Is ignoring a cat as punishment the right thing to do? Can ignoring a cat be used as a training technique to teach a specific lesson? Or is it going to worsen the situation?
Ignoring your cat as a form of punishment will not be successful since cats will not be able to figure out why you are upset or not caring about him anymore. Cats need affection and attention. Thus the solution is an active training routine to correct behavior.
Here’s e all there is to know if ignoring a cat as punishment is correct or not.
IS IGNORING A CAT AS PUNISHMENT A VALID TRAINING METHOD?
Ignoring a cat as punishment is not an advisable course of action.
Disciplining a pet is challenging as you want to ensure that you are punishing their behavior and that you are not doing anything that will encourage the bad behavior or negatively affect them.
Cats are also particularly more difficult to discipline than dogs. So, how do you punish a cat?
You should never punish a cat, only ever their behavior. Ignoring a cat will not punish the behavior but will negatively affect them.
HOW DO YOU PUNISH A CAT OR STOP BAD BEHAVIOR IN CATS?
You should never forget that discipline and punishment are not the same things.
Pets are not like humans and will often not make the connection between the punishment and the act being punished. Instead, they will think that you are acting negatively toward them and act out against you.
You should always make sure that you react negatively at the time that the act occurs and not afterward.
For example, loud clapping, water, and yelling are all ways that you can make your disapproval noticeable to your cat.
Punishment is not something that cats can understand; the only thing they get is that you are hurting them, and for this reason, they will not follow your direction, while at the same time, they become afraid of you.
The solution is to train your cat to behave in a certain way. Here are some training tips and things you can use to make your cat behave:
1. TEACH YOUR CAT SOME BASIC COMMANDS
Although there is a common belief that cats do not understand what we are saying, they can be trained to understand the meaning of certain words. I know this can be done because my cats are trained to understand words like “NO,” ” COME HERE,” and their names.
But, it takes a lot of patience; cats are not dogs. They seem to decide each time if it is a good thing to follow your orders.
Here is how you can teach the meaning of the word “NO”:
- Say “No” while your cat is doing something wrong
- Go to your cat and stop him from what he is doing, repeating the word at the same time
- After a while, he will stop by himself as soon as you say “NO.”
- You need to be firm when you say the word and even loud
Here is how you can teach your cat to come to you:
- Decide if you want to use his name or a word such as “COME”
- Each time you say this word pick up your cat and bring him to you if he is not coming
- Give a treat or pets each time
- Repeat this word several times before picking up your cat to make it come next to you
Those are examples of things you can do and that I have successfully used with my cats. Most of the time, they do what I say, but they sometimes choose to ignore me.
It takes a while for them to understand what you want and learn; if it doesn’t work at week number 1, it will work after a few months of training.
Bonus tip. Here is how to teach your cats not to run away and stay on the porch:
- Open the front door and observe your cats
- If they try to go out, say “NO” or “COME” or call them by their name
- If they do not come back or stay on the porch, pick them up and place them on the porch
- After a few weeks of this operation, they will not run away. It works with most cats.
My cats enjoy watching outside from my porch every morning, and they do not run away. If they start to go far, I call them, and they return. However, it takes some patience and a lot of work to teach cats to do this.
With these simple steps, you can train your cat to do or not do anything.
2. LOUD NOISES
Sometimes your cat will not follow your orders, even if you say NO.
In this case, loud noises attract their attention and make them stop what they are doing. It can be a thing such as clapping your hands or any other notice.
3. USE CAT DETERRENTS
I am not fond of other people’s recommendations to use a water bottle and spray water on cats to stop them from doing something. But there are some good and not aggressive deterrents.
- Protection for the couch (and furniture) to prevent cat scratching
- Non-toxic essential oils to use on surfaces you do not want your cat to jump on
- Train your cat to use scratching posts
- Use cat toys to keep your cat occupied
- Play with your cat
Here are some good deterrents you can use:
4. TEMPORARY PLACE YOUR CAT IN ANOTHER PLACE
If your cat is getting crazy, and there is no way to make him stop, you could temporarily, just for a few minutes, place him in a room and close the door. Then, when he is calm again, let him out.
In this way, your cat understands that he has gone too far and has to calm down.
5. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CAT
Although it might sound weird, if you bond with your cat, they are more likely to follow your directions. Your cat has to trust you and know that you are a constant presence in his life.
6. SEE A PROFESSIONAL
If you have problems with your cat’s behavior and can’t manage it by yourself, you should see your vet to rule out health problems and then, if necessary, find a professional cat trainer.
A professional can help you to make your cat behave and resolve even the worst problems.
SHOULD YOU REWARD A BADLY BEHAVED CAT?
In addition to reacting negatively when your cat does something bad, you should reward them when they do something good. This will only help reinforce the connection between your reaction and their action.
If you only punish your cat, you risk them associating you with negative things, and they may begin to shy away from you.
HOW DO YOU PUNISH A CAT THAT ATTACKS
If your cat attacks you, a friend or family member, or even another animal, you should always refrain from hitting them but make sure that you separate them as quickly as possible.
You can simply pick them up (if it is safe to do so) and move them to another room. This will then give them time to cool down and de-escalate the situation.
If your cat does not stop attacking, you may need to see an animal behavior specialist as there may be an underlying reason for your cat’s aggressive behavior.
Alternatively, you can keep them separated from whoever they attack. However, this can be a lot of work and may worsen your cat’s behavior if they feel isolated and neglected.
SHOULD YOU IGNORE YOUR CAT?
You should never ignore a cat as it may simply become aggressive as a response. Instead, you should think of your child in that you need to teach them what is right and wrong. You need to guide them but not too harshly.
Ignoring a cat is the same as ignoring a person, and they won’t take kindly to it. Of course, you can always remove them from the household for a short amount of time immediately after they have misbehaved or attacked someone, but ignoring them for a prolonged period will not help the situation.
Ignoring your cat may also allow them to continue with their bad behavior and simply make them harder to discipline in the future.
IS PUTTING A CAT IN A CARRIER AS PUNISHMENT EFFECTIVE?
A carrier is a tiny place for a cat; it can stress them more and make them scared and upset. However, if you want to contain your cat at a particular moment when he is out of control, you can temporarily place your cat in a room to cool down.
But only temporarily, for a few minutes. It is better if you work to train your cat to follow specific commands or teach him certain habits.
HOW TO PUNISH A CAT FOR SPRAYING?
Punishment is not a solution for a spraying cat. From experience, I can say that pain and physical punishment will not make your cat stop peeing around the house. The way to go about it is to find the underlying reason for this behavior.
For example, cats can spray because of the following reasons:
- Cats are not neutered or spayed
- Cats are stressed
- New cats or pets entered the house
- Conflicts with other cats
- A new scent in the house
- Change of things in the house
The vet or an animal behaviorist can help resolve issues you can’t fix by yourself. Once you find the right reason, your cat will stop spaying.
HOW TO DISCIPLINE A CAT THAT BITES?
If your cat is biting too much, the correct thing is to train it not to do it and not to use punishment. If your cat bites, teach him the word “NO” and train him to stop when you say it.
You can also provide toys your cat can use to chew instead of your hands or feet. If your cat is aggressive and bites because of upset, you need to rule out health problems and prevent anything that can stress him out.
Stress and fear can make a cat so upset, resulting in biting. In the worst case, seek the assistance of the vet or an animal behaviorist.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you discipline a cat that won’t listen?
The real solution is not to discipline a cat that won’t listen but to train a cat to behave in a certain way or to follow specific commands.
How to punish a cat for scratching me?
If your cat is scratching you, you must train him not to do it. Teach him the word NO, and make him stop when he is trying to scratch your, or leave the room if he does it, so he knows you don’t like it.
Should I punish my cat for killing birds?
You should not punish your cat for killing a bird but prevent it if you do not want this to happen. Cats are hunters, and this is natural for them. The solution is not to let the cat out or protect your birds if you have bird pets indoors.
How do you punish a cat for attacking another cat?
You should not punish a cat for attaching another cat, but stop them and separate the cats. Cats should be slowly introduced, and even when this is done, some cats might never get along.