How to give your cat a confidence boost?

By Valdette Muller| April 4, 2018 | Blog

Cats crave a territory of their own, as well as dependability and familiarity with their owners and home.

When a cat is not confident in their home environment, they can display fear and aggressive behaviours such as hissing, running away when you or anyone goes near it, and hiding from everyone and every thing.

An un-confident cat can become withdraw from home life and may even start to display behavioural problems, such as as spraying, excessive scratching, or biting.

These can be signs your cat may be suffering emotionally.

Distress in your cat can even lead to other medical health conditions.

Raising a confident cat who claims you and your family as their own is the key to living with a healthy and happy cat.

Discipline and understanding boundaries

Setting boundaries and keeping your cat within those limits are very important principles.

For example; If you do not want your cat to jump up onto the counter while you are cooking, your cat must not be allowed on the counter. But if you allow your cat on the kitchen counter when you are not using it to prepare food, you may cause confusion in your cat and damage their confidence. It is important to be consistent with discipline and never waver.

Never hurt or abuse your cat when disciplining them. Use discipline in a constructive and positive way, such as rewarding your cats for good behaviour when they get off the counter. Learn to use hand signals and a firm tone of voice when correcting unwanted behaviour.

You as a cat owner should also get to know your cat’s boundaries and try to see when your cat is feeling overwhelmed. You can learn a lot from your cat’s body language and subtle cues.

Your cat will be more confident when it sees you respecting their needs and boundaries.

Keeping to schedule

Cats love food and tend to govern their lives around their stomachs even more than dogs!

Sticking to feeding schedules is important and will help your cat feel at ease and they will learn to rely on you for steady meals.

When a cat does not know when they might be fed again, it can be very harmful to your their confidence. Remember that food and water scarcity can be very distressing.

Curiosity can be a good thing

Cats are curious, and for a cat, their curiosity must be satisfied, but remember to always maintain a safe and secure environment for them to explore and play within. If your cat hurts itself while exploring the house or playing with something it was not supposed find, it will associate the pain with the behaviour, and that may have adverse effects on your cat’s confidence.

Bored cats with no stimulation can become depressed or resort to negative behaviours to cure their boredom. It is important to encourage your cat to explore their surroundings, in a safe environment of course.

Provide toys that are interactive, toys that rotate, or create your own toys such as a new box made into a house for your cat to investigate. Cats also prefer quiet spaces, and you can hurt their sensitive ears with loud noises. Do not play music too loud or shout as this will scare your cat and make it feel more exposed and unsafe.

Use a calming pheromone in the house

Pheromone diffusers such as the Fleiway Diffuser and pheromone sprays can be great when placed or sprayed strategically around your house. They help to reduce your cat’s anxiety wherever they might be in the house. This can be useful if you are inviting guests around to your house as it can keep your cat’s anxiety levels from increasing.

Do not force things to happen

Forcing your cat to communicate with you or with other cats or pets more than they desire to will have the adverse effect.

Take it slow, and do not bother your cat unnecessarily; focus on creating a calm environment for your less confident cat. It is okay to interact, to play with or pet your cat but just do it only as long as your cat finds it comfortable.

Create a peaceful and comfortable environment

Make sure to create an environment for your cat, that feels safe and away from all the hustle and bustle of your busy home. Make things easily accessible and plentiful. by this we mean litter boxes, food bowls, water bowls, napping locations, cat trees, playing opportunities or any other things that cats interact with.

Provide these things in different parts of your home, so that a timid or shy cat can have everything they need nearby, without  having to pluck up the courage to reach the water bowl.

Play time

Play with your cat often as this has many benefits when done right, it becomes a serious confidence booster for shy cats when they have fun playing with their owner.

 

Sources: http://thepetshow.com/building-your-cats-self-confidence/

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