If your cat’s behaviour is driving you nuts try timeout
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Try time-out for cats who are misbehaving

Try time-out for cats who are misbehaving (by human standards) – Picture: a poster from Redbubble.com.

This is a snippet of advice from Jackson Galaxy. I’ve never tried it because I’ve never had cause to but I am sympathetic towards people who may on occasions become frustrated with their cat’s behaviour. Cat behaviour is never bad in an absolute sense but it can irritate people sometimes.

Perhaps he or she is keeping his owner awake at night or peeing in places other than the litter box or fighting with another cat in the household. They can cause an owner who is already stressed to lose her rag and dish out punishment. Punishment doesn’t work for cats but dishing it out can work for people.

Punishment might mean locking your cat in a bathroom for an hour and a half so that he learns his lesson but he won’t get it and he won’t learn the lesson whatever it is. So please don’t punish your cat.

However, something similar may provide relief to the problem and calm your cat down. Jackson Galaxy calls it “timeout” (or time-out). He says that if your cat gets into a fight or flight condition (i.e. an expression of the raw cat) resulting in perhaps redirected aggression or freaking out over something then you can lead your cat:

‘..to a small, confined environment, with lights down low, no sounds, no stimulation no nothing. This decompression zone allows the cat to re-enter his own body’s orbit, to go from being absolutely glued to the ceiling energetically, to bringing it back in: to fuse the etheric body and the physical body to bring them back together in harmony”. [Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy]

I don’t really get the rather mystical and philosophical aspect of his advice but I do understand the need for a cat, sometimes, to calm down and he says that a period of perhaps 5 to 10 minutes in a quiet space with nothing impinging upon his brain (i.e. no stimulation) will do the job. It’s not imprisonment (punishment) or what Jackson Galaxy calls “Kitty Jail” but a period of time-out.

If you know about this already and have tried it I would be very appreciative if you would describe your experiences in a comment, please. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve never used the technique but I do know when to leave my cat alone, to give him some emotional space. We need to be sensitive to this and respect the fact that we are different species. It’s up to us to do the thinking to find ways to make the relationship work and to remain harmonious.

Timeout is to help the cat. Kitty jail may help the owner but it won’t do much for the relationship.

HomeCat Behaviorcat aggressionIf your cat’s behaviour is driving you nuts try timeout
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If your cat’s behaviour is driving you nuts try timeout — 1 Comment

  1. A home should have plenty or retreats where a cat that is getting either stressed or picked on can go to. Often interactive play can be used for both cats or even a cat having what we call redirected aggression.
    I can compare redirected aggression to the aggression dogs develop when tied on ropes and chains. What is stimulation to their natural urges is out of reach. In most cases a fence doesn’t seem to produce the same behavior.
    Redirected aggression is accepted in cats however much more research needs to be done in how to avoid this behavior. Personally I think a cat that does not get regular hard play where they are exhausted is more prone to it. JG often mentions the need to make that bunch of feathers on the wand act like real prey.
    Each of my cats has a favorite activity which is interesting. Mercy is scared of the lizard thing on the wand but the twins will tear the house apart trying to catch it. Mercy drags her pink tape measure around and dances on it when it’s time to drag it around. She hides and stalks and then finally pounces. I agree that it’s best to isolate a cat that is in this kind of mental distress. It’s better to investigate what makes it happen beyond the simple explanation. BTW if you cat is actively hunting at a window leave them alone. They are happily mentally engaged.

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