Problems with behavior

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Updated: 4/17/2007 1:07 pm
The same things that people love about cats can cause problem behavior. Cats are curious, which leads them to explore countertops and other places where they're not welcome. Cats are independent, which means you can't train them the way you can a dog. The most important thing to remember is NEVER HIT YOUR CAT. It won't stop the bad behavior, and will only teach the cat to fear you. Instead, use the cat's natural tendencies to help it train itself. Cats hate loud, sudden noises. Stacking aluminum pie pans on counters is usually effective. The cat jumps up, the pans come crashing down, and kitty learns that jumping up isn't a good idea. A water pistol sometimes works to discourage bad behavior, although this won't work unless you're around to enforce the rules. Be sure to provide your cat with a scratching post as an alternative to using the furniture or curtains. Different cats prefer different textures to scratch on, so experiment with several coverings until you find one that your cat likes. Some behavior problems, especially urinating, can have a medical basis, so be sure to have a veterinarian give your cat a checkup to make sure the behavior doesn't indicate a health problem.
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