Five “Bad” Cat Habits That are Perfectly Fine to Encourage

kittens

Cats are not fans of doing things just because. They are actually very deliberate animals that do everything they do with a sense of purpose and a fulfilling nature. They’re not as ‘bad’ as we like to think they are with their antisocial behaviors and their annoying decisions to play in the middle of the night. Cats are not all that bad and we can tell you that with good authority (because the vet said so, really). If you feel that your cat exhibits his fair share of bad behavior, don’t be discouraged just yet. It might not be as bad as you think. In fact, some of your cat’s bad behavior might actually be behavior you should encourage – but redirect. That’s right; you can redirect bad behavior that’s not actually bad into something more appropriate in a very universal manner. It’s easy, it’s stress-free and it’s going to make both you and your cat feel a little better about life. Here are the behaviors you should be encouraging your ‘bad’ cat to continue.

Eating the Plants

When the cat decides that your gorgeous new flowers make an excellent afternoon snack, it can be more than a little annoying and frustrating. However, your cat probably thinks that these are just new toys. After all, when he swipes at them with his paws, they move. That means they must be toys, right? Your cat might be missing a few key nutrients, too, which is why you can help curb this behavior by giving him some cat nip or even a fake plant of his own. You see, you don’t want your plants destroyed, and you certainly don’t want your house destroyed, but you probably really, really do not want your cat to die. Some plants are plain toxic, and that’s exactly what will happen if your cat gets into something like that.

Drinking from Your Cup

If you notice that your cat has a newfound habit of wanting nothing more than your water from your cup, don’t be too upset. Yes, it’s disgusting. However, your cat is a wild animal that’s been domesticated, and that does not change his or her natural instincts. What we mean is that your cat is always looking for a way to stay safe, and in the wild he or she would never drink water that was not clean. If your cat is drinking from your cup, it might very well be because he feels that his own water is either dirty or contaminated, and he wants nothing to do with it. Go ahead and clean his water dish more often to avoid this issue when you are at home with the cat and trying to enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of water.

Scratching

Your cat does not hate you and want to see that brand new $4000 leather sectional destroyed. Really; I promise. Your cat loves you and wants to mark his territory by releasing some hormones that are found in his feet onto your couch so that any other animals that get into the house (or are let in intentionally) that this is his place, his home and his people. See? He loves you. Of course, it’s frustrating, annoying and very sad when your cat ruins a piece of furniture like that (trust me, I know this). Instead of trying to make your cat stop scratching, though, we need to teach our cats that this is not appropriate behavior by redirecting them to something all right to scratch.

You see, scratching is a very integral part of a cat’s good health. Scratching helps your cats stretch their muscles, work their claws and keep their nails sharp in case they have to attack a mouse or a snake or a rogue lizard in or around your home. It’s not a bad habit; it’s just that sometimes cats make poor decisions regarding what and where they should scratch. That means it’s time to buy a scratching post and begin redirecting your cat from the couch or other furniture to his post.

Climbing on the Kitchen Counters

Cats are naturally wild animals; this you know. This means that they are always looking for a high place that they can sit and watch for their prey. It’s weird, yes, but the cat sitting on the kitchen counter bar top is actually stalking you. It probably will not attack, but you can curb this unsanitary habit with a nice climbing structure designed for the cat that will keep him off your furniture and in a location that’s considered a bit less messy and gross and a lot more appropriate. We’d recommend this, in fact; it’s going to prove a winning situation for all involved in your home (especially anyone that enjoys eating in your kitchen).

Attacking Random Objects

Your cat might drive you crazy when he or she makes it a point to attack random objects, but rest assured that he is not trying to make you crazy. Well, he’s not trying to make you too crazy. Your cat is bored and really, really wants something that he’s poking around to become a live animal and give him a good workout. It’s not fun when the cat is pushing over vases and décor, makeup and candles, so you have to redirect him. It’s all right for the cat to play. In fact, it’s really good for the cat to play. However, you don’t want him playing with all your nice things, so you have to teach him not to do it. The best way to do that is to teach him that he can simply play with actual toys. You playing with the cat and a laser pointer he can chase around the house is a much better solution that will make everyone a little happier. Go ahead and invest in something like this, or a toy that moves on its own so that your cat has the ability to chase things, play with things and have a little fun in addition to a little exercise.

Photo by Getty Images

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