Pet’s can have issues just like your human family members. They can seem happy one day and the next be stressed or anxious, but unfortunately they can’t tell us what’s wrong. Here are a few of the behavioural issues we talk about with our clients on a daily basis.
Barking: It’s important to understand that barking is a normal way that dogs communicate with others. Dogs might bark to get attention, during play, hunting, territorial defence, and in fearful and anxious situations. We can help you identify the reason your dog is barking and provide advice about how to control it.
Aggression: Many clients ask how to control aggressive behaviour in their dog. Remember that aggression is a normal behaviour expressed by dogs in a variety of situations. All questions about aggressive behaviour need to be dealt with professionally by us so that a full work-up can be performed and treatment plan formulated.
Destructive behaviour: Dogs do not destroy things vindictively and there are many other reasons your dog may be destructive including boredom, inadequate exercise, investigation, anxiety, fear or phobias. We’ll try to determine the cause of your dog’s destructive behaviour and what to do about it.
Scratching: Scratching is normal cat behaviour that is used to communicate or mark territory. It’s something they must do and it can be easier to direct their scratching towards an acceptable surface, especially in the early stages, rather than trying to stop the damage later. Ask us for tips.
Yowling: Owners can find that this is a common problem, particularly early in the morning. This might occur because your cat is hungry, in pain, seeking attention, demanding food or defending his territory.
Spraying: If you’ve ever seen a cat spraying you may have been intrigued. It’s a strange looking activity where the cat stands with a vertical tail (sometimes quivering at the tip) and delivers a squirt of urine against a vertical surface.
Urine spraying is considered a normal part of a cat’s scent-marking. It is thought that the spray contains information about sex, age, hormonal state and general health and it may also deter other cats from coming into a cat’s territory. Both male and female cats will spray – cats that are not desexed may spray more often.
Cats will also spray when they are frustrated, upset or feel threatened by another cat. It’s fascinating feline psychology and by marking with a squirt of urine and leaving a familiar smell, a cat feels a greater sense of security in his or her territory.
Most cats won’t spray indoors as they feel sufficiently comfortable in their own territory. Sometimes this can, however go out the window and simple changes may rock the boat.
Why might a cat start spraying indoors? Triggers include:
- The arrival (or departure) of a new cat, dog or person in the family (or next door!)
- Changes in the home area such as a new piece of furniture or new carpets
- Disruptions such as building construction next door
- An addition of a cat flap which can suddenly make the cat feel insecure indoors
Medical problems such as urinary tract infections or inflammation can also cause a cat to suddenly start spraying urine indoors. This highlights the importance of getting your cat checked with us as the treatment for a urinary tract infection will be very different to the management of behavioural spraying.
If you are concerned about or have any questions relating to your pet’s habits please ask us for advice.