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!