13 January, 2009 at 11:32 pm #24002
Excerpt from The Pet Place (Dr.Jon)
Today, I’d like to talk to you about cat discipline. Should you hit a cat? The answer is NO! You might ask – what if he does something really bad? The answer is still…absolutely No. You should NEVER hit a cat.
Should you ever spank a cat? The answer is no. You might ask – what if he does something really bad? The answer is still no.
Should you ever squirt a cat (that is with a squirt bottle of water?)? Well, you can but it is best if they think it is not coming from you.
Some cats do things that we don’t like. They may fight with other cats, get on the counter, or urinate inappropriately. What is the best way to deal with your cat?
According to Nick Dodman, a well-known behaviorist, the best way to deal with behavior problems in your cat is to UNDERSTAND your cat. You need to take some time to understand WHY your cat is performing a certain type of behavior then give them alternatives to that behavior.
For example, if you have a smelly dirty litter box and your cat urinates outside of the box – don’t hit your get mad at your cat. Try to understand WHY he is doing what he is doing and fix it. By this I mean…make sure the box is attractive to your cat – has clean litter, no harsh smelling chemicals, is in a quiet friendly location, is big enough and that you have enough litter boxes.
If you make the box ideal – then it is more likely your cat will use it.
If your cat is scratching your favorite chair – think about why he or she might be doing that.
It is possible to train a cat. To learn how go to Clicker Training Your Cat for more information on tips on training.
Also, read – 8 Common Reasons Kitty Won’t Use the Litter Box for tips on why your cat won’t use it if you have problems.
Until next time,
P.S. there is a lot of good advice on this site http://www.catplace.com13 January, 2009 at 11:43 pm #360610
hmmm, what if they look right at you after you say NO and then look back at the curtain and claw it again? She knows she’ll get squirted, but apparently bad attention is better than no attention?! Tigger, I’m talking about you! (my Tigger, not TDK Tigger :))13 January, 2009 at 11:52 pm #360611
Linda is she seeing that the squirting is coming from you? If so, then she is trying to get your attention I suspect. The trick is to squirt them without them knowing where it comes from so they associate the thing they are doing with getting wet, not when Mom sees me doing this I get wet.14 January, 2009 at 12:05 am #360612
You’re right, petpntr. It’s my husband who does it and she ADORES him, so I’m sure it’s a ploy for attention. She actually doesn’t seem smart enough for that though. I know she wishes she was an only cat and “dad” didn’t have anyone else in his life!14 January, 2009 at 12:22 am #360613
When Wicket was naughty i squirted him with the bottle (without him seeing that it was coming from me) but he has so much fluff that it didn’t bother him!14 January, 2009 at 12:30 am #360614
IT isn’t a perfect system by far, but I’ve rather perfected how to hissy spit and roar like a mama cat. It often works about as well as any other method of disciplining cats. I just have to make them think I’m the biggest, baddest mama cat of all.14 January, 2009 at 1:48 am #360615
Well Marnet I have to admit I have never tried that but I think its worth the effort. It would probably work on kittens more than adult cats I think but you never know. Let’s hope Candid Camera is not around to see us cat people behave like cats14 January, 2009 at 1:59 am #360616
Oh, my, never hit or spank a cat. They are so small that you could do terrible damage, even with what might seem like an innocent swat. I do, however, have a squirt bottle within reach at most times. Max is so funny, though, when he sees me pick it up, he just looks at me and squints his eyes, like “uh oh, I’m gonna get wet–oh, well….” and keeps right on doing whatever it was he was doing. He’s got me pegged.14 January, 2009 at 2:14 am #360617
Renee in ArkansasParticipant
Maybe get you a small water gun that isn’t as noticeable to the little demons14 January, 2009 at 2:22 am #360618
MMM…I’m with you. Eventually mine learned where the squirting was coming from. Now they do something bad,see me grab the bottle, & set on the starting line saying…I’ll get to the finish line before you squirt the bottle & are gone in a puff of smoke.14 January, 2009 at 2:27 am #360619
Renee in ArkansasParticipant
How about tring a recording of the T-Rex off Jurasic Park14 January, 2009 at 3:36 am #360620
Well I think between roaring like a lion, a water gun and sound effects from Jurassic Park we will just about be able to stop them in their tracks. Ha, and Dr. Jon thought he had all the answers. He needs to join TDK!14 January, 2009 at 5:28 am #360621
One thing that worked with both my cat and dog was changing my voice to a deep slow and loud tone. I also used it ONLY when necessary and it worked because it sounded very deep and serious. They would stop whatever naughty thing they were doing and stare. I also used the word NO very sparingly, only when I needed to stop them from doing something. I would say it in the deep dark toned voice and they knew instantly that something “different” has come over Mom and we should stop what we’re doing. It always worked!15 January, 2009 at 5:13 am #360622
KK that’s what I do too. I have a fairly deep voice to begin with so when it goes even deeper it stops them in their tracks. They know someone did something wrong. I have never ever raised my voice at any of my cats until last year. Now keep in mind they are 8 years old now so they were 7 at the time. Toby often decides to jump on my back if I am bending over. Usually I will give him a ride and its a win win situation. For some reason he decided to jump on my back from the upper shelf of the bookcase. I think he was aiming for my shoulder but missed, put his claws out and kind of slid down my back. Ohmigod that was a slow slide let me tell you and I let out one hell of a yell. He had taken me totally by surprise and besides it hurt.
Poor Toby. He sulked and was the most unhappy kitty I have ever seen. It took him almost 3 days before he would come to me. I guess I won’t be yelling at them ever again.15 January, 2009 at 6:06 am #360623
EEYOUCH!!! I had some things like that happen to me too. I just regarded it as the hazards of having fur family members, but those accidental scratches really hurt!27 September, 2011 at 4:17 pm #360624
I had a friend watching my kitten while I was out of town, and she said she spanked her for getting in the garbage thism morning when beforeI picked her up, she didn’t mean to just happened. well now when ever I pick her up she has loose stool leakage, what should I do. I live 2 hours from a vet and don’t want to bring her unless it gets worse, It’s only been a couple of hours.27 September, 2011 at 4:37 pm #360625
AZDEBRA 5/27 & crewParticipant
How hard did she spank her? I would watch your little one and if it continues take her to the vet. Have never had that happen to any of mine just a suggestion.27 September, 2011 at 4:52 pm #360626
The best $40.00 I ever spent was on the SSSScat system. It is a can of compressed air with a battery driven motion sensor spray activator attached to the top. You place it where it will do your hissing for you. It has the advantages of working when you are not present (sly boots can’t do bad things behind your back) so the deterrent is not associated with Meowmy pulling out the bad bottle and not water spotting fabric or wood surfaces. After an item or area is no longer on kitty’s want to list…you can move it to another spot you want to mark as off limits.27 September, 2011 at 4:53 pm #360627
I’m not sure I wasn’t there. She seems okay but If I touch around the area she meows like it hurts a little, and then some loose stoole comes out. Otherwise she’s friendly and loving.27 September, 2011 at 5:13 pm #360628
Um, I would take her to a vet anyways. Sounds like your little one is in pain and need attention immediately.27 September, 2011 at 5:49 pm #360629
I would take her to the vet ASAP. I would be concerned for a fracture of some of the vertebrae at the base of the tail; she could have damage to the nerve roots exiting the spine causing impaired bowel/bladder control. You do not want to find out at midnight that she is unable to urinate and she needs immediate bladder drainage, and they may be able to give her some steroid medication or something to reduce the inflammation and help preserve her function.27 September, 2011 at 5:55 pm #360630
I would take her to the vet ASAP. You don’t know how long ago the ‘friend’ hit your cat or how hard it really was. It could have happened the first day your friend had her even though you were told differently.27 September, 2011 at 10:00 pm #360631
When she got in the garbage, she also could have eaten or swallowed something that’s causing a problem. Could you call the vet for advice if they’re that far away?
The ONLY thing that was ever effective in correcting my Katie was to hiss at her like a cat. I tried yelling “no” and clapping my hands–no response. I tried the water bottle–she’d look up and around like, “Oh, this is nice, where is this lovely shower coming from?” Finally, I read about imitating a mother cat and began to hiss. That stopped her in her tracks EVERY time.
Katie used to play in the garbage, too; we got a covered trash can.28 September, 2011 at 2:29 pm #360632
Well I called the vet and she said just to watch my little Daisy, I feel horrible but I’ve kept her in the bathroom all day with water and withheld food. She sounds normal and her loose stool has gone away. I’m going to keep checking her and keep her in the bathroom for another day, but I think she might of ate something bad and the swat at her just stressed her. Her bums red but I think that should clear up in a day or two. Thank you for all the advice!28 September, 2011 at 6:50 pm #360633
Her bum would be red from the loose stool leakage. Unformed stools still have acid from the digestive process in them, and that irritates the bum.28 September, 2011 at 7:09 pm #360634
Aww…smoochies for Daisy. Squirting may work temp but they figure it out quick! NEVER spank, hit a furry family member. Hissing is probably the best remedy. (When my Crockey & Lucky want to tussle I ususually hiss at them & they stop immediately!) I would still make an attempt to visit the vet soon if problem persists for withholding food too long is not good either.13 October, 2011 at 3:27 am #360635
Ok so I’m a new owner, but when ever my baby did something bad, I would lightly tap him on his head just enough to get his attention. If I used the same amount of force on a person, it wud be like tapping them on the shoulder. Is that ok? I’m afraid that using a squirt bottle would make him feel that taking a bath is a punishment since it’s getting him wet, when he is current fairly good at taking baths. Am I doing the wrong thing for my baby? Cuz I want him to be happy with his new home and family, mind you he is only 4 months old and still isn’t very good at cleaning himself. Please dnt hate me for tapping his head cuz I really have hardly any guidance and I’m just trying to be the best mommy for him13 October, 2011 at 5:38 pm #360636
Missy, welcome to TDK! It’s probably better if you don’t–as others have said, try hissing at him. They understand that–it’s kitty language for “NO”!18 October, 2011 at 5:48 am #360637
Isn’t spraying with a water bottle sometimes okay? I usually only spray my kitten if she does something she really shouldn’t be doing, in fact I usually just show her the spray bottle and she behaves, or I like try to enforce the good behavior with kitty treats and cuddles. If worse comes to worse, I gently remove/push her off (if she is biting me) and use a very loud No. Its just when she is really bad that I bring the spray bottle into it.
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