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Question about squirting a kitten with water

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I had alot of people tell me yelling at a kitten or squirting with water is absolutely wrong and some how... I instinctively agreed but I read this in yahoo and I'm concerned if I was wrong and if they're right..?

BTW: my little Kitten has no mis-behavior issues thus far.. I was just readin' articles to get more information about the feline species and came across this


TAKEN FROM YAHOO.COM... exact link is http://pets.yahoo.com/pets/cats/bt/e...perfect_kitten

"7. Set ground rules for your kitten’s behavior and be consistent in working with your kitten to enforce these rules. Once you have decided on a name for your kitten, enlist the cooperation of family members by calling the kitten only by that name.

Some misbehavior results from a kitten’s desire to play. Provide diversions such as toys made for kittens (look for this information on the product label), a scratching post, box, a crumpled piece of paper or a golf ball. Avoid rough play with your kitten which encourages scratching and/or biting. Pinpricks from tiny teeth and claws can become bites and scratches as a kitten matures.

Kittens are sensitive to the tone of voice. When you see your kitten being naughty, a firm “no†usually stops the misdeed. If your kitten develops a bad habit and you catch your kitten in the act, a squirt from a toy pistol or spray bottle is usually an effective deterrent."
post #2 of 19
I personally think it is a mean trick to do when there are other options. But that is a personal choice of mine to not use this method. Kittens do not misbehave- we say they are misbehaving because they don't act like "we" want them to. They act purely on instinct and what looks like misbehavior to us, is actually just kitten play, kitten exploring, kitten preying. If you have to use a water pistol, if you can't figure out another way- don't squirt the cat or kitten, just squirt the water in the corner on something that moves like a potted plant to redirect the kitten's attention.
post #3 of 19
I agree with not using a water bottle or water pistol. Many years ago, before I knew better, I used this on my cat Milo when he was a kitten. Even now, if I pick up anything that even remotely looks like the water bottle did (bottled water, drink flask etc.) he runs.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, I absolutely agree with you... Though it might be really effective, it's truly inhumane. It's exactly like child abuse, but this time you're not using your hand or foot .. you're using water that's exerting enough force to actually harm the animal. So i'm against it, i'm just scared that now I might be getting information from yahoo that might be wrong.. IN MY EYES ofcourse..

Thanks
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru87
Well, I absolutely agree with you... Though it might be really effective, it's truly inhumane. It's exactly like child abuse, but this time you're not using your hand or foot .. you're using water that's exerting enough force to actually harm the animal. So i'm against it, i'm just scared that now I might be getting information from yahoo that might be wrong.. IN MY EYES ofcourse..

Thanks
I wouldn't go to that extreme. It is not abuse- certainly not the abuse I have seen that people do to cats, trying to drown them in a lake, crucifying them, running them over intentionally. It is just a mean thing to do IMO. There is no force to it at all unless you are using a super soaker or a power washer- it is a scare tactic, and honestly some cats could care less if you squirt them.

About misinformation- it is all over the internet. It is up to the person reading the information to determine on their own if it is logical, or practical, or safe. Many people jump in to help others thinking they know best, or that their way is the only way, but cats are individuals and not everything works on one cat versus another-

Anytime you read something on the Internet, understand that no editor proofed the article (unless it from print copy) There are no checks and balances, and really anything goes.

I saw a bumper sticker awhile ago that gave me pause, but it also made me laugh-

"I am not a Veterinarian, but I play one on the Internet"
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru87
Well, I absolutely agree with you... Though it might be really effective, it's truly inhumane. It's exactly like child abuse, but this time you're not using your hand or foot .. you're using water that's exerting enough force to actually harm the animal.
Oh come on, it's water for heaven's sake. And after one squirt that you can squirt NEAR them not directly ON them, as soon as they see that bottle, they know......It worked very effectively for me and my old cat. I just needed to squirt NEAR her once, and then she did what i didn't want her to do a few more times and I would just raise the squirt bottle in her sight and she never did it again.

Believe me, I am the softest, most kind hearted person and I would die before any of my animals or any other animals or people in the world got hurt by my actions. I would never do anything mean to my cat. If Tola didn't respond to my saying "no" loudly and clapping, I would definately get out the squirt bottle. Sorry if that offends you, but you don't have to get "mean" with squirting.

If you want to squirt, fine, if you don't believe in squirting, that's fine too. But it's silly to make someone think they are "inhumane" for using the squirt method.

Edit - I just re-read this post and think I may be coming across too strong. Sorry if I am, I don't mean to be......
post #7 of 19
I don't think it's inhumane, either, but I do agree that it's ineffectual. The cat will only be squirted when you're there to do it, so that doesn't stop the behaviour when you're not around. Plus, you do run the risk of hitting sensitive areas on the kitty (like getting water in their ears).

All that being said, I do occasionally use the squirt bottle with Spike, but I can't remember the last time I actually shot him. I just shoot in his general direction, and half the time, he stops whatever he's doing the instant I pick the bottle up. Clearly, though, he makes the association between me and the squirt bottle, because otherwise he's not afraid of the bottle by itself at all. (Actually, he spends a lot of time licking the nozzle, trying to get water to come out of it so he can drink it.)

(And Journey, I kinda had the same knee-jerk reaction that you had: "Oh, come on!" There's certainly a big difference between using a spray bottle and using a power-washer--which, just in case there's anyone out there stupid enough to try it [not on this site, of course, but Out There in general], would probably seriously injure or kill your cat. I know it sure hurt my friend when somebody sprayed him with the darn thing!)
post #8 of 19
I had a heartbreaking email one time from a guy that did that- he used a power washer on three kittens. He said they had "dirty butts." They were 3 weeks old, and surprise, surprise they died. NOW that is abuse-

His comment was "but I used a low setting!" I told him to take his girlfriend, strip her down, tie to to a tree and powerwash her on low setting and see what happens! I was ticked- those poor kittens!
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I had a heartbreaking email one time from a guy that did that- he used a power washer on three kittens. He said they had "dirty butts." They were 3 weeks old, and surprise, surprise they died. NOW that is abuse-
oh. my. god.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I had a heartbreaking email one time from a guy that did that- he used a power washer on three kittens. He said they had "dirty butts." They were 3 weeks old, and surprise, surprise they died. NOW that is abuse-

His comment was "but I used a low setting!" I told him to take his girlfriend, strip her down, tie to to a tree and powerwash her on low setting and see what happens! I was ticked- those poor kittens!
I saw what happened to my friend's leg (bunch of people goofing off while cleaning a dock, and believe me, they felt terrible when they realised what had happened); I don't even want to imagine what a power-washer would do to a tiny kitten! I mean ... it's a power-washer, not a "delicate fragranced mist" washer, for crying out loud!
post #11 of 19
I don't think there is anything wrong with using a light spray bottle to discipline a cat because I used this method on my cat when he was a kitten and it worked very well.

We had two parakeets and he used to love to get on top of their cage and terrorize them and then tip it over to watch them flapping around helplessly. I certainly did not want him to hurt them or accidentally kill them, so I started using the spray bottle to wet him and scare him away and within a couple of weeks he learned his lesson and never went near them to bother them again. I would even leave him in the house alone with them and never worried about finding any of the birds hurt.

For me, this was very effective and worked well without hurting him in any way. This may not work for all cats, but in my experience it was the best solution. Just my $.02.

vivian>^..^<
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I wouldn't go to that extreme. It is not abuse- certainly not the abuse I have seen that people do to cats, trying to drown them in a lake, crucifying them, running them over intentionally. It is just a mean thing to do IMO. There is no force to it at all unless you are using a super soaker or a power washer- it is a scare tactic, and honestly some cats could care less if you squirt them.

About misinformation- it is all over the internet. It is up to the person reading the information to determine on their own if it is logical, or practical, or safe. Many people jump in to help others thinking they know best, or that their way is the only way, but cats are individuals and not everything works on one cat versus another-

Anytime you read something on the Internet, understand that no editor proofed the article (unless it from print copy) There are no checks and balances, and really anything goes.

I saw a bumper sticker awhile ago that gave me pause, but it also made me laugh-

"I am not a Veterinarian, but I play one on the Internet"


I understand where you're coming from, but i'm coming from strictly a scientific perspective that many psychologists and philosophers have been trying to teach... No form of punishment, however severe or minor is what cures behavior that is clearly unacceptable. Even if you hit your loved one with a simple tap, or hit them with a baseball bat; it's un acceptable. It's the principle that I follow, violence... as insignificant as it does not fix the problem. I know you're talking about a tiny squirt, but some people misunderstand the point and keep on squirting.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by journey
Oh come on, it's water for heaven's sake. And after one squirt that you can squirt NEAR them not directly ON them, as soon as they see that bottle, they know......It worked very effectively for me and my old cat. I just needed to squirt NEAR her once, and then she did what i didn't want her to do a few more times and I would just raise the squirt bottle in her sight and she never did it again.

Believe me, I am the softest, most kind hearted person and I would die before any of my animals or any other animals or people in the world got hurt by my actions. I would never do anything mean to my cat. If Tola didn't respond to my saying "no" loudly and clapping, I would definately get out the squirt bottle. Sorry if that offends you, but you don't have to get "mean" with squirting.

If you want to squirt, fine, if you don't believe in squirting, that's fine too. But it's silly to make someone think they are "inhumane" for using the squirt method.

Edit - I just re-read this post and think I may be coming across too strong. Sorry if I am, I don't mean to be......

Well it's ok, I see people here have completely gotten the wrong picture... Maybe I should of emphasized what I meant more... I just acted quickly because I remember somebody on this site saying "DO NOT SQUIRT YOUR CAT NO MATTER WHAT" and It clicked with me becuase my kitten is so young I couldn't picture somebody taking an automatic water machine gun and firing! lol just kiddin... but seriously... I'm sorry if I didn't make my self any clearer... but as I responded to Hissy... I'm a minor in psychology who follows the "Don't punish, but cure"... so no matter how small or irrelevant a little squirt on the cat is.. to me it's punishment but YOU CAN convince me other wise because this is not that serious of an issue.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivodream
I don't think there is anything wrong with using a light spray bottle to discipline a cat because I used this method on my cat when he was a kitten and it worked very well.

We had two parakeets and he used to love to get on top of their cage and terrorize them and then tip it over to watch them flapping around helplessly. I certainly did not want him to hurt them or accidentally kill them, so I started using the spray bottle to wet him and scare him away and within a couple of weeks he learned his lesson and never went near them to bother them again. I would even leave him in the house alone with them and never worried about finding any of the birds hurt.

For me, this was very effective and worked well without hurting him in any way. This may not work for all cats, but in my experience it was the best solution. Just my $.02.

vivian>^..^<

Again , i'm actually understanding this point of view better and better. And it won't surprise me if I ever do it it's just i'm so protective of this baby kitten because her story started so tragic and she's the sole survivor. But Thank GOD, she's ok now =)

Thanks for everybody's input.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I had a heartbreaking email one time from a guy that did that- he used a power washer on three kittens. He said they had "dirty butts." They were 3 weeks old, and surprise, surprise they died. NOW that is abuse-

His comment was "but I used a low setting!" I told him to take his girlfriend, strip her down, tie to to a tree and powerwash her on low setting and see what happens! I was ticked- those poor kittens!
That's exactly what I meant when I said inhumane, I just didn't make my paragraph well constructed enough to get my message across. But that's so tragic, and that person has no sensitivity to his environment and the world around him.
post #16 of 19
My parents have cats, and my Father enjoys them... but he has no tolerance whatsoever for their "misbehavior." He's forever shouting at Dylan, the primary offender, to get down from there, stop that, etc.

Awhile back, my mother read about the squirting method and bought my father a plastic squirtgun. My father is in his 80s, so we try very hard to keep him calm, and Mom thought the squirtgun would be better than the shouting.

So when Dylan would jump on the mantel or the bookshelves, my father would squirt him with water. It was adding up to a couple dozen squirts a day, and Dylan was walking around half-drenched. On the fourth or fifth day, my father was having lunch at the kitchen table when Dylan hopped up on one of the chairs. Papa squirted him, but Dylan didn't run -- he just squinted his eyes and took it. Another squirt, and Dylan stood his ground.

Finally, my father directed a long stream of water right in Dylan's face, and Dylan sneezed and shook his head violently, but refused to budge. He blinked the water out of his eyes, drew himself up tall, and continued to gaze right back at my father.

And my father finally got it. He recognized that any animal with that kind of intelligence, courage, and dignity deserved to be dealt with in a more respectful manner than either squirtguns or shouting. Now he speaks in a courteous, man-to-man fashion when addressing Dylan, and Dylan almost always responds positively to his requests.

Some cat, that Dylan. (Kinda fond of my papa, too.)
post #17 of 19
I have to say I used a water pistol with Sashka when she was little because I was at my wits' end and ready to have a nervous breakdown. She would have to have been the most kittenish rascally kitten I have ever had the pleasure to be owned by!! Lol...

But then I joined this site and got interested in animal behaviour more and did some serious research, and discovered that this kind of approach is truly unnecessary. I discovered clicker-training which worked wonders for me, but really, any kind of positive reinforcement is going to work much better than punishment or fear tactics.

I have been making a hobby of animal behaviour for two years now with both dogs and cats, and I have to say that there is nothing like positive conditioning when it comes to shaping behaviours - and a water bottle, though it may be an easy, quick solution, is not IMO the most effective way to go about things.
post #18 of 19
For Prego, I just say "Prego, no!" firmly but not shouting. For Polly, she doesn't respond to no, but she will knock it off if I say "Polly, stop!"

Say the cat's name to get his or her attention and then say no or stop firmly, but not yelling.

If one of the cats is about to do something they shouldn't I can usually say the name in that certain tone of voice. "Pregooooooooo....." "Pollyyyyyyyyy...." or sometimes "Prego, eh!" I don't know how to describe the eh! sound, but it seems to work. It's like saying ant without the n or the t.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I had a heartbreaking email one time from a guy that did that- he used a power washer on three kittens. He said they had "dirty butts." They were 3 weeks old, and surprise, surprise they died. NOW that is abuse-

His comment was "but I used a low setting!" I told him to take his girlfriend, strip her down, tie to to a tree and powerwash her on low setting and see what happens! I was ticked- those poor kittens!
I dont know where this guy was from but if he lived in NY he would have been prosecuted for aggravated animal cruelty. did anyone call the police? I intern in a NYC District Attorneys office and I can say that my office takes animal cruelty charges VERY seriously.
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