COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Pet owners love their cats, but too often what is considered “naughty feline behavior” can lead to a stressful situation.
“The owners that I work with are at their wit’s end,” said Megan Phillips, animal behaviorist and owner of Train with Trust.
“Cats will rip, shred, and tear things, even more than just simple scratching in undesirable locations,” she said.
But, according to Phillips, any animal can be trained, and in most cases behaviors can be improved, if not eliminated.
“Cats have typical species behavior that often gets them into trouble inside the home,” said Phillips. “Sometimes just modifying the environment in ways that help the cat feel more comfortable can help resolve some of the behaviors they are having.”
From scratching to marking territory and everything in between, there is usually a solution. Phillips not only consults with kitty clients, but also offers a variety of classes and workshops to help people build great relationships with their cats.
“Be prepared to make some adjustments and meet your cat halfway,” said Phillips. “We need to listen to their behavior as information, not as they are spiteful or mean or stupid. They are labeled these things a lot.”
Some adjustments may include putting a scratching post in the living room or creating perch areas for the cat to observe things from above. Felines also need lots of playtime to keep them entertained and content.
Phillips said every cat is unique, and knowing what their body language is saying can help pet owners understand their point of view.
“Learning is very important, and any animal can be trained if we know what we are doing,” she said.