Your Cat Is A Teenager – What to Expect!
25 August, 2016
Your cat has finally made it past kitty-hood, is litter trained and probably growing leaps and bounds. Your kitty is now used to your home and is coming into his cat teen years usually from 2 to 3 years old. And, similar to human teens, they can get a little testy and bratty! It is at this age when their spirit comes out in fully. Beware!
Below are what you can expect from your teen cat and how to survive their adolescence!
A spayed or neutered cat is a calmer cat
Most likely, you were informed enough to spay or neuter your kitty and therefore avoid not only your kitty being in ‘heat’ but the verbal accompaniment that goes with it as well as the ‘spraying’ issue. Neutered kitties or cats don’t usually spray urine unless they are older and have lost control of their bladders. (Yet another good reason to neuter besides overpopulation!)
Get the scratching in control!
When your kitty is in her ‘teens’, there are two reasons the scratching really begins. Your kitty is trying to leave his or her mark and to claim that piece of furniture as part of her property/territory. The second reason is that your kitty is trying to loosen irritating old nail sheaths, so new nails can grow.
Try to trim your cat’s nails every three weeks to keep them relatively blunt. If you have started the process when they are younger, it will be helpful and ease them into it through their teens. (see our other article on Trimming your cat’s nails) . And, of course, get a scratching post covered with a rough material (sisal is ideal but rope will do) that is at least three feet tall with a wide, sturdy base that won’t tip over when your cat plays on it.
Your kitty has so much energy she becomes aggressive
As you cat reaches her teens, she will crouch, stalk, pounce, and bite your ankle, arms or whatever is in her way. Remember that our feline friends are natural predators! If your cat was taken away from his littermates too early (before 10 – 12 weeks old) and was not actively taught to inhibit his bite, you may find yourself his next hapless victim. But, this can be controlled!
When your kitty gets aggressive, give him or her a toy, or something to scratch when he or she goes after you. Praise your kitty for chewing or biting the correct toy or blanket and not your arm.
A teenage cat tends to get energetic at night!
As your cats reach their teens, they can tend to keep you up at night. They are testing their vocals and are sometimes so restless that they can keep you and your family up. If your kitty is one of those late night vocal enthusiasts, make sure to have a play session right before bed time to sap some of his or her energy. You can also try feeding your teenage cat right before you go to bed to help them feel satisfied and sleepy. A light meal can calm them down a bit.
As with all of the above, if you can train your cat early on in kitty-hood or even early teens to act correctly by providing distractions, positive feedback and rewards for doing the correct behavior, you and your cat will reap the rewards.