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Should I feel guilty??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I was browsing the articles on The Cat Site, and I ran across this one:

http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/4...-Dont-Mix.html

It said that disciplinary measures such as spray bottles are a bad idea. But I think squirting my kitty when he grabs my legs and scratches them has reduced this behavior in him. And I can't think of another way I could reduce the behavior, other than perhaps playing with him more vigorously, since I think the leg-grabbing is just his way of "playing" with me. So should I keep up the squirt bottle, or just put up with having scarred legs??
post #2 of 15
STOP playing so vigorously, you're aggravating the problem, stimulating more of it and training your cat to be 'wild'. I mean if you're both happy that way, it's your business, but I sure wouldn't be. It's one thing to overdo it occasionally, but why get so intense?
post #3 of 15
I usually just have to pick up the water bottle and shake it to get mine to stop whatever they are doing. If they bite or scratch I will hiss at them and place my hand gently on top of their heads, covering it, or scruff them, not lifting them, of course, but like a momma cat does with naughty kittens. This seems to work well for me, and other than shaking the water bottle, I don't need to do the other stuff much. Even scruffing them is gentle, I would never hurt any of my babies.
post #4 of 15
When playing you should always be using a toy or rope, NOT your hands.

When he grabs your leg, you stop moving and say no, and then gently push his head between his eyebrows.
when he moves away, due to your gentle push, tell him he is a good boy.

It will take a while,but if you are consistant, and gentle, you will teach him the same. Always praise him when he is playing the correct way.

When my cats are too rough with each other, I hiss at Them/
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
STOP playing so vigorously, you're aggravating the problem, stimulating more of it and training your cat to be 'wild'. I mean if you're both happy that way, it's your business, but I sure wouldn't be. It's one thing to overdo it occasionally, but why get so intense?
I just play with him with a mouse-on-a-string toy, I'm not wild or anything. I've seen it recommended to play with toys like this with the cat to keep him from directing his aggression at the human - instead, he directs it at the toy.
post #6 of 15
Yes, but you have to make sure that you aren't setting him up for "if I grab mom around the legs and make her shriek, she gets out my toys and plays with me" . My worst one about that (a foster bottle baby- but she liked arms) got put in the bathroom by herself for a bit when she did that to us and wouldn't quit.

I used the the hissing (and growling), the head push (with Smoochie though, it's the head "palming", lol- she's kinda stubborn ) and yes, the waterbottle with our cats who needed it (the "I can grab your dinner off the table while you are up getting more napkins- you can't reach me" little snots, haha). If you are using it on him that close (at your feet) a good misting (as opposed to a squirt that could get in his ears/eyes) should work. I haven't sprayed my cats in eons, but they still know...
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsallover View Post
I haven't sprayed my cats in eons, but they still know...
same here - if necessary, i shake the bottle & the behavior stops. when i did/do use it, i aim at their tushies - & i've got good aim!
for up close & personal discipline, i hiss or scruff. for biting, sometimes i tap the offenders nose & say 'no' in a firm voice.
don't have any biters ['cept for my love nipper, Chip ] & Firefox is the only one who still hisses/growls at me - but only when i'm clipping her claws!
post #8 of 15
I'm not sure your question was really answered so far. Definitely don't allow the scarring of the legs to continue.

We used the squirt bottom and were just careful not to hit Jack in his ears as it can cause infections. He too got to the point where just by picking up the bottom stopped his behavior. So I don't think there is anything wrong with this method, especially if it seems to working for you. With anything consistency is key.

I will add that our world has changed drastically with the 2nd cat. Jack bit me this morning for the first time in 4 weeks. And it was my chin in bed this morning because he was hungry!

Leslie
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
same here - if necessary, i shake the bottle & the behavior stops. when i did/do use it, i aim at their tushies - & i've got good aim!
for up close & personal discipline, i hiss or scruff. for biting, sometimes i tap the offenders nose & say 'no' in a firm voice.
don't have any biters ['cept for my love nipper, Chip ] & Firefox is the only one who still hisses/growls at me - but only when i'm clipping her claws!
I tried scruffing Murray, but that only made him more aggressive. The water bottle has worked well. The only downside is having to remember to carry it with me everywhere, which is a big pain! I haven't tried hissing - maybe I'll do that next time he tries his mischief.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrrplej View Post
I tried scruffing Murray, but that only made him more aggressive. The water bottle has worked well. The only downside is having to remember to carry it with me everywhere, which is a big pain! I haven't tried hissing - maybe I'll do that next time he tries his mischief.
i have one in each room...
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i have one in each room...
That's a good idea! I might have to invest in a couple more bottles. Thanks!
post #12 of 15
The first time I hissed my cats stopped dead in their tracks. They get the hiss and what it means.
post #13 of 15
Put a few stones or coins in a coffee can and shake it whenever you see inappropriate behavior. I've read (on this site) that it works.

Hissing works for me though.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrrplej View Post
I was browsing the articles on The Cat Site, and I ran across this one:

http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/4...-Dont-Mix.html

It said that disciplinary measures such as spray bottles are a bad idea. But I think squirting my kitty when he grabs my legs and scratches them has reduced this behavior in him. And I can't think of another way I could reduce the behavior, other than perhaps playing with him more vigorously, since I think the leg-grabbing is just his way of "playing" with me. So should I keep up the squirt bottle, or just put up with having scarred legs??
The problem I have with this article is that it doesn't offer any alternative options for positive discipline and reinforcement. I do have spray bottles that we occasionally use on the kitties, but they are misting, not a stream of water that could get in their ears. Also, we only use it when they are trying to get into my plants or chewing on wires. I want them to be scared of doing these things, as they can be very dangerous for my babies! My husband uses it more than I do, though...I prefer to scruff the kitties or hiss at them when they are being naughty. They are learning what "no" means, too, just from my tone of voice and the scruffing method.

I do think the article had a valid point about cats being afraid of water, though, since I do want to bathe my cats regularly. I may have to rethink the spray for that reason. If your cat is being aggresive toward you in play, I think you are supposed stop playing and remove yourself from the cat's sight. This is supposed to help them connect the idea that rough play is not really fun because you quit playing.
post #15 of 15
I keep a squirt bottle too. Mostly it's to keep the cats off the counters because one is so food oriented I live in fear that he'll jump onto a hot burner on my stove, so I reserve the squirts for the very serious discipline where failure to mind me could mean that a cat gets hurt. Like so many of the others I find hissing or a loud "Pssssst" typically does the trick.
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