Cat discipline – Part 8

Well behaved cat, dream or reality?

Cats can be trained too. Just not the same way as dogs.

People think that because cats are individuals and like doing things their own way, you cannot teach them anything. That you just have to take them as they are and deal with it, whatever random character features your specimen presents. However my experience has been quite different. Yes, they are individuals. Yes, they will not obey blindly to your commands. But there are things you can do to establish rules in the house.

Funny enough, I made one quite important observation while watching a show called “The Dog Whisperer”. And just before you turn away thinking I must be insane let me explain. It is true that the mentality of these two animals could not be further apart. Although the faults of the pet owners are surprisingly similar. People depicted in the tv series constantly forgot that Fluffy is first and foremost a dog, and only after that their furry friend. The same often applies to cat owners we personify our pets.

It might not seem very important until you realise the way cats think and how they perceive time. One of the biggest and most common mistakes is punishing your furry friend too late after the actual deed. As cats live “in the now” they do not connect things from the past to consequences the way humans do. And unless there is a direct reaction to their behaviour, the connection will not be made.

For example, if you find a broken vase at home, there is no point screaming and shouting, as the cat will not understand that your behaviour is related to the vase accident. Even worse it might accidentally associate it with something else!

How to punish effectively without hurting your cat

However if you do spot your cat just about to commit some mischief it is a good point to do something about it. Now for the common mistake using the cats name in a negative tone. Yes, they will understand the tone of your voice, but do you really want to associate your pet’s name with scolding? Most of us work very hard to get the cat to react to his name, by using it in pleasurable situations, so why ruin it by connecting it with our angry voice?

Do not get me wrong. You still do something about the behaviour, and some kind of punishment can be helpful at time. To do it right though, you should relate to the cat at their level. Think how another cat would react to something they did not like your pet’s behaviour.

Hissing and growling is usually

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