Understanding rescue cat behaviour, Louise’s guide

February 14, 2020

If you’ve rescued a cat you’ve done a wonderful thing. But sometimes rehomed animals come with their own baggage and may take a while to settle in. Hopefully that’s not the case, but if it is, there are steps you can take to ease the path.

Our vet Louise has put together some advice for anyone finding themselves in a challenging situation with their rescue cat, so please keep reading if you want to know more. Then if you need any further advice, simply contact us to make an appointment.

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Why might a rescue cat display difficult behaviour?

Sometimes rescue animals may exhibit behavioural problems as a result of experiences they’ve had in their previous home, and wherever you rehomed them from may not have had access to the details of that environment.

Common problems and possible solutions

There are a few issues that crop up often in rescue cats, so here Louise offers some solutions to possible problems:

Scratching. While this is a normal part of cat behaviour it can become a nuisance when it’s directed at your furniture or carpets. The solution is usually quite simple – get your cat a scratching post and entice them to use it by sprinkling catnip on it.

Going outside the litter tray. This can be a simple issue of the tray being in a location that doesn’t suit your pet, so try moving it to different areas. If that doesn’t work it might be that your pet has taken against the size or shape of the tray, so it might be time to swap it for a new one.

Aggression. If your cat is not neutered, this could be the cause of aggressive behaviour. Otherwise it might be a reaction to its previous upbringing. If it hurts you during play, let it know with a loud noise then walk off. It may take time to bond with your rescue cat so patience is key.

Being overweight. If your cat is on the tubby side it might be because it’s used to being sedentary or because it is nervous of playing or going out. It’s best to get it checked at All Creatures Healthcare to make sure there are no underlying health issues. After that it will probably be a question of patience, perseverance and a recommended weight-loss programme.

Hopefully this has been of use but if your cat is displaying any other odd behaviours it’s best that you get in touch to arrange an appointment with Louise or another of our friendly team to talk further.

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