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CAT BEHAVIOUR ISSUES OWNERS ENCOUNTER

Cat Behaviour Issues
Cat Behaviour Problems

At the Cat Lab, our Cat Behaviourist, Dionna Newton specialises in understanding cat behaviour. Dionna has practiced as an Animal Behaviourist for over 20 years. Within this time, she has consulted for an extensive range of behavioural issues for cat owners, across all breeds of cats. When asked why she loves consulting for cat behaviour cases she said: 

"Every single cat case is different, even when the topic is the same."

Dionna Newton BSc (Hons) AdvDipCABT VN

Animal Behaviour Australia's Cat Lab helps cat owners with an extensive range of Cat Behaviour Problems. 

Below, Dionna describes some of the common behavioural issues cat owners encounter.

I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING BUT NOTHING WORKS:

Your cat can develop a behavioural issue for a variety of reasons. A seasoned, knowledgeable cat owner, can be affected just as easily as a novice cat owner! Each behavioural problem is unique because every cat is different. True of any pet, of course, but cats have very distinct, and unique personalities. This is the reason why Dionna loves cat cases! They keep her job interesting and keep her on her toes. No two cases are the same therefore, generic information regarding treating behavioural issues in cats rarely works.

 

Dr Google doesn’t help! It leaves owners feeling defeated and in despair.

Dionna often hears "I have tried everything over the years but to no avail."

 

Concerned cat owners then launch into reeling off the various things they have tried. These normally include: Feliway, herbal concoctions, various medications, 15 litter trays(!), and the list goes on and on…

When Dionna can get a word in through their endless list she asks, ‘Have you had a behavioural consultation for your cat with a professionally trained Animal Behaviourist?’ The answer is normally no.

Then you haven’t tried the one thing you need to do! The only thing…

DURING THE CONSULTATION:

Online Behaviour Consultation

During the consultation, Dionna often hears, "it seems so simple now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it."

It wasn’t simple... The fix may be, but determining the motivation, and why, is normally complex and multifaceted. Your case requires heavy lifting and subtle detective work with a trained eye. Mostly done by Dionna before she even sees you in consultation. Dionna performs a pre-assessment for you ahead of your consultation from the information you have provided to her in the correct format. Dionna says, it sounds silly, but the fix is normally the simple part for cats. Silly, but great news for you!

Are any two cat cases the same? No.

Do subtle differences make all the difference in cats? Yes.

Is your cat doing the undesirable behaviour:

  • To deliberately annoy you? No.

  • To dominate you? No.

  • For no reason? No.

  • Out of the blue? No.

  • Bonded cats have started to fight / not get along. 

 

Examples of common behaviour where the answers above

stand true:

  • Inappropriate toileting (outside of the litter box);

  • Spraying urine;

  • Excessive vocalising;

  • Unruly behaviour / high prey drive;

  • Aggressive behaviour – all types.

 

Some owners know what is causing their cat's undesirable behaviour, but can’t figure out a solution. Good news. That’s Dionna's job! Dionna is innovative, and creative and can get very inventive if needs be! That is why she loves cats so much....

For example:

  • The new cat introduction hasn't gone to plan...

  • Territory invasions – neighbourhood cats

  • Anxious cat (reasons are many and varied, including innate personality type. But an anxious cat doesn’t have to develop anxiety...)

  • Bored indoor cat – mental stimulation (Google can give you some ideas here, but not tailored to what makes up your cat's unique personality; what makes your cat tick. Getting educated makes a tremendous difference…)

"I have been practicing as an Animal Behaviourist for over two decades (wow, I am old…). Within this time, I have consulted for an extensive range of behavioural issues for cat owners. Every single case is different, even when the topic is the same. I never get bored. Thank you my feline friends for keeping my job interesting!"

Dionna Newton BSc Hons AdvDip CABT VN

Aggressive Cat

COMMON CAT BEHAVIOURAL ISSUES:

CATS - INAPPROPRIATE TOILETING:

Cat Toileting Issues

Cat not using the litter tray? 🙁 Yuk!

Has your cat started to urinate or defecate outside of the litter sometimes, or stopped using the litter tray altogether? Not using the litter tray issues are quite depressing for owners. Sometimes owners continue for years without getting help! 🙁

Dionna frequently helps cat owners with cats who have stopped using their litter trays. Did you know that abandoning the litter tray is a common problem, and every case is different? But do not fear! Dionna will determine what is motivating your cat to not use their litter tray... 🙂 Saving you sanity and home furnishings.

Has your cat started to urinate or defecate outside of the litter tray? 

Or, does your cat have pee / poo accidents?

Does your cat urinate or defecate:

  • Next to the litter box;

  • Perched on the side of the box, but misses;

  • On the tiles;

  • On the carpet;

  • On the bath mat;

  • In the shower or bath;

  • On furniture;

  • On the doona / your bedding;

  • On clothing or soft furnishings;

  • On shoes/bags;

  • On you;

  • On electrical cords.

If so, please don't suffer in smelly silence. Book a consultation to get help.

CATS - SPRAYING URINE:

Cat spraying urine? 🙁

A common problem Dionna helps owners with. The motivations can be varied, no two cases are the same.

If your cat is spraying urine they need help. They are not doing it to annoy you, or for other reasons, you might believe. Why they do it is complex, but they (and you!) need Dionna's help.

Cat spraying urine:

  • Up walls or furniture;

  • Near doorways;

  • Windows;

  • Electrical cords;

  • Clothing;

  • Shoes / bags;

  • Beds.

ANXIETY IN CATS:

Do you have an anxious cat?

Does your cat suffer from anxiety?

Is your cat skittish?

Is your cat unpredictable?

Is your cat nervous?

Does your cat find the following things confronting?

  • Strangers (stranger-danger!),

  • Nervous / anxious / unable to cope with changes,

  • Nervous / anxious / unable to cope with new things

      (ornaments, new home, new pet, new person),

  • Nervous / anxious / unable to cope with noises,

  • Nervous / anxious / unable to cope with random movement,

  • Nervous / anxious / unable to cope with your other pets,

  • Nervous / anxious / unable to cope with your children.

The above lists common topics, but the list is extensive and varied and covers topics you would never think of, like electricity for example! But don't worry because Dionna can help you.

Anxiety in Cats

CATS WITH TERRITORIAL DISPUTES:

Is your cat having a territorial dispute with a neighbourhood cat that is causing varied behavioural problems?

Territory disputes – is a neighbourhood cat upsetting the apple cart? Did you know, territory disputes can happen even when your cat is an indoor cat...?

CATS AT HOME NOT GETTING ALONG ANYMORE:

Did your gorgeous, sweet cats get along wonderfully, but have suddenly taken a dislike to each other? Dionna can help with:

  • Bonded companion cats start to fight; 

  • Bonded companion cats not getting along;

  • Play has started to become aggressive;

  • One cat is bullying or picking on another cat;

  • Cat re-directed aggression.

Cats at Home not getting along

NEW CAT INTEGRATION NOT GOING TO PLAN:

Is the new cat integration not going to plan?… ☹️ Dr Google cannot give precise advice on how to do a well-staged cat integration plan for your two cats. But Dionna can! Let's turn that frown upside down 🙂 Each cat has a unique personality, and your particular home set-up and lifestyle are also unique. A well-staged new cat introduction plan needs a trained eye. No two plans are the same. 

NEW CAT INTEGRATION:

Do you want to make sure the new cat integration goes well? Gold star to you!

Each cat integration is different. A staged integration plan, tailored to your cat's individual personalities and your unique home set-up and lifestyle is required.

Dionna says,

"New Cat introductions done well are like baking that perfect cake. You need to get the ingredients right first, then mix them correctly before you bake it! If you do, your cake is scrumptious. If you don't.... Oh, Ohh."

"I love working with pro-active cat parents. It is truly the best part of my job."

New Cat Integration

INTERMITTENT CAT AGGRESSION:

Random cat aggression causes owners to lose trust in their beloved cat. 

'one moment my cat is the sweetest cat, the next moment, ‘possessed,’ lol.'

It is not random. Intermittent cat aggression has varied motivations fuelling it. Do not fear because Dionna will unravel why, so your kitty can keep purring away!

AGGRESSIVE CAT BEHAVIOUR:

Aggressive Cat Behaviour

Does your cat display aggressive behaviour? ☹️

Did you know there are varied reasons behind aggressive cat behaviour? 🙂

Did you know that cat-aggressive behaviour is never random? 🙂

Does your cat display aggressive behaviour towards?:​​

  • Family members;

  • Another pet;

  • Strangers or visitors;

  • Other animals.

Don't delay, book a Behaviour Consultation to understand and rectify your cat's aggressive behaviour. Why should they, or you, have to live with that stress?

AGGRESSIVE PLAY:

  • Cat play turns aggressive?

  • Cat plays too agressively?

  • One moment the sweetest cat, the next ‘possessed,’?

  • Does your cat frighten you when they play?

  • Does your cat take play too far?

  • Is it cat play or aggressive behaviour?

  • Prey behaviour gone wrong?

Whatever is motivating your cat to play agressively, Dionna will figure it out, and a plan to curb your kitty's undesirable play behaviour. 

REDIRECTED CAT AGGRESSION:

  • One moment the sweetest cat, the next ‘possessed?’ 

  • Does your one cat, randomly attack another one of your cats?

  • Does your one cat, randomly attack another family member, or you?

  • Did you know that re-directed aggression is not random?

Cat redirected aggression has a unique set of motivations. Re-directed aggression motivations can be quite complex to unravel. Sometimes the reason is simple, but what to do about it is a much tougher nut to crack... Dionna will help you understand what motivates your cat to perform re-directed aggression and how to remove tension and angst. So your cat can get back to being as sweet-as-pie. 

UNRULY CAT BEHAVIOUR:

Some cats can be naughty or mischievous. Are you at your wits end with your cat? Some cats might destroy your belongings, their toys, their bedding or their cat towers.

  • Naughty cat?

  • Overactive cat?

  • Destructive cat?

Dionna can help you regain your sanity. She can help you create a customised plan to curb their wayward behaviours. They are not doing it to annoy you, we promise!

Unruly Cat Behaviour

HYPERACTIVE OR RESTLESS BEHAVIOUR:

  • Hyper-active cat?

  • Restless cat?

  • Cat excessive running through the home?

  • An endless energy cat?

  • Supercharged cat?

Dionna can help you to understand why your cat has boundless energy and / or is restless. She will help you to design a customised plan to help curb their enviable energy levels. Or help them to rest, chill and take that well-deserved cat-nap!

EXCESSIVE VOCALISATION:

  • Cat singing from the mountaintops at 5 am? Or, any other    time of the day?... or night?...

  • Cat excessive vocalisation?

  • Cat demanding vocalising?

  • Cat excessive meowing?

  • Kitty cat constant chatter?

Excessive vocalising is a top reason why owners seek help. It is frustrating to deal with and can lead to sleep deprivation and a depressed mood state for you, and your kitty. 

Book a consultation with Dionna to get help designing your cat's specific plan to address their excessive vocalising. Cute meowing is one thing, but excessive vocalisation is quite another.

Excessive Vocalisation in Cats

CAT MENTAL STIMULATION:

Did you know that each cat has different mental stimulation needs?

Every cat is unique. What makes one cat tick, the next will ignore.

What makes your cat tick? What motivates your cat?

What does your cat find mentally stimulating? 

Most cat owners are aware of the importance of mental stimulation to a certain degree and apply generic one-size-fits-all strategies. Not many cat owners do mental stimulation well. Most could mentally stimulate their cats far better with minimal effort or cost!

Do you want to learn the best strategies and ways to mentally stimulate your cat? Gold star to you! 

Book a Cat Behaviour Consultation with our Cat Behaviourist who can teach you about your unique cat's needs, motivations, drivers and desires. Your cat will love you for it. You are their purrrrfect owner. 

NEEDY OR DEMANDING CAT BEHAVIOUR:

Needy Cat Behaviour
  • Is your cat demanding?

  • Are you your cat's servant?

  • Does your cat show needy behaviour?

  • Do you have your own kitty cat shadow?

  • Cat wont leave you alone?

  • Cat cannot entertain their self?

It is great that your cat loves you. Everybody likes to be loved. But not smothered! Book a Consultation to enable Dionna to help your cat become more independant and less demanding. 

SEPARATION ANXIETY IN CATS:

  • Does your cat have separation anxiety?

  • Can they not cope left home alone?

  • Do they need you to feel safe and secure?

  • Does your cat shadow you?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions your cat desperately requires help. Book a consultation with Dionna, our cat behaviour specialist, who can help raise your cat's mood state, and teach you how to treat your cat's separation anxiety issues. 

OVER GROOMING OR EXCESSIVE LICKING:

  • Cat excessive licking themselves?

  • Cat excessive licking their bonded cat friend?

  • Cat excessive licking you?

  • Cat excessive licking the floor or other inanimate object?

  • Cat over grooming theirselves or their furry friend?

Over grooming and excessive licking can be a sign of stress. 🙁 But it is also a sign of boredom, and can happen for other reasons, too. Whatever the reason, over grooming and excessive licking can cause medical issues.

Book in a Consultation to determine the motivation behind your cat's excessive licking or excessive grooming habits. Your cat will thank you for it.

GRIEF RELATED DECREASED MOOD STATE:

Cats have beautiful, sensitive souls. Losing a bonded companion cat, a significant person in their life or a significant animal can cause your cat's mood state to drop dramatically. It can cause them to feel depressed. 🙁

They need help with grief, just like we do. Many things can be done to help them move past the traumatic event and put that sparkle back into them.

Book a Cat Behaviour Consultation with Dionna our cat behaviour specialist to work out a plan to help your poor kitty. 

Grief Stricken Cat

CATS WHO WAKE THE HOUSEHOLD UP EARLY:

  • Do you have a party animal cat?

  • Cat wakes you up early? Insert, yawn.

  • Cat wakes the entire household early?

  • Cat awake early morning?

  • Cat awake most of the night?

Sleep deprivation is no joke. If your cat is waking you up early or keeping you up, book a behaviour consultation with our Animal Behaviourist who will help you get back on track. This is a common reason for a behaviour consultation. 

CATS WHO KEEP THE HOUSEHOLD UP LATE:

  • Do you have a party animal cat?

  • Cat keeps you up late? Insert, yawn.

  • Cat keeps the entire household up late?

  • Cat awake all night?

Sleep deprivation is no joke. If your cat is keeping you up late, or preventing you from getting a good night's sleep, book a behaviour consultation with our Animal Behaviourist who will help you get back on track. This is a common reason for a behaviour consultation. 

PICA IN CATS:

  • Cat eats non-edible items?

  • Cat eats plants?

  • Cat eats elastic bands?

  • Cat eats plastic items?

  • Cat eats wool?

  • Cat eats cloth?

  • Cat eats clothing?

PICA - when a cat eats non-edible items. PICA is a dangerous condition. Medical and Behavioural reasons exist for PICA. The cause can be one, or both. Unfortunately, PICA is a fairly common behavioural condition in cats. If your cat suffers from PICA please book on for a Cat Behaviour Consultation without delay. Our cat behaviour specialist will work with you to help your cat.

Pica in Cats

OWNERS SEEKING ADVICE ON NEW CATIO OR CAT ENCLOSURE:

  • Building a catio?

  • Building a new cat enclosure?

  • Want to know how to do build a catio well from your                                                                                   cat's perspective?

  • Do's, Don'ts, Must have's?....

Firstly, gold star to you! Puurfect owners. Our Animal

Behaviourist is going to love you! Dionna will help you to

plan the best design, looking at it from your own unique

cats perspective. No one-size-fits all approach exists

because each cat is different. Each home and space

available is different.

Dionna will help you design a gold-star space for your kitty, who can live out their days gloriously. A well designed catio or cat enclosure can increase the quality of life for your cat tremendously.A catio doesn't need to break the bank, and you dont have to have much space to work with....

Book in a Cat Behaviour Consultation, and let our Animal Behaviourist help you design your cat's catio and purrfect space. 

Advice on Catio or Cat Enclosure

These are some of the common topics owners seek help with. However, Dionna has practiced as an Animal Behaviourist for over two decades. There is not much she has not experienced. Behavioural problems are varied, and many are multifaceted and complex. It is impossible to list them all. Do not fear if you can't your cat's particular problem on the list above. Our Animal Behaviourist can help you.

"I see so many behaviours which are so varied and complex that they are impossible to list."

Dionna Newton Bsc (Hons) AdvDip CABT VN

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

At Animal Behaviour Australia we are committed to rectifying the cause of your cat’s behaviour problem so that you have a problem-free cat. Dealing with symptoms alone does not rectify the underlying cause or address motivating factors resulting in your cat’s behaviour. We advise that you seek help to address BOTH the cause and symptoms, by booking a Behaviour Consultation for your pet with our Animal Behaviourist. A targeted treatment plan will be provided for your particular cat and situation. Each cat and situation is different, so each plan is different. A Behaviour Consultation does not cost as much as you may expect. Get help for your cat now. BOOK NOW!!

FIND THE ANSWERS TO THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS CLIENTS ASK BEFORE BOOKING:

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