When kitty is ruling the roost

At a holiday party, a pleasant older couple regaled me with tales of kitty.  Their 4-year old male cat controlled the house:  waking them every morning at 5 for his breakfast, growling when he didn’t get his way, or biting when he wanted out. The poor chap asked me whether it was appropriate to chastise his cat with “Bad kitty!”  I positively cracked up and said, “You know, I think you’re way beyond that.”

How do you know if your cat is displaying dominant behavior?  S/he’s the the one who pounces on the newspaper you’re reading, demands your undivided attention, nips at your toes when you’re still snuggled in bed, lunges at feet as you pass by.   While this may be part of your cat’s personality,  many experts believe it becomes reinforced over time.

What to do?

  • Avoid confrontational situations with your cat.  Because you know something, you’re not going to win.
  • Never yell or spank your cat.  That will only make matters worse.
  • Adopt a policy of tough love. Kitty has to work for food, affection and treats.
  • Get to know your cat’s body language.  But more about that next time.

About Cambridge Canines Pet Sitting Service

I'm a Cambridge resident who has written about feline behavior and body language for WebMD and Catnip, the Tufts Veterinary School newsletter. In a parallel universe, I also write about healthcare and have won awards for news reporting. A passion for animals led me to start my own pet sitting business in 2004. While the information in my posts has been researched, it is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly.
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