Let’s cut to the chase: Just like men and women, it can be likened that dogs are from Mars and cats are from Venus.  And no matter which breed you have, one common bond that each respective species share is their personality “quirks”…those characteristics that define humans as either “dog people” or “cat people”.  Sometimes, however (regardless of how much we adore our fur babies), these behaviors can drive us to the brink of our sanity.  This week, Wisconsin Pet Care will give you some helpful hints on how to deal with a kitty quandary and a doggy dilemma.

My cat is 11 months old and seems to never sleep when we sleep!  She is up all night long, caterwauling and running amuck around the house.  I wish I could bring her into our room, but my husband has allergies so we like to keep the bedroom as fur-free as possible.  When I get up and pet her, she settles down for a while.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take her long to reawaken and continue her shenanigans!  How can I get her to stop scratching at our bedroom door and disturbing the peace? ~ Sleepless in Greendale

There is nothing worse than having to deal with a rambunctious kitten at all hours of the night!  However, and this may seem like it’s easier said than done, to correct this behavior you need to prepare to give your feline friend some tough love.  Kitties are creatures of habit and routine.  In fact, they are MUCH less likely than their canine counterparts to have a “spontaneous” streak – which is to NOT say that they won’t test their limits.  After all, at 11 months old, there’s so much to learn!  So how do you tame your little “wild beast”?  Establish a bedtime ritual – giving it at least a couple of weeks to fully sink in.  Let’s say that you and your husband go to bed at midnight, each night.  Begin “playtime” with your kitty at around 10 or so.  An 11 month old will probably have more energy than the daily recommended 15 minutes of exercise a day.  Play until she’s tired (she’ll signal contentment by lying on her side) and then immediately feed her dinner.   Understand that cat instinct boils down to “hunting, chasing, catching, killing, eating and sleeping.”  By adjusting playtime and dinner time to end the day, you are encouraging her natural instinct to sleep (on your time).  If she does get restless in the middle of the night, IGNORE her behavior.  When you go to her, her naughty behavior is reinforced – and no one wants a spoiled kitty!  Try this method and you’ll be resting easy in no time!

Boston, our 5-year old Schnauzer, is a relentless food criminal!  We can’t turn our backs for a moment or he’ll steal the very hamburger from our plate.  Is it too late to teach this old dog a DIFFERENT trick?  ~Pet Parents of the Hamburglar in Waukesha

Uh oh, there’s a food thief in your midst!  It’s hard for anyone to ignore a big burger sitting on a plate while the owner’s back is turned – however, it is important to teach your pup some table manners.  Begin by setting boundaries for your dog.  Keep the kitchen and/or dining room free of canine traffic.  With human food out of sight, it’s easier to keep it out of their minds.  Create (and stick to) a feeding schedule.  Not only should you feed your pet at the same time every day, it’s important to also establish a feeding area (away from where you eat).  When your pup knows food is on the way, he will be less likely to scavenge for your dinner.  Of course, you’ll need to get all family members on board with this plan because consistency is key.

What are some of your pet’s biggest behavioral issues?  Let us know and we’ll see if we can help you find a remedy!