This is not an unusual question from cat owners. This might be the scenario in full:
My cat Annie, jumped up on the kitchen counter. I shouted at her “No”, she turned and looked at me and then I pushed her off the counter forcefully. She slinked away, sulking. When I called her afterwards her ears turned to me but she continued to look away. Am I doing the wrong things?…..(from Miss D)
A lot of people don’t like their cat walking along the kitchen counter top. They think it brings disease etc. to the food. Personally I don’t believe the cat brings any more disease to the kitchen than the person working in it. Why should they? There are other cat behaviors that upset some people.
We each have our own ideas. I respect that. If a person scolds a cat verbally and dominants their cat with a loud voice while staring at them the cat will naturally feel very submissive and behave in a submissive manner; the behavior that you have described.
People turn their backs on people when they are annoyed and fed up with the other person. When cats do the same thing it is because they are being submissive and acknowledging that fact. This is to be expected because people are much bigger than domestic cats.
However, despite the size difference, some confident alpha type cats will stand their ground. They will interpret the human stare as hostile and defend themselves and fight. This probably won’t occur in the typical household but it may happen when a stray cat comes into the house and you try and get him out. He may stand his ground and fight. Feral cats might do this too. Cats are highly tuned predators and fighters. They are not always intimidated by animals that are much larger than them.
Scolding a cat (meaning shouting at a cat and perhaps smacking the cat or squirting water) is a form of punishment. Quite a few cat experts advocate this to train cats to stop doing unwelcome things in the house.
Personally, I don’t advocate cat punishment in any shape or form. Over time it is liable to damage the cat-human relationship. Cats won’t normally get the connection between pain/discomfort (the punishment) and their actions.
If you are really concerned about your cat doing things such as walking along kitchen counter top, the better route is to try and use positive reinforcement (cat training) to modify behavior. The simpler alternative is to accept all forms of natural cat behavior and rejoice in it. After all you have a cat for a companion. Accept him totally.
Finally if a cat behaves in a way that you find unwelcome the first question is, “Am I doing something that is causing this?”.
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