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am I discipling my cat correctly?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have a Siamese/Lynx point kitten who is about 8 weeks old now. When I first took her to the vet, I asked the vet how I was to go about disciplining her and he said that I should buy a kennel and if she's being really bad I should put her in the kennel for a little while, but otherwise he said that I should just put her on the ground and ignore her if she's misbehaving because it's the attention she's after, but she needs to go about asking for it without biting or clawing or any other sort of misbehaving. But I was just reading on this web page that you shouldn't get mad at your cat if she or he scratches you or bites you. I know that she just wants to play, but I read somewhere that kittens have to learn that hands are meant for petting, not for playing with. What do I do????
post #2 of 3
Get a little water gun or squirt bottle and giver her a little spray when she's bad. This worked well for me - it won't hurt her at all.
post #3 of 3
Hi Marisa and welcome!

I've never heard about the kennel idea andI don't think it's a good idea... Maybe your vet is used to working with dogs?

As for cat behavior/misbehavior, most of the time, your cat is being totally a normal cat but in ways that are not acceptable to you. For example, she may jump up onto tables and kitchen counters, scratch the furniture or try to sleep in your bed. These are all perfectly normal and many owners actually accept them (okay... more would accept the "cat in the bed" part than the "scratching the furniture" bit...)

A behavior problem is when a cat is being too aggressive, uses the carpet as his litter box etc.

As a general rule, you should never shout at your cat or punish her. Cats don't learn that way, they only become apprehensive of you.

You need to understand why the cat does what she does and try to provide her with an appropriate subtitute. Only then can you work on stopping the previous behavior pattern. I hope I'm making myself clear...

Let's try analysing what you're saying is the problem - youe kitten is biting and scratching when you play with her, right?

First, we need to see why she does that. Kittens are always playing with each other (or anyone or anything within reach). If you watch kittens play, you'll see that their play patterns can be quite aggressive. They learn to to defend themselves and develop general skills that they would need as cats. You can't make your kitten stop doing that altogether. What you need to do is divert that urge to more acceptable objects (that are not hands).

You can do that in one of two ways:

1. Get another kitten! Do this only if you're willing to take on the commitment of caring for another cat for the next twenty years or so. If you do, the two cats will keep each other company and will play the aggressive games with each other. This is what we did when we had a similar problem and it worked great! The shelters are full of wonderful kittens that need homes, so...

2. If you can't or don't want to get another kitten, you will need to spend more time playing interactive games with your kitty. But this time opt for the kind of fishing pole cat toys that let you play with the kitten without actually getting your hands in contact with the cat. You can read more about cat toys in this article.

By the way, I highly recommend that you get one of the excellent books on cats out there. Check this page in the TCS shop. The book on the left (first row) by behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett is absolutely EXCELLENT! It will tell you everything you need to know about how to raise your kitty and how to train her.

If you have anymore questions - you've come to the right place!
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