Cats are very intelligent pets and they also have a good memory. However, due to their nature of ignoring us to the point of walking right out even as we are calling them, they do require patience and effort on your part to train them.
If you notice bad behavior in your cat, it’s wise to discipline them to prevent it from becoming habitual. We all know how habits are hard to stop.
Cats are not as obedient and as eager to learn as dogs are. They will need some time and maybe a couple of disciplinary actions to learn that they should not do what it is you are trying to stop.
Sometimes, though, we may think that cats know that they are misbehaving when in actuality they are only acting naturally. It will be normal behavior for them while to us it may be irritating.
Other times the pets will do something wrong intentionally. They may just be naughty and choose to misbehave.
We’ll be looking into cat misbehavior coupled with 10 ways that have been proven to discipline them. Keep reading.
Ways that cats misbehave
Your cat may misbehave in several ways with some being:
- Biting and chewing into wires and cords.
- Digging house plants.
- Scratching furniture not caring how costly it is.
- Jumping across sofas and counters.
- Bringing you gifts of their killed prey.
- Bullying other cats.
- Biting you or other family members.
Causes of cats misbehaving
Your cat will misbehave knowingly or unknowingly due to various reasons like:
Cats could be acting out naturally not realizing that what they are doing offends you. For instance, cats do bring home prey for their little ones.
If they don’t have kittens, they may decide to bring you the prey either to show you their hunting prowess, as a gift to show their love, or as food because they think that you cannot hunt for yourself.
Cats can decide to be naughty too. They may scratch your leg as you pass by or jump across sofas.
This should be disciplined right away or they will think it’s right for them to do whatever they please and whenever they please.
Your pet will not always misbehave because they want to. Underlying conditions may push them to have unacceptable behavior.
Your cat may be suffering from injuries, stress, hormonal imbalances, worms brought about by fleas and mites, or even psychological disorders.
These conditions may cause them to become aggressive and misbehave.
10 proven ways to discipline your cat
Disciplining your cat is usually effective in getting them to act appropriately although it may take some time depending on the cause of their misbehavior.
The best way is to make your pet associate bad behavior with an outcome they don’t like. Always remember that punishments are more effective and likely to work if given immediately after the mistake otherwise they won’t know what they are being punished for.
Remember to be consistent in your disciplining and not punish them at times while letting the same mistake go unpunished at other times because this will only confuse them and they won’t learn.
Avoid getting physical with your pet because you could cause them injuries that will be painful to them, make them scared of you, and be costly for you as you seek treatment.
Below are disciplining ways:
1. Tell them to stop
Using your voice can be efficient. Pick out one consistent word to be using when telling them to stop. It could be as simple as ‘STOP’.
Use a firm voice and a stern tone while at it. This will make them know that they are doing something wrong.
When you repeat the same word whenever they do a mistake, they’ll be able to learn that when you use it, you are cautioning against inappropriate behavior.
You can use noise to startle them and make them stop. For instance, you could place a soda can with coins next to your house plants.
When they go nearby they will rattle the can and move away if it produces noise. They could also knock it down causing terrible noise that will keep them away.
If they associate doing something with a startling unpleasant noise, they’ll not do it next time.
3. Hand clapping
You can simply clap your hands whenever they are misbehaving. Cats do not like loud noises and they will not like continuous hand-clapping either.
Cats fear and dislike water. A handy way of stopping them from doing something they should not be doing is having a spray bottle with water nearby.
If they start misbehaving, spritz some water on them. If they associate being sprinkled with water with doing something, they will stop doing it.
The trick of this method is to ensure that they do not see you spraying them. This can make them associate the water with you and not their misbehavior.
You should do it secretly. For instance, you can spritz some water on their leg if they jump over a counter.
5. Give them some time out
Just like it works with kids, isolating your pet for some time when they misbehave is a good disciplinary action.
You can lock them up in a room for half an hour with water, food, and a litter box. This will teach them their lesson effectively.
6. Play with them
If your cat is bored, they may engage in mischief to get your attention. Take some time to play with them to avoid this.
A cat requires 30 minutes of play every day which can be divided into 15 minutes at a time. If you do not have time to play with them, buy them toys to keep them occupied in your absence.
7. Reward good behavior
Make it a habit of rewarding your pet whenever they do something right. This will help encourage good behavior as they will know that if they do something good, they will be rewarded.
You could use a treat, cuddles, or pets.
Cats dislike some textures and using tape is a great way of stopping them from accessing some things and areas. You can tape furniture with the sticky side out which will stop them from scratching it as they dislike the stickiness.
You can buy sprays from the store which contain ingredients that are safe but repel them. You could also make your spray using citrus or pepper flakes whose smell they don’t like.
Spray them on surfaces that you don’t want them indulging with or places you don’t want them going to. This will repel and keep them away.
10. See a vet
If all else fails or you do not seem to understand why your cat is acting the way they are, it’s time for a vet visit. Take them to a vet to ascertain what the problem is as it could be an underlying condition bothering them.
Cats are smart animals and sometimes they may resort to misbehaving which can be frustrating and annoying.
Take the measures listed to discipline your pet and remember that you should discipline them right after or while they are doing the mistake so that they understand what you want to stop doing.