How to deal with common cat problems

If you’re having a problem with your cat, here are some hints and tips to help with the most common problems. If you need any further help, please call us on 0300 303 9876.

/

Vomiting fur balls

Some cats occasionally vomit up fur balls, however this rarely anything to worry about. If you are worried, you could feed your cat on a specially tailored diet designed to relieve the build-up of fur balls, or speak to your vet about alternatives. Grooming your cat regularly will also help to reduce the amount of fur they ingest when they groom themselves.

Over grooming

Grooming is a completely natural behaviour. But if you find your cat is grooming more than usual and has made their skin sore, itchy or caused bald patches then seek veterinary attention. Over grooming is a sign of parasite infestation, stress, pain or trauma.

Frightened cats

Some rehomed cats may not have had much socialisation with humans or been introduced to new experiences during their lives. They may also be completely overwhelmed by their new home and environment. Less socialised cats need more time to settle in, but with a little patience they will overcome their fears. If you’re concerned, please contact us for advice.

Diarrhoea

It is not uncommon for a new cat to have a slightly upset stomach when they first go into a new home. This is usually due to the number of changes they have experienced.

If this occurs then double check you’re feeding them exactly what they were fed at the centre, to avoid upsetting their stomach with a complete change in diet. You can also adjust the food by feeding half the normal daily amount, then gradually return to full rations the next day. If you see no improvement, seek veterinary attention.

Inappropriate biting

It’s quite common to hear that cats are biting or kicking their owners inappropriately. It generally arises from kittenhood, when the kitten is taught to play with human hands and feet. Although this can be very cute when the kitten is small, it’s not very pleasant when a cat does the same thing in adulthood.

Keep your cat stimulated, but in an appropriate way. Keep play away from your hands and feet by using wand and fishing rod toys. Stroke your cat for short, brief sessions and then leave them in peace. If your cat does start to bite or kick your hand, then ignore them, let your hands go limp and walk away. Any kind of contact with the cat at that time will reinforce the behaviour – don’t punish the cat as this will only make the situation worse. If the problem is getting out of control then please contact us for advice.

Loss of housetraining

Cats forgetting their housetraining can be quite a common problem, especially with kittens and nervous cats. Ensure your cat has a quiet space, such as a spare room, with their own litter tray they can access freely. sStick with litter that you know your cat has used before, also make sure the tray is kept clean but doesn’t smell too much of cleaning products. Kittens need their litter tray close by at all times, they will struggle to reach it if it’s in another room. Ensure the litter tray is small enough for kittens to climb into.

If the loss of housetraining continues, ask your vet for advice. This can help rule out any medical issues. If there’s no medical reason behind the loss of housetraining then contact us for advice.

Unwanted presents

Cats are hunters by nature, so there’s a good chance that at some point they will bring you an unwanted gift – often dead rodents or birds. Sadly this is an instinctive cat behaviour, so there’s not a lot that can be done. Be prepared for this to happen, but bear in mind not all cats turn out to be hunters.

Unpredictable behaviour

If your cat becomes unpredictable and is clearly behaving out of character, there may be a medical reason for this. Contact your vet – if they’re happy the cat is fit and healthy, then contact us for further advice.

Your expectations

Owners can often feel disappointed when their cat acts out of character, or its personality is not what they expected after rehoming. Remember all cats have their own distinct personality, and you should never try to replace a cat you have lost because they will always be very different. If you feel your cat is not behaving in a normal way then please contact us for advice.