How to Make My Mean Cat Nicer
Do you have a cat that is kinda mean?
Maybe you got a cat that just isn’t as nice as you would like?
It happens. Cats are independent creatures. They have survival instincts they rely on. It shapes how they behave.
For example, no cat ever grows up wishing that some human being would pick it up, squeeze it so tightly that it can’t move any of her legs and then carry her around.
You can train your cat to like that eventually, but there is nothing in a cat’s DNA that prepares them for that. Mother cats don’t do that. Only human mothers do that.
So don’t think your cat is mean just because she protests some when you do things like this to her.
Why Is My Cat So Mean?
Cat behaviorists say you should look at four general areas when first trying to determine why a cat isn’t behaving as nice as you would like.
These four areas are:
- Symptoms and Reactions
The first step is to rule out any health issue. Maybe he isn’t feeling well. Maybe he’s hurting.
Most cats prefer to be left alone when they aren’t feeling well. And they don’t provide obvious clues when they aren’t feeling so good.
Even though it isn’t likely, it’s possible that your kitty has a health problem.
This could especially be possible if this mean behavior has developed recently if there has been a change in how he reacts to you.
If you suspect a health issue, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian. Come ready to discuss what behavior or changes you have noticed and any relevant background that might be helpful.
Kittens begin with a list of instincts designed to keep them safe in a strange world.
As they grow, instincts may be reaffirmed by what they experience. They shy away from things that have frightened them in the past. They also develop habits.
These instincts and habits may be telling them to be wary of you. They aren’t trying to be mean; they are just being careful.
Has your cat been stressed lately? How about you?
Anything unusual going on in your household?
Cats can get stressed. We think they can also sense stress in humans too. They are sensitive.
Maybe they are acting differently just due to heightened tension or stress in your home.
Look at the symptoms your cat is displaying and re-think those symptoms. Maybe you are misinterpreting your cat’s behavior.
When he hisses at you, maybe he is simply trying to tell you he’s done playing. He just wants some alone time. He’s not trying to be mean, he just wants you to stop.
Maybe she is just unhappy because you changed the food or the litter or she has been seeing some big cat outside her window that has upset her.
Don’t take it personally. She is just displaying unhappy behavior. But you can turn her bad mood into a good mood with patience and kind actions.
Training My Cat to Be Less Mean
Cats are complicated. They are individuals too.
Some are affectionate; others are slow to warm up to a human.
Their behavior can change quickly too. One minute they want to be pet, but all of a sudden they are done and want you to stop.
He might hiss at you. He might swipe at you a little bit. He might give you a little bite.
If it’s just a little bite or swipe, don’t overreact. Don’t hit them back or yell at them.
You want to get to the point where you recognize she wants you to stop before she actually hisses or snaps at you.
Tips to Make My Mean Cat Nice
If you think you have narrowed down the cause of your kitty’s unwanted behavior, your next step is to act to get that behavior to change.
Here are some tips to try.
Fix the Health Issue
If kitty has a health issue, follow your vet’s advice on how to either help her recover or how to alleviate her symptoms. It’s no fun giving a cat medicine, but you just have to find a way to do it.
Take It Slow
Whatever change you are attempting to make, go slow and steady. Don’t rush the process. Always approach him slowly. Be cautious. Be deliberate. This is most likely not a quick fix situation and results won’t happen overnight.
Give Her Time and Reward Her for Improvement
It may take a while before she responds, but when she does, be sure to give positive reinforcement.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
When the behavior training is going slow or she seems to regress, do not get angry. Don’t get mean with her. It’s okay to feel disappointed, but that’s where it stops. Two steps forward and one step back is still an improvement.
Take the Stress Factor Out
If there is something in your environment that is creating stress for her or for you, try to eliminate it. If nothing else, set up a room where she can go and feel safe.
Maybe It’s You
If you are doing something that he doesn’t understand, something that is scaring him, maybe you need to change your behavior. For example, maybe you are too aggressive and he feels you are invading his space. Try a different approach.
Being Scared is Not Being Mean
Be sure to notice the difference between a scared cat and an angry cat. If your cat is scared of you or other things, you need to approach her differently than you would if she were simply angry at you or being mean.
Friendship Doesn’t Always Happen Overnight
You need to develop a friendship with your pet. Generally, if you are happy, he’ll be happy. You’re a team. Treat him like a friend. He’ll become a great companion to you over time.
Spend extra time with your cat, letting her see you not as her owner but as her friend, meal provider, and guardian.
Give Out Treats For Good Behavior
Why not reward her for doing what you want her to do? There is nothing like providing a little treat to effectively modify some types of behavior. People do it because it works.
Pet Your Cat Where She Wants To Be Pet
It sounds a little too elementary, but maybe he doesn’t want you touching his stomach or his butt. Focus on his cheeks, head, neck and upper shoulders.
Maybe Let Him Come to You
Instead of you always approaching him to pet him, if he is standing, maybe extend your finger or hand and allow him to initiate petting by rubbing against you first.
Maybe Let Him Smell You First Too
Allowing him to smell you will reassure him that you are you. Smells are important to your kitty.
Give Them the Food They Want
Unless your kitty requires a certain type of diet, why not give him the food he likes? You can mix it up for variety, but why not keep him happy.
Carefully Pet Kitty When He Eats
You want him to associate you with his breakfast and dinner time. These are happy times for him. You want him to associate those happy moments with you. Pet his head and talk a little during meal preparation. This is pretty easy.
Let Her Lick Your Finger or Hand
If you give her wet food or a product like Laxatone, why not have her lick it off your finger or the back of your hand. It’s bonding.
Do That Slow Blink
Slowly blink at him when the time is right. We think cats who trust each other slow blink at one another. Try slowly blinking at him and see how he reacts. Maybe he will blink back.
Don’t Stare Them Down
Cats may think that a long stare is a sign of aggression, so don’t do it. Don’t focus right on them for too long.
Chasing Doesn’t Help
Cats generally do not like to have someone run after them or at them. It’s not something they see as playful. They might think it’s fun to run after you, but not from you.
Make Sure They Have What They Need
Kitty needs food, fresh water, a good clean litter box area, comfortable and safe sleeping spots, and some toys to play with. It’s the basics she needs to be happy.
Use Your Friendly Voice
A soft and calm voice works best when communicating with kitty. Most people instinctively do this. Some felines don’t appreciate male voices very much. Maybe they have bad memories of men as a kitten.
Don’t Forget the Catnip
A little catnip can be a great ice-breaker. When cats inhale nepetalactone, which is contained in the catnip plant, it stimulates brain neurons and most cats feel happy, calm, content and friendly.
You Can Try Feline Pheromones Too
A feline pheromone spray may help a very anxious kitty relax and enjoy less anxiety.
Call in a Specialist
If nothing seems to work and you are desperate, you can call a feline behaviorist in your town. They will generally come out to your home, observe your environment and your cat’s behavior and let you know what they think.
Don’t Give Up
You’re probably going to have your cat for a long time. Whatever effort you put into making your relationship better will be returned to you many times over the years. Keep going. You can do it.
Note: This article (and the other articles on this site) is not intended to be considered medical or veterinarian advice. Do not rely on this article for professional or veterinarian advice. The authors of these articles are not veterinarians or doctors. This article is to be considered general information only. The only vet or medical advice you should rely upon for your pet and your situation is the advice and guidance you receive from your own veterinarian and staff you personally contact. Please get in touch with your vet with any concern you have with your cat.
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