Cat discipline; is there such a thing? Well yes there is, but it's not what you may traditionally think of as a punishment.
I know what it's like when confronted by what we as humans consider bad cat behaviour.
With our old kitty Little Mo, our main problem was that she thought that night time was the best time to run madly around the house and wake us up to play with her.
She also liked her night time snack and would meow at us at the top of her voice until one of us got up.
At first we did all the usual human responses to this behaviour. We told her to be quiet, we shut her in a separate room, we even used to try squirting a little water at her ( I hated that and to be honest with you just makes a cat become afraid of you and thats not good).
All to no avail, she continued to meow and meow until we got up and gave her what she wanted.
Of course this meant that we were forever tired and a good nights sleep was a thing of the past. That is until:
We discovered the secret to cat discipline, the kind and most effective way, the cats' way.
Many cat behaviour problems result when the animal cannot express its natural instincts properly, or that it is not getting enough exercise and has a lot of excess energy to use up!
As well as changing how you react to your pet as we discuss below, it is also important to ensure that your feline friend has lots of ways to explore, jump, play and scratch safely.
Things like indoor cat trees, scratching posts, climbing towers and other kitty furniture are a great way to provide an ideal environment for your pet.
Take a look at the variety available at CatsPlay.com Cat Furniture and see which ones your feline companion would love to explore. With its natural instincts catered for, it will feel less inclined to fuss at you or play up in other annoying ways!
To understand how cat discipline works, we also have to stop thinking like a human and start thinking like a feline!
In the human world, a punishment is:
All of which means nothing to cats and can in fact be very detrimental to your relationship with them. The last thing you want to do is to frighten them and make them fearful of you. In some cases they may even decide that they no longer wants to live with you and will run away.
This is what cats respond to
The only real way that cat discipline works in the long term is by not using those positive rewards when they behave badly.
We must also realise that cats can see what we perceive as a negative response as a positive one. For instance, being shouted at means that you are paying them attention. In their world this is a good thing; after all they don't know what the words mean and you are interacting with them.
So the shouting is seen as a good thing to happen and therefore reinforces the behaviour; well that's how they will get that reaction from you again, isn't it!
What I found the hardest thing to remember (and to carry out) was that we must always react exactly the same way every time a certain bad behaviour occurs.
It's no good ignoring a cats meow one night, when the next night we get up and feed them. All this will do is confuse them and make it even harder to stop the behaviour
in the future.
So the best form of cat discipline is .....Always reward good behaviour i.e.
Always give a non-reward to bad behaviour i.e.
This way they will start to associate each particular behaviour with either a negative or positive reward and they will always want the positive, which means they will eventually avoid the behaviours which gives them the negative response.
What is bad cat behavior? Well there are of course degrees of bad behavior, from the low level issues such as, clawing the toilet roll or sitting on clean laundry that some may see as being naughty whilst others may see as cute or funny.
To more serious negative behaviors such as:
Biting - If your cat decides that it is a good game to bite you (not much fun for you).
The cat discipline which works best to stop this behavior is:
To associate a positive reaction to a good non-biting game then every time you play with them and they don't bite, give them a little treat. Eventually the cat will soon realise which game is more fun and stop the biting.
Dead animal gifts - Your cute kitty thinks it's good to bring dead animals home to you, but naturally, you don't. Because this is a feline instinct, the best way to cure the problem is by using their own language.
To try and stop this behavior:
To associate the opposite behaviour with a positive reaction, when they come home without bringing you a squidgy mess:
Because cats learn through repeated experiences, this is the best way to, correct certain cat behaviours, through positive and negative experiences.
After all, this is how their mother would have taught them by subjecting them to experiences over and over again until they learnt the behaviour (as in hunting etc).
I know it can be hard sometimes but stick with it guys, cat discipline can be achieved.