What is the difference between undesirable behaviour and a behavioural problem?
In this article, I’d like to talk to you about how the owner’s perception has a major influence on how the cat’s behaviour is perceived as undesirable, desirable or as a behavioural problem. I attach great importance to this in the I love Happy Cats Revolution e-book!
Perception of the owner & reality of the cat
When we look at whether something is a problem behaviour or a behavioural problem, we look at two facets of the cat’s behaviour:
On the one hand we look at how the owner perceives a certain behaviour from his or her point of view, is this experienced as desirable or undesirable? This judgement is subjective, depending on one moment in time and does not always correspond to whether this is also a problem for the cat.
On the other hand, we look at whether this behaviour is normal or abnormal for your cat and thereby poses a problem for the welfare of that cat.
That is how we get 4 situations:
– Happy cat + happy owner = perfect situation
– Happy cat + unhappy owner = problem behaviour (insight is needed)
– Unhappy cat + happy owner = behaviour problem (insight + intervention is needed)
– Unhappy cat + unhappy owner = behaviour problem (intervention is needed)
It is possible that a certain normal or abnormal behaviour for the cat is considered ‘ok’ by the owner but the situation changes (new relationship, move, baby, new cat, etc.). Suddenly the behaviour of the cat shifts from ‘ok’ or ‘neutral’ to undesirable with all the consequences for the relationship with the cat.
Most important mission of I love Happy Cats and the Catfluencers
First of all, we focus on shifting the owner’s interpretation from unwanted to desired behaviour by giving the owner insight into the behaviour, why a cat does that, what the influences and causes on that behaviour are. This insight is already enough for many people to shine a new light on their cat’s behaviour and this strengthens the relationship between cat and owner. The Guide for a Happy Cat is a first attempt to do this :).
We also focus on shifting from abnormal to normal behaviour by actively encouraging owners to change and influence their cat’s behaviour. Any abnormal behaviour basically starts in its normal form, such as meowing, spraying, peeing, grooming, but at a certain point takes on an abnormal form in frequency, subject, intensity or location. We can influence this, both from scientific information and experience.
That’s also my goal for Revolution book: to give owners more tools, handles, insights and clear structures that can be used, not only to apply them to your own cats but also to help others.
Love, Anneleen ♡
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