Having a cat around has several benefits, most of which we already know. However, your furry friend can become quite festy at times… you could start doubting his usefulness in your life. In most cases, this occurs when your cat is indisciplined and needs reprimanding.
While disciplining your cat could be necessary, you might not know how to go about it, making it hard and sometimes even frustrating. In other words, it can indeed be hard and quite involving, but it doesn’t have to. The task becomes easy and less daunting if you are well informed. If you feel that your cat needs some correction action, here are some dos and don’ts you should have in mind when disciplining them.
1. Reward Good Behavior
Like you, cats don’t learn from punishment alone. She can also learn that certain behavior is right if she is rewarded for positive action. Whenever she does something positive, rewarding her with treats will help foster discipline, as she creates a connection between the reward and good behavior. This is commonly used by pet parents when training their cats to use the litter box. This will help stop cat litter from going everywhere in the house, alongside investing in the appropriate quality litter box. As far as managing cat litter is concerned, other measures you can take as your discipline your cat include:
- Get a decent vacuum cleaner
- Invest in a litter mat
- Try a cardboard box
- Ensure toilet-training for your cat
2. Consider Your Cat’s Health
Before punishing your cat for some bad behavior, you need first to take the time to consider why she might behave that way. For kittens, they might still be learning, but when you notice a change in behavior in older cats, you need to consider that it could be symptomatic of a change in their health. You wouldn’t want to punish your cat for something she has little control over. Whenever you notice a deviation from normal behavior, contacting your vet can be helpful.
3. Make Changes to the Environment
If your cat is clawing on your couch or jumping on the tables, there are some adjustments you can make to change this behavior. For example, a cookie sheet placed at the edge of your couch will crash to the ground when the cat tries to jump on the table. With time, she won’t be doing that anymore. Multiple cat-safe methods on the internet will help change your cat’s behavior if you care to look.
1. Don’t Compare the Cat to Your Other Pets
In most homes, you will find that they have both a cat and a dog. If you have already trained your dog and are thinking of using the same tricks on your cat, then you need to think again. These pets are very different, so what might work on your dog won’t work on your cat. For instance, you can’t expect to tell your cat to sit and expect them to do so just because you do it with your dog. You could easily get frustrated. With that in mind, you need to take a more informed approach towards training or disciplining your cat.
2. Don’t Physically Discipline Your Cat
It’s no secret that training a pet can be very frustrating. However, regardless of how hard it gets, you should never attempt hurting your cat during training. You should never hit, shake, or hold down your cat. While dogs can easily associate physical punishment with bad behavior, cats won’t. They are intolerant of these forms of punishment. Physically dominating your cat will do no good but rather break your bond and make the situation even worse.
3. Don’t Yell to Make a Point
You know that you don’t speak the same language as your cat, right? Therefore, regardless of what she does, raising your voice won’t make her understand, and you can tell from how she reacts if you have some feline language understanding. Of course, she will associate the increased tone of your voice with a change in your mood, but don’t expect her to understand exactly what you mean. More often than not, your raised voice will scare her away and might even call for more negative behaviors.
4. Stop Unwanted Play
You might think that your little kitten doesn’t know better when biting your finger or scratching you. Well, she might not know whether it’s wrong or not. Your reaction to the play is what will tell her whether it’s right or not. Right from the moment she comes to your house, you need to let her know which plays are acceptable and the book. Even she scratches or bites you innocently, you need to let her know that that isn’t right by withdrawing. This is specifically if you have children. If you let her think it is okay to nibble on your finger, she might do the same with your kids.
Disciplining your cat isn’t that hard. However, it can be if you don’t know what you need to do and what not to do. Take the advice above, and you might as well start noticing a change in your cat’s behavior.