Abnormal Feline Behavior
Every cat is unique, each with their own individual “quirks”. While most feline behavior is not cause for concern, certain behaviors can signal a bigger problem. Typically, even the most abnormal feline behavior can be successfully treated. Let’s take a closer look at the common types of abnormal feline behavior.
Much like their human companions, cats can develop unusual behaviors. While many behaviors are not cause for concern, there are a few that should never be ignored such as wool sucking, obsessive compulsive disorders, consuming non-food items and abnormal phobias.
Some behaviors are easier to recognize than others. For example, if your cat is consuming a lot of non-food items this is a condition known as pica. Wool sucking or fabric chewing is common among Siamese cats. Sometimes the cat will actually consume the wool which can lead to a much more serious problem. Abnormal behaviors that are more difficult to spot include obsessive compulsive disorders and abnormal phobias. Obsessive compulsive disorders can take many forms such as twitching, compulsive grooming or biting themselves. Any behavior where your cat is causing physical harm to itself should be considered compulsive. Phobias are usually difficult to recognize unless you have seen your cat experience the upsetting stimulus several times.
Whenever your cat is presenting abnormal behaviors is it extremely important to take them to their veterinarian as soon as possible. Pica is often caused by an underlying medical condition such as anemia, liver disease or thiamine deficiency. Ingesting non-food items as well as fabric and wool can cause an intestinal blockage that must be treated by a professional. Obsessive compulsive disorders can signify an underlying problem such as a skin disease, parasites or thyroid disease. Even if the condition does not require immediate medical assistance, your veterinarian will be able to give you advice on how to deal with the behavioral problem.
The cause of many feline behavior problems can be traced back to the cat’s first few weeks of life. Kittens require proper socialization within the first 16 weeks. Without this care and attention the kittens can develop into cats with abnormal fears and/or behaviors. Another common cause of abnormal behavior is stress. Common stressors include a dirty litter box or inconsistent feeding times. Young children can also be a source of stress for cats.
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