Whining cats 3 tips for annoying behaviour.
Cats can sometimes show really intrusive behavior. Like your cat sitting on your laptop, or just right on your face while you are trying to sleep, pushing pens and other items off the table, meows in the middle of the night or scratches to your new couch when you're busy talking on the phone. Where does this remarkable behavior come from? Why do cats throw random stuff on the floor and how can you stop the begging behaviour? Also important to discuss with your cat sitter: here are our 3 tips for whining cats.
First of all: why do some cats show this pushy behaviour? Although cats are solitary animals and like to go their own way, they can actually be quite social beings who can read human body language quite well. Cats that whine or beg always have a very specific goal: they either look for attention or food or they have something else they want to tell you. Unintentionally, we give them what they want quickly. We quickly respond if our cat sits on our laptop. Maybe we push him away or we talk to the cat. By meowing in the night, you might respond by letting him stay in your room, or even just by just saying 'shhhht'.
Negative attention is also attention: a cat that scratches your beautiful furniture does that very consciously because he knows you will respond. If your cat just sits down in front of your face while you are working, he knows that he eventually gets his way and demands your attention. Your cat is not only smart but also very patient. He will continue his behavior until you give in. Your cat does that mainly because he likes you! He likes you and wants your attention and affection. Yet the intrusive behaviour can be very annoying and disrupt the bond between you and your cat.
Throwing stuff on the floor
Knocking random stuff over is very common cat behaviour. A pen, your phone or that expensive vase - cats like to throw things on the floor. There are 2 possible explanations for this behaviour. First of all, moving small objects is like playing with a prey that doesn't move anymore. To 'practice' this, the cat throws the 'dead prey' like your phone on the floor. A second explanation is again attention: you respond to the behavior by getting mad, picking up the object or start to laugh. Anyway, whatever you were doing was interrupted. Mission complete :-)
Behaviour such as throwing things over, meowing or begging varies per cat: not every cat is showing this behaviour to the same extent. Do you get yourself a cat sitter? Discuss with him / her the habits and character of the cat beforehand, so that he or she can take this into account during the home visits.
Boredom and stress
Cats sleep an average of about 18 hours per day, but that doesn't mean that they are lazy. All those naps are very useful for those moments when they are awake and alert enough to hunt and play. Cats that aren't able to enjoy their daily playtime and get rid of their energy might get bored at some point. This can lead to undesirable behavior such as scratching furniture, urinating indoors and even aggression. Also, stress factors like other pets, loud noise, or small children might make the cat feel uncomfortable. Therefore, ensure a calm environment and avoid as many stress factors as possible. Make sure the cat has enough safe spots to retreat and can enjoy his daily playtime, climbing and cuddling. Read more about stress symptoms and how to reduce it.
With a scratching pole, a cat releases stress
To stop pushy behaviour: 3 tips
1) It is difficult, but it is important to NOT give the cat attention if he shows the undesirable behaviour. The only thing you can do is to quietly picking up the cat and put him away. Even though his behaviour is funny, weird or annoying, ignore your cat totally. It may take some time, but as soon as the cat realizes that his persistent behaviour (begging, whining, meowing) doesn't get him anywhere anymore, he will quit it in the end.
2) Is your cat a beggar? Some cats can behave very dramatic when it comes to food. If your cat gets enough food, then there is nothing wrong, just ignore the behaviour. But also keep in mind that cats that are on a strict diet or are very active can also be hungry. Try to divide the meals a bit more over the day, give small portions more often and check if your cat really gets enough food. Also, if your cat meows a lot, it is important that you check if your cat is in pain. Read how to check if your pet is sick or in pain.
3) You can prevent your cat from getting bored by ensuring sufficient distraction and by your regular play-time. You really don't have to play with him for hours, and a few minutes two or three times a day is enough. Do this at times when your cat is very active and really in the mood for playing. Cats are active mostly during the evening and early in the morning. Hunting games with a fishing rod or laser pointer are always appreciated, you can also hide sweets or toys with catnip. Make sure the cat is well challenged and can chase and jump after something. Boxes, cat tunnels and climbing poles ensure that the cat gets enough physical exercise indoors. Want to make your own cat toys? It's very easy.
Cats that are challenged and can show their natural behaviour are less likely to scratch your furniture. Make sure there are enough scratching poles available. Are you leaving your cat home alone for a few days? Then make sure to book a loving, devoted cat sitter who really takes the time for your cat and not only gives food but also provides him with his daily playtime and cuddles.