You love your cat. You truly do. But cats have an independent streak and can be pretty tough sometimes. Effectively disciplining a cat may take some experimentation. You need to understand how to discipline a feline correctly, but you may not know where to start. Much like all human beings are different, so are our pets. While one may react positively to a specific style of correcting wrong cat actions, others may deny your attempts, and the undesirable behavior may only worsen. Plus, there are some techniques that you must never try while disciplining a cat.
The reality is that it's tough to recognize how to discipline a cat if you have never done it in the past or if your previous felines seemed to understand the lay of the land by themselves. It is imperative to know the dos and don'ts of disciplining a cat in your house. As soon as your kitten or older cat recognizes the right actions, there will be less need to correct destructive behavior or poor habits. Besides, felines are extremely smart.
How to Discipline Your Feline
You might be thinking if it's acceptable to discipline a feline for constant destructive behaviors. Jumping on top of counters, chewing on cables, urinating outside of the litter box, and scratching off-limits things in the house are all usual unwanted feline behaviors. Some of these unwanted behaviors are natural responses to a feline's environment, even though they can be annoying behaviors. Despite what bad or undesirable actions your cat is showing, you probably want to stop it. Luckily, it is possible.
Train Your Cat
Cats are more intelligent than people assume, and they have an excellent memory. Specialists say that cats have both short-term and long-term memory, so they are trainable. At the same time, it means that cats can recognize the things they can get away with.
Most pets, like people, respond well to positive reinforcement, so cats will remember when they get something that they enjoy—a lot of cats like attention, toys, food, or all three. Pick a reward that you can utilize to encourage good feline behavior. If possible, reward your cat with this chosen gift only when training for specific bad behavior. Reserving the preferred item for training will add to the worth of the reward and make it that all the more attractive to your cat.
Encourage Proper Behavior
There are numerous ways to encourage good behavior in your feline. One that you should try first is to praise them. Applaud your cat whenever it does anything right. When you notice your cat being friendly towards someone else, reward your cat as a thank you. Your cat will appreciate these small acts because they demonstrate how important your cat is to you.
Whenever possible, provide treats, appreciation, and attention to your cat if it is acting nicely. If you discover it, find your cat lying on the sofa used to scratch, reward your cat. If you notice your cat scratching the scratch pole as opposed to your couch, reward your cat. Your cat will quickly learn the distinction between positive behavior and bad actions.
Inhibit Undesirable Behavior In Cats
Cats are a lot more responsive to incentives and treats than they are to punishment. However, you can prevent bad habits by trying a few techniques:
Shake a loud can: If you see your cat jumping on the counters or somewhere it should not be, shake a can with some dimes in it to surprise your cat.
Use deterrents: Some cats do not like citrus scents; some use homemade citrus scents to deter cats from places they are not allowed to go. Some commercially readily available sprays are also available to keep cats far from specific areas.
Utilize double-sided tape or aluminum foil: These can be positioned on surfaces where you don't like your cat jumping or scratching.
Provide a timeout: Delicately place your feline in a restroom or other area without any individuals in it for 20 mins if it is mischievous. Quite often, it will emerge from the room with a different mindset.
It is crucial that you never physically hurt your cat. This includes spanking, hitting, kicking, or hurting your feline deliberately. Trying to show a cat a lesson with physical discipline and aggression does not work, resulting in more turbulent and hostile habits.
Do not scruff your feline. This is not recommended as a method of restriction or transport for adult cats. Scruffing hurts, and when you cause a mischievous cat some discomfort, it will aggravate the cat more.
An alternative to scruffing is placing a blanket over your cat and scooping them up inside it. This will keep you and your cat secure and permit you to carry the feline without hurting it.
The Don'ts of Disciplining Your Cat
Do not compare your cat to your dog: If you have trained a dog, you may assume that disciplining a cat is similar to how you handled your dog. Stop this mindset. Cats and canines are very different pets, so it follows that, and they do not learn similarly. Your canine might participate in the training by paying attention to your commands; your cat won't note your requests to sit and stay. Recognizing that you have to approach your feline differently is the primary step to success for both of you.
Don't ever physically discipline your cat: Training a cat can be highly irritating, but it goes without stating that you should never hurt a feline while trying to discipline it. Felines are very intolerant of the human penalty, and correcting a cat through physical punishment will only break your bond with your cat. Never hold down, shake or strike your cat. Physically hurting your feline can make things worse and cause your cat to lash out or end up being withdrawn. Likewise, cats have difficulty linking physical punishment with poor actions, so you're not training her to stop doing it. If disciplining your cat is hard for you, call in supports like a member of the family or perhaps a behavior professional. Asking for support is not equal to accepting defeat!
Do not scream to make a point: You don't talk in the same language as your feline, so don't be misled into thinking it will recognize you better if you raise your voice. Yelling may terrify your feline or call way too much attention to bad actions. Screaming might stress out your cat, which can lead to them misbehaving or being withdrawn.
Do not allow play that isn't alright: You may think your wonderful little kitten does not know any better when they're whacking or biting your fingers during playtime. However, you know that attacking and scratching isn't something you want an older feline to do in your house. With any new pet in the home, it would be wise to set behavioral expectations early on. If your cat begins scratching or biting throughout the play, stop immediately, so your kitten learns what is and is not allowed. This is specifically true for playing with kittens. If you participate in play where you permit your cat to nibble on your finger, your cat might assume it is all right to do so.
Do not utilize a spray container: An old myth about disciplining bad behavior in cats is spraying a cat with water to redirect their poor habits. However, the fact is that a cat likely does not associate the water sprayer with bad habits. Your cat is likely to stop misbehaving out of fear of being splashed, not of comprehending that the act of discipline is connected to the bad behavior. This approach can also trigger your cat to panic whenever it sees a spray container, which is not something you want.
The Dos of Cat Discipline
Do stop immediately to discourage "bad" behaviors: Disciplining your cat does not always have to be active. Removing your attention from your cat might just be one of the most efficient approaches for getting the message across and stopping negative behaviors such as attacking and biting. Redirecting your cat's interest to another thing is an excellent way of encouraging good behaviors and discouraging bad ones. For example, if your cat decides to start scratching your sofa, redirect it back to its scratching post.
Reinforce good behaviors: Cats do not learn from harsh punishments; however, you can teach them to identify when they're doing something right by applauding them and sharing healthy treats. Ensure to reward your cat during the act of good habits to link her practices and the favorable reinforcement.
Do consider your cat's wellness: Is your cat peeing and pooing everywhere but their litter box? While kittens may take a while to find the correct place to ease themselves, older cats should know where to go. If your cat suddenly begins peeing or defecating in other locations of your home, make a consultation with the vet. This modification in habits can be symptomatic of a change in health, and your vet will help you understand if your feline's health is good. Never punish your cat for something that they cannot help. Collaborate with your veterinarian to reach the underlying reason for mishaps in the house. If it is health-related, your vet can fill you in with proper methods to help your feline. They can offer you some extra tips on correcting the habits based upon the interactions they've had with your feline in the past.
Do make changes in the space: If you're trying to get your feline to stop clawing your leather sofa or getting on your tables, there are ecological changes you can make to get them to stop. As an example, a cookie sheet positioned on the edge of the table will crash to the ground when your feline hits it as it leaps. A soft, smooth blanket placed on your leather sofa will make your cat slide down if it attempts to climb onto the pillows. Never make changes that can hurt your cat, but there are many cat-safe techniques to help you discover ways to change your cat's actions.
One of the most crucial things to bear in mind in learning how to discipline a cat is hanging out, engaging with, and applauding their good behaviors. While your pet cat might be independent, they still want a loving partnership with you.