Decoding Common Cat Behavior Myths
We can’t get enough of cats. Whether they’re chasing after a laser on a Vine clip or showing off their cuteness in a YouTube video, these cuddly companions are intelligent, affectionate and loving pets to come home to. But felines are just as mysterious as they are adorable. Sometimes, some of their behaviors leave us asking, “why?” To help you understand your purring furry friends, here are a few of the most common cat behavior myths, and the truth behind each of them:
Cats Scratch Because They’re Mean
Many dog lovers like to use this myth as a reason to say that dogs are better, but kitties are often misunderstood. Sometimes they claw to express irritation, like if they’re not being held or petted in the proper way. But some felines simply scratch because they want to play, and this is their natural reaction. However, if this is a recurring issue, take your cat to the vet as it may be due to an underlying medical condition, like arthritis, that is causing it to lash out.
Cats Love To Be Alone
Of all the cat myths, this has to be one of the most commonly heard. It may seem at times that felines are solitary creatures, but it’s simply not true to say that they love to be alone. In fact, some cats have separation anxiety, resulting in behaviors like defecation and urination outside of the litter box, vocalization, vomiting, lack of appetite or excessive grooming. Keep your cats happy by limiting the amount of time they are left alone. Provide them with interaction in the form of play and petting.
Cats’ Meows Don’t Mean Anything
Sure, your feline may be a little more vocal than you would like at times, but this is your cat’s form of communicating. It can often elicit a response from you, whether it’s in the form of petting or getting out the treats. There are lots of cat personalities out there, but if your kitty excessively meows, it could be due to a medical condition, like dementia, high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism, in which case it should be taken to the vet.
Cats Can’t Be Trained
It’s commonly believed that cats simply can’t be trained like dogs. But kitties, like all animals, are trainable. In fact, felines can be easily trained to do many of the same tricks that canines can do, like playing dead, jumping through hoops, sitting and shaking hands. Clicker training, which is a scientific and force-free method for training, can help resolve behavior issues like scratching the furniture and jumping up on the counters.