One of the things you’ll soon discover as a cat’s companion is that these pets can also misbehave. Not just the occasional antics that are common to all animals, but they misbehave at times. There are some of these behaviors that will be considered funny – one of them is a cat constantly meowing to get your attention. However, at other times they can be very annoying. How to make your cat obey? Discipline your cat!
This discipline thing can be a shocking revelation for you. If you did not know before, with some guidelines you can make your cat adjust to the way of behaving that you had in mind. However, there is one thing I want you to keep in mind before moving forward.
‘Discipline’ here is not synonymous with punishment . It is about correcting, with some guidelines, unwanted habits (going up to countertops, chewing talks, improper use of the litter box, meowing at night etc …)
If your little feline has been showing some traits in his behavior that you can’t take anymore, I have a series of tips to get him to change.
Why do cats misbehave?
Most of the time, when a cat misbehaves, it is just expressing its natural instincts as animals. That is why it is not advisable to punish them in these cases, the cat behaves true to its species. The cat has changed little since its origin, the best thing is that we try to help and not try to humanize it, setting rules and restricting its feline personality.
At other times, however, having not received a correct and firm education , they may misbehave us. The game, the time to enter the house, or the moments when you do not let him do what he wants can be the cause of bad vibes between owner and cat.
However, it is not about looking for the culprit. Depending on what makes your cat sick, you will need to approach discipline with great care and patience.
Most common misbehaviors of cats
There are different types of misbehaviors in cats, while some are developed by most cats, others are specific misbehaviors that our cat performs at one point or another in their life. In general, most of these bad behaviors can be:
- Jump countertops, tables, chairs.
- Chewing on electrical wires around the house.
- Scratch all kinds of home furnishings.
- Biting members of the household.
- “Gifts” Has your cat started bringing home small dead animals for you?
- Play after hours: cats sleep more than 14 hours every day. Worst of all, they don’t have a sleep and wake schedule. That means they could wake up and be active during the night, just when you’re about to sleep.
How to discipline your cat
First I will tell you the best methods that work to discipline your cat are based on the principle of cause and effect.
Basically it is that your cat to change his bad behaviors needs to associate with an unpleasant event what he is doing wrong.
With that said, here are some of the things you could do:
1 Use your voice
When your cat is doing something you don’t like, using your voice to stop it might be enough. Keep one word in mind and use it whenever you are engaging in misbehavior.
A simple ‘No’ or ‘Stop’ said out loud and firm will do the trick. The key to making this work is consistency and regularity . When you’ve started using those words as a command, stay firm until the cat begins to associate that word with bad behavior that he should stop doing .
2 Clap your hands
Another thing you can do to stop a cat from misbehaving is clap your hands . Such a loud and sudden noise that comes from the slapping of the hands will be irritating and disturbing to the cat, and in many cases you will make it stop.
Repeat this for a while and in this way, most likely, you will be able to associate what he was doing (which is bad behavior) with the irritating sound of your clapping.
3 Using noisy cans
This is particularly useful for cats that like to climb on tables and other platforms. You can also use it when you want to prevent your cat from sniffing in some places.
Likewise, it works when you want to keep your cat away from house plants.
Get some empty soda cans and place them one on top of the other so that the minimal contact makes them wobble. The first time your cat walks up and makes them wobble, the noise will be enough to scare him away.
Don’t forget to repeat this exercise 2-3 more times until the cat receives the message. Even for the most stubborn cats, you won’t have to do this more than five times.
4 Use deterrents
Some cats dislike citrus fruits, others pepper, with this we have an advantage over the cat.
There are commercially available sprays for these scents that you can buy and use in places where you don’t want to see the cat. If your cat is one of those who likes to chew “things”, you can find some (harmless) sprays that make those “things” also taste bad.
5 Play with the cat
Bored cat, behavior problems for sure. If you don’t play with your cat a lot, it could be the cause of his misbehavior. If your cat likes to run around the house, chase objects, slide down your legs while you walk, etc … someone is not spending enough time to play with their cat.
You can correct this behavior by buying some toys for your cat. Get a scratching cat furniture, a laser pointer, toy mice etc. Anything to kill all that extra energy from your cat.
6 Thinking Room
When your cat does something wrong , give it a break in the “thinking room . ” Establish a place in the home to serve as the “bad cat jail.” It is preferable to use your bathroom. Whenever he does something wrong, immediately pick him up and put him in the bathroom for 20 minutes to half an hour.
7 Use a spray bottle
Nobody likes to be doused with water. Even cats. Get a spray bottle and throw water at the cat every time he’s doing something wrong. The general rule of thumb with this method is that you should never let the cat know that the water is coming from you.
Otherwise, they will associate the sprayed water with you and not with their bad behavior. He could also get scared if he discovers that you are the one who throws the water.
8 Reward good behavior
It may sound like fun, but one of the ways to discipline a cat is to reward them for doing something right . The reasoning behind this is that the cat will associate good behavior with receiving a reward and recognition.
Since he wants more treats, he begins to behave better. I don’t think a cat busy doing good has so much time to do evil, do you?
Additional tips if discipline with your cat doesn’t work
9 Visit to the vet
As absurd as it may sound, the “discipline” your cat needs could be as simple as visiting the vet.
When you’re at the vet, have the cat get a full medical check-up. That will eliminate the possibility that there are some underlying medical conditions that are making your cat aggressive and a carrier of problems.
Most of the time, cats can have undetected wounds, imbalances in their hormones, anguish, intestinal worms, flukes and tapeworms (mites, fleas, worms, etc …) and psychological disorders, which cause behavioral problems.
10 Look at the cat’s diet / medication
What if your cat has a feeding problem? Have you recently changed your cat’s diet plan?
Have you changed the brand of dry food, for another with other ingredients?
Maybe you’re giving him some medication and all of a sudden he starts showing some strange traits. For example, has he just been neutered?
For the latter, talk to your vet and ask about the possible side effects of the drug.
If it’s food, try switching to the brand / ingredients you see that you feel comfortable with and see if the problem goes away. Similarly, you could be extremely dehydrated and later become ill.
What not to do when correcting your cat
Since there is a list of advisable things to do, there are also a number of things you should never do when disciplining your cat:
1 Never, never, use physical punishment
Physically punishing your cat and hurting him will not solve any problems. In fact, you would be creating one for yourself, as the cat will no longer trust yourself to be safe around you.
2 Quickly stop associating discipline with unwanted behavior
If you discipline your cat for his behavior (time-out, spraying, etc.), it has to be after he does something wrong . Unlike humans, don’t wait for your cat to know that he is being reprimanded for “something” he did wrong.
Humans can be told that what they are doing is wrong, and that punishments can be imposed on that basis. Cats can only be corrected through associations.
I mportant, you must maintain consistency in discipline . If you see your cat chewing on some ropes and yell a firm “NO”, and then let him play with the wires tomorrow, you will have accomplished nothing.
In that case, you will have confused your cat even more.
There is no single way to correct bad behavior in cats. However, you should know that knowing the root, the type of problem and with a lot of patience, is the only thing you need to obtain good results. Therefore, it is possible to discipline your cat , however, you must work in the most effective way depending on his behavioral flaws .
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