It is commonly believed that cats cannot be trained. The independent reputation of cats makes some people love them all the more; others prefer dogs for the same reason. The fact is, as independent as cats are, they can in fact be trained to a greater extent than many pet owners realize. If your cat exhibits problem behavior, this should be a relief to you.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking you have to either tolerate your cat's behavior -such as regarding the litter box, aggression or destroying things, or go to the extreme of parting with the cat. If you educate yourself on the subject and put forth a little effort, you can almost certainly remedy the situation and change your cat's behavior for the better.
Litter box problems are a common complaint among cat owners. When your cat does not use the litter box properly -or at all!- it is unpleasant, not to mention unsanitary. Cats are naturally clean, so using a litter box comes quite naturally to them. If a cat that was using a litter box suddenly does not, this is a definite warning of a problem. To rule out a medical problem, you should first bring your cat to the veterinarian.
After medical problems are ruled out, take a look at the litter box itself. Make sure it's being kept clean. It should also be in the right place, in an out-of-the-way area that is not too near the cat's water and food dishes. Cats are a little like people in preferring a private "bathroom" area. The box should also be large enough for the cat, but not so large as to not feel like an enclosed space.
Do you have an aggressive cat that claws at you or bites? This can be a nuisance, as well as painful. Fortunately, in most cases cats can be trained out of such behavior. Once again, if this is new behavior on your cat's part, have it checked out medically. If this is a long-term problem, you may have a cat who is not well socialized, or even feral. For such cases, you can usually tame the cat, but it takes some extra time and patience.
Watch your cats movements and body language when it is aggressive. Learn when it is "safe" to touch him/her (until your training efforts have paid off, when it should be safe most of the time). You should also make sure your cat gets enough exercise. Make time to play with your cat, every day if possible. This both gives the cat exercise and is a bonding ritual. If your cat is not spayed, you should have it done; this will make the cat calmer and less aggressive.
I have provided a starting point in addressing some common behavioral problems. You may need to further educate yourself and spend some time working with your cat. Just remember that the vast majority of cats will respond to the right kind of attention and can be transformed into wonderful pets!
If you want to improve your relationship with your cat, you might want to explore these resources: training cats
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