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Psychology of a cat

Cats are emotional and expressive animals, capable of deep affection and sweetness on the one hand and anger, jealousy and fear on the other. On top of that, each cat has a unique personality and temperament, so deciphering your pet's cat psychology can be a difficult task.

Because cats developed as wild animals and predators, even domesticated house cats retain certain basic instincts that do not always fit with the home environment. One of the most common problem behaviors that cat owners face is cat scratching, when a cat scratches doors, floors, walls or other hard surfaces in the house. Scratching is a perfectly natural activity for a cat, as wild cats need to scratch their claws periodically to sharpen them. Punishing your cat for scratching the furniture or another spot in the house is only confusing for him. Instead, make sure that you give your cat towers or posts for scratching. When he scratches where he is not allowed, redirect him to the designated scratching tower and encourage his behavior.

Cats also developed as nocturnal animals. Many owners are frustrated by the fact that their cat sleeps during the day but seems to be wide awake and rambunctious at night. Again, this behavior is natural for a cat and should not be punished. Rather, take the time to play with your cat before you head to bed. Doing so may help to wear your cat out and shift his playtime earlier into the night. In extreme cases, consider keeping your cat in a separate part of the house at night so that he does not disturb your sleep.

With an understanding of how your cat thinks and operates you can train him to avoid problem behaviors. Firm but appropriate reprimanding can be combined with small rewards and praise to encourage your cat away from troublesome behaviors and towards positive ones. Owners that take the time to build a gentle and loving relationship with their pets tend to be the most successful trainers.

If your cat has a sudden shift in temperament, or dramatically shifts his behaviors for no apparent reason, schedule an appointment for a veterinary examination. Sudden changes in personality and behavior may indicate a variety of underlying health problems, and a prompt examination may allow you to identify and treat an ailment quickly and with minimal suffering for your pet.

Source: vetinfo

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