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Paper Topic:

Behavioural problem case study


Companion Animal Behavior and Training Module

SECTION A : Analysis of Causal Factors

In the case study , a young adult male cat , neutered and aged between four and five years old , undergoes extreme modifications in behavior in response to the birth of a newborn child to the owner-couple . The domestic short-hair lives in a single-cat household and prior to the birth of the first baby and the baby 's subsequently learning to crawl the cat made appropriate use of 24-hour outside access , toileting outside in an acceptable fashion

. Since the baby in the household learnt to crawl , the cat has started unrinating in the upstairs area of the house and squatting in various different locations . The cat also began grooming excessively

Based on this case study information , several determinations can be made about the causal factors relating to the behavioral issues displayed by the cat . For obvious reasons relating to the general health of the household , the cat 's behavior poses several hazards . One principle explanation for the behavior change , however , is the presence of the first child and the cat 's perception of the child , now mobile and a perceived presence from the cat 's perspective , as a treat to the cat 's perceived territory in the house

The explanation for the behavioral issues rests upon the fact that cats sometimes undertake urine spraying or urine marking because of territorial disputes , during aggressive conflicts , and even during sexual encounters . The spray produced is pungent and designed to ward off potential predators or competitors . In the case study , the cat clearly fields that the child , crawling and thereby presenting what must be a visible threat to the cat , is a predator or a threat of some general kind to the cat 's domination of the household , his territory The objective of marking the territory is to establish its boundaries and ward off the child . It is classic cat behavior to advertise their presence in a territory by spraying visually conspicuous sites

Since cats naturally look to time share ' territories , marks enable the cats to space themselves out and prevent unwanted encounters . Cats can identify the urine marks so track can be kept of their neighbours (Hart , 1980a . Spraying serves to bring the male and female together during the breeding season . It is often done at a height convenient for sniffing (Beaver , 1992 . Cats that spray urine inside their homes are classically prevented from doing so by neutering . Since the cat in the case study is already neutered , other measures must be undertake to curb the behavior

Most often , spraying is undertaken by reproductively intact males Females spray as well , but less rarely . In one study conducted by the ASPCA , 77 percent of cats stopped or significantly reduced spraying within six months . Ten percent of male cats neutered before 10 months of age will still spray as adults . In households with numerous cats , at least one cat will likely spray , even if all the cats are neutered (ASPCA...

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