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Why does my cat do.....?

We at Willetteragdol have a combined 80 years experience with cats. Let's try to answer some common questions and concerns...


1. My cat missed the litter box when they went to the bathroom.
What should I do? 

First of all, the rule of thumb is 1.5 litter boxes per kitty. For example, if you have 2 cats, your should have 3 litter boxes. Three cats? Five litter boxes, etc. Changing your brand of kitty litter can cause a cat to "go" outside of the box. Your cat may have litter box avoidance because it doesn't like the kind of litter you're using. When in doubt, use different brands of litter in different boxes and see which one your cat prefers. We tell our parents to use non-scented litter because many cats do not like the smell of scented litter. They prefer non-scented, scoopable litter. Also, cats, like people, can be fussy about their bathroom, so make sure to keep it clean. Another reason why cats may avoid a litter box is that the cat may have a medical problem such as a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). Cats will avoid litter boxes if they have a urinary tract infection. They will be in pain, and will associate the litter box with the pain, therefore causing them to avoid the litter box. Cats that have been declawed will commonly void outside the litter box because it physically hurts their paws after being declawed. Many declawed cats end up in animal shelters for this exact reason. We will talk more about declawing later. One more reason for voiding outside of the litter box is that your cat may be being ambushed by other kitties. If this is the reason, you should have a non-covered box and make sure it is large enough for your kitty. Cats need enough room to be able to turn around in their potty box.


2.  My cat attacked my feet for no reason, why is it so mean?

We believe there is no such thing as a mean cat, just a cat that is misunderstood. Most likely, if your cat jumps on you, it is what we call "Play aggression". Your cat is bored and needs to expel some energy This normally happens with kittens...especially kittens who are the sole pet in the home and have no one to play with. They may be bored or lonely. So play with your kitty. We suggest using the kitty laser, your kitty will expend a lot of energy trying to catch that little red light! Another great toy that we suggest is the fishing pole toy with feather. Remember, please use any toys with strings under adult supervision only! Your kitten could hurt themselves, so please, when you are not playing with your kitten, put this toy away in a drawer.


3.  I leave his food in his dish all day long, why doesn't my kitty eat his food?

Therein lies the problem...dry food should be left out no longer than one day, after which please throw it away. Dry food is just like chips in a bowl, they become stale.Wet food should be left out no longer than 2 hours. Would you eat a sandwich that had been left out all day long? Of course not! Bacteria and germs will grow on your kitty's food just as it would grow on yours. We suggest to our parents that they please feed their kitty on a small, flat plate.Of course, dry food goes into a bowl. Fresh water should be in a clean bowl and changed several times a day, washing the bowl each time.Also, please remember to keep the toilet lids closed. You do not want your kitty to pick up any parasites from drinking out of the toilet bowl.


4.  I rub my kitty's tummy with my hands, why does he bite me?

Always use a toy when playing with your cat. Hands are for patting, not playing. If you play with your cat with your hands your kitty will think hands are toys, this is never a good idea. Also remember your cat is not a dog, so  do not play rough with your kitty.  Rough play can cause your cat to have play aggression which is never a good idea.


5.  My cat is hiding under the bed , why is he doing this? 

If your kitty is hiding under the bed, and this is unusual behavior for your cat, chances are there's something going on medically. Please have your cat checked out by your veterinarian as soon as possible...remember cats do not show sickness until they are very sick, it is a survival instinct for a cat to hide illnesses.


6.  How would you suggest cutting my cats nails? 

Like tooth brushing, it's always good to start cutting your kittens nails when he/she are a very young kitten.  We also suggest that if your kitty is uncomfortable having their nails cut, that you give them treats when it's nail clipping time. We think rewarding  good behavior is always a good idea.  


7.  Why is my cat walking around the house with his mouth open?

Cats exhibit this behavior for several reasons, one of which could be a health reason. If your cat is doing any unusual behavior, it is always a good idea to have him/her checked out by a veterinarian.  I t could be that your cat is just smelling the air… Yes I said smelling.


8.  How do I introduce my older kitty to my new kitten? 

We cannot stress this enough, please slow , slow , "ketchup pouring from a new bottle" slow . Slow introductions are always the best policy.  We tell our parents to feed the new kitten on one side of the door and the older kitty on the other side of the door... this way, when they smell each other, they associate it with good things happening, i.e. Food.  Another thing we tell our parents is to put your kitten inside the carrier and let your old kitty smell him, rewarding the older kitty with a treat... so again associating good things happenng when they see their new sibling.  If you have any problems with your kitty and you want advice, you can call us anytime for the life of your kitty.


9.  My cat keeps going near the outside door should I be worried? 

Yes be very worried.  We suggest putting some pennies in a can and taping the opening shut.  When your cat exhibits behavior like going near the outside door, shake that can of pennies vigorously! Please do not yell at your cat. A firm "no" and making the noise is enough to discourage him. 


10. How do I teach my cat not to scratch my furniture?  

First of all,  you need to have scratching toys for your cat. Scratching is normal behavior. Cats need to own something ...we suggest a cat tree near the window. Plastic kitty toys that look like a ring with a ball that rolls around inside the ring and has a cardboard center is an excellent toy for your kitty,  young and old they all love this toy. If you're not sure which toy we are referencing, please contact us.

Kitten & Cat Behavior
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