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How not to punish cats: it will cause new problems with the pet

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Correcting a cat's behavior requires a thoughtful approach

What we both love and hate about cats is their independent behavior. Despite our wishes, they continue to make mischief. And sometimes they can cause really serious damage or even injure themselves. That's why it's important to know how to properly handle a cat. Just as it is important to know what you should never do to maintain a good relationship with your pet.

OBOZREVATEL has collected advice from veterinarians and feline experts. Let's start with the punishments that will not work but will only aggravate the situation.

How not to punish a cat

The first taboo is physical punishment. Cats are intolerant of pain, and any attempts you make to slap the ears or body, shake the animal, or force it away will not work at best. At worst, you will break your connection with the animal; it will stop trusting you and start to perceive you as an aggressor. In response, you may receive symmetrical aggression, or the cat will start to withdraw and stop making contact. Additionally, cats do not know how to associate physical punishment with bad behavior. Therefore, the use of force makes no sense to them.

Another taboo is raising your voice. Even though many owners claim that their cats understand the tone of voice, this has nothing to do with shouting. Loud sounds can only scare the animal. And due to stress and anxiety, it will begin to behave even more uncontrollably.

The third meaningless punishment is spraying the cat with a spray bottle. Yes, this way you will stop unwanted behavior. But the animal is unlikely to associate its actions with the fact that it was doused with water. It will simply start running away when it notices the thing that makes it so unpleasant in your hands.

What you can do to change your cat's behavior

Instead of punishing the animal, focus on reinforcing its correct actions. Praise your cat when she does something right and give her a treat for it. It will associate the reward with its actions and will be more willing to do what you want.

To stop the animal from doing something wrong, switch its attention. For example, if your cat starts scratching the couch, immediately call her to play with the scratching post. Let her associate this object with fun and pleasant communication. In this case, the cat will be more willing to choose the scratching post to take care of its claws.

You can also try to change the environment around the cat in such a way that it signals it shouldn't do this anymore. For example, if your cat jumps on the table and you want to stop it, place a baking sheet in the spot where it lands so that it is barely hanging on the edge. Jumping on it, the cat will fall to the floor and be frightened by the loud sound. It will no longer find this place convenient for jumping. But keep in mind that such changes should not harm the animal.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you what your actions can do to upset a cat to the point of complete loss of trust in you.

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