By Susan Sikule, DVM
You are home nearly all the time now . . . why is your cat acting this way?
It just might be that you never noticed some of your cat’s quirkiest behaviors. Cats have natural instincts and unique patterns of living. You may be seeing them for the first time simply because you are home and sharing your living space so much more.
Special bulletin: your cat is probably as mystified about you and your behaviors. They too are confused by the disruption of their sacred space and self-time.
Cats deal with stress differently than us humans. They may be underfoot more, or being more vocal, or seeking our attention in multiple new ways – like walking across your keyboard during a Zoom meeting!
Understanding them and making some minor adjustments to some of your feline’s behaviors (and yours) could help bring some peace in your home again.
Here are a few tips on what to look out for, They may help you answer the voice in your head asking: Is my cat crazy? Sick? Or just being a normal cat?
Look at this time as an opportunity!
Understand your cat – what’s normal and what’s not?
Cats are by nature nocturnal – so they like to play/hunt in the evenings and sleep during the day. This explains why you may notice nightly bursts of energy. That’s the time in your day that you should schedule some playtime with your furry feline.
Running through your living room, jumping over the ottoman and hiding behind the couch. Does this sound like your cat’s regular routine? It is, she or he is “practicing their moves.”
Cats are natural predators, and domestic cats retain this instinct to a certain extent. At times, a cat that appears to be acting crazy may actually be exhibiting hunting behaviors, fighting maneuvers, or escape techniques.
A house cat that doesn't have to hunt for its food still needs to burn its pent-up energy. Create play areas and use laser lights or toys to encourage them to practice these moves. It might bring you (both) some needed entertainment.
If you have an older cat, it's possible he or she is acting “crazy” because of some cognitive dysfunction or senility. As a pet ages, its brain may start functioning differently and cause it to exhibit strange behaviors for no apparent reason.
Learn to Read Your Cat – a blink isn’t just a blink
When it comes to cats, meows and tail waves can mean a number of different things, depending on the situation. With each purr, yowl or even blink, your feline is actually trying to communicate with you. The challenge is figuring out what it's saying, and what are the good behaviors you want to encourage.
Teach Your Cat
How do I stop my cat from disturbing me when I’m working at the computer? Most cats are very food driven, so use tasty treats. And there are other lessons cats are capable of learning that may be mutually beneficial.
The best way to encourage your cat’s positive behaviors is to catch them doing something you like and verbally praising them. Then give them a pat and a few long strokes. Like people, cats respond best to positive reinforcement and attention.
Try playing with your cat 10-15 minutes before you need to sit in front of your computer. Present a new or different toy or even a cardboard box to provide him or her with something to explore while you are working and don’t want to be interrupted.
What are the Signs of Poor Health in a Cat – watch for these signs
- Changes in appetite or water consumption (either increase or decrease)
- Behavioral problems (sudden aggression or lethargy)
- Constipation, diarrhea or urination problems
- Coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Hair loss or itching
- Lame movements, i.e., difficulty walking
- Lumps, bumps or scabs
If you notice any of the above signs, contact us. Just Cats is scheduling telemedicine appointments, so you don’t have to wait to determine the cause and best treatment. Cats are very effective at masking signs of illness and injury. So if you notice something unusual, address it quickly before it becomes an emergency. 518-869-5779 / [email protected]