How To Discipline A Cat
How to Train a Cat to Stop Inappropriate Playing or Chewing – If you’re playing with your cat and they start to nip or scratch, stop paying attention to them immediately. You’ll send a message that the behavior is unwanted. You can also redirect them in the moment. If they like to scratch your furniture, give them a toy or object that’s acceptable to scratch.

How do you discipline a cat not to do something?

Correcting Unwanted Cat Behavior Sometimes cats do things we don’t like, such as jumping on the table or counters, scratching furniture, or attacking our feet when we walk by. The first thing we need to learn before we try to “correct” these annoying behaviors is that they are all motivated by natural feline instincts.

  • Cats seek out high places to rest and survey their environment, so you should provide them with several high perches around the house.
  • Cats also naturally scratch on vertical surfaces to mark their territory, so you should provide a proper scratching post and encourage them to use it.
  • And cats love to play, and their play behavior often involves aspects of the hunt — and sometimes the only available prey is a pair of moving feet.

Provide your cat with plenty of toys and spend some time every day throwing a ball or crumpled up piece of paper for your cat to chase. Redirecting your cat to perform these natural behaviors where and when you feel is appropriate is the best way to deal with these problems.

  • However, sometimes you may also need to let your cat know that the behavior is not acceptable.
  • The least effective way to try to correct unwanted behavior is to physically or verbally punish your cat.
  • All this does is make your cat afraid of you and teach him that it’s only safe to do these things when you aren’t around.

A better way to correct a cat is to have the environment do the punishing. This is known as remote correction and it is very effective because an animal’s behavior is dictated by the consequences that follow. If doing a certain thing leads to an unpleasant experience, then your cat will be less likely to do it again. Texture: Sticky paper, aluminum foil, heavy plastic or a plastic carpet runner (knubby side up) can be placed in areas you want to be off limits. Cats hate walking on these surfaces. Smell: Citronella, perfumes, solid air fresheners, citrus, aloe, eucalyptus oil and oil of wintergreen are all aversive smells to cats. Soak pieces of cloth or cotton balls in these smelly substances and place them where you don’t want your cat to go. Taste: Bitter apple, citrus products, hot sauces, cayenne pepper or aloe gel can all be rubbed on the surface your cat is chewing on. They will associate the bad taste with the item. Sound: Blow a whistle or fog horn, ring a bell, or toss a penny can (empty soda can with 5-6 pennies inside) in your cat’s direction to startle him just as he is about to engage in the unwanted behavior. Remember, you should not say a word — the startling noise should come out of nowhere.

  1. A strategically placed motion detector, a pyramid of empty soda cans that fall when disturbed, or a mousetrap inside a paper bag are options for when you are not around.
  2. These events are designed to simply startle your cat, not terrify him, but this may not be the best method if you have a particularly sensitive cat.

The key to owning a wonderful pet is to reinforce behaviors you like. Don’t forget to tell your pet when he is sleeping in an acceptable place, scratching on the scratching post, or playing with the appropriate toy. : Correcting Unwanted Cat Behavior

Is spraying cats with water abuse?

Why, oh why, is spraying cats with water still a thing? In looking around online and talking with people, I find that – over and over again – people are drawn to using a squirt bottle to either discipline or punish cats for unwanted behavior. Even shelters and those who should know better are still recommending the use of spray bottles or squirt guns.

With everything we now know about cats, learning, and behavior, we need to update this antiquated mode of trying to teach cats to stop one behavior and do something different! Well, folks who encourage the use of the spray bottle do have one thing right – using a spray bottle may indeed change your cat’s behavior, although not in the way you want it to.

You know all of those stories where a fairy or genie or leprechaun grants three wishes, but the way those wishes are granted usually means something awful happens to the wisher? You can get similar results when you use a squirt bottle with your cat. Your cat might stop scratching the couchonly to start scratching on another piece of furniture when you’re not around.

  1. Or, your cat might stop chewing the plantsuntil you’re not around.
  2. Or, your cat might stop hopping up on the kitchen countersuntil you’re not around.
  3. See what I’m getting at? Your cat won’t necessarily make the connection between his behavior and the squirt bottle, other than he gets squirted when he does those things AND you’re around.

But when you’re not around, there’s no consequence. So the behavior continueswhen you’re not around. And frankly, squirt or spray bottles may not even be that effective. I’ll be honest with you. Many years ago, before I knew what I know now, I used a squirt bottle on a cat I had who was constantly jumping up on our kitchen counters.

It worked the first few times I squirted her – she got down immediately and ran away. But the behavior continued, and pretty soon, she simply stared me down while I was squirting her and her tiny little face was just like “BRING IT” (she was a tortie and had tortitude, so this was totally in line with her purrsonality).

The spray bottle was completely useless at that point, and all I was doing was 1) showing her that I was mean, and 2) soaking her. I didn’t have the intention of being mean, of course – my intention was simply to keep her from getting on the counter! But she didn’t know that, she was just getting squirted down by a big old meanie.

  1. Ahhh, I’m so sorry, Zoe!!! I’ve also talked with many people who have had similar experiences, where the squirt bottle didn’t do anything to correct the behavior.
  2. And, I’ve even talked with a couple of people who said their cats thought the squirted bottle was a GAME, so they would do things just to get sprayed! (So much for the myth that cats hate water, eh?) To correct (or change) a cat’s behavior, either punishment (like using a spray bottle) or reinforcement (to reward good behavior) needs to happen consistently – that’s when cats start to put two and two together, linking their behavior with the consequence.

With positive reinforcement, this is fun for everyone – kitty does something good, and you get to be the hero by providing a reward (e.g., a treat) in hopes of encouraging the kitty to repeat that behavior. The more often you are able to reinforce a desirable behavior, the more likely the cat will repeat it (think consistency).

  1. However, the same is NOT true of using punishment such as a spray bottle.
  2. You will not always be around to punish your cat for doing something undesirable, thus, the punishment will not be consistent.
  3. And the more consistent you are with punishment, the more frequently your cat is receiving bad juju from you.

So, if you are able to be consistent enough with punishment, it comes with a price – fear and distrust. If you are constantly doling out punishment in the form of spray bottles or even yelling (and I certainly hope not hitting or making physical contact), your cat is more likely to start fearing you.

Your cat starts to associate the unpleasant experience with you, and not necessarily his actions with the punishment (as you intended).Your cat will begin to do the undesired “thing” when you’re not around.Your cat will begin to fear and distrust you.Your cat’s stress levels may increase, which can result in more of the behavior you are trying to correct, or result in a new undesirable behavior.

Ok, so now that we’ve got that cleared up, what CAN you do to correct your cat’s behavior? Please understand that most cats do things because to meet a biological need. Cats need to scratch, so you must provide them with an adequate scratcher – if they don’t like the one they’ve been given, they will find something more suitable (i.e., your couch).

Your cat jumps up on the kitchen counter because he’s hungry or has been rewarded by finding food up there before. Your cat tries to get out the door when you open it because he’s maybe not getting enough enrichment inside and is bored with his environment. Or, perhaps your cat sprays your bedding because he’s feeling insecure about his place in the household and needs to put his scent down as a self-soothing measure.

Maybe you have even been unknowingly rewarding or reinforcing an undesirable behavior, or just not have given your cat an appropriate outlet for what he is biologically driven to do. So, when it comes to correcting any undesirable behavior, please consider:

What is the need your cat is trying to meet? (Scratching, viewing his territory, getting exercise, eliminating in a place where he feels safe?)How can you meet your cat’s need in a way that would be acceptable to you? (Can you purchase a scratcher he would like, or try a different location for the litterbox?)Can you reinforce a better, alternative way to express the behavior? (Does your cat like treats for using his scratcher, or praise for using the litterbox?) In conjunction with providing an acceptable outlet for the behavior, is there a humane way to discourage the old behavior even when you’re not around ? (Can you put Sticky Paws on the couch where he was previously scratching, or put a food bowl in a spot where your cat had previously urinated to change the purpose of the area?)

Spraying cats with water from a squirt bottle is not a reinforcement; it’s a punishment. Giving your cat a choice of ways to express his behavioral needs and then rewarding his use of the choice you prefer is the best way to encourage your cat’s “good” behavior.

Is spraying a cat with water bad?

What our vets say – Our team of vets agree that using water bottles to discipline cats isn’t the best course of action. According to Dr. Dwight Alleyne, “Spraying cats with water can create a negative association with humans. As a result, they may become more anxious or even aggressive over time.”

Will my cat forgive me for yelling at her?

Cats, like humans, can hold a grudge

  • “Cats don’t forgive, and once they realize a person is causing them anxiety or hurt, they keep away.”
  • So says John Bradshaw, an anthrozoologist at Bristol University and author of “Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet.”
  • In other words, a cat knows who sprayed him with the water bottle when he was sitting on the stove or kitchen table.
  • Pip, my family’s 1-year-old cat, definitely can hold a grudge.

When Pip was a kitten he would climb in and out of my wheelchair like it was a jungle gym. His antics made me nervous. I worried I would roll over a paw or nip his tail. I had experience to back up my worry. I had nipped Abby, our past cat, several times in the tail over the 17 years she was with us when I hadn’t seen her around a wheel of my chair.

It never caused long-term damage. No vet visits were required. After about 30 minutes of avoiding me, a few treats, ear scratches and healthy doses of “I’m sorry, so, so sorry. Are you okay? I know that had to hurt,” we were on speaking terms again. Pip takes it to a whole new level. When I was in our kitchen’s pantry, Pip would jump through my wheelchair’s cross bars and climb into a box that held plastic bags for recycling.

I was paranoid I was going to run him over or nip his tail. I would wish I had a horn that beeped like the type large trucks use to warn other drivers when they back up. One afternoon this past July, I looked to my right then my left before backing out of the pantry.

No Pip. Or at least that’s what I thought. But he did an end-around that I didn’t see, and my left back wheel clipped the tip of his tail. Pip screeched and took off. My husband, Ed, checked Pip’s tail. It wasn’t swollen and there was no blood. The little bugger even let Ed stroke his tail. Ed’s diagnosis: “He’s fine.

You probably scared him more than anything else.” I wasn’t so sure. For two days, he avoided me. He didn’t jump in my lap or sleep next to me. The feline turned up his nose when I offered a treat and refused to play when I got out his favorite toy. If he saw me, he would run away.

  1. I felt terrible.
  2. Many researchers have looked at how humans can make amends with their cats.
  3. First – and for me this is the hardest – you have to wait for your cat to come to you.
  4. Second, Richard Parker at writes, react to your feline in a calm and friendly manner.
  5. When Pip did jump back up on my lap, I gently stroked him and offered a few pieces of his kibble.

We played with his favorite wand toy. Pip doesn’t use my wheelchair as his personal jungle gym anymore. He could have grown out of the behavior or he could remember his tail being nipped. It doesn’t matter to me. We’re friends again.

  1. If your cat is angry with you, he may:
  2. 1. Avoid you, hide, or leave the room when you enter
  3. 2. Rapidly swish tail, especially when held low
  4. 3. Hold ears low, flat against the head
  5. 4. Stare with dilated pupils
  6. 5. Puff up the tail, arch back
  7. 6. Growl or hiss
  8. 7. Swipe with paws
  9. SOURCE:

: Cats, like humans, can hold a grudge

Why is my cat so badly behaved?

8 Common Cat Behavior and Health Problems and Solutions Keep the peace between you and your feline friend with these solutions to common cat problems. Reviewed by on February 15, 2023 How To Discipline A Cat Cats can be sweet and cuddly purring balls of fluff. It’s lovely when they curl up in your lap or wind between your legs. But sometimes, cats do things that aren’t so perfect. They might scratch the furniture, refuse to use the litter box, or race around the house in the middle of the night.

But the good news is that there are plenty of ways you can address behavior issues with your feline friend. In most cases, start by talking to your vet. “Cats are excellent at hiding signs of illness, and changes in behavior are usually the best way to know that a cat is sick or distressed,” says Valarie V.

Tynes, DVM, a shelter veterinary behaviorist at SPCA of Texas. “Changes in behavior should always be investigated first by the veterinarian in order to prevent unnecessary suffering.” It can be frustrating when your cat decides to skip the litter box and instead find some other place in the house to use as a bathroom.

  1. There’s usually a reason that cats don’t use their litter box.
  2. Please remember that cats are never house-soiling out of spite, nor are they ‘bad’ cats,” says Samantha Bell, a cat behavior expert for Best Friends Animal Society.
  3. Cats are fastidious creatures.
  4. When they opt to not use their litter box, it’s their way of communicating to us that there’s a problem in their lives.

And it’s our responsibility to figure out what that problem is and to help them.” Talk to your vet. Urinary tract infections, kidney and thyroid disease, diabetes, and digestive problems could cause issues that affect bathroom habits. They may need to go more often, or it can hurt when they relieve themselves.

  • Check with your vet first to rule out any medical causes.
  • Eep it clean.
  • Cats are very neat and sometimes avoid using a spot that is very soiled or smelly.
  • Scoop the litter as often as you can, emptying it completely at least every 2 weeks.
  • Clean the box with a mild soap, then refill it with fresh litter.

Add litter each day after scooping to keep the box at a depth of about 3 inches so your cat can dig and cover up when they go. Have enough boxes. Supply one litter box for each cat, plus one extra. If your cat has to wait to use a box, they may just go somewhere else.

  • Likewise, having too many cats use one box may make it harder to keep clean.
  • Put it in the right place,
  • Place the litter box far from your cat’s food and water in a spot where your cat spends time, but not in a high-traffic area.
  • Don’t hide the litter box in a corner where the cat can’t see someone or something coming,” Bell says.

“Cats can feel trapped if they don’t see an avenue of escape.” Think twice about changes. Cats develop preferences for certain types of litter and litter boxes, as well as their location. If you never had a lid before, don’t add one. Don’t change litter brands if your cat has been happy.

Figure out where your cat likes to have the litter box in the house, and don’t move it. Bell suggests an uncovered litter box with preferably unscented litter. “Covered boxes trap the smell, making the odor much more intense for cats when they try to use the box,” she says. “Also, cats’ sense of smell is many times stronger than ours, so even a tiny bit of scent can be overpowering for them and cause litter box avoidance.” If you want to change your litter brand, gradually add some to the original box until you’ve eventually replaced the old litter with the new.

Scratching is a natural cat behavior. They do it to stretch, remove ragged bits of claw, work off excitement or stress, or to mark objects with their scent. They like to scratch on tall, sturdy places where they can really sink in their nails. To keep them from choosing a table leg or the side of the couch, give them better options with scratching posts.

Some cats prefer posts covered with sisal rope, and some like corrugated cardboard. Whatever you choose, it’s important that your posts are sturdy. “No matter how much weight a cat puts behind their scratch, that scratcher needs to remain sturdily in place,” Bell says. “This is why many cats scratch on the sofa – because it stays in place when they scratch on it.” Also, make sure your posts are tall.

Cats often stretch their back muscles when they scratch, so make sure the posts are high enough for this. Place your posts where your cat typically likes to scratch. Rub a little catnip on them, which should make your cat curious about them. Play with a fishing pole cat toy, flicking it around the post to encourage your cat to explore.

Finish by making their favorite scratching spots less interesting. Cover furniture with a sheet or two-sided tape to make the surface slick and harder to use. A cat can be aggressive for many reasons, including pain or illness, fear, stress, or overstimulation. If your cat is lashing out, check in with your vet first, particularly if the aggression is a new behavior.

The cause can be medical, so your vet will first look for a health issue. A cat may lash out at the closest human or cat when they are scared or overstimulated, such as when they hear a loud noise or see something outside that they can’t get to, like another cat.

If you can, avoid situations that can be too much for your cat. For example, close the blinds if neighborhood strays or dogs are walking by outside. Play-Induced Biting and Scratching A milder form of aggression can be part of play. Cats love to play, and sometimes playing can be rough. “Cats need to bite, scratch, and attack or wrestle,” says Bell.

“If you give them an appropriate outlet for these behaviors, like interactive playtime with a wand toy, they will feel satisfied. But if you don’t provide them with appropriate outlets, then they may bite, scratch, or attack the closest moving object, which could be you or another cat.” Don’t encourage cats or kittens to play with your hands or feet.

  • When they “catch” those dangling objects, they can bite.
  • It’s safer to swat and pounce on a wand toy, which stays far away from your hands and body.
  • Cats are also very trainable.
  • If you feel that your cat is playing too roughly, calmly stop playing with them.
  • If they are playing nicely, reward them by continuing the fun or giving them a treat.
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“Positive reinforcement really works with cats!” Bell says. By nature, cats are most active at dusk and dawn, but many cats also like to play, eat, or sit on your head in the middle of the night when you’d rather be sleeping. Cats wake up their people at night because they get something positive out of it, like attention.

  • To solve this problem, change your cat’s routine so they are awake during the day and sleep more at night, and don’t pay attention to them at night.
  • A lengthy wand-toy play session in the evening, followed by a meal of wet food shortly before your bedtime, will help them sleep more through the night,” suggests Bell.

“The later you feed them something high in protein, the longer they will stay full and sleepy.” Other tips to cut down on nighttime antics:

Offer a food puzzle overnight to keep them full and busy. Try dry kibble in a toilet paper roll with the ends folded and holes cut out. Check with your vet to be sure you’re feeding enough food every day, so they aren’t waking up due to hunger. Play some soft music or a radio station overnight. Try a heated cat bed that you only turn on at night. Completely ignore their nighttime behavior. Any attention – even if it seems negative – still reinforces their behavior. “If you break down after 2 hours or 2 days, you will have taught them that if they try long and hard enough, they will break you down,” says Bell. And yes, they will probably try even harder to get you up next time.”

If your cat is scratching, licking, or chewing, that could be a sign of fleas. Those tiny pests can cause many problems for cats. Part their fur and look for black flea dirt and red skin with small scabs. “Cats are such excellent groomers that they can have fleas and the pet owner will never know it,” says Tynes.

  • Common signs of fleas include thinning hair, excessive scratching, and in some cases, little crusty bumps around their head and neck or above their tail.” Flea allergy dermatitis is a very common problem in cats who are allergic to flea bites, says Kathy Baker, DVM, a veterinarian in Smyrna, GA.
  • They can become very itchy and overgroom and scratch themselves to the point of removing fur and damaging skin to the point of developing a bacterial skin infection.” Fleas can transmit diseases, but there are effective preventives and treatments available.

Treat every pet in the house to really get rid of the pests. Fleas and tapeworms can go hand in hand. Fleas eat tapeworm eggs, and if a cat swallows an infected flea while grooming, then they can develop tapeworms. You’ll usually see tiny flecks – about the size of a grain of rice or cucumber seed – in your cat’s fur, in their poop, or on their bedding.

Tapeworms aren’t usually dangerous, but they can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, or other stomach issues and can lead to weight loss. There is a specific dewormer that can tackle tapeworms. Ask your vet if you suspect your cat has them. “If a cat vomits a couple of times a year, I might not be too concerned,” says Tyne.

“But cats that vomit regularly (for example monthly or more often) should be taken to a veterinarian for an examination.” Figuring out the reason for vomiting can be tricky, as there’s a long list of things that can make a cat throw up. Some of the common reasons include overeating, parasites, food sensitivities, swallowed objects, food allergies, and disease.

Your vet can help you figure out the cause. It may be as simple as feeding smaller meals or using food puzzles so your cat doesn’t eat too much too fast. Female cats can be quite vocal when they are in heat. Likewise, male cats can yowl back to show they’re interested. If your cat is yowling for mating reasons, the most obvious solution is to spay or neuter your pet.

But yowling can also be due to pain or disease, says veterinarian Lisa Tanner, DVM, in Alpharetta, GA. It can be hunger, loneliness, or dementia. “And some cats just like to talk,” Tanner says. She suggests talking to your vet, but also adding playtime and enriching their environment to stimulate brain activity.

  • Older cats may also start to become more vocal.
  • Sometimes their hearing or vision may be failing, making them anxious and more likely to pace the home, vocalizing as if they are calling for their owner,” Tyne says.
  • These cats may be confused or suffering from pain or discomfort due to other bodily ailments such as arthritis.

Like vomiting, it’s not something that should be ignored. It may be indicative of a treatable condition.” © 2023 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : 8 Common Cat Behavior and Health Problems and Solutions

How do you get a disobedient cat to listen?

First, correct them with a firm ‘no’, take them to another area, and initiate play. Remember, cats do not understand punishment. Rewarding them when they behave (even when they are not displaying undesirable behavior) will encourage your cat to come to you and listen rather than avoiding you with fear.

What to do if I yelled at my cat?

Download Article Download Article Oh no! You’ve done something to deeply offend your cat, and now it won’t even let you come near it. Fortunately, it is possible to earn a cat’s forgiveness. This article will show you not only how to apologize to your cat, but it will also show you how to do it safely, so that you don’t get scratched.

  1. 1 Take note of your cat’s body language. It will tell you what sort of mood your cat is in. If your cat is too angry or upset, your apology will mean nothing to him or her and will most likely result in you getting slapped across the face.
  2. 2 Observe the ears. A cat’s ears are very expressive, and will also help you determine how it is feeling. In general, if the ears are up, the cat is happy, and if the ears are down, the cat is not happy. Here are some more detailed guidelines:
    • Are the ears up and in a normal, relaxed position? If so, you can go ahead and try to apologize to your cat.
    • If the ears are turned back, do not approach your cat. it is deeply offended and angry. Give it some time. it might be feeling scared. You can still approach your cat, but do it slowly and carefully.
    • If your cats ears are pressed back flat against the skull, it might be feeling scared. You can still approach your cat, but do it slowly and carefully.


  3. 3 Watch the tail. The tail is the most expressive part of a cat’s body, and is a good indicator of your cat’s mood. Unlike dogs, cats do not “Wag” their tails when they are happy. Here are some more guidelines:
    • If the tail is pointing up, with the tip slightly curled to the side, your cat is content and safe to approach.
    • If the tail is poofed up, your cat is frightened. You may try to approach your cat to calm it down, but do so slowly, and make sure that your cat can run and hide from you. A cornered cat may quickly turn into an aggressive cat.
    • If your cat is twitching or thumping his tail, then do not approach your cat. it is angry, and probably at you. Give your cat some time before apologizing.
  4. 4 Take note of your cat’s eyes. A cat’s eyes respond dramatically to changes in light, but they also change according to mood. When looking at your cat’s eyes, you will also have to take the lighting into account as well as the rest of the cat’s body language. Here are some guidelines:
    • If a cat’s pupil is very large, it may be afraid. It could also mean that it is just dark in the room.
    • If a cat’s pupils are narrow, it may be angry and agitated. It could also mean that the lighting is very bright.
  5. 5 Look at the face. Are the whiskers pointing forward, teeth bared, and nose wrinkled? If so, your cat is still too angry to feel like being approached by an apologetic human. Try again later.
  6. 6 Look at your cat’s body and fur. Is the fur standing on end? If so, your cat may be frightened or agitated. Is your cat’s fur flat against him or her? This means that your cat may be more relaxed; look at your cat’s body for other clues to his or her mood, however.
  7. 7 Take note of the claws. If the claws are extended or tensed, use extreme caution. Cats are fast, and your cat may be preparing to strike.
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  1. 1 Determine the offense. What did you do to make your cat so mad at you? Did you make fun of her? Step on it’s tail? Or did you take it’s spot on the couch? Knowing what you did wrong will help you decide how to approach your cat. It will also help you decide how to go about apologizing to him or her.
    • If you offended your cat by making fun of it, you will probably have to offer some treats and praise.
    • If you accidentally stepped on your cat’s tail or startled her by dropping a pot, a simple cuddle may be all that is needed.
    • If you took your cat’s favorite spot on the couch, consider vacating the spot and giving your cat a treat.
  2. 2 Choose a good time to apologize. If your cat is visibly angry, you will need to give it some time before you try to approach it and apologize; approaching too soon may result in getting scratched. Try not to wait too long to apologize, however; instead, approach the cat as soon as it appears calmer.
    • If your cat keeps running away from you, consider leaving behind a small treat in a place it can find. This will let it know that you are sorry and still care about it.
    • A frightened cat should be approached with care. Always give a frightened cat room to escape. it may actually need comfort and reassurance, especially if there was a loud, sudden sound. At the same time, however, it may want to be alone, which is why leaving an escape route is so important. A frightened, cornered cat may quickly turn aggressive.
  3. 3 Walk slowly to your cat. If your cat runs away from you, it may be still be angry, upset, or frightened. Do not chase after your cat. Instead, try again a few minutes later. This will reassure your cat that you won’t do anything to further harm or annoy it. Having a cat treat ready may also reassure your cat.
  4. 4 Talk to your cat. Tell it “I’m sorry.” You may even use your cat’s name. Make sure that you are using a soft, calm voice, with a slightly higher pitch than usual. Your cat may not necessarily understand your words, but it will understand your tone. Do not use a loud, shrill voice; cats do have sensitive hearing and you will only annoy your cat.
    • Consider blinking slowly. A trusting cat will blink slowly. You can show your cat that you trust it by blinking slowly.
  5. 5 Stroke your cat gently in it’s favorite spots. Make sure that you take note of your cat’s mood; if your cat appears angry or upset, then do not pet her. Refer to the section in this article on reading your cat’s body language to learn how to best determine your cat’s mood. If you don’t know where your cat likes to be petted, here are some suggestions:
    • Scratch your cat behind the ear. An even better place would be to gently stroke the area between your cat’s eye and ear. Use the tip of your finger and slowly smooth over the fine hairs there.
    • Scratch your cat under the cheek and against the cheek. it may even forgive you for your offense and start rubbing against your hand.
    • Scratch your cat at the base of her tail. Place your fingers on the base of your cat’s tail, where the tail and back meet, and wriggle your fingers, gently stretching with your fingertips.
    • Stroke your cat’s head, back, and chest. Keep in mind, however, that not all cats enjoy being petted in these areas. Watch your cat’s body language carefully for any signs of annoyance.
  6. 6 Play with your cat. Your cat could be upset with you because you have not been spending enough time with it. If your cat is more energetic, you could consider playing with it—although most cats would enjoy swatting at a piece of string. Here are some ways you can play with your cat:
    • Toss a piece of crumpled up cellophane or paper towards your cat. You can also use a toy mouse instead. Do not throw the toy at it, however. Instead, aim for a spot just before it’s paws.
    • Dangle a piece of string in front of your cat. Jiggle it and move it slowly back and forth, towards and away from your cat. You can even try running the string across it’s paws.
    • Purchase a laser pointer and point the laser on a spot on the wall or the floor. Once your cat is paying attention to the red dot, move the laser around. He may even try running after the laser.
    • Play with your cat using a cat teaser. A cat teaser is a long, flexible stick with some feathers or string attached to one end. Some teasers also have a bell. Hold the teaser by one end and wave the decorated end near your cat’s paws. Gently flick it upward—it may try to jump up to catch it.
  7. 7 Give your cat some attention. If you have been ignoring your cat lately, you may notice that your cat has become less affectionate than usual. This means that your cat could be upset and lonely. You can apologize to your cat by spending time with it. This could be as simple as reading a book or listening to music next to your cat, or giving him a nice, long petting session. It could also mean that you have to set aside some time to play with your cat.
  8. 8 Praise and compliment your cat. If you made fun of or laughed at your cat, you may have offended it. Offer your cat a cat treats and tell your cat how wonderful and beautiful it is. Use a soft, gentle tone. Your cat may not necessarily understand your words, but it will know that you are talking to it and saying nice things to it.
  9. 9 Give your cat what he or she wants, within reason. Cats can get upset if they don’t get what they want. Sometimes, what they want is simple and harmless—such as sitting on that fluffy pillow. Other times, what they want could be harmful, such as a portion of your dinner.
    • If your cat wanted to sit on that fluffy pillow of the couch, let it do it. You could even pick your cat up and set it down on that spot. Give your cat a reassuring stroke or two.
    • If your cat really wanted that milk or tuna, you should give something else instead. Milk or cream can upset a cat’s stomach, and tuna can be dangerous in large amounts due to its high levels of mercury. Consider giving your cat a yummy cat treat instead.
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  1. 1 Give a treat to your cat. If your cat is in a more approachable mood, you can try giving him a treat directly. Put three to five cat treats in your hand and kneel down close to the cat. If the cat is ready to forgive you, he will come over to you and eat the treats.
    • Cat treats come in many different textures, including: soft and chewy, hard and crunchy, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, dried meats (sort of like jerky), and freeze-dried. You can even find dried tuna flakes in the cat treat aisle of a pet store.
    • Cat treats also come in many different flavors, including chicken, turkey, tuna, and salmon. You can even find catnip-flavored treats.
    • Consider getting a beneficial treat. There are also cat treats that help prevent hairballs and tarter. Not only will you be keeping your cat happy, but you will also be keeping him or her healthy.
  2. 2 Leave a cat treat surprise for your cat. Be sure to leave it in a place you know where he will be able to find it. Here are some examples:
    • If your cat is hiding under the bed, consider leaving the cat treat just under the bed. Do not leave the treat too far out from under the bed. This will force the cat to craw out from her or her “safe” spot, and will make him or her feel anxious. Do not reach too far under the bed, or the cat may scratch you.
    • If your cat is really agitated, leave a treat near his food, or in his favorite spot. In fact, if you offended your cat by taking his favorite spot on the couch, you can leave the cat treat in that spot. This will let the cat know that you are sorry and that he can sit in this spot without being kicked off.
  3. 3 Add treats to your cat’s food. Take three to five cat treats and place them on top of your cat’s food during feeding time. If your cat is picky and does not like treats mixed in with his food, then leave the treats in a dish next to the food.
  4. 4 Treat your cat with some special food. Does your cat have a favorite flavor of cat food? If you feed your cat different flavors, choose his favorite one, and serve it during feeding time.
  5. 5 Offer some dried cat nip. If your cat is too agitated, you may be able to get her to calm down with a sprinkle of cat nip on the floor. If you do not like cleaning up messes (some cats will eat the dried catnip while others will just roll around in it), then you can give him or her a catnip toy.
  6. 6 Give your cat a toy. If your cat is interested in cat toys, you can buy a new toy and give it to her. Simply approach your cat, kneel down, hold the toy out so she can see it. You may leave the toy on the ground and back away, or you can toss the toy. This depends on how your cat likes to play with toys. Keep in mind that not every cat likes to play, especially older ones.
    • You can make your own catnip toy by cutting a small square from fabric and putting a spoonful of dried catnip in the center. Pull the sides of the fabric upwards, bundling the catnip up inside, and secure it with a piece of string.
    • You can also make another catnip toy by stuffing a sock with some cotton or polyester stuffing and adding a spoonful of dried catnip. Tie the sock off with some string.
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  • Question Can cats get their feelings hurt? Jessica Char is a Cat and Dog Trainer, Behavior Consultant, and the Founder of Feline Engineering and Canine Engineering. She specializes in modifying challenging pet behavior problems, such as fear and aggression, using positive reinforcement training protocols. Cat & Dog Behavior Consultant Expert Answer Yes, they can! If you think your cat is upset with you, give them some space to calm down and give it some time. The best thing you can do is back off and show them that you recognize that you’ve hurt them and that you’re going to stop doing what you were doing.
  • Question How do you get a cat to trust you again? Jessica Char is a Cat and Dog Trainer, Behavior Consultant, and the Founder of Feline Engineering and Canine Engineering. She specializes in modifying challenging pet behavior problems, such as fear and aggression, using positive reinforcement training protocols. Cat & Dog Behavior Consultant Expert Answer Leave the cat alone for now. When you’re feeling ready to enter the same head space where they are, sit at a distance and offer them their favorite treat so that your cat can come get them as they’re ready.
  • Question Is there such thing as a cat “love bite”? Yes, there is such a thing. A “love bite” is generally a gentler bite that can indicate either overstimulation or a playful mood. Read your cat’s body language and proceed with caution.

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  • Consider trying different methods. Some cats do not respond well to playing but love getting attention and cuddled. Others may only forgive you if you give them food.
  • Take note of what you did to offend your cat and don’t do it again.
  • Give your cat time and try not to rush things. If your cat is too angry or afraid to be approached, give her time to calm down.

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  • Never slap, yell at, or punish a cat for ignoring you. It will do nothing but make them feel worse.
  • Watch your cat’s body language. If you cat appears angry, avoid touching him or her, or you might get scratched.
  • Do not give your cat food from your pantry or fridge as a treat. Most human food is not good for cats.

Advertisement Article Summary X To apologize to a cat, wait until it calms down and approach the cat slowly. Next, speak to the kitty in a soft, soothing tone and gently pet it in a few of its favorite spots, like behind the ears and under the chin. It may also help to offer a few tasty treats during your apology.

How do you tell a cat off for biting?

How Can You Teach Your Cat to Keep His Teeth to Himself? – Here are some techniques to use that will help teach your cat that human skin is not for biting:

Never use your hands or feet to wrestle with a cat that is being too aggressive with his teeth during playtime. Doing so only encourages escalation of the behavior. Similarly, don’t use gloves with toys hanging from the fingers because it doesn’t teach your cat not to bite hands. Still, your cat needs to exercise those hunter instincts and play hard to relieve stress and boredom and maintain good physical health. Always use a toy between your hands and your cat’s mouth during play. Three types of toys work well.

are especially effective for interactive play with cats. You can control them from afar, without putting your hands within tooth-striking distance, and you can also make them move like a cat’s prey, which is irresistible to a cat. are also wonderful for keeping your body parts away from your cat’s mouth during playtime. Kick toys can be given to your cat to allow him to get the biting and bunny-kicking out of his system. Long toys like or these work well for this purpose.

Use withdrawal techniques if necessary. If you are playing with your cat and he does manage to bite a part of your body, firmly say “no,” and then withdraw from the play session for a few moments. If every time your cat’s teeth touch human flesh, playtime ends, your cat will quickly learn to stop biting. Never yell at or hit your cat for play biting. This behavior from you can cause your cat stress, which may result in a fearful cat, one that engages in unwanted stress-related behaviors like urinating outside of the litter box, or one that begins to show true aggression toward you and other residents of your home. Be ready to respond if your kitten pounces on your hands when you are doing something unrelated to play. Sometimes kittens or older cats find our hand movements irresistible while we are writing, typing on a keyboard, or doing other things. If your cat pounces on your hands during these times, firmly say “no,” remove your hands, and throw an appropriate toy away from yourself. Praise your kitty when he runs after and attacks the toy. Don’t pull away if you can help it. Although this is counterintuitive and will take some practice on your part, try not to pull your hand or foot away when your cat bites. This is similar to prey trying to get away, and it can trigger your cat to chase and attach even harder. Instead, try to push into your cat gently, which is not how prey acts. This should confuse your cat a bit and cause him to let go.

Why doesn t my cat listen?

Explanation of Why Cats Don’t Come When Called – The question remains – why don’t cats come when called? Why don’t cats listen? This answer most likely stems from the same reason that cats are so independent. Cats are generally very independent compared to dogs.

It appears that cats do not look at people as a protector and are not affected as much by separation. This can make the cat an ideal companion for those that work long hours. While cats provide wonderful companionship and are full of personality, they are not dependent on you to come home and walk them.

Their independence probably stems from the fact that cats are solitary predators, unlike dogs who are pack animals and hunt within the pack. A cat doesn’t need other cats to hunt. Cats can live in groups but it is not a requirement. It’s not so much a matter of cats not listening but more as cats not needing to hear what you have to say.

Do cats know when you say no?

Yes, cats can not only acknowledge the message, but they can also change their behavior. Here are a couple of methods that work for me.

Do cats get sad when you spray them?

Spraying your cat with water can have long-term negative effects – On top of the physical discomfort, spraying your cat with water doesn’t actually teach your cat better behaviors and could end up seriously confusing her. What you think is just a bad behavior, like hissing, is actually something she’s doing because she’s afraid or stressed.

  1. And when you spray her with water, it’s because you assume she knows that she’s doing something wrong — but she actually doesn’t.
  2. She just knows she’s reacting naturally to something scary or stressful and getting punished for it.
  3. So, you’re essentially disciplining your cat for being afraid.
  4. Let ‘ s say a cat is fearful guests entering into the home.

A guest may approach the cat, and because the cat is fearful, she may swat at the guest,” Dr. Spano said. “The owner then spritzes the cat with water because of the undesirable swat. The act of spraying water, through association, taught the cat what not to do, but it did not teach the cat a coping mechanism or what to do instead.” Basically, spraying your cat with water when she’s already afraid just compounds that fear.

  1. It doesn’t alleviate the fear she has about guests, and it makes her afraid to then defend herself when she’s scared (which is really all she’s doing when she’s swatting).
  2. It ‘ s not only suppressing fear, but also increasing discomfort,” Dr.
  3. Spano said.
  4. That compounding fear can mess her up psychologically — which can lead to more undesirable behaviors in the future.

“Let ‘ s say someone who made you uncomfortable was approaching you without consent,” Dr. Spano explained. “You feel backed into a corner, so you scream and reach out to push them away. You are then met with pepper spray.” That’d be pretty confusing and scary, right? That’s basically how your cat feels when you spray her with water for doing something “bad,” especially when the original behavior was just a natural reaction to a situation.

Suppressing fear and anxiety Putting a strain on your cat’s bond with you Causing discomfort and annoyance

What smell does a cat hate?

15 things cats absolutely hate There’s no doubt that cats are mysterious creatures. Even though they’re adorable in their own way, they’re known to be temperamental, with a long list of things they aren’t keen on. Here at Webbox, we’ve put together the top 15 things cats absolutely hate, so that you know what to expect and have the tools to be the best pet parent for miles around! 1) Smells As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you.

  • They can’t stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme.
  • Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus.
  • Many essential oils are toxic to cats so it stands to reason that they instinctively want to run the other way when they get a whiff of your bath oils.

They also aren’t a fan of strong menthol smells.2) Too much attention If you’re a cat mum or dad then you’ll know that cats are independent creatures. They can’t stand over-aggressive petting and many of them just like doing their own thing. Respect your cat’s boundaries and don’t try to force them to spend time with you if they don’t want to- they will let you know when they need love and affection! 3) Not enough attention We know, we know, cats are confusing.

One minute they seem to hate you and the next they want all your attention! While cats like to have their own space, they do enjoy affection from their owners- on their own terms. Your cat will brush up against your legs when he/she wants to be petted so make sure you respond to their cues for affection.

Even though cats like to be independent, that doesn’t mean that they want to be alone all the time. If you have to go out for an extended period of time, make sure you have a friend or family member pop round in your absence so that your cat doesn’t start to feel lonely.4) Medicine If you have a feline fur baby, you’ll know that cats HATE having to take medicine.

Whether they have to take liquid medicine or medication in the form of a pill, giving your cat what they need to stay healthy is easier said than done. What it comes down to is that they don’t understand why and being forced to take medication can seem very intimidating to your feline friend. If you want to avoid getting a million scratches, wrap your kitty in a towel, give them their medicine and hold their mouth closed (gently, but firmly), which will encourage them to swallow.

As much as they might hate it, it has to be done! You could even mix the kitty meds with a for a more palatable experience.5) Spoiled food This one kind of goes without saying but cats hate spoiled food. As mentioned above, cats are sensitive to smells and if something seems a bit off, they won’t want anything to do with it.

goes off quicker than dry, so if your cat is a grazer you might want to consider opting for, Food spoils quicker when it’s warm so it’s worth considering how long your cat’s wet food has been left out if they don’t seem keen during the warmer months.6) Competition Cats are competitive by nature. Your cat is likely to not be very impressed if another feline shows up on the scene and this can sometimes result in aggressive behaviour.

If you already have a fur baby and you’re introducing another cat into the family, do your best to keep them apart until they get used to there being another kitty in the house. If your cat has suddenly marked a neighbourhood feline as their sworn enemy, keep an eye out for aggressive behaviour on either part and try to break it up if things turn sour.7) Loud noises Does your cat give you a dirty look whenever you drop something? There’s a very good reason why they do this; cats hate sudden loud noises and excessive noise can be very frightening for them.

  1. As much you might enjoy blasting your favourite spotify playlist, it’s probably worth considering how this might be making your pet feel.
  2. If you find your cat hiding under the sofa, it’s probably best to keep the volume down.8) Tummy rubs Unlike their canine companions, cats hate belly rubs.
  3. Cats are protective of their stomachs as instinctively they know that this is a vulnerable area.

For this reason an unprompted belly rub may result in them lashing out with their claws. Do yourself (and your cat) a favour and stick to the spots under their chin and behind their ears.9) Baths Ever tried to bathe your cat? You have our sympathies. There’s just no other way of putting it, cats hate baths and most will fight you every step of the way.

Cats self-groom and lick themselves clean, but every now and then, a bath may be necessary if they’ve rolled in something they can’t get off. If you plan on bathing your cat, make sure you have plenty of clean towels and pet shampoo and conditioner to hand. Turn the shower head on to a gentle stream and ensure the temperature is warm but not too hot.

Cats are used to being rained on so a shower is likely to be less stressful for them than a bath. Apply the shampoo confidently but gently and use a soothing voice throughout the process. You never know, you might just come out of it unscathed! 10) Being groomed Just like kids, cats don’t really appreciate their fur being brushed.

  • Some longer-haired breeds need a helping hand from their owner to keep their coats in check, so if this is you, there are a few things you can do to make the experience less difficult.
  • Choose a time when your cat is calm and in the mood for a cuddle.
  • Start by petting your cat and when they’re fully relaxed, gently start to comb through their fur.

Take a break if your cat starts to get agitated and then resume the process once they’re calm again.11) Strangers Cats are wary of strangers. If someone they don’t know suddenly walks into your house (which to your cat, is actually their house), they might feel frightened and confused.

Make sure your guest is aware of your fur baby’s feelings and try to stop them from petting your cat. Keeping a distance will help your cat suss out the situation and allow them to make the first move if they’re feeling friendly.12) Change Cats are creatures of habit and they don’t really appreciate change.

This change could be something small like a change in litter tray, or something big like moving home. Either way, your cat probably won’t be a big fan. If you have no choice but to make changes that will impact your cat, make sure you’re there to reassure them if they find the change stressful.

Sometimes, all they need is a good cuddle with their owner to get back on track.13) Being stared at Ever tried a staring competition with your cat? If the answer is yes, we’re guessing it probably didn’t end well. Prolonged eye contact can be seen as a sign of dominance and aggression, which is intimidating for your fur baby.

It’s probably worth keeping this in mind the next time you’re home alone and can’t find anything to watch on Netflix.14) Low temperatures Cats like to be warm and cosy and aren’t a fan of the cold. Even though they have lovely fur coats, these are more to protect their delicate skin than to keep them warm.

So crank up the heating in your house and make sure you maintain a comfortable temperature for your fluffy prince/princess.15) Being cradled like a baby We know that your kitty is your baby but they really don’t like being cradled. Some cat owners hold their cats like they would their newborns and this can be quite stressful for them as it puts your cat in a position where they can’t get away.

Always let your cat come to you for cuddles and make sure they have the option to leave if they want to. : 15 things cats absolutely hate

How do I discipline my kitten?

Set Boundaries for Jumping – Ideally, you’ll have rules in mind for your kitten before it starts leaping. Which counters, couches, and shelves are fair game? Which are off-limits? A simple training method involves praising and petting your kitten when it leaps onto acceptable surfaces while scolding and removing it from unacceptable surfaces.

Should I spray my cat for bad behavior?

Instead of punishing your cat when they’re doing something wrong, reward them when they do what’s right – People think that cats cannot be trained, but that’s far from the truth! Cats can absolutely be trained! Does your cat come running when they hear the sound of a treat bag opening up? That’s because they’ve learned that the sound of that crinkly bag means a delicious morsel is coming soon! In the same way dogs can be trained with positive reinforcement, so can cats.

You just need to find what motivates them and be very specific in your communication. If you see your cat scratching the sofa, do not punish them – instead, redirect them to the scratching post and reward them every time you see them use it. Do this until they are using it consistently. For more detailed advice on how to train your cat,,

And, see our tips on how to teach your cat to and — all without ever spraying your cat with water! Save that spray bottle for your houseplants.

Why cats bite after petting?

Why Your Cat Bites You During Petting Sessions – There isn’t much research on why cats engage in love biting; most of what’s known is based on speculation, says Dr. Stelow. The term “love bite” is somewhat of a misnomer. “When cats bite in this context, it’s not a sign of affection, but rather a signal that the cat is done with the interaction.

If the petting continues despite the cat’s efforts to signal that he or she is done with being petted, the cat may escalate to a bite,” says Dr. Ballantyne. A cat love bite can certainly be a result of overstimulation. Cat love bites can also be unintentional, as part of the cat’s grooming process. They could be “licking for a certain period of time, then using their incisors to get a particular area.

Your cat may choose to groom you, your hand or face or head,” says Dr. Sung. Additionally, not all cats enjoy petting. “Some cats may want to, or enjoy resting on their pet parent’s lap, but may not really enjoy being petted. It’s also possible that the pet parent is petting the cat in areas that the cat finds unpleasant, such as on its belly or near or on its tail,” says Dr.

How do you discipline a kitten that doesn’t listen?

Download Article Download Article Many people think getting a cat to listen to commands is impossible. This is not the case. While cats can be more challenging to train than dogs, with time and patience you can get a cat to listen to you better. To start, establish a rewards system.

  1. 1 Figure out what kind of food your cat loves. Treats can be a great way to reward your cat for positive behavior. However, the kind of treats matter. Your cat is unlikely to behave for everyday food. Find a treat it loves and use that as a reward.
    • Buy a variety of treats at a local pet store and see what your cat likes. Try to use the treats it responds well to in training.
    • You may also be able to feed your cat some table scraps. Some cats love things like turkey and chicken. If your cat has a particular fondness for a certain table food, that may work as a reward.
  2. 2 Try other rewards. Not every cat responds well to food. Your cat may prefer another type of reward. Maybe your cat loves a particular toy. You could reward it by letting it play with that toy after it behaves. If your cat is particularly friendly, try petting as a reward. Advertisement
  3. 3 Establish a connection with rewards using a clicker. You can buy a small clicker at a pet store. You can use this as a way to let a cat know it is behaving well. Teach your cat to associate the clicker with positive experiences.
    • Choose a small, quiet place to work that is free of distractions. This will keep your cat focused.
    • At first, all you need to do is establish a click means a reward is coming. Sit with your cat and press down on the clicker. Then, immediately give your cat a reward. You can give it a treat, a toy, or attention.
    • Do this each day until you cat begins to perk up at the sound of the clicker. Cats are easily distracted, so keep training sessions short. Sessions should be no longer than 5 minutes.
  4. 4 Start clicking when your cat listens to you. This will reinforce that listening is good. Your cat understands the clicker means a reward, so keep the clicker on you around the house. When your cat listens, press the clicker.
    • For example, you see your cat eating one of the plants in your house. You say something like, “Get down.”
    • If your cat gets down in response, press the clicker. If it does not get down in response, do not press the clicker.
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  1. 1 Reward your cat in the immediate moment. Animals live in the immediate. Your cat will not understand what it is being rewarded for if rewards are delayed. The second your cat listens, give it a reward.
    • For example, your cat is pawing at another cat in your home. You tell it, “No” and it immediately leaves the cat alone.
    • Do not wait a few minutes to reward it. Immediately click and offer a reward.
    • If you’re using treats as a reward, you may want to carry a few treats with you around the house. That way, if your cat listens, you can offer it a reward right away.
  2. 2 Practice with your cat each day. This will help solidify behaviors. It will encourage your cat to listen to your more in day-to-day life. You can try teaching your cat small commands that encourage listening, like coming in response to his name.
    • Choose an area free of distractions and keep sessions short. In general, less than 5 minute sessions are key. Cats have short attention spans.
    • Instruct your cat to engage in a certain behavior. Reward it when it does that behavior. For example, call your cat’s name. If it comes to you, give it a reward.
    • You usually have to work increments. This means, settling for your cat partially completing the behavior first. For example, you tell your cat to come and it takes a few steps forward. Give it a reward. With time, demand more from it. Do not reward it until it completes more of the behavior.
  3. 3 Reprimand your cat gently. Cats should not be yelled at for bad behaviors, but there should be some consequences. If you want your cat to listen, make sure it understands what “No” means.
    • You do not need more than a loud, “No” when your cat misbehaves. Avoid screaming, as this can upset your cat. Simply say, “No” when it engages in a negative behavior.
    • If your cat stops the behavior when you ask, reward it with treats, a toy, or praise.
    • If your cat does not listen when you say “No,” try adding a small clap as well.
  4. 4 Cut down on treats and rewards with time. You want your cat to eventually behave without a reward. You do not want to teach your cat it should only behave well when there’s something in it for it. As your cat listens to you more and more, taper off rewards.
    • Make use of the clicker. Your cat will eventually learn to see this as a reward in and of itself, as it indicates it is behaving properly.
    • Once your cat seems to have mastered listening to you, only reward it every other time it behaves. With time, wean it off rewards altogether.
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  1. 1 Do not use a squirt bottle. Many advocate keeping a squirt bottle filled with tap water on hand. If a cat misbehaves, they will give it a quick squirt as punishment. This will not teach your cat proper behavior. In fact, it can actually make negative behaviors worse.
    • Squirting a cat with a water bottle just creates stress. Oftentimes, a cat is engaging in a negative behavior because something is wrong.
    • Your cat may, say, scratching furniture because it dislikes his scratching post. Punishing it for scratching furniture will not stop your cat from doing it. It will only learn to scratch when you’re not around.
    • A squirt bottle will make troublesome behaviors worse. If your cat feels stressed in his home, it may become more aggressive and act out more frequently.
  2. 2 Avoid “scruffing.” This means grabbing the loose skin of a cat’s neck to stop negative behaviors. Many people believe scruffing will assert dominance over a cat. However, scruffing frightens and humiliates adult cats. It will not improve a cat’s behavior.
    • The only situation in which scruffing is appropriate is a medical emergency. For example, if your cat is hurt you will need to get it to the vet. If your cat is upset and resisting going into his crate, scruffing may be the only way to stop its squirming.
    • If you do scruff your cat due to an emergency, release your grip as soon as the danger has passed.
  3. 3 Do not punish your cat. Cats do not understand punishment, and it only serves to create stress. Never use more than a simple “No” and a hand clap to deter poor behaviors. Do not yell at your cat or put your cat in a cage as punishment.
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Question Is it possible to train cats? Brian Bourquin, better known as “Dr. B” to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry.

The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited hospital and Boston’s first Fear Free Certified Clinic.

Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. Veterinarian Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Yes, just like dogs, cats can be trained. The key to training a cat is positive reinforcement. Reward your cat with treats, petting, toys, or whatever it likes when it does something right to reinforce the good behavior. Avoid punishing your cat when it does something wrong since cats don’t respond to punishment and it can actually make them less trusting of you.

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Avoid using milk or dairy products as a reward. Cats actually do not do well with milk. They cannot digest dairy properly. It can cause vomiting diarrhea.

Advertisement Article Summary X To train your cat to listen to your commands, start by finding a reward that it likes, such as a cat treat or a toy it likes to play with. Whenever your cat obeys your commands, give it the reward immediately so it’s clear which behavior you’re rewarding.

Try to practice this for 5 minutes every day so the command sinks in. Once your cat learns to obey your commands, gradually cut down on its treats and rewards over time, so it behaves without needing an incentive. If your cat misbehaves, avoid punishing it, since this will only stress it out more. Instead, just say, “No,” and move it away from the area if you need to.

For more tips from our Veterinary co-author, including how to use a clicker to train your cat, read on! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 160,940 times.

Do cats grow out of bad behavior?

Hang in There – Adolescence is just a phase. In the end, your cat will come out at the other end as an adult. Most cats outgrow much of their impulsive behavior and “chill out,” at least a bit. Your goal will be to continue to reinforce the behavior you want, minimize opportunities for your cat to develop bad habits, and then to stay the course until their brain catches up with their body.

Should I ignore my cats bad behavior?

Cats are for the most part social animals that enjoy our company. They are also pretty smart. Put those two facts together, and suddenly you have a cat that quickly learns how to make you heed his call. Responding to your cat’s pleas for attention isn’t always a bad thing.

  1. However, if your cat always seems to want to play every time you are on the phone, you probably need some help.
  2. If your cat is engaging in an undesirable behavior to get your attention, the best thing to do is ignore him.
  3. This teaches him that his behavior has the opposite effect of his intentions.
  4. Yes, this can be difficult to achieve, especially if your cat tries to get your attention by standing on your head.

Move away from your cat or put him in another room for a minute or two if you feel yourself losing patience. Again, cats are pretty smart, so your pet will soon learn that certain behaviors don’t work. Be diligent about giving attention to your cat when he does something that you approve of (e.g., sitting, rubbing against your leg, lying on his bed, scratching the scratching post) to make sure that he doesn’t practice every “naughty” behavior in the book to get your attention (e.g.

meowing, scratching the furniture, etc.). That way you will have a respectful feline in no time. Finally, provide your cat with structured attention rather than more attention. Schedule two or three play sessions a day (to total 15-30 minutes) and a couple of short “quiet-attention” times for cuddling, petting, massage, grooming, or whatever activities your cat enjoys.

Your cat will be less likely to be pushy and demanding if he knows that he will be getting attention at regular times each day. If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email [email protected],

Why does my cat have Behavioural issues?

The most common feline behavior problems are associated with elimination. Some of these are related to the litter box, while others reflect social conflicts and involve anxiety or aggression. Much feline aggression is subtle and passive, so its real frequency may be greatly underestimated.

For both the prevention and treatment of behavior problems, it is important to be sure your cat can engage in normal feline behaviors. Although they can vary between individuals, a cat’s major behavioral needs include eating (hunting), drinking, elimination (urine and feces), security, play and exploration, climbing, perching, and scratching.

Specifically, hunting and feeding needs might be satisfied by giving food in small portions throughout the day and placing food or treats inside toys that require some manipulation to release the food (batting, chasing, rolling, pawing). To add an element of hunting, the cat can be given opportunities to chase, pounce on, and bite toys you dangle or pull in front of the cat.

To motivate cats to play, you should find a number of toys that interest your cat and play with several different toys until the cat’s interest wanes. Cats may also be offered small toys for batting and chasing; boxes or containers to explore; appealing outlets to climb, perch, and scratch; and perhaps an occasional catnip toy (to which 50%–75% of cats respond).

Rewarding desirable behaviors with positive reinforcement techniques (such as treats or favorite toys) can help you teach your cat to urinate, defecate, climb, scratch, or perch in appropriate locations. Clicker training Behavior Modification Techniques can be particularly useful to reward desirable behaviors.

Punishment should be avoided, because it can cause your cat to become scared of you and, at best, will stop the undesirable behavior only when you are present. After meeting all of your cat’s behavioral needs, the best approach to stop the undesirable behavior can be to prevent access to areas where problems might arise.

Another alternative is to teach the cat to avoid the area by making it unpleasant with taste (eg, cayenne pepper), odor (eg, citrus), touch (eg, upside-down carpet runner, double-sided sticky tape), or perhaps a motion-activated device (eg, alarm, air spray).

  • Teaching an alternative desirable behavior (called response substitution) can be a useful approach if the cat is reward trained with food or favored toys to respond to one or more simple commands (eg, “come,” “sit”).
  • A leash and harness can be used as an aid in training as well as a way to prevent undesirable behaviors and ensure safety.

Fearful cats should be kept away from anything that causes their fear, at least in the short term. For example, if cats are fearful or aggressive with other cats or visitors, confinement away from the cats or visitors is an essential first step to ensure safety as well as preventing the problem from getting worse.

  1. This generally involves housing the cat in its own room with litter, toys, bedding, and food.
  2. When the cat is calm and comfortable, it might then be possible to gradually reintroduce the cat using desensitization Behavior Modification Techniques and counterconditioning Behavior Modification Techniques techniques.

The process of diagnosing and treating behavior problems in cats is complex and requires a face-to-face meeting with a qualified behaviorist ( see Where to Get Help Where to Get Help below). The descriptions in this chapter are intended to help you understand the types of behavior problems in cats, but are not a replacement for seeking professional help in solving a problem. Aggression toward people may be fear induced, related to play, or due to predatory instincts.

  1. Cats that bite during petting may not enjoy physical contact, and some cats bite to keep people from touching them when they are resting, sleeping, or eating.
  2. Aggression may be particularly intense if the cat is approached when it is aroused.
  3. Aggression towards strangers usually involves fear.
  4. Aggression due to lack of early handling is an abnormal, out-of-context threat or attack demonstrated by cats toward people when people approach or attempt to handle the cat.

Early exposure to people is essential for kittens to develop into friendly adults. However, sometimes these problems are hereditary. In such cases the cat may learn to be friendly with its owner, but not other people. Status-related aggression is scratching or biting by cats towards people that try to control the cat’s behavior.

This is another name for what has been called the “leave-me-alone bite.” Unlike similar situations in dogs, this behavior in cats is not associated with resources such as food, toys, or space. Aggression toward other cats in the household may be due to play, predatory behavior, redirected behavior, fear, and perhaps as a status-related behavior in which cats use aggression to retain control of sleeping areas, common areas, or food.

Aggression toward unfamiliar cats can be related to fear or to protection of its perceived territory. Fear aggression occurs in situations that make a cat afraid. Fear causes many types of aggression. Fearful cats may try to avoid the triggering threat but can become aggressive when they cannot escape or learn that acting aggressively can remove the threat.

Animals that learn that aggression “works” to eliminate threats may act aggressively even when they are not threatened. Poor socialization, temperament (inherited from parents), previous punishment, and learning can also lead to fear aggression. Maternal aggression is excessive aggression by a mother cat (“queen”) toward people, other cats, or her kittens.

A small amount of aggression may be normal, especially around the time of weaning. High levels of aggression may harm the kittens. The aggression should resolve after the kittens stop nursing. Pain aggression is a defensive reaction that occurs when a cat is in pain.

It may happen when a cat anticipates being moved or touched. Certain illnesses and diseases can also lead to aggression. This is why veterinarians rule out medical causes of aggression. Redirected aggression occurs when a cat is prevented from reaching its intended target. The attack is then directed at another cat or person.

The aggression is not accidental, and the cat will actively pursue the other cat or person. For example, if a cat sees another cat outside and becomes aroused, it may turn and attack a third cat within the house because it can’t reach the one outside.

Predatory aggression is behavior associated with predation (for example, stalking, pawing, pouncing, chasing, and biting). Play aggression occurs along with play behaviors and may include biting, chasing, and play fighting. With housesoiling, your veterinarian will always first exclude any medical problems, because many conditions can cause cats to urinate or defecate outside the litter box.

Your veterinarian will ask questions about how and where the accidents occur, litter box details (including the number and location of boxes, cleaning routines, and type of litter). Blood and urine tests are also typically necessary to rule out health conditions.

  1. Spraying (also called urine marking) is the elimination of urine through a small stream of urine.
  2. It is done standing up, with the tail raised and quivering.
  3. The urine is directed onto a vertical surface, such as a wall, curtain, or door.
  4. Urine marking is more common in male cats, and neutering can help to reduce or eliminate spraying behaviors in approximately 90% of cats.

Cats may spray as a form of marking or as a sign of anxiety. Cats with inappropriate elimination urinate and/or defecate on horizontal surfaces (such as carpet, rugs, beds, or clothes). Cats that return to the same area or surface may have a substrate or location preference.

Location preference involves consistent elimination in an area outside of the litter box. Substrate preference is consistent elimination on a particular surface or substrate (for example, carpet or tile). Alternatively, cats that do not use their litter for urine, feces, or both may be avoiding the litter itself, the litter box, or its location, also called litter box aversion,

After ruling out a medical problem, your veterinarian will focus on addressing the behavioral issue. Avoidance of the litter box might arise because of aspects of the litter (texture, depth, scent, cleanliness), box (size, shape, hood), or location that reduces appeal; unpleasant experiences at or near the box (eg, insufficient cleaning, noises, pain due to medical problems); or difficulty in gaining access to the box.

Cats may also avoid the litter or box if fearful or when there is conflict between cats in the home. In addition, some cats may actually have a preference for a particular odor, texture, or location. Treatment of feline elimination disorders includes addressing the underlying anxieties and any associated aggressive behaviors, keeping the litter box as clean as possible, and determining what combination of litter, box, number of boxes, and location is preferred by your cat.

If anxiety or marking is part of the problem, medication and behavior modification techniques may also make a big difference in managing the problem. Punishment is not recommended and may even make the problem worse. Your veterinarian can help you to identify the best treatment program.

Other kinds of behavior problems also occur in cats. Hyperesthesia is a syndrome that is not completely understood. Cats with this problem are overly sensitive to being touched, especially along the back. They may howl or become agitated when handled. A cat may groom the area excessively, hiss at or bite its back, cry, dash away, or defecate.

Your veterinarian will first rule out medical causes, especially pain and skin conditions, which can cause similar signs. If a medical condition is not present, a compulsive disorder may be to blame. Compulsive behavior also occurs in cats. These are otherwise normal behaviors that occur out of context or so often that they interfere with normal activity.

  1. The most common types are excessive grooming, and chewing of wool, other fabrics, plastic, rubber, cardboard, or string.
  2. In many cats compulsive behavior results from stress or anxiety.
  3. Chewing wool or other fabrics tends to occur in Siamese and similar breeds and is likely inherited.
  4. Your veterinarian can help you with a behavior modification program and medication in order to manage these types of behavior problems.

Fear can result from insufficient early socialization as a kitten or frightening experiences. It can also be inherited. Cats may fear unfamiliar people, unfamiliar cats, dogs, noises, or places and situations such as car rides, veterinary visits, and unfamiliar environments.

  1. Some cats may also be fearful of familiar people and cats.
  2. Fear can result in threatening behavior (such as growling or hissing), overt aggression (biting or scratching), avoidance, hiding, and possibly spraying.
  3. If possible, it is best to identify what is causing the fear.
  4. Your veterinarian can then create a treatment plan that includes avoidance (if possible), behavior modification techniques, and possibly medications.

Older cats can experience a number of medical conditions that can cause abnormal behaviors. They can also have pathologically abnormal behaviors, which can be more difficult to treat than those seen in younger animals. Older cats may also have cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is similar to Alzheimer disease in people and can cause disorientation, agitation, anxiety, memory loss, housesoiling, and personality changes.

Will my cat forgive me for yelling at her?

Cats, like humans, can hold a grudge

  • “Cats don’t forgive, and once they realize a person is causing them anxiety or hurt, they keep away.”
  • So says John Bradshaw, an anthrozoologist at Bristol University and author of “Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet.”
  • In other words, a cat knows who sprayed him with the water bottle when he was sitting on the stove or kitchen table.
  • Pip, my family’s 1-year-old cat, definitely can hold a grudge.

When Pip was a kitten he would climb in and out of my wheelchair like it was a jungle gym. His antics made me nervous. I worried I would roll over a paw or nip his tail. I had experience to back up my worry. I had nipped Abby, our past cat, several times in the tail over the 17 years she was with us when I hadn’t seen her around a wheel of my chair.

  • It never caused long-term damage.
  • No vet visits were required.
  • After about 30 minutes of avoiding me, a few treats, ear scratches and healthy doses of “I’m sorry, so, so sorry.
  • Are you okay? I know that had to hurt,” we were on speaking terms again.
  • Pip takes it to a whole new level.
  • When I was in our kitchen’s pantry, Pip would jump through my wheelchair’s cross bars and climb into a box that held plastic bags for recycling.

I was paranoid I was going to run him over or nip his tail. I would wish I had a horn that beeped like the type large trucks use to warn other drivers when they back up. One afternoon this past July, I looked to my right then my left before backing out of the pantry.

  1. No Pip. Or at least that’s what I thought.
  2. But he did an end-around that I didn’t see, and my left back wheel clipped the tip of his tail.
  3. Pip screeched and took off.
  4. My husband, Ed, checked Pip’s tail.
  5. It wasn’t swollen and there was no blood.
  6. The little bugger even let Ed stroke his tail.
  7. Ed’s diagnosis: “He’s fine.

You probably scared him more than anything else.” I wasn’t so sure. For two days, he avoided me. He didn’t jump in my lap or sleep next to me. The feline turned up his nose when I offered a treat and refused to play when I got out his favorite toy. If he saw me, he would run away.

I felt terrible. Many researchers have looked at how humans can make amends with their cats. First – and for me this is the hardest – you have to wait for your cat to come to you. Second, Richard Parker at writes, react to your feline in a calm and friendly manner. When Pip did jump back up on my lap, I gently stroked him and offered a few pieces of his kibble.

We played with his favorite wand toy. Pip doesn’t use my wheelchair as his personal jungle gym anymore. He could have grown out of the behavior or he could remember his tail being nipped. It doesn’t matter to me. We’re friends again.

  1. If your cat is angry with you, he may:
  2. 1. Avoid you, hide, or leave the room when you enter
  3. 2. Rapidly swish tail, especially when held low
  4. 3. Hold ears low, flat against the head
  5. 4. Stare with dilated pupils
  6. 5. Puff up the tail, arch back
  7. 6. Growl or hiss
  8. 7. Swipe with paws
  9. SOURCE:

: Cats, like humans, can hold a grudge

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