It is certainly true that pain acts as a deterrent for just about any sentient creature. Therefore, if your cat has a tendency to exhibit problem behavior, it will become markedly less likely to do so if you inflict pain as a punishment. However, we have reached a stage where it is frowned upon for humans to use physical punishment as a way of correcting the behavior of their children – so why would one do this to their cat?
Just because cats are smaller, not human, and have different “laws”, it does not make it OK to beat a cat as punishment for a transgression. It is particularly worthless as a punishment when it is done, as it often is, some time after the event of its misbehavior. This won’t help you and it certainly won’t help your cat.
Instead of physical punishment inflicting pain, it is much better to encourage your cat to behave in a more reasonable way by making the actions which bother you uncomfortable for the cat. Therefore, if you are sick of your cat climbing the curtains, a fine mist of water sprayed from a nozzle can be a whole lot more effective than a slap. By being consistent in this response, you can get to the stage where even reaching for the bottle will warn your cat.
Additionally, if your cat has a tendency to “go” in a certain spot, which it considers to be its territory, sprinkling lemon juice in that spot will encourage it to give that up. Cats hate citrus smells, and “remarking your territory” will convince it of the futility of its actions.
It is frequently said that cats are not pets in the typical sense of the word. That is to say that, although a dog feels very much that its owner is its master, a cat thinks very much that it owns its owner, and that we are their humans rather than them being our cats. While there is some kernel of truth in the suggestion that cats are more independent than dogs, this is not quite how it works. It would be more accurate to say that cats see us as being other cats.
To your cat, you are essentially just a bigger cat who walks on your hind legs. This can work in your favor. Although there is less of a hierarchical aspect to how cats behave – while packs of dogs usually have a “leader”, cats are more egalitarian – you still have the power to a large extent. It is you who controls the food, and you who solves the “problems” that a cat may have. Therefore, a cat may feel indebted to you for feeding it and fussing it, and this is beneficial in terms of training.
It is futile to attempt to persuade a cat to ignore its instincts. These are what cats live by and what they revert to when they do not have you to call upon, so they will never be overridden. However, by being ready to reward good behavior with a pleasant treat and by being prepared to put a stop to problem behaviors, you can mold the way a cat behaves – just don’t let that go to your head, and treat a cat with respect. It’s better for you and for them.
We all love cats. They are endlessly entertaining, cute as anything, and despite what some people might think they are highly affectionate. Indeed, once you have got the friendship of a cat you are pretty much set for life with your pet. They are highly faithful animals. That’s not to say, though, that they cannot get on your nerves from time to time. There’s no harm in that, really. Humans do that. But sometimes it can become a problem if their behavior gets to a stage where they are more annoying than affectionate.
One of the more common problem behaviors with cats is excessive miaowing. It should be said that, in comparison with a dog’s problem barking, miaowing is far less intrusive to neighbors and other people. Nonetheless, it can be troublesome and it is not something you want to encourage. The immediate solution you should be looking for is to check why your cat is miaowing. Is it hungry? Is it in pain? Or does it just fancy exercising its vocal cords for a time?
If it is the last one, then it can be hard to think of a solution. If it is hungry, you can feed it and if it is in pain then you can treat it. However, if it just seems to like miaowing then you need to think of another way. Often, this kind of miaowing is simply your cat looking for attention. One thing you will find is that if a cat which is miaowing is picked up and fussed, it will usually stop. Sometimes all they want is to be the center of attention.