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Squirt with water, bad?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I noticed here and there that some say squirting a cat with water was bad. I always found this an effective way to modify bad behavior. Example, scratching furniture, (I do take them to where they should scratch)and recently, attacking their geriatric sister. I don't have to squirt, I just have to pick up the bottle, if "no" doesn't cut it. Why is this viewed as a bad thing?
post #2 of 15
my family has always used a spray bottle when they are doing something wrong if nothing else works.
post #3 of 15
Because cats learn better by praising good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.
It is basically because the cat will begin to associate you with the water hitting it in the butt or whatever. You don't want the cat to see you as the enemy.
I squirt my cats however, on the rare occation they do something they shouldn't. Just make sure you hit them in the butt or back and not right in the face. My cats also know when the water bottle is in site, to stay away. For example I don' want them to jump on my rat cage so I set the water bottle up there. Eventually they will realize it won't squirt them...

The cases that you absolutely do not want to squirt or punish an animal is when is was rescued from an abusive or neglectful situation.

Ideally no you do not want to use a water bottle as a training method. Cats generally do better if you redirect their focus.
post #4 of 15
thats true.
We had a very stubborn cat, who insitsted on trying to get the birds once. Finally we learned that if we held the cat and let the birds get on them they tended to leave them alone.
post #5 of 15
If you end up getting water in your cats ear, it can create a inner ear infection, leading to costly vet bills.

I tried it ONCE with Harley - and after I leared the harsh consequenses that can happen, I've never done it again. We simply tell him NO in a stern voice. If that does not work for you, try hissing, or simply snapping your fingers.

Good luck!
post #6 of 15
If you don't "overuse" the water on the cat, its effective. Ling is stubborn about trying to get on the porch and outside. The only thing that works is to get her with the squirt bottle. I want her to associate being on the porch as a BAD thing - so that you don't have to worry about her running thru the door.

IMO unless you are a good hit, the worse you will do is get water on their body - not in their ears.

Also water bottle works very well in teaching them to leave the Christmas tree alone
post #7 of 15
I'm in the 'only use the water bottle when it's imperative' camp. Whether or not it's going to be effective depends on the cat. My previous cat didn't think *we* were the enemy-- he decided the water bottle was. It did little to deter him from forbidden behavior. Rather, he was only moved to hunt down and attack the offending bottle!
post #8 of 15
I find what works best for us is a lou d "Hey" with a loud clap..........or just anything loud at the time they are being bad. I usually just pick up my cats, and re direct them, but sometimes I cant, and thats when I do the loud voice

The water bottle I use when we are in the patio, when its time to come in, cheeto always is stubborn and hides, I can only get him out with the water bottle.
post #9 of 15
We use an empty water bottle filled with pennies..and just shake it when she is doing something bad...It totally distracts her into doing something else.
post #10 of 15
The other big problem with the water bottle is that it is only effective if YOU are there, and they figure this out pretty quickly if it is used to keep them off the counter, for instance. They get on the counter and you see them, they get squirted. They get on the counter when you aren't home, they don't get squirted. Lesson for kitty: Don't get on the counter when the people are home.
post #11 of 15
I also had to use the water bottle on occasion, and my cats knew the water bottle meant business. If you have to use it, try a "no" noise first (ours is "Pssstt!") and then spray. Soon they won't wait for the water, and hopefully you can put it away . When our Corgi figured out that "Pssst!" was "no" for the cats, he started "disiplining" the cats (a hard whack with the nose ,) usually off the furniture they were scratching (he couldn't reach the counters, but he tried ), and soon he just knocked them off whenever they scratched where they weren't supposed to . We scolded him once or twice for getting them on the scratching post, and that was all it took! 24 hour furniture surveillence! "Psst" still works even though our Corgi passed away last year , and my oldest cat is 12.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, I have definitely not overused it, it is only when saying "no no" doesn't seem to work. No matter what you use, voice, pennies, water, they still know it is forbidden only when you are around. I always use lots of praise when they behave correctly. My biggest problem now is my three young males are viewing my 17 year old female as prey. They stalk her, swipe at her, and it really upsets her. I never leave them alone together, but when we are all out together and I am not paying attention, they will start, one at a time. that is when I need the bottle. When they leave her alone, I tell them how good they are.
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Gigi
I'm in the 'only use the water bottle when it's imperative' camp. Whether or not it's going to be effective depends on the cat. My previous cat didn't think *we* were the enemy-- he decided the water bottle was. It did little to deter him from forbidden behavior. Rather, he was only moved to hunt down and attack the offending bottle!
mine know it's me - i can usually just pick up the bottle & shake it & they follow directions. & altho they don't particularly enjoy being squirted, it doesn't seem to bother them unduly - they'd just prefer i didn't.
post #14 of 15
I am a new cat owner and i picked up the book "The Idiots Guide to Cats" and first of all what a waste of money not that the info wasnt good or anything but you can get this info out of these fourms. Anyways back to the spray bottle issue. my cat is not allowed in the bedroom do to alergy issues so Wiggins will sit outside the door all night and meow and scratch at the door. So i used the strategy the idiots guide recommened the spray bottle. I have to say that it just doesnt work. The one thing that the book pushed was that your cat cant see where the water came from it has to come outta "NO WHERE". He will get sprayed in the back or bum depending on how sleepy i am at the time and how bad my aim is. But he will go lick the water off of him and come back and do it again. And in the morning when i move the bottle to the living room he will jump up on the coffee table and lick the water off of it and rub up against it. So there is no fear of the bottle.

I have given up with the spray bottle method.
post #15 of 15
Just like kids, nothing works for them all! You just have to get to know your cat and what works with him .
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