Understanding the regular cat behaviors will help you spot any behavioral changes or issues in your beloved cat. Knowing the habits your cat should display can make it simpler for you to spot any deviations that might be worrying.
Modifications to Aggressive Behavior
Because they have a stronger prey-drive, some cats act violently against toys, kids, other animals, or even you. This aggressive behavior is common and even expected in prey-driven cats if they do not have another opportunity to hunt and catch prey. A cat that has never been violent should not suddenly start acting violently, nevertheless.
If a cat is ordinarily not prey-driven but is hissing, swatting, biting, and acting aggressively toward other animals and/or people, it is undoubtedly trying to tell you something. Pain and anxiety are major triggers for a cat’s violent behavior shift. A cat may become fearful due to uncomfortable veterinary or boarding facility visits, new pets within or outside the home, bad interactions with people, strange odors on your or your cat’s possessions, and other circumstances. Pain may be brought on by an old treatment like declawing or another amputation, a traumatizing accident like having your tail stuck in a door, a tooth condition, or an infection.
Possible remedies for your cat’s aggressive behavior include identifying and addressing the source of their discomfort or anxiety, using medications and action supplements, and comforting them. Punishment is not the answer to a cat’s aggressive behavior.
Changes in eating patterns
Animals that form habits include cats. They will quickly learn when it is time to eat if you meal-feed them. Alternatively, if you decide to leave a bowl of food out, they will learn that food is always available. There may be a problem if your cat starts eating more quickly or consumes a lot more food than normal.
If your cat is eating more than usual but not gaining weight, ask your physician about hyperthyroidism. It is a common thyroid disease in older cats, and it will inhibit your cat from gaining weight while also making your cat feel unsatisfied. Cats with untreated hyperthyroidism have been reported to have ravenous appetites and to try to consume anything that isn’t restrained by their owners.
If your cat starts to eat less or stops eating altogether, it could be an indication that it is ill, has dental issues, or is under stress. However, if your cat isn’t eating and is also vomiting, sluggish, and/or losing weight, you should have your veterinarian examine them. Of course, some cats are just fussy eaters who like specific food flavors. Even though they usually pass through the body on their own, hairballs and other foreign materials can occasionally become lodged in the digestive tract. In addition to causing digestive issues, tumors can also make a cat stop eating.
Modifications in Playing Style
Cats have varied personalities, just like people, and some are just inherently more playful than others. However, it can be concerning if a normally playful cat suddenly shows no interest in playing. It is possible that a cat won’t want to jump and chase a toy if it is uncomfortable or hurt. After a few days, if your cat still exhibits abnormal behavior, a trip to the vet may be required.
Hiding Behavioural Changes
Some even think that a cat that wanders off by itself may be foreseeing its own demise. Cats who are ill or fearful will probably hide. But fear is usually what causes a cat to hide, and it generally occurs following a traumatic or stressful event. When you visit the vet, when strange people drop by, when your schedule changes, or when you adopt new pets, your cat might hide.
If your cat’s hiding is due to an event, it should go back to normal within a few days; but, if it is due to an illness or pain, a trip to the doctor may be required. Pheromones and dietary supplements can help with anxiety and panic, but medications may be necessary to treat a condition or ease pain.
Modifications to Elimination Behavior
The major reason cats are surrendered, put to death, and abandoned may be euthanasia-related problems. Stress, fear, or a lack of acceptable, clean litter box options are the most prevalent reasons of changes in your cat’s urination and elimination behaviors.
When your cat decides to urinate or defecate outside of its litter box without warning, it is trying to communicate with you. The size of the box, the kind of litter it holds, how filthy it is, where it is put, or the range of litter container choices that are accessible to them might not be to their taste.
If you are unable to come up with any reasons for the odd noises your cat is making, think about making an appointment with your veterinarian to determine if there is a medical issue causing your cat misery. It is typically crucial to rule out medical causes for behavior changes in elimination before addressing any environmental issues.
Even experts are not quite aware of all the elements that affect how elimination behavior develops. In contrast, you shouldn’t be hesitant to send your cat to the doctor if you notice unusually large clumps of urine-based litter, patches of blood in the litter box, no or very few clumps of urine-based litter, or if your cat is wriggling, sobbing, or using the bathroom outside the box. A male cat’s inability to urinate can swiftly worsen and become a life-threatening issue.
Modifications in the Scratching Habit
Scratching is a natural cat behavior, but if your cat suddenly starts doing it more often, especially in one area, it could mean they are upset. Cats may benefit from pheromones and dietary supplements designed to quiet them down without sedating them. If not, think about any environment changes that might have hurt your cat and work to make them right.
A sort of marking called scratching imparts a cat’s scent to the thing. Stress will worsen the need to mark and scratch, even if it is natural.
Alterations in Sleeping Patterns
Health concerns in cats may cause them to sleep more than usual. Naturally, there’s always the possibility that your cat is simply lazy and/or overweight, but if your cat begins to sleep longer than usual, schedule a visit with your veterinarian.
Alterations in Grooming Practices
For cats, grooming is a natural behavior. They typically groom other animals as well as themselves when they are relaxed or feel that their fur has been harmed in some way. Cats that stop grooming or dramatically reduce their own grooming are typically ill, and a veterinarian should check them out.
It can be challenging for cats who are gaining weight to reach certain parts of their bodies, which makes it challenging for them to groom themselves. This is typically fixed by assisting your cat in losing the extra weight.
Joint and muscle pain can also affect grooming. Cats with osteoarthritis or other injuries may have trouble grooming some areas of their bodies.
Vocalization Behavior Changes
Cats vocalize in a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Because cries and yowls are indicators of anguish, confusion, fear, or pain, when a cat makes them, it usually signifies that something is wrong. Cognitive impairment may be the cause of your cat’s nighttime vocalizations. If they start vocalizing by growling or huffing, it is most usually an indication of pain or stress.
Think about the environment and any probable changes that could be causing the vocalizations. They can also be attempting to get your attention by making up excuses like being ill, having a urinary tract infection, or having stomach problems.
However, it’s the change in vocalizations—and not necessarily their regularity—that should be noted. Some cats will vocalize before passing a hairball, during meals, while engaging in other daily activities, or not at all.
RELATED: How to Stop Loud Meowing in Cats