Cat Discipline
The Kind Way To Stop Naughty Cat Behavior

Cat discipline; is there such a thing? Well yes there is, but it's not what you may traditionally think of as a punishment.

We discovered the secret to cat discipline, the kind and most effective way, the cats' way.

But before you can solve your problem you need to understand the reason for the behaviour. Then you will be better able to see things from your cats point of view and stop the unwanted behaviour.

Why Do Cats Behave Badly

Many cat behaviour problems result when the animal cannot express its natural instincts properly, for instance:

  • Climbing
  • Chasing things
  • Play
  • Sharpening Claws
  • Or is simply not getting enough exercise and has a lot of excess energy to use up!

A bored cat can be a disruptive pet.

So the first thing to ensure is that your feline friend has lots of ways to explore, jump, play and scratch safely. This may be all that is needed to stop unwanted behaviours.

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 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!

Custom Cat Furniture

It is important that as pet owners we realise that so called bad behaviour in our eyes is not in our cats world. So we need to change how we react to your pets behaviour, keep reading to find out how.

What Not To Do.

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:

  • Being shouted at
  • Being hit
  • Being sent to our rooms
  • Being grounded
  • Something taken away from us

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.

So never hit or hurt your cat in any way. It will not stop the behavior and will only cause your cat pain and fear. PLEASE DON'T DO IT.


Please do not pick your adult cat up my the scruff of the neck. It is now considered cruel to do so as it is painful for an adult cat.

This is what cats do respond to:

Positive Experience

Negative Experience

  • Being fed
  • Being played with
  • Being talked to
  • Being noticed
  • Petted
  • No treats
  • No games
  • Silence; not being spoken to
  • being ignored

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!

Using Negative and Positive Rewards As Cat Discipline

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.

  • Make a fuss of them
  • Give them a treat (not too often though; you don't want a fat kitty)
  • Play with them and provide them with lots of things to do

Always give a non-reward to bad behaviour i.e.

  • Don't make a noise or talk to them (if you do they will see this as positive and not negative)
  • Walk away from them
  • Ignore them

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.

Repetition - The Only Solution

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.

Examples of Bad Cat Behavior

What is bad cat behavior? Well there are of course degrees of bad behavior, from the low level issues such as:

Some may see these behaviors as being naughty whilst others may see as cute or funny. 

More Serious Negative Behaviors

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:

  • Don't yell out (difficult I know, but a must, as yelling is a positive reaction)
  • Walk away from them immediately. If they follow keep walking away.
  • Don't look at them.
  • Never play with your hands - use a stick & string, or wand type of toy instead

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. 

Urinating in the house - This is not very nice at all and can be very distressing for both you and the cat. After all cats are clean animals and do not like to live in dirty surroundings.

I have covered this subject in more detail here. Find out why this happens and how you can stop this behavior.

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:

  • When they bring you a dead animal - make a hissing noise at your cat and spray a little water at them. This is giving them a negative reaction.

To associate the opposite behaviour with a positive reaction, when they come home without bringing you a squidgy mess:

  • Give them lots of fuss and attention as soon as they come in.
  • Give them a little food or play a game with them.

Our Story

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 that's 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 how to think like a cat.

We solved the problem by playing a vigorous game with her about 20 minutes before our bedtime and then just before we went to bed we gave her a small night time meal. This settled her down for the night. We repeated this every night and a good nights sleep was once again something we could look forward to.

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