Just in case you think your dog or cat loves every little thing you do, think again!
Some of the things pet parents do can cause kitty hiss-y fits or make a dog howling mad.
Observing the behavior of your dog or cat can give you valuable clues as to what you might be doing inadvertently to drive your furry friend right up the wall.
Things You Might Be Doing That Really Annoy Your Cat
- Lack of proper attention to the powder room. Cats have individual preferences when it comes to the type of litter they like, and also the size and location of the litter box. They tend to be very annoyed by a dirty box, or when there are not enough boxes for the number of kitties using them.
Take some time to discover what your own kitty's toileting preferences are, and provide the right litter, in the right size litter box, located in an area of your home that provides some security and privacy.
- Sleeping in or arriving home at all hours. Remember: your kitty enjoys an established routine. If something in her environment changes – like mealtime – she'll feel a loss of control, which is quite stressful for her. Your cat doesn't understand your urge to get a little extra shuteye now and then, which is why she creates such a commotion when breakfast isn't served at the appointed time.
Some folks owned by kitties have figured out how to work around this problem. They use an automatic feeder with a bit of kibble or a dry treat in it, set to dispense a pre-breakfast or pre-dinner snack. This can potentially accomplish two things – 1) keep Fluffy quiet a little longer in the morning, and 2) reduce pre-meal vomiting in cats prone to the behavior.
- Growing the family unit. Kitties don't appreciate changes in their environment, and one of the most stressful disruptions for them is the addition of a new four-legged family member.
A new dog can be both frightening and annoying, and a new kitty even more so. Suddenly Garfield is sharing meals, toys, his favorite napping spot and his litter box with a total stranger. He's even expected to share you, his very own human. When introducing a new pet into the family, manage everyone's stress by preparing in advance for the new arrival.
How You Might Be Irritating Your Dog
- Allowing housebreaking failures. Most dogs prefer to do their business outdoors, and most dogs want to succeed at being potty trained. Housebreaking success can only be achieved if you are consistently doing your job as teacher.
Give your pup every opportunity to succeed. Offer regular trips outside at logical times, crate him when you can't supervise him, and reward good behavior. Resist the urge to punish your dog for accidents. Anger is not helpful, nor is yelling, spanking or rubbing his nose in his mistake.
- Considering her an outside dog. It's true dogs love the outdoors, but your pup is a pack animal designed by nature to spend most of her time with her family, wherever her family spends most of its time. It is extremely hard on a dog made to live apart from her humans, only catching glimpses of those she loves through the window.
Dogs confined to the backyard, garage or an outdoor dog run quickly become lonely and bored, which can lead to destructive and aggressive behavior. It's really no life for a canine, so if you're not planning to treat your dog like a member of the family, it's better to acquire a pet you're comfortable having indoors.
- Ignoring his attempts to communicate. Your dog barks to send messages. He may be sounding an alarm, showing excitement, expressing boredom, or communicating for some other reason. When you ignore or misinterpret his barks, it confuses and frustrates your pup.
As your pet's guardian, it's your responsibility to learn how to live in harmony with your four-legged companion. Observing your pet's behavior and learning what it all means is a great way to smooth out the rough edges in your relationship.
Chances are, the less often you exasperate your dog or cat, the less often you'll find yourself annoyed by their behavior!