How to handle adolescent cats?

You would be quite amazed to see how quickly kittens transition to the adolescent stage. From a cute little kitten they will change into a lanky teen who will turn quite rebellious and would want to break free. Suddenly, as with all teenagers they become a bit difficult to live with!

Your cat will now scratch, yowl and mark their territory, they are also on the lookout for partners and will get into fights with other cats. Be prepared for bad behaviour like scratching on the furniture and spraying urine for other cats to know of their presence and to express that they have reached sexual maturity.

It could be quite frustrating to see your pet crying out as they go into heat as early as 5 to 6 months of age. You have to ensure they stay indoors and away from other cats while you decide whether to get them spayed or neutered. Your vet will help you in making the decision.

This is how you can tackle adolescent behaviour:

  • Get them involved in puzzle toys and spend more time playing with them. Do not encourage your pet to play with their body parts. Warn him off by pouring water on them or by just walking off.
  • Get them plenty of interactive toys that will keep their mind engaged and make use of their hunting skills. Invest in a cat tree which will be an effective outlet for climbing, jumping and scratching.
  • Consider getting your cat spayed or neutered. It will keep your cat healthy, promotes long life and eliminates aggressive behaviour.

Patience is the key for handling adolescent cats. You can always contact your vet or a behaviorist and take their expert advice.

Happy Parenting!

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