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Discipline

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello...I have a question about Discipline. How do you discipline a cat? How do they learn and get taught things? Right from wrong?
Thanks
post #2 of 13
I use a loud voice and tell them "no" and I have also used a squirt bottle. It has worked for me!
post #3 of 13
you can hiss at them too, cats know what that means.

a lot of times it is recommended to just ignore the unwanted behavior and reward the good behavior. it is hard but works for some things.

what type of behaviors are you looking to dicipline? Some cats act out because they are spooked or hurt and it they aren't hiding it, then they might show it by misbehaving. just make sure you are diciplining for the right reasons.
post #4 of 13
You have to be careful when disciplining cats. They frequently don't respond well to negative reinforcement. It's very possible that instead of correcting an unwanted behavior, you are teaching your cat to fear you when using negative reinforcement. I'm currently trying to teach Alex to stay off the kitchen counters. When he jumps up there, I tell him to get down and reward him for doing the right thing. I'm using clicker training as an aid for this, as well as for basic commands like 'come'. Hissing at the cat also works. It tells them you don't like what they are doing in their language.
post #5 of 13
Distract them.

Loud noises are better (and kinder) than squirt bottles. Fill a coffee can with pebbles and shake it to get their attention.
post #6 of 13
Discipline and cats does not work- Positive reinforcement does. Redirection works as well. Using language cats understand- hissing, growling, even attempting to meow will startle them out of what you call undesirable behavior, but is really only their instinct. I wrote an article a bit ago about this. Oddly it generated more hate email than anything else i have written. It is on the site here


Discipline
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Discipline and cats does not work- Positive reinforcement does. Redirection works as well. Using language cats understand- hissing, growling, even attempting to meow will startle them out of what you call undesirable behavior, but is really only their instinct. I wrote an article a bit ago about this. Oddly it generated more hate email than anything else i have written. It is on the site here


Discipline
Why on Earth would that generate hate mail? It is a very informative, helpful article.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
Why on Earth would that generate hate mail? It is a very informative, helpful article.
post #9 of 13
If you define discipline in the sense that you punish a cat for wrong behavior, I say that it never works. If you define discipline as instilling in them a sense of what is right versus wrong and guiding their behavior away from the wrong, then I say that you can do that.

Nobody learns good behavior from simply being told when they did something wrong. You have to show them what is right. It's like telling a school kid that 2 + 2 does not equal 5 and never giving them the right answer. A squirt bottle teaches "no" without teaching "yes".

Redirective behavior, that is, taking them away from the bad situation and showing them the positive alternative is the only way to "discipline" a cat. Once I know that they know the difference between right and wrong, a simple hiss or "NO" stops them in their tracks. Of course some of mine are quite stubborn and defiant and it has taken me a while, but persistence pays off.

My family came to visit me last summer and we were in the kitchen. Koko (my defiant one) was about to climb on the kitchen counter in front of us. I gave her a glare, grunted out a "uh uh", and she took her paw off the counter and jumped down. My family had never seen a cat listen before - guess they don't visit often enough.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me & Tigger
Hello...I have a question about Discipline. How do you discipline a cat? How do they learn and get taught things? Right from wrong?
Thanks
There is a terrific book called How to Think Like a Cat. get it.
cats are not like dogs, they dont live in a pack w a hierarchy and can not be bullied into submission. Getting a cat to love and trust you takes kindness and patience and lots of treats and affection. then they will be far more agreeable. My kitten has already learned to use her scratching post only and to stay outside the sewing room door. none of this was done with anything actively negative by me ( I did use a motion detector alarm and aluminum foil) All interactions with her have involved positive reinforcement, consistency and redirection. she views me as an ally and that's the way I want it.

Doing anything AVERSIVE to a cat will backfire, they'll just avoid you and do what they want.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Discipline and cats does not work- Positive reinforcement does. Redirection works as well. Using language cats understand- hissing, growling, even attempting to meow will startle them out of what you call undesirable behavior, but is really only their instinct. I wrote an article a bit ago about this. Oddly it generated more hate email than anything else i have written. It is on the site here


Discipline
I agree that redirection works the best. If I dont want Hobbs on the kitchen table, I take him off, tell him no, and put him gently down. If he does it again, Ill just distract him with something else, and this usually works. The only time I used water spray was with the Christmas tree, which worked, but I didnt like it because he became scared of me, so I stopped doing it. Now I put something with a citrus scent where I dont want him to be. If you try too hard to discilpline a cat, they will simply become frightened of you, and avoid you. They are simply not trainable as are dogs. People that demand compliance from their pet, should never get a cat; it is not a good match. The more patience you have with a cat, the better off you will be, because they are adorably wilful and curious.
post #12 of 13
I say no, and when they stop doing what I said no to, I praise them. There's actually very little my cats do wrong, so I guess I lucked out - every so often, PJ tries to get on the dining room table, and as soon as I look at her and say no, she jumps down... then I tell her she's a good girl.
post #13 of 13
Gentle redirection is how we do it. If the kitties get on the table we gently lift them down and say no. After a certain time they would start to get on the table and just have to say no in a firm but not a loud voice and they will not get on the table.

Just like children - gentle redirection and firm tone of voice but not yelling and definitely no spraying of water.
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