Why won't the cat behave?

If one of our New Year's Resolutions is "getting along better with our cat," congratulations! It's a wonderful life skill to admit a mistake, and correct it.

Of course I'm assuming it was the human who made the mistakes; and keeps making them. Because our cat has less operating "wiggle room" than we do. If we do not provide for their needs, they will keep trying to fill that gap for themselves. Often, this leads to what we call "bad behavior."

And it might be our fault.

Not using the litter box. Is the litter box clean and easily accessible? If not, why not? Do we choose the gas station washroom over a nicer alternative?

Our cat's instincts tell them to use "fresh territory" to confuse their enemies. So when we let the box get ugly, our own cat's instincts tell them not to use it! We might be wondering why the cat keeps returning to their other alternatives. But we clean those right away, don't we?

Playing with stuff they shouldn't. If we are constantly chasing our cat away from things, it's because we haven't given them their own places, and their own stuff.

Just like us, cats need space of their own. They need spots to hang out in, nap in, play with, observe, and participate. If we are not addressing these needs, the cat will take matters into their own paws.

Not being affectionate. So we don't clean their bathroom enough, and yell at them for going about their daily lives, and then we expect them to curl up in our lap and beg for petting?

It doesn't make any sense. When we treat our cat like a beloved friend; then they will act like one.

If we are not keeping our cats comfortable, it does not matter that we think we are keeping up our end. We only think that's so; our cat will signal if it is actually true.

For more about letting cats know what pleases us, see When they mean well.
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