183

As in human cases of abuse, if you genuinely want to repair the relationship, the first and most essential thing to accept is you may not be able to. Especially with a young kitten, it's entirely possible you've scarred her for life. Even if she can recover in general, she may never be able to respond to you without fear. The second most essential thing is ...


102

Honestly, it sounds as though you shouldn't have a cat right now. There is never any excuse to needlessly hurt an animal and, whilst your critical write-up of your own behaviour is a start, it certainly doesn't help the animal that has been abused. From the incidents that you've described, the cat could have sustained substantial injuries and needs to be ...


67

I wouldn’t start giving treats for small accidents - what kind of behavior are you trying to reinforce? The cat won’t understand the concept of an “apology” via treats. And if careless weaving results in treats, kitty may end up with receiving more kicks trying to elicit treats from the human who is stumbling to the bathroom at night. My preferred way to ...


66

This is one way cats show affection or try to get your attention. Not all cats do this, however, but they might show this in other ways such as as kneading, gentle scratching and gifting etc. Cats also show affection to other animals by rubbing against them "When your cat puts its scent on you, it's saying something like, 'You and I belong together because ...


51

Probably confirmation bias. Odds are, the cat is not lying down next to you every time you're about to get up. There are times when you get up without the cat lying down next to you, and time when the cat lies down next to you when you're not about to get up. However, because those times aren't remarkable, you don't remember them. Instead, you remember the ...


46

I don't think there are many animals that understand the concept of apology, as a high level concept as such, except for maybe some other advanced primates. MAYBE elephants, dolphins, whales or belugas. But an apology has fundamental parts which you can communicate. Every animal genus has its own language (some are universal). What you would want to ...


38

Loss of a pet, for some people can be no different than losing a family member. The effect may be more intensely felt by children and teenagers compared to adults. Therefore, grieving after a pet is no different than grieving after losing a family member. Anything you can find online about grieving your parents or your children is relevant. As a disclaimer, ...


36

Wouldn't it be a better solution to protect the trees from the cat than to remove the cat from the family? First of all, it's impossible to teach a cat not to scratch on anything. The claws of cats grow in layers and must be shortened and sharpened. By scratching on hard, rough surfaces, preferably tree bark, cats shed the old outer layer of their claws, ...


33

I've heard pet owners express concern before that cats get frustrated at being unable to catch prey, but the thing is, they should be able to deal with the frustration because it's natural to be unable to catch prey a large percentage of the time. In the wild, all predators often fail to catch prey, sometimes more often than they succeed. There are also any ...


31

This is a common behaviour. There are a few different ideas as to why cats seem to like shoes in particular as stash locations. They are small spaces that seem hidden, which cats like - they want to hunt things and then hide them for later, and the shoes seem like a good sneaky way to hide them away from the other people in the house (or other animals), as ...


28

Cats do remember places and people, although where/who they remember, and for how long, is variable (just like humans). There's been some research on feline short-term memory, but I could find less information on long-term memory. This article is rather poorly referenced, but does make some statements about long-term memory that it claims are research-...


26

Humans secrete a fair amount of salt when sweating and many animals, especially cats, are attracted to the taste of that for some reason. Another reason is, actually, scent. Your cat may be trying to apply their scent to you in, well, a fairly obvious spot for them to override. A third reason is grooming. Cats will groom their human companions. This is a ...


26

Odds are, the cat's as wary of you as you are of her. She wants to know if she can trust you. These cautious approaches are very typical, and you're handling it very well. As she starts to get more comfortable with you, she'll stick around longer for more attention. Not chasing after her or holding her in your lap when she wants to go are very good things, ...


25

This is a very common question on this SE and it makes perfect sense. The cat for some reason is traumatised by your action. You might have stepped on his tail, or she might just be upset because you defended the dog. It doesn't necessarily mean you did something bad, it is just impossible to relay the reasons behind our actions to the cats. The good thing ...


24

Try following her. My cat will sometimes meow incessantly until I get up and follow her to a dirty litter box, empty water bowl, or a closed door.


24

We have a few existing posts about how much space a cat needs, I have included some below. Your area is large enough for a cat. But even a larger space will not be sufficient without enough enrichment, so having toys, and things to climb on will make a big difference. Each cat is going to have a unique personality. So you need to consider the cats ...


23

Have you seen your cat doing this? Cats don't usually use water to wash themselves - they'll use their own tongues, even when it's something really gross like litter. (I have seen cats washing actual feces off themselves with their teeth/tongues.) If you haven't actually witnessed this "washing" behavior, it's more likely that your cat is dipping her paw ...


23

You need to break the existing conditioning your cat has at the moment. The classic approach would be to close the door and immediately open it again. Then slowly increase the time that the cat will accept the closed door. Make sure you always open the door before he starts to fuss and complain and by all means before he freaks out - or you’ll likely start ...


23

Use less threatening body language. While it sounds like you've come to this conclusion on your own, I reiterate this point to write a more general answer. In cat body language, staring down a cat is very aggressive and threatening. Instead, if you notice a cat looking at you, avert your eyes, and slowly blink instead. This is how cats communicate they are ...


21

I've been very close to a situation very similar to this, where a person spiralled really (=very physically abusively) badly with a new pet, came to their senses and felt horrified after a few months, and spent years doing all they could to put it right and undo it. So first thing to say is, I believe you, when you say how bad it was, and that you want to ...


21

You have a cat, you both are going to be working more and you have an allergic roommate? I'm sorry, but are you sure it's a good idea to get a second cat? I understand it looks like choosing between two evils here, but I'd ask you to reconsider. I'd definitely wait till the move is complete. Moving is already stressful for a cat, I doubt it will be easier ...


20

The cat is still young and learning. You want to unteach it that moving and making sounds are potentially dangerous by encouraging the behaviours you want. Ideally there's a type of food it likes, like a cat treat or catnip, that you can use to reward the previously-punished behaviour. Spend a lot of time being as non-threatening around it as you can, re-...


20

Our cat was not thrilled to go into the box either (it was less severe than you, though). As soon as she felt that something was wrong she would run for her life under the bed and good luck getting her out of there. We did two things: we broke the routine of closing her somewhere and sneaking in with the box we put the box right in the middle of the living ...


19

My girlfriend is a veterinary nurse and this is a situation she has seen and we've discussed it on several occasions. All animals are always on the lookout for danger. Even the most domesticated pets that led a house bound life since birth will have that natural behavior. When an event startles them, like dropping a plate on the ground in the kitchen, they ...


18

Your cat is not jealous of the new child. Your cat is stressed out. Most cats like calm, quiet, routine, and for their territory to not be disrupted. Unfortunately, with a new baby, all those things tend to go out the window. It seems to be a rather common reaction when new parents bring their child home, for their cat to start eliminating in locations where ...


18

I'm sorry to tell you that, but your approach is wrong. That's not how you train separation and independence with your dog. What you currently do is training a command. You say a specific word, your dog does what is expected of her and she gets a reward. There is a clearly defined beginning (the word) and a clearly defined ending (getting a reward). Most ...


17

Punishing him by locking him in a cage is NOT the answer. In fact, punishment when it comes to litter-training issues in general is counterproductive, but locking the poor mite in a cage is just plain cruel. Assuming there are no medical issues going on (and it doesn't sound like there are, as you say you've had him checked over) then you just need to ...


17

It’s a difficult question; neither choice is clearly right or wrong. I would lean toward getting him a friend now, and the same age or younger. The smaller the newcomer, the less your existing cat will see it as a threat in his territory. I assume your cat is already fixed, but if not, I’d do that first. Having a small space is a challenge, but remember that ...


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