Five Rescue Cat Behavior Problems To Be Aware of

If you are interested in getting a cat, you have a couple of options for going about this. One, you could buy a cat from either a pet store or some other seller. Two, you could adopt a cat from either an animal shelter or some other animal welfare organization. Generally speaking, you should take the second option rather than the first option for a number of important reasons.

First, if you choose to adopt a cat from an animal welfare organization, you are saving a life in the process. In short, the fact of the matter is that there are more cats and dogs than what the animal welfare organizations in the United States can support with their limited resources. Since animal welfare organizations want to provide their charges with a certain level of food, shelter, medicine, and other necessities, this means that they are forced to choose between either euthanizing some of them or letting them suffer from hunger, sickness, predation, and a host of other ills. There are some animal welfare organizations that operate on no-kill policies, but this is made possible by the fact that said animal welfare organizations are very selective about the animals that they take in. As such, if you choose to adopt a cat from an animal welfare organization, you are saving either their life or the life of some other animal that can be cared for using the freed-up resources.

Second, a cat from an animal welfare organization is less expensive than a cat from a seller. This is because the cost of adopting such cats tends to include the cost of spaying or neutering as well as the cost of vaccinations, thus saving interested individuals a fair amount of money as well as a fair amount of hassle. On top of this, it should be noted that a lot of cats from animal welfare organizations have already been house-trained, meaning that they put even less demand on your limited time should you choose them.

Third, a cat from an animal welfare organization is by no means inferior to a cat from a seller. Certainly, there are some cats sent to them because of some kind of unresolvable issue. However, there are plenty of cats that wind up at animal welfare organizations because of no fault on their part, meaning that they are perfectly suitable to be pets. In fact, such animals can be better than their counterparts from sellers, seeing as how it isn’t uncommon for sellers to produce their “merchandise” through rather dubious means.

Summed up, if you are getting a cat, you should consider getting a cat from an animal welfare organization rather than a seller of some kind. There can be issues, but so long as interested individuals put in the proper preparation, they should have no problems managing them.

Here are some of the potential behavior problems on the part of rescue cats that can nonetheless be overcome:


Animal welfare organizations have a genuine concern for the animals in their charge. However, there is a serious limit to what they can do to soothe the fear of the cats and other animals that have been sent to them. After all, being put in a new environment tends to be pretty stressful for most animals, particularly since they don’t have the mental faculties needed to understand why they have been sent there. Something that can be particularly devastating for former pets that have been separated from their beloved pet owners.

Unfortunately, cats can react to this kind of stress in some very concerning ways. Some cats might choose to isolate themselves. In contrast, other cats might choose a more aggressive approach towards what they perceive as potential threats. There is no simple and straightforward solution for aggressive behavior on the part of rescue cats. Instead, you are going to have to win them over bit by bit by speaking in a soothing voice, offering them easy access to what they need to thrive, and being available to them without being insistent on physical contact with them.


With that said, there are some cats that will react to unfamiliar surroundings by being apprehensive of everything. In some cases, this can even see the cats isolating themselves as much as possible, which is perhaps unsurprising because hiding is one of the species’s strategies for protecting themselves from bigger animals that can pose a serious threat to them. Once again, this is something that you will have to overcome over time by showing that you are someone who can be trusted, meaning that this calls for a considerable investment of time and effort on your part.

Refusal to Eat

Speaking of which, apprehension can cause some cats to stop eating while they are being watched because that process makes them more vulnerable. Generally speaking, if you come upon this kind of situation, you should make food and other necessities available to your rescue cat before letting them satisfy their needs on their own. However, if you notice that the food and other necessities remain untouched, you might need to get in touch with your veterinarian because that could a sign of something more serious that has suppressed your rescue cat’s appetite.

Inappropriate Elimination

Cats in unfamiliar surroundings can start eliminating in inappropriate places. Sometimes, this is caused by their fear of having to travel long distances to get to the litter box. As a result, it can be helpful to put the litter box somewhere close to the place where they are either hiding or sleeping, thus making the use of the litter box that much safer for them. With that said, this is another situation in which if the cat persists with the problematic behavior, you should consult a veterinarian because there is a chance of it being caused by something serious.

Separation Anxiety

Once rescue cats have bonded with their new cat owners, they can start showing separation anxiety because of their past experiences. Managing separation anxiety can be a serious challenge, which is why it might be best to prevent it in the first place by having more than one person care for the rescue cat when they have been brought home.

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