Cat Urinating Everywhere? Stop the Cat Pee!

Cat Psychology

This excerpt of the "Stop the Cat Pee!" DVD offers a few insights on cat psychology

Cat Psychology

This text is the transcript of the second chapter of the "Stop the Cat Pee!" DVD - Cat Psychology - which you can view on the right panel of this page.

Let’s talk about cat psychology so that you understand your cat a little bit better.

First we’re going to talk about the difference between cats and dogs. Now if you think about dogs, the closest, wildest dog that you can think of could probably be the wolf.

As you know, the wolves live in packs and they follow the leader. They follow the alpha male. Whatever the leader says, whatever the leader does, everybody is going to follow and a dog is basically a wolf but the alpha male is actually the master or the mistress.

Whatever the master or the mistress says or does, the dog is going to follow. So dogs are used to actually following what they are told. In the case of the dog, a dog is very much influenced by the master.

So when the master is away, the dog is actually lost because the environment is not as important as the master.

Now if you think of a cat now, a cat if you think in the wild – a wild cat would be maybe a tiger or maybe a cougar, panther, lynx. All these wild cats, they don’t live in packs. They actually live on their own. They are very independent.

What they are trying to do, they are trying to control their environment. They are very stressed. So they always try to calm themselves down by controlling their environment.

Now if you think of our domesticated cat, it’s the same thing. The most important element for a cat is actually the environment, something they try to control all the time.

That’s why the cat is not as attached to the master or the mistress even though of course when they are domesticated, it is a lot more important to them.

But a cat is very much attached to the environment, something that they try to control all the time. So this is why the cat is very independent, very much more worried about his or her own survival.

So when a cat is stressed, they try to make the environment more familiar and this is why they rub themselves on your legs or on the furniture in order to leave some scent around and another thing that they do unfortunately is they urinate.

The urination sometimes is seen as marking their territory but most of the time the urination is a way for the cat to feel more comfortable, to feel less stressed and this is the main difference between the cat and the dog.

The dog is very much dependent on the leader, on the master, and the cat is very much dependent on the environment and on reducing the stress of the environment.

Now the second part I want to mention in the cat psychology is the fact that cats make very unexpected associations.

Here is an example. The cat has a bladder infection. A bladder infection is very painful. The cat goes to the litter box and has a very painful experience.

The cat goes again to the litter box and again the experience is painful because he has a bladder infection. Now the cat decides to be more creative and maybe decides to urinate on the rug, and it could be maybe one or two or three days after the bladder infection. So this time it doesn’t hurt. So the cat thinks, “Hmm, what hurt before was the fact that I was using the litter box. Now that I’m using the rug, it doesn’t hurt anymore.” Association: litter box is painful. The rug is not painful and of course you are in the middle... unfortunately.

Another unexpected association that the cat makes, is if you try to reprimand your cat. I had read and I had been told don’t reprimand your cat. But I never really understood why.

One of the reasons is that when you reprimand the cat, the cat has a very short memory and doesn’t actually think about the reason why you are reprimanding the cat. All they see is you. You are mad at the cat.

So they may start to fear you or even to be aggressive towards you. One of the things that I noticed was my cat, like when I was really mad at the cat and I was showing the spot when they urinated, when each time I would go close to the spot, I would see the cat running away because she thought that just the spot was the angry part and she noticed that I was angry every time I look at the spot.

Again an unexpected association, the spot, you angry, just because you got angry because the cat urinated on the spot. So always remember the fact that cats may make unexpected associations.

So when we are going to work through the process, we’re going to try to make positive associations, so that the cat actually learns to think differently.

The third element I want to talk about in cat psychology is the fact that cats are not humans.

A lot of the time we assume that they think like us but it’s not true. For instance, cats have very short memories. I remember when I took – when I gave some kittens away and then I had the opportunity to cat sit the same kittens. They were gone maybe three, four days and when the kitten came back, the kitten didn’t recognize the mother and the mother didn’t recognize the kitten. Nobody recognized each other and it was just a few days ago.

This is something totally different from the way we think. So again, when we reprimand the cat, the cat has forgotten completely what was happening before. When you think of reprimanding a cat, don’t do it because it is not going to help the situation.

Another thing to remember is the fact that cats are not trying to get back at you. If they urinate in the corner, it is not because they are trying to be vindictive or they are spiteful. They are totally enabled to do that. They are only reacting to their environment.

If you reprimand the cat or if you try to teach them something at the time, it doesn’t work because they don’t understand what you are trying to get at. You think that they are trying to get back at you but they are not.

The last thing that I want to mention about a fact that cats are not human is that they become adults at the age of two and at two you might start seeing some changes in their behaviour.

One of the most obvious for me was that I used to try to give catnip to kittens. So if you’ve ever played with catnip in adult cats, they love it. They can actually have the effect of the pheromones in the catnip. But kittens don’t react to catnip at all until they are about two years old and then they start to love it and to go crazy about catnip.

Now this is a typical behaviour of an adult cat and another behaviour that is going to be seen sometimes at the age of two is their litter habits. You may have had a cat that was very clean before and then suddenly at the age of two are going to use other places than their box and again it is related to their age.

So there are ways to deal with it but I wanted you to be prepared for the possibility that you might see changes at the age of two.

This concludes my very brief introduction to cat psychology.