Cats are a lot like humans in that they experience emotions like frustration, anxiety, pleasure and fear. These emotions can affect how they behave, and while each cat has its own unique personality, detecting the cause of its behavioural change and problems can save its life in the long run.

Understanding cat behavioural problems can be pretty frustrating but don't give up. In this article, we have highlighted some of the most common behavioural problems in cats, what they could mean and what you can do to solve them.


Furniture scratching has to be one of the most common behavioural issues cats have. About 84% of cats mark their territory by scratching inappropriate household items like carpets, chairs and other furniture. While this doesn't necessarily constitute abnormal behaviour, allowing it to continue may increase the likelihood of your cat being overly worried about its territory.

What you can do is provide your cat with scratching posts they can dig their claws into. This way, they stay away from your furniture. Some cats prefer certain materials or fabrics over others, so placing scratching posts with various textures in different areas of the house is your best bet. Pheromone sprays and diffusers are other alternatives you can use to calm your cat and discourage scratching.

Inappropriate Elimination (Urine Marking)

This is another common behavioural problem reported by pet owners. There are several reasons why your cat eliminates outside their litter box. Some of them are; inflammations, stress, tumours, bladder stones, and conflicts with other pets in the house.

What you can do- A veterinarian should address litter box problems quickly. They can recommend special diets, supplements, pheromones, and medications to help if your cat has urinary behavioural issues. If you're sure that the problem is not medical, changing their litter to a different brand or giving them a separate box can help with the elimination problem.


Although cats are not as voracious as dogs, they can still cause damage to their teeth. Boredom or aggression can cause excessive chewing in cats. It could also be that they are really enjoying the texture and taste of what they are chewing. Teething may also cause kittens to have this problem. This is a different problem from eating houseplants or grass, commonly caused by a deficiency in their diet. For diet advice on cats and study sites with educational posts on cats and their dietary requirements, we can recommend Mellowed Cats.

What you can do- Start by taking them to the vet to first rule out dental problems. If the cause of the issue isn't dental, then it's probably aggression, in which case, pheromones or supplements can help decrease it.

Excessive Licking

It is usual for cats to lick themselves as a form of grooming. However, if the licking becomes obsessive-compulsive, it's most likely a sign of either stress, pain or anxiety.

What you can do- These problems also require the input of either a qualified pet behaviourist or a vet. Be proactive in creating a safe space for your cat, so they are not disturbed or stressed.


When your cat is anxious, in pain or under stress, it may become aggressive towards people and other pets. In cases of fear, the aggression may be accompanied by other warning signs like crouching and hissing.

What you can do- If your cat shows aggressive behaviour, don't punish them. Instead, try to find and address the cause of the issue. Supplements, pheromones, special diets, and medications may help reduce aggression. Giving them exercise-inducing toys and catnip can also help focus their excess energy.


Much too often, adult cats are either abandoned or surrendered to pet shelters due to behaviour problems. In the case of abandonment, these cats could end up seriously hurt or dead. Therefore, you must correctly understand the common behavioural problems associated with cats and how you can deal with them. This way, both you and your furry friend can socialise without issues.