8 Common Cat Problems and How to Solve Them

When our feline companions purr at us while rubbing up against our legs, kneading our laps, or looking us in the eye, we just adore it. However, there are other aspects of our canine and feline companions that we might not always like. Not when they roam around the house at three in the morning or disobey instructions to use a spotlessly clean litter box.

The encouraging news is that virtually every typical issue involving cats may be solved with a little bit of assistance. WebMD went to the experts in the pet industry to seek their advice on how to solve some of the most common problems that occur with cats.

8 Common Cat Problems and Their Solutions

Litter box issues. According to Linda P. Case, MS, author of The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health, this is by far the most common issue that individuals report having with their cats. She calls it “number one by far.” And no wonder. It might be very upsetting for both of you if your cat decides the litter box is off-limits. However, there is typically a reason why cats won’t use their litter box, and fortunately, there are a variety of things you can do to try to get them to use it again.

  • Consult your animal doctor first. Your cat may begin to avoid using the litter box for a variety of reasons, including urinary tract disorders, crystals in the urine, and bladder stones. Be sure to take your cat to the veterinarian so that they can rule out these and any other potential health problems they may find.
  • Keep at least one litter box for each cat in your home. If your cat has to wait in a line before they can relieve themselves, they may go to the potty somewhere else. You should try out a few different kinds of litter and different types of litter boxes. Other cats like covered litter boxes, while others do not, and some cats have a preference for a particular sort of litter.
  • Always make sure the litter box is clean, and remember that even clumping litter needs to be replaced regularly. As a general rule, you should clean the litter box at least once a day, and if you have more than one cat, you should do it twice a day.

Scratching. It could look like your cat is trying to annoy you by scratching the furniture and the drapes in your home, but in reality, cats are doing it to burn off excess energy, to play, establish their territory, and even get rid of any frayed portions of claw that may have formed. The good news is that, according to Case, “Scratching is easy to prevent,” as reported by WebMD. You won’t have to make do with tattered furniture or prevent your cat from acting in its natural manner because of this. To avoid causing further harm from scratching:

  • You should purchase one or more scratching posts for your cat, and then apply some catnip to the surfaces of the scratching posts so that your feline buddy will use them.
  • Clip the claws of your cat regularly. Even though it could look difficult at first, trimming is much simpler than it appears. You should ask your veterinarian for a speedy lesson on how to perform the task, as he or she can probably do it in less than ten seconds. This is something that can be learned.
  • With some brightly colored claw caps, you can turn your cat into a fashion plate (also called nail caps). These itty-bitty sleeves made of vinyl fit over the claws of kitties, preventing them from inflicting any injury when they scratch.

Cat aggression. A cat can display violent behavior for a variety of causes, such as disease, overcrowding, lack of socialization, lack of mother protection, or even just plain play. To assist you in dealing with the aggressiveness that might occur between cats:

  • Talk to your veterinarian about how aggressive your cat might be. You will want to rule out any physical grounds for the kitty’s poor temper before you do anything else, as discomfort and illness are two things that are known to make people more irritable.
  • One healthy male cat can have an impact on the behavior of every other cat in your home. Male cats who have not been spayed or neutered are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior than other types of cats. The answer is quite straightforward: just spay or neuter your cat companions.
  • It’s possible that there aren’t enough resources for everyone in your furry family to get their needs met if they frequently argue with one another. Make sure there are adequate amounts of litter boxes, food and water bowls, toys, beds, and perches throughout the house, and then spread them out to prevent congestion. This will help maintain calm.
  • You should never hit an angry cat because doing so could lead to even more aggression from the cat, but you should stop a cat fight if it is already in progress. To achieve this goal, you can either throw something soft at the cats, splash them with water, or make a lot of noise around them. Never, ever try to separate two cats that are fighting.
  • Talk to a veterinary behaviorist if you and your veterinarian are unable to determine the reason why the kitty is being hostile. This type of professional could be able to help you figure out what’s causing your cat’s antagonism.

Too much nighttime activity. Because cats were nocturnal by nature before they were domesticated, it is simple to understand why many people who have just gotten a pet are dissatisfied with the amount of activity that occurs throughout the night. Apply the following advice to your cat if it doesn’t realize that nighttime is for sleeping, not for playing with one’s nose, and you want to assist it to understand this concept.

  • First, you should make sure there are no medical issues with your cat. If you think something could be wrong with your cat and you see that it is restless and energetic, you should discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.
  • If your cat just gets rowdy at night, you can help tire them out and relax them by engaging in some vigorous play right up until it’s time for bed.
  • You should make sure that the surrounding area of the kitty is improved so that there is plenty to do during the day, which will make your cat more likely to sleep at night. You may construct an enclosure for your cat, provide your cat with several different toys, put bird or squirrel feeders close to a window from which your cat can observe the outside world, or simply leave stuff out for your cat to investigate, such as boxes, bags, and packing paper.
  • If your feline acquaintance is the sociable type, you should get them another feline friend of their own so they can hang out together.
  • You should give your cat the most of their food at night because they are more likely to sleep after eating a large meal. You can also keep them entertained while they are eating by getting a timed feeder, which is a feeder that opens at certain intervals. Your pet finds amusement in monitoring their bowl and waiting for their snack at three in the morning, while you are deep in the throes of restful slumber.

Play-induced biting and scratching. Play is quite enjoyable for both cats and kittens. They are improving their physical coordination and perfecting their social abilities with every swat, pounce, and kick that they perform. However, there are occasions when cats can get too rough with the people they play with, which can result in bites or scratches that are susceptible to infection. You are in luck since you can still enjoy playing with your cat without running the risk of requiring stitches later on. To reduce the amount of rough play that kitten has:

  • You should offer your cat a wide variety of enrichment opportunities, such as playthings, perches, and outdoor enclosures, as well as paper bags and boxes for them to investigate. You might even give some thought to getting another cat for your current pet to play with.
  • At a minimum of twice every day, you should spend ten minutes playing with your cat. You can use anything from balls to toys stuffed with catnip to wadded-up paper; the possibilities are endless.
  • If you don’t want your cat to play with your hands or feet, don’t let it see you doing it. Kittens that spend their formative years playing with and nibbling on human fingertips frequently mature into powerful cats that play and bite with a vengeance.
  • It’s easy for a kitty to mistake a slap for hard play or to develop a fear of you, so resist the urge to discipline your cat when it plays rough and bites or scratches you.

Foiling fleas. Fleas are the most frequent type of external parasite that causes problems for pets. Fleas can be identified by several symptoms, including excessive licking, chewing, and scratching, as well as hair loss and skin irritation.

It just takes one flea inside to develop an infestation, yet fleas are simple to eliminate. Consult your veterinarian regarding options for flea control, and then treat all of your cats; if one has fleas, they all likely do. Because several dog flea treatments can be fatal to cats, only use cat-specific therapies.

Tackling tapeworms. Fleas are the most common pests on your cat’s outside, while tapeworms are the most common pests on your cat’s inside. This is because tapeworms are almost always found where there are fleas, and cats usually get tapeworms when they eat a flea. In the end, the conclusion is given: your cat has tapeworms if you see little white worms that move or something that looks like dried grains of rice in its poop or near its genitalia.

Tapeworms are not fatal, but if your cat has them and they are not treated, they can cause weight loss, pain in the gastrointestinal tract, and other health problems. Garlic has been used for a long time as a home remedy for tapeworms and fleas; however, there is little data to suggest that it is effective, and it can be challenging to get a kitty to consume it. Maintain adherence to the tried-and-true tapeworm treatments that your veterinarian has advised.

Yowling of a cat in heat. Meowing and yowling are the sounds that a female cat makes while she is in heat. These sounds are used to attract a potential mate by letting him know that she is ready to have kittens. If a male cat sees, hears, or smells a female cat that is in heat, he may start to vocalize more than usual. During the eight-month breeding season of a cat, this yowling and other mating rituals may take place as frequently as every 18-24 days.

Get your cats spayed or neutered, as this is the most effective method for dealing with a cat that is in heat or a cat that is reacting to a cat that is in heat. Although female cats can become pregnant as soon as 16 weeks of age, they can be spayed as young as 8 weeks of age.

If your cat has been spayed or neutered, but she’s still making a lot of noise meowing, it’s usually because she has fleas, the litter box is dirty, or the water bowl is dry. You shouldn’t disregard these vocal pleadings unless you are certain that your cat is only attempting to be a mooch. Furthermore, refrain from punishing them because this will just serve to make them terrified and will not cure the underlying issue.

There isn’t likely to be a problem with your cat that your vet or a veterinary behaviorist hasn’t already seen and helped solve. When things go wrong, you don’t have to put up with irritation or give up your soft friend. With a little help from experts and some patience, you and your cat friend can live together in perfect peace.

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