Pets are not people. We might like to pretend they’re people, but they’re not. We talk to them like they understand what we’re saying, and we sometimes believe they’re demonstrating human-like behavior, but they’re animals and they don’t understand the world the same way that we do. Because of that, they’ll never truly understand that they’ve done ‘something wrong’ even when we’re jumping up and down and furious about them. Punishing your pet cat or dog for something they did hours ago is cruel because your cat or dog is incapable of making a connection between what it did several hours ago and what you’re doing now.
The issue of ‘bad behavior’ is more likely to come up with kittens than it is with adult cats because kittens are full of energy and far more playful. The whole world loves kittens because they’re so cute – they’re even used to attract people to online slots websites with slots like ‘OMG Kittens,’ for example, but a lot of first-time kitten owners don’t know what they’re telling themselves in for. Those cute slots don’t tell you everything you need to know. In fact, you could even say that the only thing that online slots prepare you for in terms of kitten ownership is unpredictable and random outcomes!
The simple answer to the question of “how do I punish a kitten” is that you don’t. The feline understanding of cause and effect is limited, to say the least, and in very young cats, it might not exist at all. All you’ll achieve by punishing a kitten for something you feel it’s done wrong is to make it afraid of you, and that’s not a healthy relationship to have in your home. Instead, you train kittens to behave better by reinforcing positive behavior. Here are a few examples.
Your Kitten Is Scratching The Furniture
Yes, they’ll do that. They’ll also claw their way up your curtains and perhaps even up your sweater while you’re wearing it. They love to climb! Your kitten has no notion of how much your furniture cost you, nor any understanding of why you’d prefer it not to be covered in claw marks. It’s impossible to give your kitten an understanding of any of those concepts, so instead, you need to focus their scratching attention elsewhere. This is why you need to have scratching posts in every room of your home that your kitten is allowed to enter. All pet owners should provide their cats and kittens with furniture to play on, and a cat scratching post is the bare minimum.
First, place the post near the object of your own furniture that your kitten has been scratching, and reward them with treats every time they use the post instead of your furniture. As they become more accustomed to using the post, you can move it further away from your furniture, and you should find that your kitten follows it.
Your Kitten Won’t Use Its Litter Tray
Some kittens are bright enough to understand what a litter tray is when they see one and immediately begin using them without a problem. Not everyone’s furry friend is a genius, though, and some of them need toilet training. Your kitten isn’t going to the toilet all over your house out of spite – it just doesn’t know any better! Rewarding your kitten with treats every time it uses the litter tray might work in some cases if you have a food-motivated pet, but it won’t work in all cases.
If treats don’t work, the root cause might be that your kitten feels insecure. Cats often urinate as a way of marking territory, and so if your kitten is urinating all over your home, it might be because it feels that territory is threatened. Try to correct this by giving it its own dedicated area, with a bed, some toys, and a scratching post. Rub their toys on their litter tray, too – this will leave pheromones on the tray and strengthen your cat’s sense of connection with it.
Your Kitten Keeps Jumping On Things
Most people don’t realize quite how high a kitten can jump until they own one, at which point they realize that they have springs in their heels and they can get on top of your wardrobes. There are places in every home that we’d rather our kittens didn’t climb onto. We don’t want them on our tables while we’re eating. We don’t really want them on kitchen surfaces where food is being prepared, either. In addition to this, there are places where they shouldn’t go for their own safety, for example, medicine cupboards.
While clicker training might help you to deal with this, clicker training is quite complicated and only works when you’re around your kitten. If you’re out at work or in another room, clicker training won’t prevent your kitten from doing a single thing! Instead, try putting sheets of aluminum foil down on any surface you don’t want your pet to jump up to or walk across. For reasons that their human owners can’t understand, cats absolutely hate aluminum foil. They can’t stand the feeling of it under their paws, and they’ll jump back off it as soon as they’ve jumped onto it. After a few days, your kitten will stop jumping onto those surfaces at all because it will have come to understand that there’s always foil there, and it doesn’t want anything to do with it. You can then remove the foil. Your kitten will never know any different!
Training cats and kittens not to misbehave is all about rewarding them for good behavior and persuading them not to demonstrate bad behavior while using kindness or non-aggressive intervention. Never shout at your kitten, and never strike it. If your cat feels scared of you, you’re far more likely to see more incidences of it urinating on your carpets because it feels insecure or acting out because it feels defensive. Use cleverness and kindness instead, and you’ll have a much happier life together!
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