Stereotypies or Repetitive behaviours in cats: what they are and how they can be treated

Stereotypies in the cat, or those repetitive actions that the animal does without a sensible reason. Let’s try to deepen, together, these feline behaviors and to understand what are the causes that generate these problems.

The cat, like all animals, expresses itself through typical behaviour of its nature. Some of them are quite original and are characteristic of its uniqueness. There are, however, some actions that cat tends to perform more often and which have a meaning that is anything but simple. Some of his attitudes should be deepened and not treated superficially. Let’s see, today, what stereotypies are in the cat, why they manifest themselves in him and how they can be treated, to bring the furry back to a more normal everyday life.

Stereotypies in cats: what they are and which are the most common

Stereotypes are typical but repetitive actions in our four-legged friend. These should never be underestimated, because they reveal an uncomfortable condition or a problem in the animal. Let’s go deeper in the article.

The term “stereotypy” indicates a repetitive behaviour performed by an animal, in this case the cat, without a specific purpose. Stereotypies in cats are manifested above all when they live in a condition of discomfort and severe stress. Forms of stereotypy, in fact, are noticed in a feline that lives badly and in captivity, in a shelter or in a narrow enclosure. These stereotypies can also hide a mental problem in the furry. They reveal themselves through mechanical movements that become signs of serious problems.

In animals, stereotypes arise mostly in situations of captivity but our domestic cat is not excluded, which, if frustrated or in a condition of discomfort and stress, can externalize certain actions even without these being stimulated in any way. When the feline is restrained in expressing certain attitudes, these can reveal themselves suddenly and in an uncontrolled way by the animal. In practice, stereotypies arise when the cat no longer lives in a state of well-being.

A situation of stress and discomfort in the hairy can generate a series of compulsive behaviours. For the cat it is very important to behave according to nature, following its instinct, when this is lacking it loses its balance. Other triggers of stereotypies are, in general, the lack of food and adequate space to live, plus other factors that can ruin the life of the feline. Here’s what they are:

  • Environment : A space unsuitable for the creature, dirty and small, causes great stress;
  • External stimuli : Boredom and lack of physical activity and movement in nature, generate malaise;
  • Predisposition : Some felines are more predisposed than others to have compulsive attitudes, such as ingesting toxic objects;
  • Drastic changes in his life;
  • Attention of his master : when the master observes his furry dog ​​during a compulsive behavior, such as that of persistently licking, it is essential to show him indifference.

The most common compulsive behaviors

Among the compulsive actions of a cat in a state of discomfort and arousal, we find that of repeatedly licking or biting parts of its body, to the point of causing injury. Eating toxic and inedible items is another compulsive feline behaviour, as if the cat licks its owner’s clothes, fabrics, or sucks on wool, blankets and carpets. The cat can also bite and suck its owner. Aggression in cats is another sign, such as attacking their tail or paws.

Tail-biting is one of the most common stereotypies in the feline. Other repetitive movements can be suddenly jumping, turning around, walking on the edges of the furniture. Repetitive barking is a sign of discomfort : the furry person can spend hours crying and complaining for no reason. Another example of stereotypy in animals is hunting. The predatory instinct in the cat is another sign: constantly looking for small animals or chasing the lights, are actions to be kept under control.

The cat and stereotypies: how it is possible to cure them

Any stereotype in the cat is a sign of a malaise or a hidden discomfort that wants to be externalized and communicated to the owner. Let’s see what are the appropriate treatments for kittens.

The stereotypies in the feline must be noticed and treated quickly and correctly, to avoid worse consequences in the animal. To progressively resolve some feline stereotypes, it is necessary to contact your veterinarian to rule out other existing problems. A compulsive disorder in cats can be treated with attention to the external environment: changing the environment for your cat can help reduce stress in the cat, as well as trying to make him eat at specific times each day.

Physically and mentally stimulating the cat is equally essential to heal him from compulsive behaviours. It is necessary to leave the furry the freedom to be able to move as he wishes in a large space suitable for his needs and to stimulate him with creative play activities. Cats love to be indoors when they are comfortable. For safety, it is better to hide from his eyes fabrics and clothes that he cannot resist and that he must absolutely not ingest, to protect his own life. The attention to the organization of the house, with shelves and furniture, makes him express his wild side.

The behaviour of his human friend must also adapt to this psycho-physical condition and change according to his need. Eliminating forms of punishment and nervousness towards the cat is very important to reassure him and restore serenity. Making the cat socialize and show him love and affection, with small rewards to give him when he behaves well, are simple strategies to heal our furry from stereotypical forms. If you find yourself in difficulty, it is advisable to ask for the help of a specialist to deal with the delicate situation of the animal.

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