Newsday Tuesday–Changing Your Cat’s Behavior

IMG_1682 Yesterday we had fun talking about cats and their thought processes. It’s obvious to those of us who have lived with cats for many years (or even a short time) that cats can figure things out. Michelle wrote that her cat, after watching her turn on and off her bedside lamp many times, figured out how to do it. Michelle said it was quite a shock to be awakened one morning by a bright light shining in her eyes.

Lily likes to accompany me into the bathroom. But if I take too long in there, she gets antsy and wants out. Rather than vocalize her desire, she simply sits and stares up at the doorknob. She knows that’s her way out and she’s learned that if she stares at it long enough someone will turn it and the door will open. Some cats go beyond this and have figured out how to open the door themselves.

My daughter’s cat used the toilet once. Only once. Some cats, however, learn to use it and Lilymirrorprefer it. Other cats simply enjoy playing in the water or pulling the toilet paper off the roll. Please, if you have a kitten, keep that lid down!!

Did you know there are cat circuses and most of them feature shelter cats. Some cat circus trainers and cat behaviorists use the clicker method of training and teaching cats. And this is something we can do at home. It’s a matter of using the clicker (purchase at a pet store) and offering a treat when the cat engages in good behavior, such as scratching on the scratching post instead of the chair, using the litter box instead of the area rug, coming when called and so forth.

Yes, cats can be taught, but there’s plenty that they learn on their own. Lily has a problem with twitching. We’ve had her examined by three vets, including a holistic vet and none of them has figured out what causes her discomfort—nerves, stress, diet, allergies??? But we notice that the twitching occurs most often an hour before dinner. When I see her skin beginning to twitch and she starts darting around the room as if something’s chasing her, I’ll get out her rubber massage brush and hold it up for her to see. She’ll immediately come to me, lie down and stretch out so I can massage the area. It seems to give her relief and she knows it. Even though she really doesn’t care to be combed or brushed, she will gladly accept the massage brushing and even come asking for it sometimes.

There are a million stories about cat behavior and characteristics. We always appreciate it when you share yours.

By the way, you can click on any of the dates to the right and see some of the other recent posts or some from a few years ago. Enjoy!

The Purrfect Lie: A Klepto Cat Mystery, Book 12For those who would like an autographed copy of the latest book in print, I have copies in house. Order your autographed copy of A Purrfect Lie today.

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