5 Fool-Proof Ways To Discipline A Maine Coon Cat

5 Fool-Proof Ways To Discipline A Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cats are known to be gentle, easy-going cats. They are the largest breed among domestic cats which makes them highly sought after and highly esteemed by cat enthusiasts.

Most of us will only dream of owning one of these large beauties but for the lucky ones of you who do have one, it can be troubling when they start to act in ways that are not commonly associated with them. Some common bad behaviors associated with Maine Coons include:

  • aggression
  • scratching
  • biting
  • growling

It can be quite unsettling when your docile fluffball turns into a cat you’re more likely to see in a horror film. So how can you discipline a Maine Coon Cat so s/he returns to the loving pet you know?

Here are my 5 best tips for you!

Maine Coon Cat Behavior Profile

Before we get into disciplining your cat, let’s talk about what your Maine Coon should be acting like. Sometimes their natural behaviors might not be likable but they’re just being themselves.

In some cases, there are things that we can do like install cat trees and distractions but for the most part, its best to let your cat be a cat. Just you won’t like if someone all of a sudden comes into your life and tries change the natural things about you, neither will your cat.

And just like how you will become frustrated and perhaps act very out of character in this case, your cat will be the same.

So please take this to heart and accept your cat being a cat. I can relate because the whole reason I started this site was because I hated my cats jumping on the table and tearing up the furniture.

While I had to learn that scratching and jumping are normal, natural and necessary for cats, I also learned how to keep them off the furniture and places that I didn’t like or may not be safe for them to be like the stove top.

Maine Coon Cat Personality

Maine Coons are wild by nature. This is why it is important that you get your cat from a responsible, experienced breeder who knows how to properly socialize and raise Maine Coons (more on this later).

That being said, under normal domestic circumstances, you can expect them to be:

  • gentle
  • playful
  • a strong need to be high
  • affinity for snow and water
  • very vocal (your cat has a lot to say and s/he’s gonna say it!! lol! 🙂 )
  • good with other cats and dogs

Common Maine Coon Habitscat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_cuddles

In the personality section, you will notice that I mentioned their need to be up high. This is very important for you to know because if you do not provide your cat with proper platforms, perches, trees, etc., s/he WILL fulfill their need somewhere in your home whether you like it or not.

That’s because Maine Coon Cats are naturally skilled hunters of mice. Now before you get offended, this is not saying that your home has mice in it, although if one happened to scurry in mistakingly you can be sure it won’t be around for long.

This just means that their instinct drives them to hunt. In order for them to feel like they are fulfilling this drive, they will seek high places as that is the best vantage point to see a fast-moving mouse hurrying across the ground.

I’ve only personally encountered a mixed Maine Coon Cat and she liked to perch in the same spot for hours on end constantly looking back and forth. So if you have a purebred Maine Coon Cat it will do this even more.

Reasons Your Maine Coon Might Be Misbehaving

As aforementioned, just like certain conditions make you feel and act, unlike your usual awesome self, the same will happen to your Maine Coon. Below, you will find some common conditions that might make your cat act out of character.

Illnesscat_climbing_structures_cat_high_rise_syndrome_vet

The first thing that you should think to do when your Maine Coon cat (or any pet for that matter) acts out of character is to take him/her to the vet. That’s because there are a number of feline ailments that your cat could be experiencing.

Even something as small as an ingrown or cracked claw can cause severe discomfort and make your cat extra cranky. But as the parent of a Maine Coon, you should also be aware of some common conditions that they are prone to.

They are:

Another ailment that can have your cat acting nothing like itself are parasites. Although technically not an ‘illness’ if your pet has them, s/he can experience a host of illnesses that, again, will make them act completely out of character.

Some things to look for are:

  • white or other particles in poop that look like rice or strings
  • diarrhea
  • excessive litter box use
  • no litter box use
  • gagging or reaching but nothing comes up
  • nausea

Again, if you suspect that your cat is ill in any way, take him/her to the vet right away because only they can confirm what is going on internally. Google can’t do that for you.

Injury

Further to illnesses, your cat may also have some sort of injury that you may or may not be able to see or detect. For instance, a fractured bone will not be detectable but your cat will certainly be in pain from it.

There are a number of ways that your cat can be injured and it may be a result of their everyday life or aging process.

Avoiding injury is one of the biggest reasons that you should have proper cat trees and other furniture available in your home for your cat because they will be able to access it properly. They will also be able to grasp onto it and not be the victim of a slipping accident whether inside or outside your home.

For instance, High-rise syndrome is a common condition caused largely because cats are not given proper cat climbing structures.

If you suspect that your cat may be injured, take it to the vet right away. The longer you wait to treat an injury, the worse it will get.

And like in the case with High-rise syndrome, the sooner you get your cat to the vet for treatment, the more likely and better they will recover.

No Territorycat_climbing_structures_growling_cat_edit1

Although Maine Coon Cats are pretty social kitties, whether they are male or female they will have a sense of territory. There are two types of cat territories:

  1. Hunting/Personal territory (male and female)
  2. Mating territory (more enforced with males)

For indoor cats, the size of their territory doesn’t have to be huge but it does have to be their’s. The size of it will depend on the cat BUT the good news is that you can increase it by building vertically (up and down) or horizontally (left to right or vice versa).

Remember that just because your cat isn’t actually ‘hunting’ or even breeding, it will still have these drives built into it. You can obviously reduce the mating territory urges by spaying your male cat, however, it will not change the hunting/personal territory needs.

Males will need more area than females, but do not consider this as a sign that females don’t need their own space. If they do not have enough space, they will likely become aggressive and attack other cats, other pets and even you in some cases.

Stress

There are a number of things that can stress your cat. They include, but not limited to:

  • not enough personal territory and other ‘property’ like bowls, toys, beds, etc.
  • no safe place to rest, sleep, play, eat, etc.
  • being chased by other cats, dogs, pets, kids, etc.
  • constant conflict
  • illness/disease
  • natural conditions or imbalances with hormones, body function, etc.

Overweight

Just like some people are better at controlling their food consumption than others, it is the same with cats. With Maine Coon Cats, males are more prone to overeating and obesity than females.

(Of course, this is not to say that females don’t overeat.)

I would think that is because of their larger size. It is also important to make sure that you’re feeding your cat good, nutritious foods that are free of grains and other fillers.

Like with foods we eat, fillers are useless to body function and are stored as access fats. So while grain-free and healthier foods are more ‘expensive’, they do your cat a whole lot more good and a lot of the time they’ll end up eating less because their bodies will be fulfilled with the nutrients it needs.

Obesity in cats is directly linked to behavior altering conditions like:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder
  • etc.

Now you can see how something as simple as overeating can lead to your cat not acting like his or herself.

Not Being Properly Socialized As A Kittencat_climbing_structures_carpet

You might say that Maine Coons are not inherently calm. Instead, they can be quite wild.

It takes a lot of effort to mold a kitten into a well-behaved adult cat. That includes it being properly exposed to other cats, pets, people, etc. and raised in safe, appropriate conditions.

This is why it is so important to get your cat from a reputable, experienced breeder who will make sure that it is properly socialized as a kitten. If it has not received the proper upbringing it will be very hard to correct as an adult.

Another thing that should happen as a kitten is spaying/neutering. Aside from unwanted breeding, this will stop the production of unwanted hormones that lead to unwanted behavioral issues like aggression, being over possessive, etc.

Right now, there is no excuse why your pet can’t be neutered because you can get it done cheaply at low-cost clinics along with a host of other necessary procedures like vaccinations, deworming, etc.

5 Ways To Discipline A Maine Coon Cat

Now that you have a good understanding of how your Maine Coon should and shouldn’t be acting, we can jump right into disciplining him/her.

But honestly, I’m not sure if there is actually a way to ‘discipline’ a cat as much as there is to give it what it needs to solve his/her issues.

How NOT To Discipline A Maine Coon Cathow_to_not_discipline_a_maine_coon_cat

I want to make this really clear. Cats are different than dogs.

To be blunt, they don’t care what you want. They are hunting machines and strongly driven to do so.

For this reason, you MUST take it seriously to give your cat what it needs. You should not be:

  • yelling
  • spanking
  • using abusive tactics and language
  • confining them for long periods of time

These will result in worst behavior from your cat. They are also inhumane and bad practices as a whole.

I know it can be frustrating to deal with but you MUST take a couple of deep breaths, calm down, refocus your mind and move forward to find a good solution for you and your cat.

Also, I challenge you to not ‘give it up’ just because you don’t like what s/he is doing or if s/he isn’t responding to what you are trying. Take the time to make your home cat-friendly and you will be handsomely rewarded with a wonderful pet you know your Maine Coon Cat should be.

How To Help Your Maine Coon Cat

In order to get your Maine Coon to act right, you have to:

  1. Figure out the problem
  2. Find the solution to your problem
  3. Fix the problem
  4. Include preventative measures and plans of actions so that it doesn’t happen again OR the effect is reduced (depending on the problem)

I’ve already given you a big list to start with already but you can also find more reasons your Maine Coon Is Mean by clicking here.

Vet

The first place to take your Maine Coon Cat is to the vet. Your vet will be able to examine your cat at an internal, external and microscopic (things you can’t see) level.

They will also be able to give your cat the treatment it needs and prescribe treatments that are only accessible through a veterinarian.

Increase Territorycat_climbing_structures_cat_tree_for_large_cats_mansion

I can tell you from experience that if it’s not a health issue then chances are that your cat is likely having a territory issue. Lucky for you, this particular problem is easily fixable and more cost-effective than a huge vet bill.

You are also lucky because cats and their weird way of thinking don’t need an actual increase in the size of their territory, but instead, they will do even better if you increase their surface area of things to climb within the same size area.

In other words, you can increase their territory by adding a bunch of good cat climbing structures for Maine Coon Cats like:

Bear in mind that since we are talking about the largest domestic cat in the world, the average cat furniture will not work. Most are poorly made and will topple over or/and break when your Maine Coon tries to get on it.

But don’t worry! I’ve got you covered.

Click on the button below to see our top 10 recommendations for the Best Cat Trees for Maine Coon Cats!

Get The Best Cat Climbing Structures for Your Maine Coone Cat!

Cat Behaviorist or Psychologist

If you have tried the first two options but your cat isn’t responding completely or at all, s/he might have some sort of psychological or emotional issue going on.

Contrary to age-old beliefs, animals like cats and dogs actually DO have feelings and are capable of making emotionally driven decisions or actions.

They are also susceptible to being born with or developing psychological imbalances.

Just like your doctor can not diagnose you with specialized conditions like depression (not saying you have it, just an example), neither can a vet diagnose a cat with depression or another disorder either.

For this reason, you will have to seek specialized attention from a cat psychologist.

A cat behaviorist will also be able to help you, in this case, better than your vet because they work with your cat’s psyche and thought process as well. They will also be able to advise you of other methods and things that you can do to make your cat behave and feel more at home in your home.

If your cat is diagnosed with a mental disorder, s/he will be given medications to help with their situation. I have no experience with the type of medications that are given to cats with mental disabilities but I know that it is very real.

Give Him Attentioncat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_size

As I mentioned before your cat has very real feelings. I know sometimes we get busy and the first ones to be neglected attention are our pets, especially if you have kids.

Your attention goes to your kids and making sure your animal is fed seems ‘good enough’. I can relate because I have to remind myself of the same thing ALL the time.

But your cat does need your attention. Just like your child will act out when you don’t give them enough attention, so will your Maine Coon if s/he doesn’t get enough attention.

And being very social cats, they do like a lot of attention.

What I like to do is give myself time to relax, watch a show and idly pet my cat or let him rub up against my hand when I hold it up for him to do so. That way, I’m still giving them attention but still getting some down time myself.

We need that too and the good thing about cats is they will rub up against you themselves and its not as hard as a dog so you can just let them do their thing.

I also like to cradle mine and give them little belly rubs. This can be tricky with some cats especially if you just started a relationship with them.

But if your cat will expose its belly to you, it is a very good sign. So I like to get mine to do it asap without rushing or pushing them into it.

‘Another attention while I relax’ tactic I like to use is using a laser light. This not only gives them attention but it also gives them exercise which is another necessary component to their daily needs.

Doing this will reduce their chances of becoming obese and developing weight-related problems including behavioral issues, depression, and diseases.

Give Hime Safe Places and Refuge

Even though Maine Coons are social cats, they still need to have safe places to:

  • get away
  • eat
  • rest
  • observe
  • play

If you have children, other pets or other cats, your Maine Coon might not be able to find anywhere s/he can feel at ease. Being in constant tension will definitely affect their behavior as well.

That being said, it is important that you create safe places for your cat. Observe what s/he naturally likes to perch on and find something similar for him/her that is off the ground and away from threats.

A ‘threat’ is anything or anyone that will disturb him/her while they are resting, eating etc. They include:

  • kids
  • dogs
  • other pets roaming the house
  • you if you bother them at the wrong time
  • etc.

A good way to give your cat a safe place to be is to install a cat tree or condo designed to handle their weight. You can put their food bowl on one of the tall perches so that they won’t be d

cat_climbing_structures_best_wall_mounted_cat_tree_catastrophiCreations_Cat_Mod_Garden_Complex_shelves_sm

isturbed while eating.

This is also a good idea because they won’t be disturbed while sleeping either as most are above or close to 6 ft tall.

As I previously mentioned, you will need special cat trees to handle your Maine coon’s weight and activity. Personally, I recommend wall-mounted cat trees by Catastrophic Creations. 

They have specialized perches with inserts for your cat’s food and water bowl but also inserts for plants your cat will love like catnip. You can also plant cat-friendly plants in them to make an awesome wall decoration so that it doesn’t scream ‘cat tree on my wall’ haha!

If you want to learn more about the Best Wall-Mounted Cat Tree for Maine Coons, you can click the button below!

Learn More About The Best Wall Mounted Cat Tree!

I hope that this information has helped you develop a plan of action to handle your Maine Coon Cat’s unruly behavior. If you have any questions, comments or other feedback, please leave them in the comments box below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible 🙂

See you next time,

Marlinda

Cat Climbing Structures

How To Keep Your Dog Out Of Your Cat’s Food Bowl

How To Keep Your Dog Out Of Your Cat’s Food Bowl

There’s one thing that baffles me beyond measure. That is the reason dogs are so addicted to cat food.

And for me, my cats also love the dog food. Why do I spend so much getting separate food for each animal when they want to eat each other’s food??

If only cats didn’t need specific proteins in their diet we could get away with getting just dog food!! LOL!

Maybe someone should come up with a cat-dog food. That would be pretty awesome but I highly doubt it.

Ah well, we can dream. But in the meantime, we have to figure out ways to keep our dogs out of the cat food that doesn’t involve multi-purpose foods.

Why You Do Not Want Your Dog Eating Your Cat’s Food

cat_climbing_structures_cat_dogThe essential nutrients for cats are not harmful to dogs. So when your dog eats your cat’s food it’s not harmful.

Despite this fact it still can be quite troublesome in a number of ways.

Dog Nutritional Needs

Even though dogs won’t be harmed by eating cat food their diet still needs a different balance of nutrients than cats or any other animal for that matter.

Although this might not sound like a big deal it is. Just like if you don’t get your right nutritional needs if any of your animals don’t get their nutritional needs it can seriously affect their health.

For instance, you are probably aware of the importance of calcium and bone health. But you might not be aware of the importance of how important calcium is to the nervous system and sending signals through the body.

I’m not an expert in dog nutrition but you do want to be sure that your dog is getting its recommended servings of foods.

Cat Food Is More Expensive

Cat food is more expensive than dog food so if your dog keeps eating your cat’s food you will probably wreck up a hefty bill pretty quickly.

I believe this is the case because cat food has to have more real protein than dogs since they need more protein. Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they are more dependent on protein and specific kinds like taurine.

This allows manufacturers of dog food to add more fillers in to dog food that they can’t get away with adding as much to cat food. In both cases, fillers are no good for the animals but when it comes to expense it makes the food less expensive.

I personally buy grain-free pet foods despite them costing more because they are healthier for your pet. A bloated pet is not a satisfied pet which is another reason your dog or cat may seem like they’re continuously hungry.

Cat food can be twice as expensive as dog food so you do want to be careful about letting your dog continuously scarf down your cat’s food.

Your Dog May Loose The Taste For Its Food

This happens a lot with dogs and cats when they like the other food better than their own. They will start to refuse the food that you usually give them because they want what they like.

This can be problematic of course because you don’t want your babies to be starving. You might feel helpless to help them since their hunger might drive them to go after the other food instead of their own.

Hungry dogs and/or cats can also be quite destructive as they tear your house apart looking for food to eat.

Avoid A Potentially Dangerous Situation

Dogs can get very defensive about their food. When this happens, it is called food aggression.

Like any behavior, the severity of the reaction varies greatly from one dog to the next. In mild cases, the dog might only growl but usually, the dog will at least deliver a warning snap.

There are many reasons why food agression develops. It is not only an inherent trait or one that it is born with.

If your dog develops food agression over his or your cat’s bowl, it can be very dangerous and even deadly.

How To Keep Your Dog Out Of Your Cat’s Bowl

Now that you have an understanding about why your dog shouldn’t eat your cat’s food and vice versa, let’s talk about how to keep them out of each other’s bowls.

Keeping Your Cat Out of Your Dog’s Bowl

cat_climbing_structures_cat_bowl_eatingDogs tend to be a little more intimidating about their food. They’re bigger so cats tend to be more sly and less pushy when it comes to eating their food unless the dog is small of course.

An easy solution to this is to take up your dog’s food bow when she or he is done. Make sure to put it in a container so that your cat can’t jump up and get it.

Even if it is in a cupboard, some cats are very smart and know how to get into intricate locations like cabinets and drawers. Bengal cats are especially prone to do this as they enjoy the challenge and see it as a game.

Keeping Your Dog Out of Your Cat’s Bowl

Although cats are more aggressive, dogs have the size to handle almost anything your cat will throw at it. That’s why your dog will likely completely ignore your cat if it is eating at the time of his/her invasion.

Sometimes they might be more careful and wait until you’re not looking. Since cats are obligate carnivores, we tend to leave their bowls out in the open.

Dogs take full advantage of this situation and scarf down the entire bowl before you ever realize it.

Since dogs are larger animals, they can reach fairly decent heights by standing on their hind legs.

This means that you’re going to have to figure out a good way to get your cat’s bowl a pretty decent height in the air. The bigger your dog is the higher you will need too set the bowl.

The best way to get your cat’s food bowl up high in a safe, secure way is to use a tall cat tree. You want to use one that is over 5 ft, preferably closer too 6 ft high.

All you need to do is be sure the cat tree has at least one high tower or a long ladder that your dog can’t climb up. Dogs are clumsy and lack the gripping capability that cats have so if you make it difficult for them, they won’t reach your cat’s food.

How To Get Your Cat’s Bowl Up High

Now you might be wondering, ‘how in the world am I going to get my cat’s bowl up high enough so that the dog can’t reach it?’

Well, I’m glad you’re asking that because it means you really want to resolve this problem which you may not know that its not too complicated of a solution.

All that you need to do is install a tall cat tree for your cat (or multiple ones if you have multiple cats). Cat trees are great for your cat for many reasons such as giving them a place to exercise and rest but in this case, we’re going to be using the cat tree to keep their bowls out of your dog’s reach.

Types of Cat Trees

There are two main types of cat trees:

A free-standing cat tree stands on the ground. Most are pretty inexpensive but these ones are also unstable.

It’s best to get your cat a sturdy cat tree that is made out of solid wood for your cat’s safety as well as everyone in your household, including but not limited to, the dog 🙂

The one that I recommend for you in this instance, however, is a wall-mounted cat tree. That’s because they’re versatile and completely disconnect the cat tree from the ground so that there is no possible way for him/her to get up.

You can also get the cat bowl higher and many even come with platforms for you to put your cat’s food and water bowls.

The Best Wall-Mounted Cat Tree

cat_climbing_structures_best_wall_mounted_cat_tree_catastrophiCreations_Cat_Mod_Garden_Complex_smIf you haven’t heard of a wall-mounted cat tree before, you are probably skeptical about its integrity and stability.

While I can not speak for all cat trees, the one I stand behind is both sturdy and durable. It is also very versatile, meaning that you can customize it any way you like.

It comes with posts, platforms, walkways, scratching poles, etc. so you can really give your cat an intricate cat tree that engages all of its senses.

It has weight limits of 30 lbs and above depending on which structure we’re talking about so you can definitely be sure that it won’t fall off your wall.

The best wall-mounted cat tree that I am talking about is the units made by Catastrophic Creations. They use solid wood, fabric, and sisal to give your cat all s/he needs and more.

You will also love having a unique piece of artwork on the wall that most of your friends and family wouldn’t think is a cat tree.

I don’t recommend just buying any wall-mounted cat tree because, since its free hanging, you definitely don’t want to chance it falling. If it constructed wrong, it can also cause serious damage to your wall which may be quite costly.

To learn more about the CatastrophicCreations wall-mounted cat tree, you can click the button below.

I hope this information has helped you. If you have any questions, comments or other feedback, you can leave them in the comments box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

See you next time 🙂

GET THE BEST WALL-MOUNTED CAT TREE NOW!

Humanely & Effectively Handle Serious Bengal Cat Behavior Problems

Humanely & Effectively Handle Serious Bengal Cat Behavior Problems

cat_climbing_structures_serious_bengal_cat_behavior_problemsBengal cats are the ‘wild’ cats of domestic cats. They’re high energy, playful large cats who aren’t easily entertained.

For this reason, many behaviors that you might think of as ‘bad’ can be your Bengal’s natural instincts. So before you get too frustrated with your sweet kitty, let’s talk about some good ways to handle serious Bengal cat behavior problems!

First, we’re going to discuss what your Bengal should be like then point out a few common reasons why she or he might be acting a little bit out of character. Then I’ll be sharing tools that you can use to, hopefully, bring some peace to your space.

Now let’s get a little or a lot more familiar with this exotic pet. 🙂

What Is The History of Bengal Cats?

Bengal cats are the result of the cross between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard. Records of this cross date back as far as the late 1800s but they did not begin to gain popularity until much later.

In the 1970s, Dr. Willard Centerwall of Loyola University was trying to breed cats that were immune to feline leukemia. Asian leopards have partial immunity to the disease so he began crossing them with domestic cats.

He was never able to create such a cat, however, it so happened that a breeder by the name of Jean Mill was also interested in the same cross. So instead of destroying the cats after the experiment was over, Dr. Centerwall gave the cats to Miss Mills even though they were sterile.

Miss Mills later found that it was only the males that were sterile and the females were still able to breed. Once she was able to find a male, spotted, domestic cat, she bred him with the females.

After selectively breeding the cats over the years with other breeders, the Bengal was recognized as its own breed starting in the 1980s. Its name is derived from the scientific name for the Asian leopard which is Prionailurus bengalensis.

The Bengal cat breed was further used to create another breed of cat called the Toyger which is the result of the crossing of Bengal cats and domestic shorthair cats.

Another cat breed related to the crossing with Asian leopard cats is the Egyptian Maus.

Bengal Cats Personality Traits & Temperament

cat_climbing_structures_bengal_kitten_climbingIf you are the average cat owner, you should make sure that your Bengal cat is at least 3 generations removed from the original Asian wildcat. This will make them more domestic and less wild. It is highly recommended that you obtain a generation 4 Bengal.

They are fairly large cats. Males can reach up to 15 lbs and females can reach up to 12 lbs.

Their bodies are very muscular, especially their hindquarters. Because of this, they are very powerful jumpers who are able to jump well over 4 feet.

They love to jump and climb over any surface they can possibly reach. Keeping them entertained is no easy feat.

Bengal cats are highly intelligent, affectionate and highly trainable. They are commonly referenced as being ‘dog-like’ because they love to play fetch, go for walks on a leash and will follow you around everywhere you go.

When raised from kittens correctly, they are both child and dog-friendly. Unlike most cats, the Bengal loves water and is a highly skilled hunter. It is recommended that you do not leave Bengals with other pets like fish, rodents or anything they might deem as prey.

Like most cats, if you want to have other cats in the house its best to start with two. This is especially important with Bengal cats because they are very territorial and will not share if they don’t have to from the start.

They also do not do well changing environments but that just means that if you do, you just have to work with them a little extra to get settled in.

Since they are very intelligent, Bengals get bored easily so if you can’t spend a lot of time with them it’s highly advisable to get two Bengals so that they can entertain each other. But you should also know that they are very smart cats and well know for getting into cabinets, drawers, high places, and stealing things that they find interesting.

They are very cunning cats. Some say even moreso than the famed Siamese cats which are pretty tricky cats.

Bengal kittens are also known to be very destructive. In general, Bengals are for experienced cat owners and should only be acquired from responsible, registered breeders since the way they are raised is very important to their success as house cats.

List of the Bengal Cats Personality Traits & Temperament

  • affectionate
  • energetic
  • highly intelligent and capable of solving complex puzzles
  • highly trainable
  • social and very vocal
  • good with dogs and kids if exposed to them early as kittens
  • loves the water
  • athletic
  • loyal
  • muscular build
  • playful

Causes of Serious Bengal Cat Behavior Problems

Now that you know more about the Bengal cat you can see how some behaviors can easily be mistaken for ‘bad’ behaviors but are just part of this breed’s natural being. For instance, maybe your Bengal might keep jumping on your TV stand and knock things over or get into your kitchen cabinets.

In these cases, your cat is being itself. At the same time though, you probably don’t want him/her in your kitchen cabinets or they may have broken something really valuable so its no consultation to leave it there.

Before we come up with a solution, let’s discuss their bad behavior in more details.

Serious Bengal Cat Behavior Problems Due To Illness

Whenever your pet is acting out of character, the first place to look is their health. Just like you don’t feel yourself when you’re sick, neither will they.

If you suspect that your cat is sick, injured or in some sort of discomfort, take him/her to see your vet right away.

Some signs of illness may be:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of activity
  • increase in aggression
  • hiding out more often than usual
  • making painful noises
  • labored breathing
  • mucus in eyes and/or nose
  • bloody stools
  • changes in mood
  • increased urination
  • struggling to urinate
  • etc.

Although Bengals are known to be healthy cats, there are some diseases that they commonly contract that you should be aware of. Make sure to mention them when you go to their vet appointment because some require extensive testing to diagnose and only the vet is able to do that.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a condition that creates the abnormal thickening of the muscles of the heart’s walls. It is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it is so hard to detect.

It is genetically inherited but can go generations without showing due to its ability to be both a dominant and recessive trait.

If your cat has this disease, it is usually detected during auscultation of a physical exam. It can only be diagnosed with radiographs or an echocardiogram.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cataracts

Since both of these conditions are inherited, you can decrease your cat’s chances of developing them by verifying the breeder you got them from screened their parents for them.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is the degeneration of your cat’s photoreceptors in their eyes. Cataracts are the clouding of the eyes which you can detect visually.

Both conditions can lead to impaired vision and blindness.

Anesthetic Allergies

Anesthetic agents are drugs used to relax the body and reduce pain. They are commonly used during and after surgeries.

If your cat has this allergy you can find specialized locations equipped to perform surgeries on your cat.

Luxating Patellas

The patella is another word for the ball part of the knee. What happens in this condition is that the knee ball is dislocated.

This can cause your cat to struggle with walking and may lead to other conditions like degenerative arthritis.

Kidney Disease and Renal Failure

As a species, cats are prone to kidney issues especially as they age. The risk of issues developing is increased if your cat has already had stones or another type of kidney infection.

A sign that your cat might be having kidney issues is if you notice an increase in urination.

Problems with their Skin and Coat

Psychogenic alopecia is a condition where the cat overgrooms itself. It is usually associated with some sort of stressor like boredom, change of environment, etc.

Hair loss can occur with this condition as a result of allergies to fleas, food, their environment, etc.

Again, if you suspect that your cat is struggling in any way, take him/her to the vet.

Serious Bengal Cat Behavior Problems Due To Boredom

cat_climbing_structures_serious_bengal_cat_behavior_problemsSince Bengal cats are very intelligent, they need to have toys that keep their brain engaged or they will tire from it easily. Of course, even if it is a difficult puzzle, your Bengal will likely still get tired of it at some point.

This cat is very hard to keep entertained and will constantly look for new activities. They also have a strong need to climb.

If you can not provide them with both, they will tear your house down to find it. Bored cats can also be quite destructive, aggressive and/or on edge because they are unable to release their energy.

Boredom can also lead to psychological problems like anxiety, depression, psychogenic alpenacia, etc.

Bad Behavior Associated with Territory Struggles

Bengal cats are highly territorial, especially if they were originally by themselves. It is recommended that if you plan on having more cats in your home with your Bengal that you get two right off the bat.

This goes for both males and females whether they are fixed or not. Of course, decreased testosterone will make a male cat less aggressive but cats will always have a territory for hunting reasons.

Your Cat Is Bad Because It Can’t Engage In Nature

In general, cats have a strong need to be outdoors. For Bengal cats, this need is even more heightened.

It wants to be outdoors engaging with nature. By this I mean s/he wants to:

  • be in the fresh air
  • soak up the sun
  • sniff around
  • hunt (of course you’re not going to actually let it though)
  • roam (around your yard)
  • and get into just about anything it can sink its paws into

Be aware though, that you can NOT let your Bengal cat free roam. It is very dangerous for the cat but the environment as well.

I’ll be talking about solutions soon so please keep reading. I don’t want to get off topic 🙂

Unexpected Changes Bring About Unexpected Behaviors

The Bengal cat does not do well to change. For this reason, if you move homes or have a baby or some other change happens in your household, it would be wise to take some extra time to help your Bengal adjust.

You can imagine how changes you don’t like make you feel.

  • irritable
  • lonely
  • scared
  • longing
  • etc.

Your Bengal is feeling a lot of these too and probably even more that it can’t verbally explain even though it might try.

Being Raised By Irresponsible or Inexperienced Breeders

cat_climbing_structures_bengal_cat_kitten_newbornA lot of times when people get things wrong about pet care, others turn into crazy, bashing machines. If your cat was raised incorrectly, please don’t auto-bash the breeder.

S/He may be irresponsible but they may also be inexperienced. In reality, everyone has to start somewhere and at some point every breeder was inexperienced.

That being said, there are a couple of things your Bengal needed to learn as a kitten in order to be able to fit into the domestic lifestyle. Some of these things are:

  • bite inhibition and that hands are not toys
  • being adjusted to children
  • being adjusted to dogs
  • resisting the urge to hunt in your fish tank or bird aviary
  • proper interaction with people

If your cat has not learned these important skills, his or her ‘bad’ behavior may be very difficult to reverse.

Solutions for Serious Bengal Cat Behavior Problems

I think the easiest one of the list to find an immediate plan of action for is an illness. I also should have added injury to the section.

If you suspect anything is ailing your Bengal’s health and physical well-being in any way, take him/her to the vet immediately. They will also be able to refer you to specialists if need be including those for certain body conditions but also for behavioral help.

Giving up your cat or any pet is never an option in my book. Ever.

Boredom & Territory

Though these two issues are very different, their solutions are pretty similar. So I’m combining to spare you from having to read the same thing twice, lol.

The good thing about cats is that their territory can be expended horizontally. This works two-fold with Bengal cats because it also gives them a better place to stretch their limbs than atop your cabinets and high appliances.

cat_climbing_structures_bengal_cats_treeTo do this, all you need to do is get a bunch of DIFFERENT cat trees and furniture in your home. The important part here is that you get the good ones.

Yes, you’re going to have to spend some money but it will be money well spent. You will also need to use a combination of wall-mounted and free-standing cat trees.

If you have to choose one, go with wall-mounted cat trees. They will give your cat everything it can get from a free-standing one and you can get the highest with them.

If you are looking for good recommendations for the best cat trees for Bengal cats, click the button below for more info.

Click Here To Learn More About The Best Cat Treess for Bengal Cats!

But of course, since we are talking about the craftiest cat breed, we’re going to need some additional help. The next thing you will need to build up is toys.

Like the cat furniture, not just any toys will do either. You will need sturdy cat toys that are puzzles or have some element of figuring out how to use them.

They may even prefer children’s toys as opposed to cat toys. You know the ones where you have to pull out the right shapes or something like that.

Another good toy for them is treat toys that make them think about how to get the treat out. Just be sure to secure the opening mechanism so they don’t cheat!

Helping Your Cat To Adjust to Knew Changes

Its always tough to adjust to changes in your home. If you’re expecting a new child or pet, try to get your Bengal cat used to whichever before their actual arrival.

You can do this by getting a crying doll baby or barking dog toy.

If you are moving to a new location, try to get your cat used to the new area first. Even if it is far away, get your Bengal used to some of the smells and sites that it might encounter.

For instance, if you’re moving close to a beach, get your Bengal used to the salt water smell. If you are moving to an apartment, get it used to indoor plants and take it for walks.

If your cat becomes too stressed, try some kitty aromatherapy. You can find tons of information by doing a quick Google search.

If all else fails, try to seek assistance from a cat behaviorist in your area. They will be best equipped to advise you on what your next steps may be.

The most important part is understanding your cat’s situation. You will probably have your own feelings too and that’s ok. Realize that your cat will as well.

Giving Your Cat Room To Engage With Nature

cat_climbing_structures_best_cat_trees_for_bengal_catEngaging with nature is an important part of cat culture. That’s why the spend a lot of time near windows and might even howl the door down to be let outside (which you should not do without supervision).

The good thing about Bengals is that they will follow you. They will also walk on a leash.

Take some time out of your day to take your Bengal cat outside. Do not let him/her go outside alone if you really don’t have time.

Summer is a little easier than winter because the days are longer. If you really can’t spend the time taking him/her outside, try getting an outdoor cat enclosure installed on your home.

Make sure that the screen part is cat-proof. You can have these custom made too and bigger is better when it comes to Bengal cats.

If you’re looking for more info on outdoor cat enclosures, click the button below.

Click Here To Learn More About Outdoor Cat Enclosures!

That’s all I have for you on this subject. I hope that you have found it informative and helpful. If you have your own tips, please feel free to share them.

And of course, if you have any questions, please also ask them in the comments box below.

The important thing here is to be open to your Bengal cat’s personality and traits. It is a high energy, wild child that loves to play.

When you feed his/her instincts, you will create a more stable environment within your home. So to recap:

  • First of all, make sure nothing is ailing your cat by getting him/her/them examined at the vet and cat behaviorist experienced with Bengal cats.
  • Then in addition to their recommendations, install a variety of good cat trees for Bengal cats. Wall-mounted cat trees are a must with Bengal cats.
  • Next add some TLC to your Bengal’s life. Give it some space of its own (like cat trees) and take it outside for parts of the day.

Your Bengal cat is likely not a bad cat at all. With a little patience and work, I’m sure you can get some control over your home.

Click the button below to read more about the best cat trees for Bengals and I’ll talk to you soon! Bye!

Click here to read more about cat trees for Bengal cats!

 

What To Do If My Maine Coon Is Mean? [Aggressive Behavior Guide]

What To Do If My Maine Coon Is Mean? [Aggressive Behavior Guide]

Maine coon cats are well known for their gentle, playful nature. These big cats are known as ‘gentle giants’ and one of the most sought-after cat breeds in the world today.

Sounds like the best cat to have so you get one! Then you bring it home and s/he’s anything but friendly.

Its biting and hissing and everything opposite of nice leaving you confused and wondering ‘why my Maine coon is mean‘. Well, friend, you’ve come to the right site because we’re going to have an in-depth discussion about your cat’s behavior.

See, Maine coons are very loveable cats but there is a caveat to its personality that you need to be aware of right now. The good news is that most of the culprits for his/her unwelcomed behavior are pretty easy to fix but some might be more serious and need more serious attention.

Before we continue, I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to get the best tips and projects to create a safe, healthy environment for your cat which will help to alleviate problems like this (if they’re not medically related)!

Click here to join our newsletter and that’s exactly what you’ll get!

About Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats Breed History

The Maine coon breed originated in the United States. It is believed to have appeared around the 1850s when long-haired European cats bred with American shorthaired cats.

As a result, their offspring were large, sturdily built cats with fluffy, ring-shaped tails that resembled a raccoon’s tail. Thus their name, Maine coon, is a combination between their place of origin (Maine) and the shortened form of the word raccoon, coon.

They were very popular in rural environments in the northeastern states due to their excellent rodent hunting skills.

In 1980, they were exported to the United Kingdom where they have also gained popularity.

In 1982, they began to be internationally recognized as a purebred cat.

Maine Coon Cats Personality Traits and Breed Standards

As I mentioned previously, Maine coons are known to be good-natured cats. Now let’s dissect this vague statement to see what is really meant by it.

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_trioMaine coon Physical Traits

These cats are huge and their bodies are built to be exceptional hunters. Depending on it the cat is male of female, they can weight between 11 – 25 lbs.

Of course, the females are smaller than the males but they both have large, muscular bodies and legs with long, fluffy tails.

Their ears are large and pointed with tufts that grow up over their tips which give them a Lynx-like appearance.

Features that make Maine coons distinct are the shape around their eyebrow area, makes an ‘M’, their noses are square and clearly separated from their forehead and they have extra fur on their paws that help them move easier in the snow.

Their fur is denser in their hindquarters, chest, and belly. It is shorter in the head, shoulders, and legs.

They also have a thick undercoat that keeps them warm and dry in the snow. Their fur should be soft and silky to the touch and requires daily grooming.

Maine Coon Life Expectancy

You can expect that your Maine coon cat will live between 9 and 15 years old. Of course, this depends on their health and unforeseen circumstances that may cause early deaths but we don’t want to think about that right now.

Maine Coon Cat Personality

Maine coons are very unique in terms of cats. While they are still untamed hunters, their drive is even more amped up than the average cat.

They are also more skilled and good at hunting.

Nevertheless, they are very sweet, friendly, playful and sociable cats.

As I mentioned before, this comes with a caveat. That is that they must be properly socialized as kittens and males especially should be fixed as their hormones make them even more territorial and possessive which is a leading cause of aggression. We’ll get into more details later but keep this in mind.

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_snowAnother thing Maine coons are opposite to most cats is they love water and snow. They are also famous for being vocal by making chirping and other sounds different from typical cat sounds like meows.

My cats don’t really make sounds at all unless they’re hungry so if we have one of these it would be a big change for sure, lol. The good thing is that Maine coons get along with other cats and if you have multiple cats already, they should adjust quite well together as long as you have adequate space for each of them to have a slice of their own ‘territory’.

They also get along well with children, dogs, people and other pets.

Requirements to Keep A Maine Coon Cat

Territory

Your Maine coon is well adapt and equipped for the outdoors. S/he will need lots of space and at least a small space designated for him/her outdoors as well.

They enjoy interacting with nature so you can set up a small garden area for them. If you are concerned about them escaping, you can utilize a good outdoor cat enclosure and set up a little area for them.

Your cat should also have plenty of relaxing and playing areas including multiple cat trees for large cats (don’t buy a flimsy one like the leopard print cat tree in the video. It will NOT last.)

If you live in a small space like an apartment, remember that vertical space counts when you try to increase your cat’s territory.

Diet

Like any living organism, with greater size comes the need for more energy and the generation of more waste. Your Maine coon should be eating a diet of natural and even raw products.

You should also be aware that Maine coon cats are predisposed to obesity. Given their large size, they tend to have large appetites and are likely to overeat.

I’m not an expert on cat diet so be sure that you talk to your vet about your Maine coon’s nutritional needs. I would even say find a certified breeder because sometimes vets aren’t specialized in one particular breed’s needs and may only have a general idea.

A breeder will know better about their specific specialty cat which in this case is the Maine coon.

Don’t take this for granted. Just like you feel bad when your body doesn’t get the right nutrients, your cat is the same way.

Never underestimate the power of good fitness and nutrition for your cat and even for your self, to be honest (this is not a criticism or opinion but study proven and personal experience). If your cat is being aggressive, this is the second place to check after illness.

Expense

Maine coons are easy to care for but require more financial needs to care for than the average cat. They need more and high-quality food but also high-quality toys and cat climbing structures.

They’re strong cats and also heavier weight makes for higher amounts of force and pressure. You will find your cat sticks and other toys snapping in your hands more frequently and the average cat trees will break, shake and crumble.

Not to mention scratching. If this part scares you, I beg you to take a deep breath and prepare for problem-solving instead of panic.

I’m a strong believer in the power of saving money and if you don’t, you will be surprised how fast even something as simple as saving all of your coinage adds up. Also buying ‘here and there’ adds up as well.

Too many precious cats end up in shelters for reasons that are easily dealt with if you just give a liiiitle bit more effort in the right places. That’s why I’m here to help so if you need any help or questions at all please feel free to ask in the comments below.

Grooming

Since Maine coons have long fur they will need their fur brushed daily. You also need to be sure to brush their undercoat as well.

Get a cat brush with long, grabby bristles. You may also need a pair of kitty hair trimmers to trim any knots or tangles.

Also take note of any skin irregularities as many bacteria, parasites, fungi, etc. can easily be incubated in their warm, dense coat. Additionally, matting and even daily rubbing can cause irritation so be aware of their skin with every grooming session.

If you notice any irregularities be sure to contact your vet immediately!

Play: Your Cat’s Daily Workout

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_kitten_playI always say that exercising is more pleasant when we do something fun instead of ‘exercise’. Your cat is a good example of this.

Their play is important because it gives them their daily workout, however, they just do it because its fun for them.

It is necessary that you play with your Maine coon at least 20 minutes per day. I would recommend more along the lines of 40 minutes per day.

This will increase your relationship as well as reinforcing with them how they are supposed to interact with humans. Always use toys.

NEVER use your hands to play with your cat! And yes, even old Maine coons love to play.

Why Is My Maine Coon Cat So Mean?

Phew! That took more time than I thought but I hope that you have learned a lot about your cat.

Hopefully, at this point, you’ve begun to think about some things that might be causing your cat’s bad behavior but if not, we’ll give you some ideas right now.

So ask me again:

My Maine Coon Is Mean. What’s Going On?!

As you probably suspect, when your Maine coon is aggressive, something is definitely wrong. It could be something as simple as them not being able to burn off all their energy to something more serious like a disease.

I’m going to go through as many options as I can think of along with solutions and any other relevant information. If you are ever in doubt, call your vet, they are usually friendly and happy to help.

What Is Aggression For Maine Coon Cats?

Before we get into the reasons for your cat’s aggression, I think it is important to actually define what is considered aggression. As a parent of both cats and dogs, I know both have habits that seem aggressive but are completely normal for each animal.

For instance, cats will play bite each other while playing. Biting is also a form of cat affection. Its obviously not a hard bite where skin is broken but if your cat bites you like this, you might be startled and think it is attacking you.

This actually happened to my daughter the other day for the first time. She panicked of course but I explained to her it was being loving and she was alright afterward, lol.

In general, the following behaviors can be considered as aggression in your Maine coon:

  • bites that draw blood
  • scratches that are usually preceded by a swat, box, or some other attack like movement
    • your cat, especially if it is a kitten, might try to claw your leg like normal cat scratching that they do on a post. This is not aggression. They just mistakenly think they can scratch their claws on your leg.
  • boxing
    • declawed cats do this a lot and it actually really hurts even though they don’t have claws. If you are thinking about declawing it. DON’T!!!
  • hissing
  • accessive and frantic tearing to destroy things in your home like furniture and other household items
    • this is much more hyper than normal cat play. More like they had a massive anxiety attack and pillow feathers are everywhere type of thing.
  • fighting with you or other members of your household including children, other cats, other pets, spouse, guests, etc.

Usually, with aggression, your Maine coon cat will appear very stressed and his/her hair will be clearly raised. Its tail will be frantically swinging back and forth.

It will be making growling or other ‘scary’ sounds. Its eyes will be dilated and it might be snarling.

Possible Causes For Your Maine Coon’s Aggressive Behavior

As mentioned before, there can be many reasons your Maine coon is acting out of character. Here are some common and not so common reasons.

Illness

Whenever anything unusual happens, always think health first. There could be a number of issues both internally and externally that could be causing your cat discomfort.

Think about when you’re feeling ill. Especially something like the flu, your menstrual cycle (if you’re a woman of course 😉 ), or an allergic reaction to name a few.

You can’t see these things but they make you feel less than normal and make you act in different ways of varying magnitude. Also, depending on the person, you might never even know that they’re in pain until they actually come out and say it.

It is the same with your cat with the additional variable that they can’t actually come out and tell you anything. So it is up to you to figure out what is going on, which you are, and that’s pretty awesome!

Maine coon cats are predisposed to a few common disorders as a breed. They are:

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

A feline condition that causes the cat’s heart to thicken which makes it difficult for it to function properly. As a result, they can experience a whole host of problems even things that aren’t related to the heart.

It is not something that is commonly found in most domestic cats, however when if comes to Maine coons, it is an issue. Although not much is known why this is, scientists attribute it to genetics.

Other breeds that are prone to this disorder include:

  • Ragdolls
  • British shorthairs
  • Sphynx
  • Chartreux
  • Persians

Seems like it might have European origins but don’t quote me on that its just an observation of these breeds all have links to there in some form.

You can read more about it by clicking the below button.

Click here to learn more about Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
Feline Hip Dysplasia

Feline Hip Dysplasia is the abnormal formation and subsequent deterioration of the cat’s hip joint (formally known as the coxofemoral joint). As a result, this disorder causes abnormalities in the cat’s hips along with many other musculoskeletal deformations.

Early detection is important with this condition. If you notice any structural irregularities in your cat, call your vet immediately.

You can click the below button to learn more about Feline Hip Dysplasia.

Click here to learn more about Feline Hip Dysplasia.
Feline Pectus Excavatum (Sunken chest)

Feline Pectus Eexcavatum is a deformity in the sternum (chest bone) and costal cartilage (connect the chest bone with the end of the ribs). As a result, there is a horizontal narrowing of the chest.

This causes a host of problems for your cat including:

  • breathlessness
  • weakness
  • disorientation
  • weight loss
  • and more!

If you want to learn more about Feline Pectus Excavatum aka “Sunken Chest”, click the button below.

Click here to learn more about Feline Pectus Excavatum.

In addition to these common illnesses, there are a whole lot more ailments that could be bugging your cat. For instance, male cats, in particular, are prone to getting urinary tract infections or your cat could have a nasal infection.

Both of these require immediate attention by the way. Some more examples are:

  • allergies
  • parasites (more on this in a bit)
  • ingrown nail(s)
  • digestive issues
  • circulatory issues
  • visual issues
  • etc.

Parasites

Parasites are anything that feeds off of your cat’s energy instead of taking the time to find or create its own. In other words, they feed off the food your cat has eaten or already digested in the bloodstream.

They can live inside their bodies or externally. Most parasites, or the presence of parasites, can be easily detected but some require specialized tests to verify.

Parasite infections are quite uncomfortable for your cat. Their effects can be quite severe causing stomach and intestinal pain as an example.

Some common cat parasites include, but are not limited to:

  • several types of worms
  • fleas
  • ticks (from my experience, cats usually have fleas because they are constantly grooming and ticks are easy to remove. Every once in a long long time, I do find ticks on cats though.)
    • also, you will typically see fleas OR ticks. You usually don’t see them both at the same time.
  • mites
  • etc.

If you need to verify if your Maine coon cat has a parasite, you will need to take him/her to the vet. Something like fleas is easily treated with medicines that you can find at pet stores or online but something like worms needs a prescription.

The worm meds that you will find at pet stores are usually garbage and bad for the animals even in the case of dogs.

Stress

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_startledJust like we get stressed, your cat does too. Don’t think that because s/he just ‘lays around all day and doesn’t have to pay bills or work’ that s/he can’t be stressed.

Common causes for your cat’s stress may include:

  • lack of territory
  • introduction of new family member be it animal or human
  • unfamiliar sounds like instruments or a TV show you’re watching
  • kids, other pets or other family members playing too aggressively
  • overweight
  • unhealthy eating
  • changes to their environment
    • like a house move, new furniture, etc.
  • etc.

Some signs your cat is stressed may be:

  • accessive shedding
  • dramatic weight loss or gain
  • bad breath
  • loss of appetite
  • accessive hiding
  • aggression
  • abnormalities in their pupils
  • medical condition
  • etc.

The good thing is that most of these can be easily fixed. If you feel like your cat might be having medical issues, be it mental or physical, start the conversation with your vet.

Cats do have anxiety, depression and other mental disorders like that. Just don’t jump to conclusions. Be open to possibilities without judgment and wait for the results. 🙂

Territory Squabbles

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_cuddlesCats are both social and solitary. I think that we are too.

Most of us like to have our own place and space to do certain things but we also enjoy the company of our friends, family, and colleagues most of the time. Maine coons are like this too.

They like to have their own area to sleep and get a good vantage point of your room. Some even like to have their own litter boxes and toys.

It really depends on the cat but in this case, we’re mainly talking about space.

Maine coons are especially hunt driven which means they especially uphold their hunting borders. These areas don’t have to be large but you will have to be sure that each cat in your home has their own.

The really cool thing with cats though, is that you can easily add to their territory by providing them with vertical space. For instance, adding a good cat tree for Maine coons is an excellent idea, one I fully recommend you do.

This can be done regardless of how small your home is. Just find something that fits the distance between the floor and ceiling of your home that fits through the door.

You will find cats develop their need for territories around 1 and 2 years old. One really good way to tell that your Maine coon is aggressive over its territory is that it will make a very bad, unpleasant sound that’s hard to describe otherwise.

They will likely also display some or all of the following:

  • murmuring
  • snarling
  • spitting
  • fast footwork
  • loud cries
  • pursue/stalk intruder whether another cat, other pet, etc.

Owners beware. They will attack you too.

This sort of aggression is more common in unneutered and unspayed cats (yes, both male and female cats have a territory) because they are hyper-protective of their claimed space.

Too Much Contact

Whether you’re aware of it or not, when you pet your cat you stimulate and excite their senses. When you pet them too much you can overstimulate their sense which sends them into a hyper, spazzy cat mode.

Another reason your cat might become aggressive when you touch him/her is if they have a sensitivity in the area that they touched. If they do and you don’t know what it is, be sure to speak with your vet right away.

Baby Fever

The purpose of life is to live and produce more offspring. Sometimes the need comes and goes at different times of our lives.

The female body is made to carry babies. The female instinct is to carry babies.

Not all females want to have young but for some, they get the urge to even though they can’t, especially if they are not fixed. Let me tell you a little story.

This is a long time ago before I knew better. I had a dog that wanted nothing to do with male dogs when she was young.

She was not fixed, had a very dominant personality and believe it or not, thought she was the one supposed to be doing the…you know…male side of things, lol!! Well, as she got older I notice a shift.

She started to act like she had puppies but she never had any and she wasn’t pregnant. What was happening was that she was having baby fever.

She’d get so frustrated that there wasn’t any puppies around and became quite depressed. She had one litter before she passed.

Your female Maine coon can likely feel the same if she doesn’t have kittens. Of course, she’ll have to deal with it BUT I mean, in all truthfulness and understanding instinct, some understanding and cuddles is in order. Don’t you agree? 🙂

Family Tensions

Usually pets choose one person to be loyal to or in sync with. This doesn’t mean that they dislike the other peron, it just means they’re in tuned with one person.

If there is tension between two opposite members of your household, your cat will feel it too. They will feel exactly what you feel and react according to their own impulses.

I’ll give you a good example. Me and my hubby had a big argument and two of our cats started fighting later on that day and they did every day UNTIL we settled the disagreement and tensions dissipated in the house.

These two cats cuddle and bathe each other under normal circumstances but because one is in tune with me and one is in tune with my hubby, they conflicted because we conflicted. Lesson?

Be very mindful of your feelings. Your pets, dogs and even your kids feel them too.

Just take a deep breath in and let a deep breath out. B-R-E-A-T-H. 🙂

New Family

If you’ve recently adopted your Maine coon cat, good job! Adopting animals can be such a beautiful thing.

But remember that your cat has gone through a lot before it reaches your home. It will also have to get over fears like the fear of abandonement along with anything else it may have develop post-you.

Your house looks, feels, and smells totally different to your new furbaby. Just like you have to adjust to new surroundings so will s/he.

Just give them time, love and be patient. They will settle in eventually and if they still have anxieties, talk to your vet or even the rescue group that you got him/her from since they can shed more light on the cat’s personality and/or history.

Learned To Play With Hands

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_kittensI touched on this a little before. Kittens should be properly socialized especially between the ages of 3 and 7 weeks.

Do NOT accept a kitten that has been taken from its mother before it is weaned which is usually AFTER 3 months (12 weeks). The kitten needs to learn important cat communication and behavior as part of the litter like:

  • learning the feline language
  • bite inhibition
  • how to play with others

It is also important that you do not let anyone play with your kitten with their hands. Always provide toys for your kitten to play with instead.

Hands =/= Toys. NO EXCUSES!!

When that adult Maine coon chomps down on your hand thinking its a toy, you’ll know about it alright. It won’t be a comfortable experience and your cat will be very confused as to your reaction since it thinks it’s doing something normal.

Like I always say with my daughter, if it’s a bad habit, why start it in the first place? Wish I did this with sucking her fingers cuz I have no idea how to stop her.

Also, learn from me, don’t listen to anyone who tells you ‘just this one time’ or makes you out to be the bad guy, grouch, etc. Do what you gotta do and to h e double hockey sticks with that trash talk junk even if it’s coming from your own parents! T_T

Redirecting Stress

Have you ever lashed out or yelled at someone just because you’re in a bad mood?

Yup, I think we’ve all had these less than glorified moments, heh-heh-heh. Well, your cat has these sort of moments too.

Sometimes it might be feeling stressed out and just take it out on you or someone in your household. The best thing to do is find the source of the stress and fix the issue.

I wrote some ideas earlier on in the post. If needed, consult with your vet or cat behaviorist for assistance.

Genetics

Some people are more or less aggressive than others. Likewise, some Maine coons are more or less aggressive than each other.

A lot of times here, a good workout and outdoor session will work the stored up energy. If they have a mental dysfunction, you may have to seek medical attention.

Overweight

cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_overweightAs aforementioned, Maine coon cats are predisposed to obesity. Just like in humans, carrying access fat can have negative effects on mood, health, etc.

Things that you can do immediately are to:

  • get your cat on a grain-free, weight control food
  • incorporate enough exercise into their DAILY routine
  • install quality sturdy cat trees for large cats for it to use to get more exercise and movement into its lifestyle
    • it will also take up less of your time or on the odd occasion that you aren’t able to exercise him/her, s/he will still get in their workout

How To Stop Your Cat’s Aggression

I’ve talked about many reasons your cat may be aggressive. I’ve also talked about many solutions.

One solution that has a baring on most of these is a lack of physical activity. Maine coons lean more to the ‘wild’ side of things and need a lot of physical activity throughout the day.

If they are cooped up all day every day, they will be pretty unhappy and their health can be greatly affected as well. Before you drive him/her off to the pet shelter, don’t.

One thing that you can do right away is to install cat trees in your home. They come in a number of different styles, colors and some can even go up on your wall.

The wall varieties are actually the best for your cat, and yes, they can hold your big fluffy kitty too. At least the one I recommend by this awesome company called CatastrophicCreations.

cat_climbing_structures_best_wall_mounted_cat_tree_catastrophiCreations_Cat_Mod_Garden_Complex_smI won’t go into details about them because I’ve already done a full review on the best wall mounted cat trees right here. You can really get creative with these too.

In addition to cat trees, take your cat to see your his/her vet. A consultation with his/her cat behaviorist is a good idea too.

You can research online for the best of each in your are by searching for ‘cat vet’ or cat behaviorist’ then add ‘near me’. So it will look like this:

‘cat vet near me’

And related searches.

Phew! I feel like I’VE just worked out after writing this massive article in one day!

But its no problem and I feel happy that I could shed some light on this problem for you. I hope that I’ve been able to help guide you in the right direction.

If you have any questions, comments or anything else to add, leave them in the comments box below. If you want to learn more about what you need to know about choosing the best cat trees for Maine coon cats as well as the top 10 that I recommend, click the button below.

See you next time!

Marlinda

Click here to learn more about the best cat trees for Maine Coons!

Keep Your Kitty Safe From Cat High Rise Syndrome With This!

Keep Your Kitty Safe From Cat High Rise Syndrome With This!

Its common knowledge that cats love to climb because they love heights. They are hunting machines with the skills and instincts for ultimate survival.

The problem is that while they have all the tools they need to be ultimate hunters, they aren’t as efficient at using them as we think. This means that many times cats end up in pretty sticky situations like the good old story about the cat stuck in the tree.

This is the start to cat high rise syndrome. The good thing is, this potentially deadly disorder can be easily avoided and I’ll be showing you how to later on in this post but first, let’s learn a little more about it.

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What Is Cat High Rise Syndrome?

The interesting thing about cat high rise syndrome is that its not an actual illness like one might think, or at least I did when I first heard about it. I thought it was going to be something more along the lines of being afraid of heights but that’s not what this is at all.

With the introduction to buildings into our world, cats have not been able to adapt to climbing on different materials like metal, concrete, siding, stone and other materials that building walls are made of.

Despite their inability to climb on these materials, their instinct to find the highest vantage point rules. To cats, buildings are ‘the best thing EVER!’ for lack of a better phrase because it gives them a real-life bird’s eye view of the area.

Intro To Cat High Rise Syndrome

Once cats climb on top of buildings and other high rise structures (antennae, water towers, etc.) they either get stuck or find it difficult to climb down. This is because going against gravity is much easier than going with gravity.

Think about walking up and down a steep hill. The resistance going up the hill makes it easier to walk up the hill.

Walking down the steep hill is more difficult. You will probably stumble and trip more often during your descent than your incline.

Its the same with cats climbing just that they’re not able to recover from the slip so they fall instead. As you can imagine, this is very dangerous for cats, however, their reflexive instincts may help them more than if you or I fell from these heights.

How Far Can A Cat Fall Without Injury

This is a tricky question to answer because it totally depends on the cat. While cats are well known for landing on their feet, many can still get injuries from falling out of a tree or about 2 stories high.

Cats have a natural instinct to orient themselves in an upright position during a fall and orienting their bodies to absorb the impact of a fall. Growing up they used to always say that cats can survive falls from any height.

This statement is still hotly debated. Some studies indicate that cats are more likely to survive higher falls because they have time to right themselves and use their body as sort of a parachute that slows their fall. Others suggest that this is complete nonsense.

Whichever side you choose, you should be aware that your cat can survive high falls but that doesn’t mean it won’t be without serious injuries. If your cat does fall from a high rise, don’t assume that it is dead.

Some studies suggest that a cat can fear better falling from higher than 32 stories than it can falling lower than 32 stories. This is up in the air because the study also reported that if the cat was dead after falling from these heights, people were probably less likely to report it.

It does make sense if you consider how cats fall. They use their bodies as parachutes which slows their decent dramatically compared to free-falling.

The best thing to do is ensure your cat is safe if you live in a high rise apartment. You can also see how letting your cat roam around can be a bad idea especially if you live in big cities.

I’ll talk later about your options, but for now, let’s stay on topic and continue discussing cat high rise syndrome.

Impact of High Rise Syndrome In Cats

You might assume that a cat will die when falling from great heights. If it were you or I that assumption is quite likely to happen but interestingly enough, its not the same for cats.cat_climbing_structures_cat_high_rise_syndrome_vet

The saying that a cat can fall from any height bares some truth although it is not always the case. Don’t think that if your cat falls from a high place it will survive.

Thought patterns like this are very dangerous, however, if it happens make sure you rush the cat to the vet IMMEDIATELY. Don’t assume it is dead.

Cats  suffering from high rise syndrome may experience a whole host of effects such as:

  • ruptured, bruised or collapsed lungs (most common cause of death)
  • broken legs (interestingly enough their legs are more commonly not broken since the impact is absorbed by their chest #physics ?)
  • broken jaws (more commonly broken than legs in these cases)
  • torn ligaments
  • overextension of their carpus (kitty wrists)
  • ruptured or fracture spleen and/or liver

Again, if you find a cat that has fallen from a high place, take it to the vet. It may be dead but it may not be.

Studies suggest that 90 percent of cats that suffered from feline high rise syndrome and were taken to the vet right away survived the fall.

Why Does Cat High Rise Syndrome Occur?

High rise syndrome occurs in cats because they love heights. You might think “why aren’t they smart enough to know they shouldn’t be up there”.cat_climbing_structures_things_cats_climb

But that’s you thinking like a human, not a cat. To them, being as high as they can is the best thing because it keeps them safe and also gives them the best vantage point for hunting.

Think about birds of prey. They don’t descend to hunt. They sore way up high in the sky to get that ‘birds eye view’ we so commonly talk about then descend to close in and kill their prey.

I think it’s entitled and rude of people (not necessarily you but I hear these sort of comments more than my ears want to) to call animals dumb for these sort of incidences when whether stray or housekept, cats are human responsibility. Humans took cats from their natural environments in the deserts and humans carelessly cast them out when they come up with whatever dumb excuse to throw them out.

Cats are not going to say, ‘Hmm, my claws aren’t suited to climb this concrete I better go to Lowe’s and get a pair of concrete climbing claw adjusting mitts.’

Instead, the cat is thinking, ‘I need to get up there to see the area and maybe take a nice cat nap right there in the stairwell cubby where nothing will find me.’

This might sound like a bit of a rant because it sort of is. Cats can’t go to the store and buy specialized equipment like we can and neither do they have the mental capacity and know how to create their own.

That’s why we’re people and taking over the world with our giant buildings instead of the cat. But they’re not cursing our names because we’re creating such unnatural structures…or maybe they are…

Another reason this condition is so prevalent is due to families who live in high rise apartment buildings and condos. Most people think it is safe to let their cats out on the balconies but as you now know, this is a very dangerous habit.

We have a better option for you if you have cats in a high rise building so keep reading to find out more.

What To Do If Your Cat Suffers From High Rise Syndrome

This part is redundant if you’ve read the whole article but I’m a realist and realize most people probably skim through, don’t read properly which means you likely could have missed it. That’s fine. I have no problem taking a few extra minutes out of my day for this section.

If you have a cat that has fallen from a high place, take it to the vet immediately. Don’t assume that it is dead.

Cats are likely to survive the fall but may succumb to injuries later. If you get the cat to the vet right away, they can give it the treatment it needs to survive.

Then make sure the cat doesn’t find itself in a place that’s hard for it to climb again! Even if you live in an apartment, create a better environment for your cat indoors so that you don’t have to let them climb on your balcony because it’s not safe for them.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Feline High Rise Syndrome

The good news about feline high rise syndrome is that it is fairly avoidable. At least if you have indoor cats.cat_climbing_structures_best_wall_mounted_cat_tree_catastrophiCreations_Cat_Mod_Garden_Complex_shelves_sm

All you need to do is create your cat’s ideal environment within the restraints of your home. How?

By feeding your cat’s instincts. Cats that suffer from high rise syndrome are fueled by the following impulses:

Now all this instinct stuff might make you feel like you’re in biology class, God forbid you hated it, but the solution to these problems is quite simple.

All you need to do is add some good cat climbing structures inside your home. In addition, if you have the space outside of your home, you can also install outdoor cat enclosures which come in many different sizes and styles.

Cat Climbing Structures

Cat climbing structures are awesome. They come in two main varieties:

My recommendation for anyone who is really serious about catifying their space is to go straight for the wall mounted despite free-standing options being more popular.

Wall mounted varieties are great because they:

  • keep your cat on the perimeter of the room which is their ‘goal in life’
  • gives them a higher vantage point than free-standing
  • saves room in your home
  • looks like wall art which gives a unique appeal to your home
  • sturdy enough to hold all sized cats
  • great cat tree or multiple cats
  • safer for everyone in your home
    • ex. you don’t have to worry about a shaky cat tree falling on your kids, pets or house guests

If you are interested in learning more about wall mounted cat trees, click the button below.

Click here to learn more about wall mounted cat trees!

Outdoor Cat Enclosures

Outdoor cat enclosures are awesome! They are basically what they sound like, fences specially designed to give your cat outdoor space.

Remember that they need to be fully closed up because cats can climb which is one of the main things that lead to cat high rise syndrome. There are also other specifications that you need to consider such as:

  • space
  • weather
  • number of cats
  • where it will be installed (usually on a window)

These can be as small as a carrying cage or as big as you want it to be. Your cat will have a good time interacting with nature, getting fresh air and sunlight and fulfilling all its other cat needs as well.

If you want to learn more about outdoor cat enclosures, click the button below.

Click here to learn more about outdoor cat enclosures!

So you see, keeping your cat safe outdoors isn’t as hard as you may think. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.

Don’t overwhelm yourself and your checkbook by thinking that you have to install all of these things at once. While that would be pretty cool, installing one thing here and another thing there will add up just as well for your cat.

I hope that you have found all the information you need to know about cat high rise syndrome buuuutttt if not, please leave your questions and feedback in the comments box below. I’d also love it if you share your knowledge about cat high rise syndrome with our community as well.

Thanks for reading and I hope you share this with anyone who might find value in this information. Before you go, make sure that you subscribe to our newsletter where we give you all the tips you need to catify your home! Click the button below to get sub now and I’ll see you next time 🙂

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Help Me Keep My Cat Off The Furniture NOW! [Cat Care Guide]

Help Me Keep My Cat Off The Furniture NOW! [Cat Care Guide]

Hey there! If you’re like me then the thought of your cat’s naked bum-bum on your couch is probably one of the grossest things in life!

Ok, maybe not that bad, but it was something to get used to and for the longest time I tried to figure out how to keep my cat off the furniture. I mean, they don’t wipe their stinker when they poop!

Ok, on a serious note though, let’s talk about cats, their habits and what you can do to keep their paws happily off your furniture!

Why Do Cats Like To Get On Your Furniture?cat_climbing_structures_for_kittens

When a problem like this occurs, I want you to get in the habit of thinking about your ‘whole cat’. Ask yourself this simple question:

  • What behavior is leading my cat to abc.

So in this case, ask yourself and the universe, calmly after a long deep draw of oxygenated air,

What behavio(u)r is leading my cat to jump on my furniture?

The reason I’m telling you to do this is because cats are very instinct driven. They’re not particularly trainable in the same sense as dogs are yet if you take the approach of figuring out the instinct you can manage things a lot better.

What Behaviors Are Leading My Cat To Jump On My Furniture?

Cats, by nature, are hunt driven. Everything from their actions, habits and build literally revolve around hunting prey.

Whether its a necessity or not is irrelevant much like it is if there is or is not actual prey to hunt. Your cat still wants to.

So what does this mean? It means that your cat wants the upper hand. It feels comfortable:

  • on the perimeter of the room
  • off the ground
  • out of site
  • out of mind
  • comfortable
  • with the upper hand

Sounds familiar? Pretty much all of these cat comforts it can find easily atop your furniture like couches, TV stands, and stair railings to name a few.

The easy fix to keep your cat off the furniture is to give them a better place to sit where they feel safer and more secure than your furniture provides them. Just opened up a box of worms?

Keep reading because the fix may not be as difficult as you think. 🙂

Ways To Keep My Cat Off The Furniturecat_climbing_structures_wall_mounted_cat_tree

The problem is that your cat wants to be up high, off the ground, ALL THE TIME. I want you to take a minute to observe your cat.

Take note of things like:

  • when it is usually on the furniture
    • Is it there all day or just in the evenings?
  • how it uses the furniture
    • Does it sleep or eat there? etc.
  • how it travels over the furniture
    • Does it hop over it to another location or does it stand up and look around?
  • do not include furniture scratching
    • This is also a cat instinct but different behavior, however, the solution I give you will help you get control of this as well

You’ll likely find that even when it’s moving from one place to the other, it will prefer to be off the ground especially if it’s hungry.

Why especially when it’s hungry?

Well, think about what we talked about earlier about cats being hunt driven. When they’re hungry, they’re in hunting mode so that means they’re even more inclined to stick to the perimeter of the room instead of dashing on the ground as a shortcut.

Ways To Keep Your Cat Off The Furniture

Now that you know why your cat is on your furniture we can move forward with finding actionable steps to keep them off the furniture.

The master plan of action you need to take is to provide your cat with alternative highways around the perimeter of all rooms in your home. We’ll call this new pathway the ‘cat highway system’.

Your cat highway system needs to provide your cat with:

  • a vantage point of the ENTIRE room
  • safety from threats like dogs, small children and even pesty visitors
  • a safe pathway from one place to the other without having to be on the floor
  •  ie. a path from the litter box to its food bowl without being on the ground for too long
  • a comfortable place to rest that’s off the ground

What You Shouldn’t Do To Keep Your Cats Off Your Furniture

We’re just about ready to create our action plan but before we get into what you need to do, I want to talk about things that you should NEVER do to you cat in this situation.

DO NOT DECLAW YOUR CAT! Declawing is painful and puts your cat in permanent pain for the rest of its life. This is one of the worst things that is still legal in some states to do to cats.

It absolutely grinds my gears when people complain about their cats being ‘mean’ and after upon further discussion find out that their cat is declawed. NO NO NO, it’s not the cat who is mean. The cat is in permaPAIN!

I don’t want to say the cat owner is mean because sometimes we assume (and rightfully so) that since you can have it done at the vet that it has to be safe. I know that this is the case for me but thankfully I found out in time before I harmed my cat and I’m hoping that I can stop you from making this big mistake also.

Always do your due diligence before getting any procedure done at the vet or even for yourself.

Next up, don’t yell or cuss at your cat. For one, that’s just transferring negative energy to your cat.cat_climbing_structures_keep_my_cat_off_the_furniture_

Just as you will get negative when put in a negative environment, so will your cat. You might notice it becomes more aggressive when you do this but it is coming from the way you communicate with it.

Also, do not hit your cat. Violence is not the answer and your cat will respond to this aggressively as well.

Do not get rid of your cat. Would you abandon your kid because he’s a little out of control? Even still, would you like to be abandoned because you’re confused about what the problem is when you’re just doing what you do best?

The time to ‘not have a cat’ is before you got the cat in the first place. Your cat will feel just as abandoned if you give him/her up so please, just calm down and don’t do it T_T

I know that sounds a little harsh but I don’t want you to feel bad. I want you to move forward in progression.

Hey, I was literally in the same boat and I probably still have TONS more to learn about cats. I mean, I was going to declaw my cat at one time before I was schooled and educated properly.

This isn’t a bash, its growth and I hope that you realize the same thing too. Sometimes what we really need to hear isn’t what we really want to accept.

That’s ok, we’re human but I don’t want you to mope. Take proper action going forward 🙂

What To Use To Keep Your Cat Off The Ground!

Few, FINALLY! Planning takes up so much time.

I know but it is totally worth it to find a REAL solution that is safe for all parties and understanding why you are doing what you’re doing is important or things will probably just stay the same.

In order to accomplish our game plan, you will need to use cat trees. Cat trees come in many varieties, designs, and colors.

There are two main types of cat trees:

  1. wall mounted
  2. free-standing

Wall mounted cat trees are literally shelves specifically designed with your cat’s needs in mind. They are not the same as a shelf that you buy from a hardware store or somewhere like that.

They have comfortable materials that your cat will love to feel and scratch which is what makes them a more long-term solution.

Freestanding cat trees are the type most of us are familiar with. They are the towers that you see at most pet stores in the cat section.

They also have scratching, laying, jumping and climbing areas for your cat.

The Best Cat Trees To Keep Your Cat Off The Furniturecat_climbing_structures_best_wall_mounted_cat_tree_catastrophiCreations_Cat_Mod_Garden_Complex_sm

Even though free-standing cat trees are the most popular they fall short of caring for your ‘whole cat’. Remember the cat highway system we talked about earlier. Don’t take it for granted, this is a big part of cat culture.

The best cat trees to use are actually wall mounted ones. Not only do they provide your cat with their needs but you also save a lot of space.

The best wall-mounted cat trees have stations where you can keep their food and water bowls off the ground and out of reach of your dogs if you have them. (Because for w/e reason the dogs like the cat food better. Grrr * shakes angry fist * lol)

Apart from the main body of the cat tree, you will also put up other cat climbing shelves around the perimeter of the room, especially where the furniture is located that your cat loves to be on.

If you want to, you can always add some free-standing cat trees to connect the wall sections together. It will also help to add more variety for them as well.

I hope this information was helpful. If you want to see my #1 recommendation for wall mounted cat trees, you can click the button at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions, comments or anything additional to add, please leave them in the comments box below. See you next time and all the best moving forward with catifying your space! 😉

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Why Do Cats Scratch Carpet And Furniture?

Why Do Cats Scratch Carpet And Furniture?

You are likely familiar with your cat’s habit of scratching everything in your house. Or at least it seems that way sometimes.

But if you really zero in and pay attention to your cat’s habit, you will notice that it scratches certain things at certain times and in certain ways. And there is a reason for all of these differences.

So now let’s answer your question ‘Why do cats scratch carpet and furniture?’ before you completely lose your cool and do something irrational with your cat! Please read this especially if you are considering declawing your cat. This should NEVER be done and you have better options than this.

Why Does My Cat Keep Scratching Things?


Scratching is a normal part of cat instinct and behavior. They’re not doing it to piss you off or get even, they’re doing it partly because they have to.

Here are all the reasons that cats need to scratch:

  1. To remove the outer layer of their claws
  2. To mark their territory. Both male and females will mark their territories with physical/visual markings and with scents through glands in their feet.
  3. To stretch their claws, feet, and body. You might not be aware of this but cat claws are part of their skeletal structure just like our fingers are. The only difference is that they retract theirs into their paws.
    Now you can see why they need to be stretched if you imagine your fingers being cramped up in a small compartment like their paws.
  4. To find comfort or feel good like how you feel when you have a good stretch or massage

What Kind of Materials Do Cats Like To Scratch?cat_climbing_structures_why_does_my_cat_like_to_scratch_things_wood

Cats like to scratch materials that are rough and textured that do not give easily. It has to be something that they can really sink their claws into and get a good feel of.

Painfully so, sometimes this can be our skin if we don’t teach them not to scratch us. This is one reason that it’s important not to use your hands as ‘playthings’ for your cat.

Now if you think about it, you probably don’t see your cat scratching the fridge or the TV because these appliances aren’t made of materials that cats like to scratch. Don’t get me wrong, they may lay or even stretch their bodies across these but they usually don’t scratch them.

In nature, this would usually be a tree however indoors some materials cats love to scratch include:

  • natural woods like oak, pine, and maple
  • natural, untreated rope like sisal and coconut ropes
  • house grade carpets (which is why your cat may scratch the floor)
  • mesh, like what covers speakers (not sure what the exact name is but personal confession, that’s what I used as my ‘first cat tree‘ was a giant car speaker that didn’t work anymore, haha! ^^; )
  • rubber like tires or large erasers

So you can see why your cat seems to be addicted to scratching your furniture and floors no matter how much times you tell it not to. But there is a way to keep their claws happy without shredding your house apart and we’ll be discussing it later on in this article so keep reading!

When Do Cats Scratch?

Cats are pretty habitual, instinct-driven animals. This means that their habits are pretty regimented and pretty much predictable once you know what to look for.

If you spend time watching and documenting your cat’s behavior, you’ll notice the same and can better plan to intercept or teach your cat to scratch on more appropriate surfaces.cat_climbing_structures_when_do_cats_scratch_yawn

Cats tend to scratch:

  • when they first wake up. Like we usually stretch, yawn and other actions when we wake up, so do cats but they tend to scratch as a part of it.
  • they scratch when marking their territory.
  • they scratch when they are excited about something like when they get in their excited, frenzy state or maybe your about to feed them when they’re really hungry.

I can agree that my cats do all of the above especially when I start the ‘Feeding Animals’ ritual part of the morning. There are active paws in the background until their bowls get placed which is always after the dogs to keep them from eating their food instead.

Yes, my dogs do eat the cat food when given the chance but my cats also want to eat the dog food when given the chance. I’m yet to figure out if this is a good or bad thing but from my research at least I know its a normal thing, hehe.

How Do Cats Scratch

Cats need to scratch both vertically, up and down, and horizontally, side to side. As you can imagine this is for both comfort and necessity.

Thinking about when we stretch, we tend to turn directions to get the right muscle or area. Your cat is the same. In order to stretch the right area, it has to change directions.

Also, marking territory works in the same way. It’s not enough to just have markings or scents up high or down low or facing one direction, it must be all of the above.

How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching The Furniture

Now that you understand how much scratching means to your cat I hope this has brought you to figuring out better options to keep your cat in your household. I also hope that if you were considering declawing that you realize how detrimental it will be to their instincts not to mention other harmful effects of this procedure.cat_climbing_structures_maine_coon_cat_furniture

If anything, you can try trimming your cat’s claws but that can be challenging because your cat likely won’t keep still.

The best plan of action that you can take to stop your cat from scratching is to get a scratching surface that is specially designed to speak to them better than your couch does. This can be as simple as a scratching post or a larger cat tree.

My recommendation to you is to get a sturdy, good quality cat tree. This is because it is more likely to get and KEEP your cat’s attention because it satisfies your whole cat.

By that I mean, a cat tree doesn’t just get your cat’s scratching under wraps but it gives your cat its own place to sleep, play, climb, and jump all over. It will claim it as its own, so that will also take care of territorial scratching as well.

The good news about cat trees is that there are so many different styles for just about every kind of cat you can imagine whether its a small, large, old, or young cat. There are even cat trees for your cat if it has mobility or joint issues like arthritis!

To find out more information on cat trees and choosing the best one for you, your cat and your household situation, you have come to the right place because we have a guide that will walk you through everything you need to know.

Click on the button below to get started and if you ever have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments box below any post on this website.

Click here to learn more about finding the best cat climbing structures for your cat!

Why Do My Cats Like To Be Up High All The Time?

Why Do My Cats Like To Be Up High All The Time?

You probably notice your cats’ favorite places to be are on top of the fridge, TV stand, desk hutches and other places that are up high. This can be quite frustrating when they are up there knocking things down because there’s really no room for them in the first place!

My cat used to jump up on the TV stand that literally had no space. Like you, I found myself baffled about why my cats like to be up high all the time even to their own discomfort.

There’s a reason for this and I hope that the following information will help you understand your cat’s weird and persistent behavior as well.

Why Do Cats Sit In High Places?

There are a couple of reasons your cat wants to be up high. The biggest and probably most commonly heard reason is their infamous call to hunt.

Another reason might be because they want to increase their territory or show superiority over the other cats in your home.

Finally, a third reason that cats seek high ground is to escape threats.

Your Cat’s Instinct To Hunt

One of the biggest driving factors for this behavior is your cat’s instinct to hunt. Of course, it’s not technically ‘hunting’ in your living area but it just has a strong need to feel like it is.

S/He wants to get a good vantage point where it can see its surroundings safely. Have you ever put up a cat tree in the center of your living room and wondered why your cat doesn’t use it too often?

Think for a minute about the placement of structures like fridges, bookcases, and TV stands. Got it?

They tend to be around the edges of the room. This is a prime setting for your cat.

By perching up high around the room’s perimeter, it can see everything without being seen itself.

Your Cat Needs Its Own Space

One of the biggest differences between cats and dogs is that cats are not cuddly. They may like a pet here and there but nothing too vigorous.

Even when they are rubbing up against your leg, you might be heartbroken to find out that they’re not being as lovey-dovey as you think. They’re actually marking you with their cat hormones.

Cats are communal animals but they are also loners especially when its time to hunt. They are very unique in this sense and it might be hard to wrap your head around.

But in lamen’s terms, just give your cat some space to be left alone. They usually choose somewhere off the ground because it is hard for others non-cat entities to reach them.

Another factor to this that I find quite interesting is that by giving your cat vertical space, you increase their territory. So in essence, you give it more room without actually adding more space to your living area.

Why Does Your Cat Sleep In High Places?cat_climbing_structures_why_do_cats_like_to_climb_to_sleep

You probably notice your cat likes to sleep up high too. This is because it feels safer off the ground where it knows most predators and threats can’t reach it.

Remember, your cat’s instincts are what drives it even though it’s technically not being ‘hunted’ in your home. So I hope that this doesn’t seem offensive to you, its just the way your cat sees the world.

And in regard to your home, it might be trying to get away from other ‘threats’ like kids, dogs, or noisy things like the vacuum cleaner and other power tools.

How To Get My Cat To Stop Jumping on The Counters and Tall Furniture?

Since your cat is driven to find heights, you have to give it an alternative location to find refuge and comfort. When it comes to countertops, there is the added lure of food even if its only tasty scraps.

In order to provide your cat with a better resting spot, you will need a few things:

  1. a cat tree
  2. food and water bowls
  3. clean counters and other eating areas

A good cat tree to use for this mission is one that is above 5 ft, preferably above 6ft like this Go Pet Club Tree.

Note: This tree is a good starter option for most cats but if you have a large cat like a Maine Coon, it won’t work.

Then once the tree is up, you will place their favorite food bowl at the highest perch and sprinkle some of its favorite treats over the other levels.

Make sure the dogs or any other pets do not eat the treats before your cat can get to them. If your cat is very territorial, or too large, you might have to get one that is bigger and better suited for multiple cats, like the Cat Tree King Tiger Cat Tree for Extra Large Cats.

Even with these two options, the best setup we recommend is using a wall-mounted cat tree like the CatastrophicCreations Multi-Level Cat Climbing Activity Center. That way, you know that only your cat can scale the different levels!

In addition, they take up the least space and look the best. You can literally go all the way up to the ceiling with these as well.

Once your cat gets used to its new area, you will notice it will jump on your countertops a lot less or even not at all! 😀

I hope that this article has helped you understand why your cat climbs all over your high furniture and appliances. With a little patience, understanding and working together, you can provide your cat with a healthier way to fill its need.

If you have any questions, comments or other feedback, please leave them in the comments box below. Otherwise, we’ll see you next time!

Click here to learn more about the best wall mounted cat tree kit!

Things Cats Climb That Are Important For A Healthy Lifestyle

Things Cats Climb That Are Important For A Healthy Lifestyle

When providing the best environment for your cat, one of the most important factors to get right are the things that cats climb.

Why Do Cats Climb?

Because climbing is essential to almost every activity a cat does throughout its entire life. There isn’t much difference between the varieties of cats that live outside and the ones that live indoors as our pets.

This means that indoor cats need pretty much the same things that wild and feral cats need to thrive.

Of course, the only difference is that one set of necessities are provided outdoors while the other set is provided indoors.

These factors include activities such as:

  • hunting
  • sleeping
  • getting a good view of the area while being safe
  • increasing their territory
  • escaping threats
  • etc

If your cats are not able to achieve what their natural instincts are driving them to do they can experience side effects as severe as aggression and sickness. This is why it is so important to know what things it likes to climb so that you will create a more comfortable spot for them than the top of your refrigerator.

Things Cats Climb By Nature

cat_climbing_structures_why_do_cats_like_to_climb_highWhether in an urban or rural setting, indoors or outdoors they will find something to climb whether it is directly provided for them or not.

Things Cats Climb In the Wild

In the wild, cats typically climb up trees. But not just any trees.

If you’ve ever watched a documentary about big cats like leopards you will understand what I mean. Cats choose trees that have:

  • good cover usually provided by leaves or other vegetation
  • strong, sprawling branches
  • height
  • hard for other animals to climb

In a more human populated area where trees are more scarce, feral cats get their vantage point on structures like walls and relatively short buildings like houses or storage facilities.

Things That Cats Climb In Your Home

As mentioned before, your cat will look for much of the same structures even if it has spent its entire life indoors. The difference is that instead of houses and trees, your cat chooses other furniture that resembles the same qualities as their outdoor counterparts.

This can range from appliances like your fridge to decor like curtains and shelves.

Some people willingly let their cats tear up their furniture and have nothing wrong with them laying on the counters. But I caution you if you allow your cat to do this, while it is ok while they are supervised you must also consider when they are not being supervised.

An unsupervised cat may cause an accident if it accidentally turns on your stove or falls behind the fridge and gets stuck or suffers a fatal electric shock.

The first has happened in my family. Luckily we found it before it caught on fire.

Our cat was jumping on the stove, doing its thing and ran across the stove knob. It turned the burner on and melted the plastic bowl that it also knocked on it.

There are better options for you in cat climbing structures. There are so many types, designs, and styles that you can literally turn your home into a fully customized cat-friendly sanctuary that is safe and healthy for everyone in your home.

How To Make Your Home Cat-Friendly

cat_climbing_structures_things_cats_climb_kitten_in_a_cat_treeThe first step to transforming your home into a more cat-friendly location is to think about:

  1. Places your cat frequents
  2. Places your cat would frequent if it was outdoors

Next armed with these two factors, you will begin to look for or/and build structures that suit their needs.

Truth be told if you buy all of the cat furniture that your cat needs it will get pretty costly. Of course, if you can afford it and prefer to spend the money, by all means, buy everything your cat desires.

But if you’re like most of us who either prefer to save money or not spend all that money on your cats, you can affordably build your own. Aside from affordability, I like building cat structures because it brings our families together and encourages important life skills like communication, cooperation, and creativity that are tragically missed while spending hours in front of an electronic device.

Your goal with this is to mimic nature. Your cat should have walking space that is elevated and wraps around part or all of the walls of your home.

To do this, you will use:

  • ground standing cat trees/condos
  • cat shelves
  • wall-mounted cat trees

Cat Climbing Structure’s Recommendation

Since cat types, personalities and preferences vary so much we have created a collection of recommended resources for you to look at.

If you are looking for good, already made, cat climbing structures for your cats, here are our best recommendations:

Click here for our best pre-made cat climbing structure recommendations

Why Do Cats Like To Climb To High Places? [5 Reasons]

Why Do Cats Like To Climb To High Places? [5 Reasons]

One of the hardest things for cat owners to accommodate is their cat’s inclination to jump and climb to high places. Whether you love it or hate it, you must manage it appropriately for both your cat’s and household’s well-being.

So why do cats like to climb to high places? There are 5 main reasons your cat will gravitate to high places:

  1. Instinct/Fun
  2. Safety
  3. Increase Territory
  4. Escape
  5. Vantage Point

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Why Do Cats Have The Instinct to Climb?

Like all living things, cats have instincts which drive them to behave in certain ways. Whether you like to admit it or not, your cute fuzzy baby who might be so innocently curled up in your lap right now like mine’s is designed to kill and consume prey.

In other words, they’re designed to hunt and cats are specially engineered to be efficient at it. They have powerful hindquarters and a flexible musculoskeletal system that allows them to jump high the ease.

They also have strong, protractile claws that help them climb up and cling to trees.

This makes sense because most cats prefer to hunt from the trees and get a bird’s eye view of their surroundings. They do not like to be taken by surprise but instead would rather be the ones doing the surprising.

Why Do Cats Like To Climb For Fun?

In the same way that they’re driven to hunt, cat play is designed to sharpen their hunting skills. When you think about it, that is the point of play aside from having a blast.

Professional skiers ski for fun. Professional dancers dance for fun. And professional sharpshooters shoot for fun.

This is why cats also climb for fun. Of course, it is a pain in the butt when they decide to use our window shades or curtains for their tree but that’s what we’re here to help you with 😉

How Do Cats Like To Climb for Saftey?

cat_climbing_structures_why_do_cats_like_to_climb_to_sleepHunting isn’t the only use that trees and high places have for your cat. High places also represent safety because most threats to them are not skilled at climbing or getting into trees.

Now you might think of a threat as something that is aggressively attacking your cat. In this frame of mind, you might not realize threats lurking in your home.

Threats can also include none aggressive, external factors as well. You can think of a ‘threat’ to your cat as something that might just bother it since we are talking about a much less violent space than the wild (lol!).

Threats to your cat could include:

  • other cats
  • other pets like dogs, pigs or other free-roaming animals
  • small children
  • domestic disturbances like typical household disagreements or grievances. Maybe you or someone in your home might become a little emotional about a loss in their family.
  • accessive noise like loud TVs, music, or appliances
  • something new introduced to the home like furniture, a Christmas tree, or anything new that your cat has never encountered before.

The list goes on and on. If your cat perceives something as a ‘threat’ OR is partaking in something that might leave it open to being affected by a ‘threat’ like sleeping, it will take to the heights to find refuge.

How Does Cat Climbing Increase Their Territory?

cat_climbing_structures_cat_furniture_increase_vertical_territoryThis one is particularly interesting because it’s not something that we typically think of as ground-dwelling beings. Since cats typically like to be in the air, they ‘claim it’ as their territory.

Cats, in general, are very territorial. You can think of this sort of like a bi-product of hunting.

They want their designated space to roam, hunt and sleep. Coming from someone as possessive as myself, I totally understand.

Give your cat some space! But even if you live in a small space like an apartment, you can make your space work for you by increasing your cat’s vertical territory.

To do this, you will need to add cat climbing structures like trees, condos, wall-mounted steps and other platforms for your cat to patrol. By doing this, it will also take care of their natural tendency to get a bird’s eye view of their surroundings while staying safe.

By increasing the space your cat has to roam vertically, you increase their perceived space value. In other words, they will feel like they have more space than what your square footage dictates.

If you have multiple cats, this is especially beneficial. It can reduce inter-cat conflicts and make timid or frail cats feel more secure.

Why Do Cats Like To Climb To Escape?

cat_climbing_structures_dog_proof_cat_stationAside from cats, most animals are not equipped for climbing. This means that when a cat is running from an attacker, its best option is to take to the trees.

If you have a dog chasing a cat in your home, you have probably witnessed it escaping by dashing up your curtains!

Assuming the curtain rod doesn’t fall, it usually gets the cat out of reach even if the dog is still down there barking or doing whatever dogs do that chase cats up trees. I’m not really sure actually, lol, my dogs don’t chase cats but I have heard of these sort of situations.

The cat will take to heights because after all, its goal is to get away not eaten alive or even become Fido’s new toy. Taking to the trees is an almost guaranteed way for your cat to be safe even if it’s threat is a clumsy climber.

How Do Cats Climb For The Best Vantage Point?

cat_climbing_structures_why_do_cats_like_to_climb_highAs I’ve touched on multiple times in this article, cats instinctually hunt from the trees. They do not like to be surprised and they always like to have the upper hand on things.

In order to do this, they must obtain the best vantage point in the area, no questions asked.

They will knock down whatever they need to in order to do this, so it is best to create the proper space, especially if you have large cats.

Doing this might be a little bit difficult for older cats but here are some ways we recommend for you in this case.

Now that you know why cats like to climb, its time to catify your home. If you have any questions, comments or other feedback, please leave them in the comments box below.

To get your cat to the heights it needs to be, click the button below to learn more about the best cat climbing structures for your cat no matter what their size or age is.

Click here to learn more about the best cat climbing structures for ALL cats!

See you next time!

~Marlinda