Cat Discipline – Why water Punishment will not work!
The words punishment and cats should never be used in the same sentence. It is important for cat owners to know how to discipline a cat and what should avoid. A cat does not respond to the punishment in a positive way, nor learns from it. For example, rubbing the cat’s nose into a recent urine stain will not achieve cat discipline but will likely result in either biting or scratching or making it want to avenge you. When cats are confined, they will fight it wildly. They have no way to understand what it has bothered you in their behavior. All they know is that something bigger than them holds them in their will.
Many times I hear people say they use water pistols as a means of discipline. If you use this, the best thing to do is stop. All you achieve is to cause fear to the cat. Fear not for the water pistol but for you. The cat understands that the water slide is an extension of your hand and that you are wetting it. From a friend you start to appear as a dictator in the kitten’s mind because you scare it with something that by their nature most cats hate. It will also be twice as hard for a cat that you have terrified so to bath it if and when it is needed. Bathing a cat is by itself difficult. Better not to find out how difficult it is to bath a cat that has good reason to scare water – because you have caused these phobias.
Add to all these the scenario that as you get wet, sometimes water gets to your cat’s ear. This may cause a problem as the water inside the cat’s ear spoils the balance of the ph and makes your cat vulnerable to ear infections. This will probably lead to health problem of your furry friends and hasty bills to the vet until the problem is solved.
Cats need guidance and teaching combined with love and patience to achieve the best cat training. You need to understand their nature and their instincts. If, for example, you have a kitten that urine out of the litter box, the most important thing to do first of all is to go to the vet to check for a medical problem. Do not head to the water pistol or to the newspaper to hit / scare it. Head over to the phone and call your veterinarian. Once the cat is diagnosed healthy then you have to look at its environment and ask yourself what has changed. Did you add something new to the household, changed the furniture, added other kittens or a dog? Is the kitty’s toilet clean? Is it big enough? Does it have enough litter? Have you recently changed the food brand?
Think of the case as a big puzzle and start putting the pieces right until you solve it.
There will always be a reason why the cat is not behave properly. Bad cat behavior is not a good reason to bring the water gun. Instead, look inside yourself and try to think about what might be the solution to the problem. In the long term this is the best way to stay friends with your cat. Your cat will thank you for working on solving the problem instead of causing more problems.