Why Your Cat is Restless and Exhibiting Attention Seeking Behavior
What may seem like normal behavior in some cats may be unusual behavior in others. As a cat owner, it is essential to monitor not only your cat’s feeding but also their mood and attitude. Change in cat behavior is associated physical or emotional attributes. The most common complaints about cat behavior is their excessive vocalization: loud meowing or crying so before punishing your cat for misbehaving establish the cause.
Other ways cat exhibit attention seeking behavior are demanding for food, scratching, staring into your eyes, knocking objects off furniture, sticking his or her face into yours and even butting into your face. Cats behave this way due to various reasons such as wanting to be petted, taken into your lap or simply being fed or massaged.
Cats are very active and some of their usual behavior can easily be misinterpreted for attention seeking behavior. Here are some of the activities:
When there is something wrong with your cat, it will bawl and cry. This usually indicates that your cat is in distress, confusion, fear, or pain. If your cat begins to belt out more at night, it may be due to cognitive dysfunction. If they start voicing out more by hissing or growling, it is due to pain or fear. Some cats may also vocalize before vomiting a hairball, at meal time or during other regular activities. If your cat is usually the silent type but starts meowing more often they may be trying to send you a message that they are in pain. They may also be going deaf. If you can’t determine the reason for your cat’s sudden noises, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Changes in Feeding
Cats spend most of their day eating and sleeping. So if your cat begins to consume less or refuse to eat food at all, then there is definitely a problem. Cats are also used to routines especially in relation to feeding schedules so you need to monitor closely how they are feeding to identify any issues. Eating less is a sign that your cat is has a dental disease, is feeling unwell or is stressed. Cats may also cease to eat when they are fed foods they dislike either out of preference or due to certain flavors or additives.
Your cat will however tend to feed more yet not gain any substantial weight if it has a thyroid problem. This is could mean that your cat has hyperthyroidism which is commonly found in elderly cats. See your veterinarian for the right cause of treatment for this. You will also need to take your cat for a checkup if it isn’t eating and is lethargic, losing weight or is vomiting. Sometimes when hairballs get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract, or they have tumors causing digestive issues, or other diseases, cats lose their appetite. Like humans. Cats make may develop addictions to certain foods hence meow to beg you to give them extra. An occasional treat is definitely not dangerous once in a while so try make homemade meals and let your cat enjoy.
A cat that does not have an outlet to act out its primal nature like a cat tree, will naturally be aggressive. The cat will tend to act out with children, toys, other pets and even you. Exhibiting of hissing, swatting, biting and being generally aggressive is a sign your cat is in pain or fear. Fear in cats can triggered by new animals in the household or in their immediate environment, a negative veterinary or boarding facility visits, negative encounters with people and new smells on you or your cat’s belongings.
Surgery or trauma inducing due to recent surgeries such as accidents such as dental ailments, amputation or accidents. Reassure your cat, use medications and behavior supplements as prescribed by the veterinarian to resolve the aggressive behavior and resolve the cause of pain. Some cats are very playful and adventurous in nature. When such cats are in pain, they may tend to be less playful with its owner as well as with objects. Visit to your veterinarian to resolve this and your cat should be back to his/her playful self in no time.
Changes in Grooming
Cats naturally like grooming for cleanliness. Overweight cats are unable to reach certain parts of the body hence groom less. You can resolve this by aiding your cat to reduce weight through a healthier diet. Cats with certain ailments such as osteoarthritis or injuries may also not be able to reach particular areas of their bodies. Grooming is also more in cats that have sore joints and muscles. Although cats generally sleep a lot, cats that are unwell will tend to sleep a lot. In case you not any changes in your cat’s sleeping patterns, see your veterinarian as soon as you can.
Extreme attention seeking is evidence of a separation anxiety disorder, which requires immediate medical attention. A cat with stress will also tend to scratch a specific spot on their body. Unless your cat has an injury, this is often due to stress. Consider any changes in your environment that may cause your cat to be stressed. Sometimes cats do not adapt well to moving to a new home, a change in your schedule, introduction of new pets in the house, new pets in their environment or interacting with strangers.
This may also cause your pet to hide or withdraw due to fear. If the hiding is due to one of the above reasons then your cat should return to normal after a couple of days but if it is due to an illness or pain they may require to get a checkup by the veterinarian. Do your best to aid your cat adapt to the new environment or eliminate things that may causing them distress. Your veterinary can recommend nutritional supplements created to calm your cat without sedating it, as well as pheromones, may aid in lowering your cat’s stress level. Monitor your cat behaviors in order to recognize and tear apart normal behavior from any behavioral problems or changes in your pet changes that may be a cause for alarm.
Neglected cats will tend to exhibit a lot of attention seeking behavior, ideally because they have been deprived attention form their owners. This is often experienced by cats whose owners are absent a lot due to work or travel or whose owners don’t play or pet them as much as they should. Although you cannot be with your cat for an entire day, it is essential to give them some attention when you are around. Cats are satisfied with short but frequent bursts of attention. The most essential form of attention is play as it mimics hunting which is an expression of the natural cat behavior. Other effective forms of attention that you can offer your cat include brushing, taking your cat into your lap, petting or simply talking to your cat.
Elimination Behavior Changes
Stress, fear, or a lack of appropriate, clean, litter box options leads to Behavior changes in the urination and defecation habits of your cat. This may be evidence that they don’t feel well and that they are suffering from bladder stones, a urinary tract infection, or intestinal parasites. Some cats may decide to defecate and/or urinate outside of their box and this behavior is your cat trying to signal that they may not like the number of litter box options they have, the size of the box, the kind of litter, how dirty the litter is, or the placement of the box. Before resolving to fix any environmental issues, eliminate medical reasons for elimination behavior changes. Do not hesitate to bring them into the veterinarian, if you notice spots of blood in the litter box, abnormally large clumps of litter from urine, , no or very little clumps of litter from urine, or your cat is straining, crying, or eliminating outside of the litter box.
Paying close attention to your cat behavior doesn’t mean that you should tolerate destructive behavior. If anything, you need to curb any harmful behavior noted in your kitten. However, closely monitoring behavioral changes aids in knowing when your pet is ill or showing abnormal behavior. The early you can diagnose any issues, whether medical or psychological, the better the treatment from home or from a vet. Cats are animals of habits so come up with a structure of not only feeding but also play. Improving the predictability of your cat’s life makes they feel more comfortable and remain calm. With stress being one of the major causes of cat attention seeking behavior, it is paramount to keep your pet in a conducive environment. Once your cat adapts to the patterns you have set, they won’t be so persistent in trying to get your attention unless there is just cause to do so. Cats as well are as susceptible to disease, pain, and trauma and other issues as much as human beings. So next time before you are quick to punish your cat for bad behavior, determine the reason they are acting the way they are.Last Updated: