How you shouldn't punish cats: it will cause new problems with the animal
What we both love and hate about cats is their independent behaviour. Despite our wishes, they continue to do mischief. And sometimes they can cause really serious harm or even injure themselves. That's why it's important to know how to punish a cat properly. Just as it is important to know what you should never do in order not to lose contact with your pet.
OBOZREVATEL has collected advice from veterinarians and felinologists. 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 completely 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 withdraw and stop making contact. In addition, cats do not know how to associate physical punishment with bad behaviour. Therefore, the use of force makes no sense to them.
Another taboo is raising your voice. Despite the fact that many owners claim that their cats understand tone of voice, this has nothing to do with shouting. Loud sounds can only scare the animal. And because of stress and anxiety, it will start behaving even more uncontrollably.
The third senseless punishment is spraying the cat with a spray bottle. Yes, this will stop unwanted behaviour. But the animal is unlikely to associate its actions with the fact that it was doused with water for it. It will simply run away when it sees the thing that makes it so unpleasant in your hands.
What you can do to change your cat's behaviour
Instead of punishing your cat, focus on reinforcing the right behaviour. Praise your cat when he does something right and give him a treat for it. She will associate the reward with her actions and will be more willing to do what you want.
To stop your pet from doing something wrong, switch their attention. For example, if your cat starts scratching the sofa, immediately call her to play with the scratching post. Let it associate this object with fun and pleasant communication. In this case, the cat will be more likely to choose the scratching post to groom its claws.
You can also try to change the environment around the cat in such a way that it tells it that it doesn't need to do this anymore. For example, if your cat jumps on the table and you want to stop it from doing so, place a baking tray in the place 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 comfortable for jumping. But keep in mind that such changes should not harm the animal.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told what your actions can do to upset a cat to the point of complete loss of trust in you.