HOW TO TRAIN YOUR CAT NOT TO DO SOMETHING!
We know you love your cat more than anything in the entire world. However, certain behaviors of hers, not so much.
So, how do you train your kitty NOT to scratch you or the furniture, swat your pup in the face, and/or access certain areas of the house that you want restricted? Let’s see if we can help!
COMMON BEHAVIORIAL ISSUES
Although cats are individually unique, they do tend to exhibit a few common bad behaviors:
- Scratching (furniture, people, pets)
- Refusing to use the litter box
- Fearful of objects and/or people
FIRST THINGS, FIRST!
Prior to trying to correct your fur baby’s bad behavior, it’s best to rule out a medical condition or illness, and/or environmental factors as the cause.
Schedule a checkup with your vet. Litter box issues and marking just may be linked to medical issue, like a urinary tract infection and not necessary an unwanted behavior.
If your cat has no medical issues, assess their living environment for factors that may be contributing to their devilish behavior:
- Is the litter box clean?
- Did you introduce a new cat to the home?
- Is the cat getting bullied by another cat or dog in the home?
- Does the cat have access to scratching posts?
STEPS TO CORRECTING YOUR CAT’S BAD BEHAVIOR
At all costs, avoid reprimanding your cat both physically and verbally. Physical punishment can have the effect of the cat connecting the physical punishment to the punisher, and not necessarily to the correction of the bad behavior. Basically, the cat is learning to be in fear of you, and not the behavior.
Improve the cat’s indoor environment
Do you have a cat who likes to bolt out the door and get lost exploring the great outdoors? Try making the indoor space more attractive to them. Fulfill your cat’s needs by playing with them a few times a day, provide them with interactive toys, and fun feeders.
Providing more space can also help to lessen the cat’s urge to do bad things. Perches and adequate space to sunbathe, can make a significant difference.
Cat scratch fever!
Cats NEED to SCRATCH! If they do not have access to scratching poles, your furniture will do just fine. They will be super happy. You, not so much.
Vertical scratching posts are great for their desire to perch and scratch. Gently scratch new poles with your kitty’s paws to transfer scent. Be sure to praise her when she uses the poles!
Playtime should always include cat toys. If not, your fingers become toys…FUREVER…if you know what we mean?
Refusal to use the little box, once a medical condition has been ruled out, can be caused by:
- The litter box is too small (buy a bigger one)
- The box is not cleaned daily
- The cat may not like the smell of the litter (time to switch brands)
- If the box is open, think about a hood. The opposite also applies.
Countertops and preventing access
Are there certain areas of the home you would prefer kitty having NO access to? Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Keep doors closed
- Use sticky tape on counter surfaces. Aluminum foil also works (a week of this should stop the behavior)
Swats to the face, jumping on the coffee table and nibbling at your toes just may be a desire for attention. Although cats are very independent, they are also attention seekers.
As with most pets, they love, LOVE and crave ATTENTION! Providing more of this, may be just what the cat ordered. Frequent head and belly scratches and playtime, may just do the trick!