How to say no to your cat? We know cats to be stubborn and do whatever they like and when they like, training them to do something or training them not to do something is a challenge in most cases. Can they understand what NO means and that there are certain things we do not want them doing?

Although cats are very independent, they can still be trained to understand short commands, like “NO” or “COME” or even their names. It takes the patient of a saint to teach a cat to follow instructions, but it is definitively possible. Ideally, one should start teaching cats those commands when they are kittens; there are more chances they have an easier time to learn them. Grown-up cats can also learn with more patient and time.

Let’s see what we can do to make them understand what NO means.

How to say no to your cat?


Most cats owners have tried to find an answer or a method to say no to a cat and actually make them understand it and follow the commands.

Cats are funny and yet complicated creatures; at times, we can say even weird. We know that sometimes when we call them, they come to us, sometimes they move their ears, so we know they actually heard it, but decide to keep on doing their business and ignore us.

I looked at my cat this morning; he was on the table waiting for me to give him treats. He looked at me with those big green eyes, looking so cute, I just wanted to kiss him on his face and never stop, which I did, the only thing I had to stop, which raised the question: “How to say no to my cat when he wants something?”. Of course, he got his treats, more than I wanted to give him.

So one aspect of the problem is how to say no to your cat when they do something wrong, and the other aspect is how to say not to your cat when they want you to do something. They look so darn cute and come purring and kissing, how to say NO?. They know exactly how to get what they want, and we are too weak to react.


I believe that of the 2 tasks, this is “easier” I have a hard time to deny things to my cat when he is asking and using all the tricks in his book on me. It is easier to tell him to stop doing something. At least for me.

Since when he was a kitten, I had my cat, I trained him to understand the word NO. Each time he did something wrong, I would say NO firmly, and at the same time, I would pick him up and move him away from what he was doing.

After doing that long enough, he knows that when I say NO, he has to stop. Sometimes I have to say NO and start to move toward him to make him stop.

If your cat is grown up, you can still train him in this way. You do not need to scream or scare him or beat him. Cats can be trained to the contrary to common beliefs. I run across videos from people on YouTube that show cats doing fantastic things. But between having cats doing acrobatic tricks and just teaching them to stop scratching your furniture, there is a sea.

There are people around the web suggesting to spray water on cats or hiss like cats or even beat them to make cats stop doing things. I do not know why they arrived at this conclusion. It is not necessary.

Cats can be trained; use treats to reward them when they do what you asked them, and teach them words associated with an action you make them do while you say it.

In summary:

  • FIND OUT IF YOUR CAT IS DOING SOMETHING WRONG BECAUSE HE HAS A PROBLEM: in this case, training is useless; you have to solve your cat problem. For example, cats have to scratch something to sharpen their claws. If you provide a scratching post, you can train them to use it. Otherwise, he will do his claws on your couch, no matter what you tell him.


This is the hardest task. How to say to those big eyes, to this purring doll, and pleading face? Especially if they are so good looking? Cats are artists, they know how to get you, they are also good at repeating any request, and they are very persistent.

The question is more Will you have the strength to say NO, instead of how to say no to your cat? I started writing this article because my cat this morning made me give him many treats, despite my firm resolution to not give him anything for another couple of hours. He did not take a NO and started to rub against my legs, meow, and jump on the table, near the treats bag.

Well, at least I made him pay 3 kisses per treat! Obviously, I am not a good example of this. The point here is not my cat; it is me. Can I ignore him? Normally it is just a point to pretend he didn’t do anything and go away, or not react. Cats can settle and go and do other things.

It works well when they are meowing in the night because they want to go out or they want to play, do nothing, and they will stop at some points. Sometimes my cat comes to wake me up, and I am too lazy to stand up; I pet him a bit; after a bit of pawing at me, he sits next to me and waits for me to stop being lazy and stand up. Therefore the best advice is to pretend you did not hear them. A bit like they sometimes do!

Can you say no to your cat? Please, tell me I am not the only one!


Here some related questions to “How to say no to your cat?” and related answers:

  • Is it too late to train my cat?

I do not think it is ever too late in training a cat. Cats require more patient than dogs because of their nature, but they are likewise smart and can understand certain tasks. Many people train their cats, even to do incredible performances in front of people. Cats also have different personalities; therefore, some cats can get things a bit faster. For example, Maine Coons can be more trainable than other types of cats.

If your cat is already grown up, you may need to spend a bit more time to teach him certain commands. It is possible, though.

  • Do cats listen to you?

I know that cats listen to you. At least they hear you. If they decide to act on it, it is another point. I know that my cat hears me when I call him. He is trained in his name. When I call him, usually, he comes. There are sometimes when he hears me but still doesn’t move.

I know he heard me because his ears are moving in my direction. But, he plays a bit of “primadonna” and decides to ignore me. It is so with other cats too. They have a sort of “selective hearing,” meaning they listen to what they want.


How to say no to your cat? Can you tell him no? Cats are great creatures; I am happy to live with some of them, enjoying their erratic personalities, the sweet side of them, and the not so funny side. It is part of the game. If you want to add anything or have a question, leave it in the comments below.

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