Advice on "discipline" for cats? I've read contradicting things.

Can you discipline a cat? I've read about squirting water at them but I've also read NEVER try discipline because it will excel the problem. I've read you should let them pee on the carpet right in front of you and to do nothing because it will only add stress and that if you squirt them they will associate you with the negative. I've heard discipline is okay if you do it while you catch them in the act but never after the fact. I understand yelling is negative and water is undesired but which is it? Is throwing (not at them) something that makes a noise an option (used to do this with a dog). I'd like to let convey that I want to stop urine marking, aggression with fellow felines and other problems Perhaps these two issues have 2 answers of what to do or not do. What (if any) is an effective way to discipline?

Best Answers

  • Karina GressKarina Gress Member Posts: 402
    Accepted Answer
    Are you cat's fixed? That'd be the best way to stop marking and aggression. I'm afraid once they've started marking the smell is virtually impossible to get rid of, but I've had success removing messes using enzyme cleaners. Never discipline after the fact, because unlike humans, animals can't connect past actions with you being mad. They'll just think "I'm a bad kitty, and mommy's mean", not "I'm not supposed to pee on the carpet". The best way to stop a behavior is to figure out why they do it. But if you must discipline, every cat is different. I have 3 and one responds to loud noises like clapping, one to water (I only have to show him the squirt bottle), and one responds to me approaching while hissing/growling. Anything that gets their attention and makes them stop what they're doing, then you can remove them from the situation. Just don't overdo any discipline or it loses it's effectiveness. They may not care after a while or it may seem like a game. Good luck!
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Henry is right. If your cats are not neutered, then this procedure will do a lot to alleviate agression and urine marking. I've heard that if one cat is picking on another (make sure it is truly agression and not playing) separating them and putting the aggressor in a "time out" room for a few minutes can work. Also, your cats may need some playtime with you-perhaps with a laser light or cat fishing pole. In the case of urine marking, make sure each has his own box, they like the box, litter, location,etc.
  • laura sjostromlaura sjostrom Member Posts: 175
    Accepted Answer
    The best thing that has worked for my kitten is to grab her, gently by the scruff of the neck like mother cats do and say "no". We have caught her starting to scratch the furniture and this seems to be working
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