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louis games 16.PNG


10 yo, Domestic
Male, Neutered
Condition(s): Problematic Behaviour
Family: 2 Adults
Fur family: 1 cat
Lifestyle: Indoor plus catio

What is 'Problematic Behaviour'?

There's no doubt about it, cats are fascinating, unique creatures. They are crepuscular (most active at dawn & dusk), both predators AND prey, and often fastidious about their living conditions. Yet cats often have very little control over their lives, especially if living indoors - we dictate where, when, what and how much they eat, their toileting conditions, roaming distance/territory and housemates. Additionally, we tend to find some of their everyday behaviours unappealing, such as scratching, nocturnal activity or seeking vertical space, which can result in attempts to curb or stop these normal, but problematic, behaviours.

This can lead to a lot of frustration for cats, and not only may they act out in ways that we find confronting, it can also lead to numerous health problems from chronic stress, some of which can be life-threatening. 

Managing Louis' behaviour

Problematic behaviours Louis displayed included:

  • Jumping on benches

  • Knocking items of benches and bookshelves

  • Chewing books

  • Attacking the other house cat

  • Clawing furniture & carpet

  • Begging to go outside 

Despite having a two-storey townhouse with multiple views and a catio to keep him entertained, a lot of Louis' problematic behaviours were linked to attention seeking, boredom and frustration. Without the right support and information, Louis' parents were using ineffective punishment-based measures to try and stop the behaviour, which created further conflict in their relationship. They also found training Louis challenging as he is not very motivated by food

Management - making changes to the environment to avoid/prevent unwanted behaviour from happening 

Modification - making changes to training and the environment to encourage alternative, acceptable behaviours


  • No more punishment

  • Structure playtime more regularly

  • Set time aside for Louis' favourite activities

  • Stick to positive interactions with Louis to help build confidence

  • Reward desired behaviours (self-play, scratching posts, resting) with attention & praise

As Louis' problems were actually normal behaviour for the situation and not due to imbalances of neuromodulators, medication was not indicated.

Dr Channy's helped to modify their own expectations and perceptions of the not 'naughty', but normal, behaviour

Rewarding cats that are just not that into food

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