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Meow or Never: How to Discipline a Cat?

How to Discipline a Cat

Cats have unique personalities, are picky, and do not act or train in the same way as dogs do. They want to do things on their own terms. However, training a cat is not an impossible task; you simply need to know how to discipline a cat safely and the right way for that training to persist.

Understanding Your Cat’s Behavior

To properly learn how to discipline a cat, you must first understand its behavior, and instincts and how to handle them when they are being mischievous. Cats are extremely bright and inquisitive. Boredom may lead to negative behavior, therefore playing with your cat is essential. Allow them plenty of opportunities to practice activities that mirror their urge to seek and hunt animals.

What to Do Before Starting to Discipline Your Cat?

Examine the Household

Scratched furniture, cats climbing the drapes, and accidents outside of the litter box can irritate pet owners. They are eager to find out how to discipline the cat. But what’s the true reason behind most feline misbehavior? There are issues in the house:

  • Is the litter box cleaned on a regular basis?
  • Is the litter or box preferred by your cat?
  • Is there a sufficient number of scratching posts?
  • Do you have any cat trees for elevated climbing?
  • Are you spending enough time with your cat?

If the house isn’t set up to meet the needs of your cat, disciplining and training your cat can be a lot more harder.

how to discipline a cat

Cats Are Not Dogs

When it comes to training cats are very different from dogs. Dogs are taught to recognize voice commands as well as hand signs. Cats? They aren’t great admirers of those tactics.

That’s not implying that you can’t use a clicker to teach cats; you absolutely can. However, your cat is unlikely to pay attention to changes in your tone of voice. They aren’t as taken with your use of their whole name as a dog is. Cat training is a little more difficult, and it needs a greater amount of patience.

Consult With Your Veterinarian

Surprisingly, health problems can be the root cause of a lot of cat misbehavior. Cats may stop using the litter box, develop increased hostility, or begin hiding in unexpected areas as a result of internal changes. Make an appointment with your veterinarian before you start thinking about how to discipline your cat. You could discover a medical reason for their actions. If not, you’ll have peace of mind and can continue to discipline your cat. 

How to Properly Discipline a Cat

Withdraw and Redirect

Withdrawing or redirecting your cat’s attention is one of the simplest methods to discipline them. Young kittens use their claws or joyfully bite when playing with their moms. The mom will correct them with a hiss and nip. Because you can’t do the same, you mimic the cat’s discipline by stopping and going away. Your kitten’s brain will sense something is wrong and will begin to understand the message.

If you have noticed that your cat scratches the furniture instead of shouting (which never works), gently guide them to their designated scratcher. Catnip sprinkled on the scratcher can pique their attention. That kitten’s brain will catch on quickly.

Praise and Treat

Nobody enjoys punishing their cat. Inadequate punishment might cause anxiety, fear, avoidance, or worse behaviors. Instead of concentrating on cat punishment, try rewarding your cat for good behavior. Treats can be used as an effective motivator during cat training. Keep them on hand in case your cat does something you want:

  • They are playing happily with their pet toys.
  • Using the litter box
  • Scratching their scratcher made of cardboard
  • Taking a nap on the cat tree

When your cat understands that “normal” actions result in praise and treats, he or she will repeat them. 

Outsmarting Your Cat

You must sometimes think smarter than your cat. It’s a gentle approach to reprimand your cat while also encouraging them to avoid damaging behavior.

For example, what about that cat who thinks the couch is a scratching post? Wrap a loose blanket around the sofa’s arm. When they try to sharpen their claws, the cloth will fall, producing a subtle sort of cat discipline. They will be pushed to the strong, dependable scratching post.

Is your cat always jumping on kitchen counters? If that’s the case place double-sided tape where your cat’s feet land on the counter. Although the tape is harmless, cats dislike the sticky sensation on their paws. Your cat will learn to avoid the spot, especially if you give a cat-safe option for them to climb.

How to Discipline a Cat for Peeing Outside the Litter Box

There might be various reasons why your cat is utilizing locations around your home as a litter box. First, make sure their litter box is cleaned on a regular basis. When cleaning the box, avoid using strong odors or chemicals that may irritate them. Another reason they can be doing this is that they are concerned or anxious about something. Use the unpleasant aroma strategy to keep the cat from going to the potty outside of his litter box and spend more time with them if you feel they are stressed.

How to Discipline a Cat for Biting

There’s an important distinction between an adult cat who bites and a kitten who hasn’t learned his or her manners when it comes to biting.


Kittens That Bite

If your kitten bites you, it’s because they mistake you for a sibling or a playmate. Unfortunately, they may be unaware that we do not dress in protective fur as they do. If your kitten bites you, it’s probably because they’re not picking up on the cues.

When your kitty bites, the greatest thing you can do is retreat. That is, simply get up and walk away. You might also use a toy to divert your kitten’s interest. Their attention spans are brief, so to participate in safe play, toss a toy in one direction or use a long cat wand.

Adult Cats That Bite

You should first rule out any health issues in adult cats. Arthritic cats and cats with dental problems may be cranky or in pain and refuse to be touched.

Long-haired cats can also overheat when petted and bite unexpectedly. If your adult cat is biting, it might be due to territory (your cat is agitated) or you may not be interpreting queues correctly. Cats will let you know when they’ve had enough of being petted. Their tail normally starts to flick, their ears point back, and they appear to be ready to leave—so let your cat go when they indicate that they are done being affectionate.

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