be immediately evident, one should not assume nothing is wrong.

If your cat is making too much noise, have a quick examine of he or she. Run your hands along their body and study their reactions; look for particular discomfort when you touch any areas, and investigate fully if your cat does express any sign of pain. Check their eyes, ears and teeth for any problems such as infections, and ensure their claws are trimmed and healthy looking. If you do find any problems, book an appointment with your veterinarian.

If, however, you find no problems, it is safe to assume the issue is more psychological than physical. Essentially, when a cat makes too much noise and they are not in any physical discomfort, they are attention seeking. They may want to be fed, to be played with, or just to sit on your lap – whatever, provided they have your attention.

The only way to combat this is to ignore them. If necessary, shut your kitty in a separate room until they have calmed down. By giving in and fussing over your cat, you will teach them that their cries for attention absolutely work – so they will see no reason not to continue to do it. Stay firm, and soon they will lose patience.

Cat Training Equipment – The Zapper Collar

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Common Cat Problems Solved

One thing that people find with cats, perhaps more than any other domestic pet, is that the cat’s behavior will often be very much exactly what suits them, and that trying to persuade it to act against its instincts is something of a battle. There is no doubt whatsoever that cats are more comfortable behaving the way their instincts tell them, and so it is important to work with its instincts to make sure that it behaves in a way you can live with.

One very common behavior that is shown by cats who are used to getting their own way is scratching, when a cat gives its claws a workout by picking at furniture or carpets, and even when you call its name to warn it against doing so it tends to continue. Equally, a lot of cats have a tendency to “over-bury” in the litter tray, scratching away at the litter for a prolonged period until such time as it is physically removed.

One thing that is often used by owners to prevent cats from behaving in such a manner is the zapper collar. Some of these collars emit an electric shock which provides an impetus to stop problem behavior. However, there is great debate over whether this is a humane solution to problem behaviors. Many zapper collars are less than humane – after all, would you physically hit your cat for carrying out such behaviors? That is what it amounts to. However, more humane variations, including one that sprays a citrus scent (unpleasant but not injurious to cats), may be a worthwhile investment.

Litter Training Can Save Your Carpet

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Common Cat Problems Solved

When you have a new cat, it is generally accepted that it is going to have its share of “little accidents” when it comes to using the toilet. As cats are creatures of instinct, it is only normal that, when it comes to performing natural bodily functions, it will basically respond to the “law of the jungle”, or to be more accurate it will urinate and defecate where it sees fit. If your cat is an indoor pet, this will generally take the shape of going on your carpet or hardwood floor, and then trying unsuccessfully to bury it.

Most people on buying a cat instantly also buy some necessary equipment, such as a litter tray. However, persuading a cat to go in the litter tray is not always easy. Such trays are filled with “cat litter”, which is usually made from natural substances and allows the cat to go to the toilet somewhere that it can bury what it has done. However, a tray filled with litter is not the same as a forest floor. It is also usually very specifically positioned, taking away the cat’s chance to go where it wants, so you need to be firm with training it.

Unlike humans, cats have a very quick digestive cycle, so the important thing when training one to use a litter tray is to wait for a few minutes after feeding, and then physically place the cat in the tray. It will discover that the litter enables it to bury what it has done, and in time will acclimatise to using the tray as its most efficient way of following its instincts.

The Carrot Is Better Than The Stick

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Common Cat Problems Solved

When a cat owner looks for the first time to train their cat – or at least, to correct certain problem behaviors – they will often find themselves asking the same question that is asked by trainers all over the world. Do I take the disciplinarian attitude that my rules must be followed (or there will be trouble), or do I decide that my cat will behave like it is supposed to (because it will be rewarded if it does)? This is a philosophical question – do you prefer to punish or reward?

In reality, it is probably a lot better to take the second way in this question, because cats are like people in that they react better to the promise of something good than the threat of something bad. Many people will tell you that cats simply don’t think in this way, but a simple little test will be all you need to see how a cat responds to repetitive actions. When you go to the cupboard where its food is stored, you will notice that the cat often runs over to you and either miaows or starts rubbing against you. The reason for this is that it has learned from habit that when you go to that spot, good things follow.
When you train a cat, a dog, or even a human being, by always having the threat of harsh treatment hanging over them you will only get one result. A timid being who is not free with their affections, and who may eventually turn on you in a most unpleasant manner.

How Many Is A Crowd?

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Common Cat Problems Solved

A large number of cat owners have more than one cat. There are varying reasons for this, and the reasons will often dictate the dynamic. Sometimes in a household, even though the pets are nominally a family animal, you will find that a cat (or a dog for that matter) is often referred to as being attached to a specific member of the family. For this reason, sometimes a family will get more pets so that everyone has their “own”. This doesn’t always work out.


Another reason for getting more pets is that people find that a cat will be more content if it has a playmate. This theory works, up to a point, but anyone who has introduced a new cat into a household where one already exists will know that there are some drawbacks to the theory. Namely that if you introduce a new cat onto an older cat’s “turf”, the older one will not willingly give up any of its space.

Usually, though, a cat will eventually welcome a new pet into the house and will begin to form a bond with it. This helps training because – along with the increased contentment of having a “prowling partner” – each cat will be a lot more keen to follow instructions if they see that their fellow cat is doing the same and not having any problems as a result. Indeed, in many ways you are “leading by example” because a cat who recognizes the right way to act – through witnessing it in another – will be quicker to pick it up.

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