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5 “Naughty” Cat Behaviors That Shouldn’t Be Discouraged

We have to admit that whatever a cat does to you, you will feel offensive because you think they are getting naughty. You have just bought some succulent plants and put them by the window to calm your peace of mind, but your feline devoured it all the next day. Or when you are home after the 7-day vacation, the curtains, the couch, or the carpet were completely ruined. All those things are from cats. But the matter of fact is that is how their instinct displays. Surprisingly, destroying the plants is one of the unbearable shenanigans that a cat owns. Instead of blaming them for being mischievous, why don’t we take a look at these 5 habits that are normal to encourage them? Life is easier when you know better.

(h/t: iheartcats)

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#1 Scratching

Cats owners have to deal with this obnoxious behavior every single day but no one can understand. It feels like the most regretful decision when you start to bring a cat home. However, that is not how we love a cat at all. Figuring out the reasons for their itchy extremities and ‘spiteful’ thoughts and resolving them in a friendly and gentle way is better than holding the bitterness from… an animal.

Cats are territorial creatures, they spread pheromones everywhere they go to mark the territory with their footpads. Furthermore, the act of scratching stuff is for their general health. This is totally normal feline behavior that can help them shorten and condition their claws.

If you have a hard time getting used to your cat’s seemingly inappropriate behavior, you can consider buying a scratch post. At first, it might take a lot of time for them to alter the objects which already have the scent to unscented ones, but they will be no longer attracted to your fancy carpet or a comfy couch anymore shortly.

But one burning question arises: how do we know which scratch post is suitable for your cat’s personality? I am glad that you ask. Every cat has their preferences for the scratch post based on the way they are scratching. For example, a stand-up post is compatible with those cats who like to climb and reach the paws of the object. A catnip-infused scratch post is exclusively for aggressive cats who require constant calmness. Besides, there are some options that we can feel free to choose: flat ones, curved ones, cardboard, or sisal. You can also provide them with some interactive games, exercise, or social play to defuse the urge of scratching the unwanted stuff. Nothing is better than satisfying your cat’s needs but still preserving our valuable property!

#2 Plant eating

Houseplants are pleasing to see but not for food, but cats are experts at defying all the laws in this world. Some theories about this behavior are stated that cats like to chew grass and enjoy the texture of the fiber because it will make them feel better when they have to deal with an underlying gastrointestinal disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies.

Another reason is that when a cat copes with anxiety and stressors, either they will vocalize excessively and overgroom or they will need something to gawn on to soothe themselves. Eating plants also indicates the hunger of a cat! You should check their food bowl regularly to refill it otherwise your plants will be destroyed. There are a lot of miserable cases of cats eating plants and they end up with euthanization. It is proved that lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species are the most dangerous plants that our cats need to avoid. The petals, pollen, or even absorbed water in the vase can cause cats to have kidney failure. Check this article here.

But plants are not really bad for cats if you are wise enough to choose which plants that a cat should chew on. There are some toxic and non-toxic plants you might want to take note of and prevent cats from those situations. For the highest safety, you should provide them with cat grass or catnip. These cat-friendly plants are easily found in pet stores. Make sure you constantly redirect their plant-eating habit for a long time.

#3 Knocking stuff over

These naughty paws never let you slumber in peace. I must have been heard a loud clash of the fragile stuff at midnight. And you have to pay a clean bill for the same object that you have bought 4 times in a month. You may feel unexplainable when your cat keeps knocking the objects down without mercy. But many feline behaviorists have studied that case and they have some legit answers for it. 

Adi Hovav, senior feline behavior counselor at the ASPCA Adoption Center explained the tendency of knocking stuff over from a cat was relatable to their hunting instinct. Cats are both prey and predator, plus their curiosity, so they need to check, test, and poke everything that is surrounding them to make sure that they are safe. “Cats are hardwired to hunt for their food, so knocking things over may be a manifestation of this instinct.”

Amy Shojai, CABC, certified animal behavior consultant (CABC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants agreed with the statement. “Cats use their paws to test and explore objects, and the movement, sound, and touch or feel of the object helps them understand what might be safe or not.”

She also added a really annoyingly interesting explanation that cats are smart enough to get human’s full attention by knocking things off. “Cats are incredibly adept at finding ways to manipulate what they want which often comes down to: Look at me, feed me, play with me.”

Let’s offer your cat a lot of interactive toys to keep them busy and distracted. Spending more time playing with them to have a bigger bond is also an outlet to reduce this inappropriate and expensive behavior!

#4 Drinking water from your cup

You already filled a bowl of water for your cat, then you started to have yourself a cup of water. After a while, you witnessed them drinking water from your cup! And that really made you scratch your head. Don’t be freaked out, you are not alone, darlings.

Let’s look back to the time when their ancestors always drank up the spatters or the running water in the stream in the wild. They think still water is contaminated, stagnant is never safe for them. And, perhaps, splashing water has a better smell and taste than the standing one? Only cats know it best because they have a high sense of smell, which is forty-fold better than humans. Drinking seemingly polluted water makes them feel vulnerable toward predators. When drinking water, their head is down so they can’t protect themselves from some potential dangers.

Placing the water bowl next to your cat’s food bowl is also the cause. As previously mentioned, cats can smell better than humans, so they can smell the food in their water. As fastidious as they are, cats require pure and fresh water. And what is more convenient and comfortable than drinking water from their trustworthy owner?

Encouraging your cat to drink the water of their own by providing them with fountain water. But if you are fine with this adorable behavior, let them drink from your cup. It is said that there is no serious health problem when a cat drinks from a glass of water that you are also drinking from. Wet food also has a certain portion of minerals which can help them out of dehydration.

#5 Jumping onto the kitchen counters

Our little cat is affectionate enough to follow you everywhere, even in the kitchen. Well, that doesn’t matter until you see them leaping on the counter regularly. Before blaming them for being naughty, let’s dive into the rooted reasons why these weirdos like to climb onto the kitchen.

Cat’s natural instinct is jumping, climbing, and hunting. They are both predators and prey so they have to be fully alert to their surroundings. Looking at the prey from above can help them to hunt ground-based rodents easier and hide from the predators quicker. They feel secure when nobody sees them horizontally. The higher they are, the safer they feel. Another reason is cats may be curious about the food you have left on the counter so they want to explore. Did you leave some crumbs on the surface of the counter last night? 

If you don’t want them to repeat this annoyance, you should be very cautious to leave things on the counter. Let’s clean up leftovers on the counter, give them a cat tower, window perches, use cat-friendly repellants, and do not ever give them affection when they come to the kitchen. 


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