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February 2024

Cat FAQs with Dr Chris Brown

CareCommunityVet Guides

Why Do My Cats Have That Mad Minute First Thing In The Morning?

It does seem counterproductive that cats are at their most energetic times are when we’re trying to rest! They’re often productive when we’re looking to slow down (like first thing in the morning or at 5pm when we’ve just returned from work).

The truth is these ‘crazies’ are instinctive – if you see wildlife documentaries, animals go out to hunt in the hour before sunrise and after sunset. It’s the crepuscular time, which is when they get an energy burst and they’re at their most productive. When your cat is bouncing off the walls at 5am, they’re essentially displaying the same behaviour that their wild cousins have shown.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Going Crazy?

The best way to get around early morning or late-night zoomies is accept that it’s going to happen, and don’t have them in the room with you during those times. You can also try feeding them a bit later at night which might push their body clock back, so they’re more inclined to sleep later.

Why Do Cats Like Looking At Things Upside Down?

It’s like the greatest amusement park ride ever for your cat…the moment they turn themselves upside down it’s like their mind is blown that the world is turned on its head. Does their hearing work better upside down? Do things smell better?

In fact, all the research into this suggests that the reason cats are obsessed with looking at things upside down is, to do this, they have to present their belly to the world – which they do to show that they’re completely comfortable and relaxed. Once they do it, they seem to get hooked and keep doing it.

Why Do Cats Scratch The Couch?

If cats had an interior design style, it would be ‘frayed’. And armed with a set of nails a tradie would be proud of, they’re not afraid to attempt a little DIY. But that couch scratching (and destruction) is actually them trying to tell you something… One of those messages has to do with territorial anxiety. Cats are naturally quite territorial creatures and, in our cities, and towns, the territory grab for a backyard, or a balcony is pretty fierce. So, cats like to scratch things in order to mark their territory. This is helped along with a bit of scent marking courtesy of the little sweat glands in their paws. But have you ever noticed how much they stretch up high when they scratch? That’s no accident! The reason? Well, the higher it is, the bigger they appear to a cat that walks past and sees that high scratch mark. It’s intimidation! And kind of like lying on your social media or dating profile by putting a much better picture of yourself...

Why Does My Cat Wee On The Wall Instead Of In The Litter Tray?

Ok. Anyone that cleans a bathroom (yes, that’s me!) knows that occasionally one's aim can be a little off. And for cats, without going into too many specifics, well, it’s even harder to get it right.

And so, for most cats, as long as their feet are in the tray, they’ll assume the rest of their body is too. So, even if your cat is perched on the end of the tray and their wee and poo are going outside the tray, they still feel like they’ve done their bit just by standing in it. Sometimes, it’s the thought that counts!

How do I stop my cat from missing the litter box?
There are a couple of things you can do here:

  • Getting a bigger litter tray helps, as they will feel their feet in the tray, and you’re allowing for that room around their body too.
  • And as you can see, supporting their spatial awareness helps too. So, it’s key that they can identify where the edges of the tray are. You can do this by ensuring you don’t have the litter tray overflowing with litter.
  • Clean your litter trays regularly as well – your cat will be less inclined to use their tray if it’s dirty. The golden rule with litter trays is have one more tray than you have cats. So, if you’ve got one cat, have two trays. If you have two cats have three. That means that if one’s dirty and they don’t want to use it, then there’s another one to use and they won’t go elsewhere.
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Dr Chris


Dr Chris Brown

Dr Chris Brown is an Australian Vet, television presenter and author. Best known for his television series Bondi Vet, he is also the founder of Drool – a company which champions quality ingredients and hand-picked supplements for healthy pet treats

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