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I feel like I'm constantly yelling at my kitties. :-(

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's about things that I have to "yell" at them for, for instance Henry likes to scratch the carpet and lately Jack seems to have decided my body is a good place to play-bite, but I just feel like I'm saying "NO!" all the time. Poor little guys. I have a cat condo/tree on the way so hopefully that'll help, and I'm sure part of it is just their age, but I feel bad that I'm always on their cases!

Does saying no forcefully work better, or should I just stop yelling and say it in a normal voice?
post #2 of 23
I wouldn't yell.

They have a horse hair matt in their room where they pull their claws on, but what i do if i catch Rosie clawing at the carpet is to just walk over to her and say "No Rosie" in a normal voice and distract her with a toy or something.

Are they kittens?
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes they're about three months old.

I'll try to be nicer and just say no rather than yelling.

Henry likes the scratching post downstairs but I've never seen him use the cardboard one upstairs, even though I put him on it every time I catch him scratching, and try to show him what to do. Hopefully when the tree gets here that problem will be taken care of.
post #4 of 23
My two have a scratching post but they won't use it but they prefer the foot mat which is why i bought them their own for their room.

What i also do is to spray it now and again with catnip!.
post #5 of 23
They are kittens and are doing what kittens do. Yelling is not advisable for kittens or cats either. Give them good interactive playtime with a good toy like Da Bird, and just let them be kitties without being on their case all the time. Where the carpet is being scratched, get a computer floor mat and put it on the carpet with the prongs pointing up-
post #6 of 23
Cats are more sensitive to sound than humans. Yelling can not only frighten them, it can hurt. They do need to learn what you're displeased with, though. Eventually they will pick up on a stern tone of voice and learn what "no" means.
post #7 of 23
I find a water sprayer very useful for training Dax. I dont use it all the time, but when she does things that are a real no-no, like getting up on the eating table, she gets a quick squirt on the rump. She hardly ever does stuff like that now.
It really works if you do it properly - Dax doesnt hold any grudges because of it, she seems to know that she has been naughty. Dax even seems to be more attached to me than my partner.
post #8 of 23
I agree, a squirt bottle has worked really well with my two. I really dont even have to squirt it anymore, they hear the water shaking in it and they take off. If they are doing something you prefer them not to, squirt them and just tell them no sternly. It will take a few times, but they will get it.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Where the carpet is being scratched, get a computer floor mat and put it on the carpet with the prongs pointing up-
Do they make those big enough to cover the entire upstairs of my house?

I do try to pick my battles...I don't really get on them for being on the tables until the day comes that they decide to go for the kitchen counters--that I will definitely try to discourage! I haven't tried the water bottle since a lot of people here seem to be against it. Really they've been great, (they haven't broken or destroyed anything yet, at least!), I just feel like I keep saying no over and over for the same things and they just don't get it. But I love them anyway.

Hmm, wonder if I can grab Henry's paw and do some nail clipping while he's asleep. But I think he can read my thoughts because as soon as I move to do it he's awake again.
post #10 of 23
If you use the spray bottle do not spray the cat- spray away from the cat in a diversionary tactic so he thinks there is something interesting in the corner and he will go and investigate. I still maintain that spraying a cat with water is mean- and can sometimes cause problems if water gets into the inner ear-
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Is there a link for this Da Bird toy I keep seeing being mentioned? I'm guessing it's similar to a couple toys I have but not sure.
post #12 of 23
post #13 of 23
Get a spray bottle with water in it and when they do something they are not supposed to you squirt them. It's worked really well for us and we have no problems now.
post #14 of 23
I disagree about spraying with water being mean. I only ever do it when she is doing something naughty, I never aim at the face, and I always give her a warning *growl* with my tone of voice first. - I dont see how it is any more mean than a mother or dominant companion cat giving a swat on the nose. Of course we should never hit our cats or yell at them - we are much larger and very different creatures. I have found a sprayer great for teaching - Dax does not seems to suffer any ill effects from it and she is a well behaved and affectionate cat.
post #15 of 23
I got a kitten in january and felt exactly the same - always saying "No" and losing my temper when he didn't behave. I tried the spray bottle, and that just turned into a toy (watering the garden has now become a nightmare if he is loose!). I stopped shouting and tried to be calm about it as after all, kittens will do things they aren't supose to. A few months on, and he is rarely naughty although he will jump on the table, stratch etc., but he is getting better
post #16 of 23
I think you've received some good tips here. Just also accept that you will be doing some reprimanding for awhile during the times they are still growing. Then one day you will start noticing that they are behaving better and better.

The funny thing I have found with my cats is that "No" doesn't work as well as "What do you think you're doing?" Must be the tone of my voice.
post #17 of 23
some B-complex caps or tabs (for you), might help. I take loads of them.
post #18 of 23
One thing you could do is get a spray bottle, and spray them when they do the things that are wrong (using the stream spray, not the misting). The stern no will do good, but only for a while. I would recommend the spray bottle. Hope this helps!
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig
I think you've received some good tips here. Just also accept that you will be doing some reprimanding for awhile during the times they are still growing. Then one day you will start noticing that they are behaving better and better.

The funny thing I have found with my cats is that "No" doesn't work as well as "What do you think you're doing?" Must be the tone of my voice.
LOL, yes, I say "What do you think you're doing?" often too, as well as "I don't think so" although the latter is usually said with humor so probably has no effect.

My least favorite sport these days is collecting the kids from the closet before I go to work in the morning. I swear they can hear that sliding door open from a mile away. Poor Jack almost got locked in there the other day. I thought I had seen him after I closed it and it took me forever to find him before I left (I always make sure I have two visible kitties before I leave so they don't get locked in somewhere!)
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catguy
some B-complex caps or tabs (for you), might help. I take loads of them.
For sanity?

Or for energy, like my bottle says? I have some, just don't remember to take them!
post #21 of 23
I realize there are a lot of people on these Forums who don't mind using a spray bottle, but as does Hissy, I find it to be mean-spirited. Using redirection takes less time for your cat to get used to than does the sprayer and is less likely to cause fear, intimidation and possibly health issues in your cat. When your cat is behaving inappropriately, use a toy (I like those little fur mousies a lot. I can hurl one across the room and my cats stop whatever they are doing and chase it down to fetch it back to me so I can throw it again ... and again ... and again LOL) to divert kitty's attention away from the inappropriate behavior. This has worked very, very well for me and believe me, when there is a litter of 5 or more running up and down my legs all day, I had to find something that worked well and quickly!

Best of luck,

~gf~
post #22 of 23
Diverting attentions is my advice too, or blow them softly in the face. Spraying with water may be effective, but not recommendable. Just think - if you will have to bathe or shower the kitten, you do not want it to run away from water, do you?

Anyway, kittens do what kittens always do, that is part of their charm. Diverting them when they do something "wrong" will work in the long run. Hold their front paws gently and say "No, we do not want to do that, do we?" and carry them over to the proper scratching post. But never pet them on the way! They might think they are rewarded for scratching on your carpet or furniture.

Other things like climbing the curtains etc will stop when they get heavier and older. In the meantime, just enjoy you kittens!
post #23 of 23
Some people think that cats cannot be trained - I think they can! After all, most soon learn the word 'teatime' don't they? So they can also learn words like 'get down' or 'stop that' - it just takes time, lots of time! For instance, if you don't want them on the table while you're eating: every time they get on the table, you pick them up gently, say 'get down' clearly but calmly, put the cat on the floor, then carry on eating. Do this as many times as necessary until you have finished. Don't forget the incentive rewards either - if they keep off the table, save them a tiny scrap of something good from your plate. The same method works for horses, dogs and children (in my opinion) - it's just requests, repetition & rewards. But it does take longer with cats...


Sue
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