My blood runs cold to read of the ‘advice’ given by the people who think they know all about cats, to other people asking for suggestions on how to stop their cats ‘bad’ behaviour.
Amongst the punishments recommended are:
- Scruffing (holding the cat up or down by the scruff of the
- Time out
- Squirting water or another liquid
- Water balanced in containers (so when the cat jumps where she
shouldn’t she gets a soaking)
- Hitting (a favourite is ‘bopping’ on the nose)
- Shocking (with a scat mat)
- A loud noise (such as rattling coins in a can)
Poster by Ruth
Do the people who advise such unkindness to cats treat their children the same way ? Do they expect them to have old heads on young shoulders? Do they teach them good behaviour by punishment ?
I hope not!
So why do it to their cat? Do they expect a cat to reason and to know how to behave like a human? Do they not know the things cats do is NOT bad behaviour, it’s natural behaviour to a cat.
Take jumping up onto heights:
Cats love to be up high and it’s very simple to provide a few perches for them rather than constantly be chasing them from worktops etc.
Cats need to scratch to stay healthy and content and again it’s very simple to provide them with a scratching post and to show them how to use it.
Cats are very intelligent and if gently removed or distracted from where they shouldn’t be each time they go there, they soon remember the places out of bounds to them.
If this is done silently and then the cat praised using her name when her behaviour is acceptable, she is soon happy to oblige and to stay away from where she shouldn’t be.
It only takes a bit of time and patience and surely it’s worth that to have a happy confident well behaved cat rather than a nervous cat living her life afraid of being punished by the person she should be able to love and trust and not knowing why.
I know some people do think the squirting punishment is acceptable and think that it does work, but I don’t agree and it could be dangerous to the cat. If liquid entered her eyes, nose, ears or mouth it could cause an infection in those delicate organs.
Maybe all the people who do this don’t purposefully aim for the cat’s face (although some boast that they do) but we all know how quickly cats can move!
Also they may say ‘But the cat doesn’t associate the wetting with the person doing it’ What rubbish! Cats aren’t daft!
I can’t see any justification for punishing a cat in any way at all, cats don’t understand punishment, therefore it’s unkind and pointless.