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8 Common Cat Problems and How to Solve Them

Keep the peace between you and your feline friend with these solutions to common cat problems.

8 Common Cat Problems and Their Solutions continued...

Cat aggression. A cat may become aggressive for all kinds of reasons, including illness, overcrowding, lack of socialization, maternal protection, even simple play. To help you deal with aggression between cats:

  • Discuss your cat’s aggression with your vet. Pain and sickness can put anyone in a bad mood, so you'll want to rule out any physical causes for kitty's bad temper before you do anything else.
  • Unfixed male cats are more prone to aggression than other cats, and it only takes one intact male to affect the behavior of all the other cats in your house. The solution is simple: spay or neuter your feline friends.
  • If your furry household is often in a snit, it could be because there aren’t enough resources to go around. Keep the peace by making sure there are enough litter boxes, food and water bowls, toys, beds and perches, then spread them through the house to reduce congestion.
  • You never want to hit an aggressive cat -- it may just lead to more aggression -- but you do need to stop a cat fight in progress. To do that, squirt the cats with water, make a loud noise, or toss something soft at them. Never try pulling fighting cats apart.
  • If you or your vet cannot figure out why kitty is being antagonistic, talk to a veterinary behaviorist, who may be able to help you get to the source of your cat's aggression.

Too much nighttime activity. Until their domestication cats were nocturnal by nature, so it's easy to see why too much nighttime action is a common complaint of many new pet parents. To help the kitty who doesn't understand that nighttime is for sleeping -- not for playing with your nose -- try these tips.

  • First, make sure your cat has no medical problems. An agitated, active feline could be one that's in pain, so talk to your vet if you think there might be something wrong. 
  • If kitty is just rambunctious at night, you can help tire and relax her with a good play session before bedtime. 
  • Make sure kitty's environment is enriched so there is plenty to do during the day, making your cat more inclined to sleep at night. You might create a cat enclosure; offer your cat a variety of toys; mount bird or squirrel feeders near a window out which kitty can see; or leave out items for your cat to explore, such as boxes, bags, and packing paper. 
  • If your feline friend is the social sort, get him his own kitty companion to pal around with. 
  • Because cats tend to sleep after a big meal, feed your cat her main meal at night. You can also entertain her at the food bowl by purchasing a timed feeder, one that pops open at preset times. Your cat is entertained by watching her bowl and waiting for her snack at 3 a.m., while you're in blissful dreamland.

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