Well, we've had this KatKwiz discussion on behavior before, but we can never go over it enough. Animal conduct is very important; if you have a pet that doesn’t behave properly, your enjoyment of that animal is limited, and the likelihood of you keeping that pet is reduced. Even if you do not adopt the pet out, or find them a new home, your bond wont be as strong as it could be.
I think in all honestly, I have never squirted a cat with a bottle of water or sprayer to warn or teach them a lesson; however, my cats have been shot with a water gun by my children in play. Too bad the cats didnt find it funny! They definitely do not like to get wet!
I have tried making loud noises to scare the cat from doing something, for example when scratching the couch, we'll let out a loud, "hey" or "pssst" and the cat usually stops. I have even tried shaking a can full of coins of screws to get their attention or startle them, but it is never convenient enough. Although someone mentioned clapping - that sure is "handy" enough! After reading the article before, I dont really think negative reinforcement is the best, but when you are talking about a cat... they dont really respond to the high pitched "good boys" like a dog would. I think the most effective method for disciplining the cats is "psst" or clapping. The loud noises definitely gets their attention and distracts them from whatever it is they were doing.
One things for sure, no matter what method we use, they do seem to do whatever they dang well please already! We are constantly shoeing them off the table. I have tried putting down double stick tape, but it doesnt deter them for long. Probably because I cant keep the tape down forever. It's just as easy to pick them up and put them down. When my boys were younger and in cribs, we put balloons covered by a sheet to teach the cats to stay out. No matter the method, cats really are stubborn creatures! I dont think there was ever anything I did to a cat to regret... I would never hit a cat, just as I dont agree spanking is the best form of punishment for children. I think that is just asking for trouble down the road later.
I have a foster/orphan kitten at the moment that I literally let walk all over me; I think she thinks I am her mother, she comes up to me on occasion and tries to suck on my lips, ears or hair and I have thought it was cute, that is til this morning when she bit me and put a bleeding hole in my lip! I still love her Forgiveness is easy when you weigh less than a can of soda! But I still dont regret spoiling her - she is too darn cute... only it will make it harder on me when it comes time to say goodbye. Her worst habit is getting in my face, especially when I am sleeping. I will blow on her. She hates it. But it doesnt stop her from coming back. That's the most convenient thing i have when I am in bed though, that and throwing her on the floor.
If there was one single bad habit that I would like to break the cats of - getting on the table or counter tops. Nothing they do really makes me angry-angry, but I do not like to see them crawling around and walking where we eat. Especially when you think about them walking around in their kitty litter boxes before that. Ugh.
The cats rarely claw enough to cause me grief, though I've caught them scratching at the furniture a few times, they usually stop when I call after them. Even though they have their own scratching posts, they seem to like my couch and one of my chairs. Thankfully they havent damaged it, but like I said, they rarely claw at it. They love to tear up boxes though. Roly will scratch a box to pieces if we leave one laying around. He also likes to scratch at the back door, and it's always at the same spot. I think he likes to stretch there. But again, he hasnt damaged the door, and he doesnt do it often enough to cause any grief, and he always stops when I catch him. I dont know if he does it when were not home, but since there is no evidence left behind, I imagine he's not hurting anything.
I cant think of any other behavior that they really need corrected for... I only have one male and he is neutered and luckily doesnt spray. So it definitely would have to be the counters and tables. Or maybe trying to deter them from escaping outside in the summer. I really want to add a cat fence/topper to my existing fence so that I dont have to worry about that. Especially since they seem to want out so badly sometimes. If only I didnt have to worry about them getting hurt. I've also looked into cat enclosures, but I dont know if I have the room outside for something of that nature.
Thank you for the points again Lee. I dont know what we are going to do once the KatKwery is over! I think whoever wins the TheCatSite Superbowl will have to host the next TCS contest!!!