A Potential CATastrophe: How To Stop a Destructive Cat
You arrive home from running errands to find a potted plant knocked off the window ledge, the sofa is wet with cat urine, and there is trash strewn about in the bathroom. Is this the work of an intruder? More likely the destruction is caused by your bored or unhappy house cat.
Destructive Cat? We All Have Issues
Cats are curious by nature, and they love to move things around—books off of shelves, keys from the entryway table, etc. Although these are normal cat behaviors, a noticeable behavior change in your cat could signal a health issue brewing.
If you’ve noticed your cat being more destructive than normal, there could be an underlying health problem. Unusual pet behavior often indicates illness or pain. Cats will hide sickness from you for as long as they can, but they may not be completely able to hide their distress. Aggressive and escalating destructive behaviors may require a trip to the vet for a wellness exam.
Cat-astrophic Behavior—Works In Progress
A thorough examination by your trusted veterinary reveals that your cat is healthy as a horse. So why is kitty so destructive? Boredom and separation anxiety may be the answer. It could be that your cat is just being a cat! Normal, attention-getting, and boredom behaviors include:
- Attacking humans
- Knocking things over
- Climbing up curtains
- Scratching furniture, upholstery, and carpets
- Urinating outside of the litter box
- Nighttime games that keep you awake!
Separation anxiety and other psychological upsets can cause these destructive behaviors:
- Chewing on house plants—some houseplants are toxic for cats. Know your plants before bringing them home. Here are some common houseplants to avoid if you have cats:
- o Aloe
- o Begonia
- o Caladium
- o Dieffenbachia
- o English ivy
- o Fig
- o Geraniums
- o Lilies
- o Mistletoe
- o Oleander
- o Philodendron
- o Poinsettia
- Excessive grooming
- Not using the litter box
How Can I Stop My Cat’s Destructive Behavior?
Boredom can be a problem easily solved. Cats are clever, energetic, and on the hunt for something to climb, move, scratch, or pounce on. You can distract your cat from destruction by providing ample opportunities for physical and mental activity.
- Food puzzles
- Climbing towers
- Rotate toys
- Scratching posts
- Hide tasty treats
- Offer chase and cuddle time
If your cat is suffering from anxiety or trauma, your veterinarian will recommend trainers or pet behaviorists to help modify your kitty’s response to fear. Anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed to help calm your pet.
Highway Veterinary Hospital Staff Is Here For Your Pet’s Health
Our veterinarians and staff are ready to answer your questions about pet behavior and health care. We encourage you to visit us for annual wellness exams and vaccinations. We welcome your questions and are here to support you in helping your pets live happy and healthy lives! Please call us to schedule an appointment at (301) 249-2005 or use our convenient online form.