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Bad Habits in Dog and Cat

Puppies and kittens are adorable little creatures. But, they can often get up to mischief as they get to know their new owners and explore their new home.


Some examples of unwanted dog behavior include play-biting, chewing, barking, tail chasing, licking, jumping up and digging.

Chewing can occur for a number of reasons – teething, boredom or anxiety. Most dogs have all their adult teeth by two years of age. Teething should definitely stop by this age. If teething is a problem, give your pet ice cubes to help alleviate any discomfort that they may be experiencing. Bored dogs can also show bad habits such as chewing, barking or digging. These pets need more exercise and toys to help entertain them throughout the day. If no one is home during the day, a dog walker may help alleviate any boredom they may experience during the day. Anxious dogs can chew everything and anything when left alone. If a pet is to be left for long periods of time it is important that they are left with chew-proof toys. Exercise and training can help reduce anxiety. Making sure to not make a big fuss about leaving and returning will also help your pet to remain calm.


Some examples of unwanted cat behavior include scratching, biting, climbing on benches, playing at night and talking.

Cats need scratching posts to help renew their sharp claws. To prevent your cat from scratching at the carpet or furniture, keep tall, carpeted scratching posts near its favorite resting spots. Give positive reinforcement through praises and treats when your cat uses the scratching post. Place plastic covering over the areas you don’t want them to scratch. Eventually your cat will learn where the right places are to scratch.

Play-biting is a bad habit that can continue onto adulthood if not fixed. As kittens learn what is right and wrong behavior, it is always a good idea to wear long-sleeve clothing to prevent yourself from being scratched or bitten. Use pole-like toys and avoid your hands being used as toys. When your kitten plays well, praise it and give it treats. When your kitten plays roughly, stop playing and walk away. It’s always important to play gently and avoid any rough activites like wrestling from the start.

As in the wild, cats tend to climb to the highest spots so that they can see everything that is going on. So, it is natural behavior for your cat to want to climb onto the kitchen benches and cupboards. This is not a good idea for cats. Cats can transfer dirt and bugs onto the kitchen area, it is difficult to reach the cat if you need to, and you cannot observe its behavior at tall heights. To prevent your cat from climbing, provide them with tall, indoor scratching poles and cat trees and place catnip, treats or toys to encourage it to climb.

Cats, being nocturnal animals, are naturally more active at night. If cats don’t get enough exercise and play during the day, they can disturb you at night when everyone is asleep. So, remember to give your cat plenty of exercise of at least 20 minutes a day and playtime before bedtime, to prevent it from waking you at night.

Some cats are very talkative. Breeds such as Siamese and Burmese cats are very vocal. Cat cries can mean that they are lonely, hungry, anxious or bored. If your cat talks a lot after you have been away for a while, it usually means that it has been lonely. Try giving your cat plenty of toys and climbing posts for it to play with during the day. It is best not to give praise or treats following excessive vocalization as this can encourage talkative behavior. Wait until your cat is relaxed and calm and then give them attention or food.
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