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punishing a cat...?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was just curious if there is any constructive way to punish a cat?

I know that if you catch him doing something, you can stop him and blow in his face etc. Then they usually learn it's wrong.

But what about the things you don't catch him do? Is there anything that can be done about it? For instance, a few times Zero has gotten on the counter and shredded the paper towels. With a dog you might be able to yell and rub their nose in it or something, but I don't think that would work at all with a cat.

So if I don't catch him doing it, am I just out of luck? Does he have to be caught red handed?

BTW, he's usually really good about not being on the counters etc when we're home, but you can tell he's definately on them when we're not...

I'm not mad at him. Worst thing he's done is the paper towels, and it was pretty funny (the first time at least). Luckily he just has an affinity for paper and paper products. He's good otherwise...
post #2 of 12
Discipline and cats do not go well together. They are not like dogs- and by the way, rubbing a dog's nose is something that happened awhile back, is a lose lose situation as well, they have pretty short memories about that stuff.

The best way I have found to reprogram my cat's behavior, is if they are in a unacceptable behavior, I take them and gently lay them on their back, scruff their neck (gently) hold them for 3 seconds, no more no less than release. They know that I am alpha then, and I am dominant as showing their stomachs is in their language a sign of submission.

All kitties shred paper towels, it's fun, and not something I would ever discipline for. My cats get corrected if they fight, jump on top of the entertainment center (where we have our alaskan artifacts) or jump on the kitchen counter. I only have one that does this.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I don't really mind it. I'm more searching for knowledge than searching for a way to get back at Zero. I think if you said it was ok to punish him, I probably still wouldn't be able to do it!
post #4 of 12
You are just a bundle of questions arent you

When Saki started jumping on the counter I would walk toward him and in a very loud voice say 'SAKI!! GET DOWN!'. For a long time I didnt think it was working, but when he jumped up on the counter the other night and I raised my voice at him to get down and started walking toward him, he RAN so fast away! I was like omg its working!!
post #5 of 12
If they do things when you are not around, add the silent watchmen - double sided sticky tape on the counters, balloons on top of the fridge - things that will scare them when they hit on it tells them that it is wrong.

Punishment never works. I'm a firm believer in positive behavior reinforcement - teach them what is right to do rather than punish them when they do something wrong. Cat's cannot read your mind and saying "no" over and over again doesn't tell them when they did the right things.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Sicycat
You are just a bundle of questions arent you
Well I unfortunately got stuck at school with almost five freakin hours of spare time... argh! Half an hour until I have to go to something here, and then I am finally out!
post #7 of 12
It's been my experience that punishment is unproductive - it only teaches the cats to perform the unwanted behaviors when you're not around, and worse, it can damage your cat's trust in you. Same with dogs to a certain degree, too.

Try to see your house from your cat's point of view, and remove temptations - I keep the paper towels on a rack on the inside of a cupboard door. The suggestions of passive discipline, like sticky tape & other similar remedies, can be helpful. I put a big shallow pan of water on the counter to cure my countertop jumpers.

Another thing you might try is diversion - I bought a giant furry rat for my cat that likes to attack the paper towel rolls. Big, rabbit-kickable catnip-stuffed pillows can be good too. Any time I see him express interest in something he shouldn't, I distract him with a loud noise (don't let him see that it comes from you) like a pot clanging, then try to interest him in the toy. The amount of noise needed to distract varies from cat to cat - try a moderate noise first to avoid frightening your cat - you just want to distract him. Pay attention to the types of things that seem to attract him, then try to find a toy that has similar characteristics, to keep him entertained.

post #8 of 12
try using a spray bottle
post #9 of 12
Please if you use a spray bottle, use it away from the cat and not at it. Trick the cat into thinking prey is in the corner and squirt the water in that direction, or on a potted plant, but please don't squirt your cat.
post #10 of 12
I would put the sticky tape around, as well as try to put some plastic bags that crinkle on the counter. or you can find another spot for your paper towels.
post #11 of 12
Mine always know when they have been bad, they just don't care. I show them the empty toilet paper roll, and they just look at me like "what?"
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

You mean like this?
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