Displacement behaviors are usually normal behaviors that are performed at an inappropriate time, appearing out of context for the occasion. Displacement behaviors arise from situations of either conflict or frustration. Conflict refers to the situation in which an animal is motivated to perform two or more competing behaviors (e.g., approach or withdraw, greeting but fear of being punished).
Behavior problems can be due to medical or behavioral causes, or both. A clinical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing will help determine if there are underlying medical conditions contributing to the problem.
This is a broad topic that includes a variety of therapeutic options including herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, nutraceuticals and supplements. There are few controlled studies to show that any of these treatments are effective in pets.
It is not unusual for behavior problems to develop in older pets, and often there may be multiple concurrent problems. Some of the changes associated with aging may not seem significant, but even a minor change in behavior might be indicative of underlying medical problems or a decline in cognitive function.
It is generally believed that a cat’s cognitive function tends to decline with age, much as it does in people. If your cat has one or more of the signs below and all potential physical or medical causes have been ruled out, it may be due to cognitive dysfunction.
Aggression is defined as threats or harmful actions directed toward another individual and can include threat displays, lunging, growling, snarling, snapping and biting. In animals, aggressive behaviors are a means of communication.
Dogs are natural scavengers and hunters so the use of food based activity toys is natural and stimulating. Activity toys have a variety of uses in behavior modification programs. Cats are natural hunters, so their toys will be most interesting if they are the size and texture of prey, if they can be moved around in such a way as to represent small prey (mice, insects, lizards, birds), or if they contain tasty food or treats.
Most animals are genetically wired to spend a certain amount of time on activities that meet their requirements for survival. For most domestic pets, particularly cats, these requirements include opportunities to play, explore their environment, rest, socialize, acquire and eat food, and eliminate.
There are a number of products on the market that can help with behavior management. Any products listed below are meant to be helpful suggestions, but please note that we are not affiliated with, nor do we specifically endorse any particular brand or product.
Your interaction with your new kitten begins on the ride home. Cats should always be transported in some kind of carrier in the car. By teaching your kitten to ride in a confined location you are providing safety as well as starting a routine that you can maintain for future car rides.