Loading... Please wait...


Blog - How to discipline a cat

4 Proven Tips to Discipline Your Cat

Posted by

As a cat parent, you've probably wondered how to discipline your cat? If you have, the first thing you need to understand about disciplining cats is that their minds are entirely different from ours.

It's much harder to discipline a cat than disciplining dogs. If your dog misbehaves, all you have to do is look them in the eyes and say "No!" and they will know it's wrong.

However, this doesn't work with cats because they're unpredictable. Sometimes just saying "No" can harm a cat because it could be taken as a sign of playfulness.

To help you handle unpleasant cat behavior, here are some tips on how to discipline your cat:

Why Do Cats Misbehave?

Before we tackle how to discipline a cat, we must look at why cats misbehave and some destructive behaviors your cat may have.

Most times, cats don't intentionally misbehave. It's just them acting instinctively to their natural inclinations as animals or biological issues that may require vet attention.

Other times though, your cat has just randomly developed bad behavior or doesn't know better due to lack of training. Regardless of the cause, disciplinary action against your cat requires extreme care and patience.

Undesirable cat behaviors

  • Biting
  • Scratching furniture in your home
  • Chewing cables or wires
  • Dead animal Gifts
  • Exclusive play or meowing etc.

Now, let's move on to disciplining your feline friend:

#1  Avoid late punishments

Cats don't respond well to delayed punishments. It's best not to leave things until tomorrow or later that day because this can cause stress within your cat as they won't understand why you are punishing them later on. When they do something terrible, punish it immediately after it has happened.

Move or act quickly, e.g., by clapping your hands so your cat may realize what they did was wrong and resolve not to do it again next time.

#2  Lead by example

Cats may also learn what you want them to do by watching how you behave and copying your actions and movements. Train them on how to behave.

For example, if you don't like when your cat jumps on you while you're eating, then try to get off the floor every time they try doing this instead of shooing them away. That way, they'll get used to it and eventually stop trying because all their attempts were vain anyways.

#3  Positive reinforcement

This is a relatively new way of discipline that works wonders for both you and your kitty. It involves teaching your cat what not to do and rewarding them when they do something good—for example, using the litter box correctly or scratching the post instead of the couch.

It can be challenging to tell what your pet is thinking with positive reinforcement, but after time it's easier to understand and have your cat stay out of troublesome behavior.

#4 Time outs

Cats don't always respond well to being talked sternly or shouted at, especially not if you have a very soft voice.

Sometimes you need to be more quiet or unresponsive than usual and turn away from them for a short time. That's after, after letting your cat know they misbehaved.

Alternatively, you could isolate your cat for approximately 10minutes in the room. This will make them connect their bad behavior to their isolation. After ten minutes have passed, wait for your cat to calm down before calmly engaging them.

Pro Tip: Time-out is not recommended for cats with anxiety, stress, phobias, or toileting issues. Never use time out to punish your cat for extended periods or by shutting them away without access to food, water, or a litter box.

Bottom line

Cruelty, violence, or yelling are not the answer to disciplining your cat! Your cat will never understand what they've done wrong with such actions.

If you have a misbehaving cat, try to understand the reason behind their actions. Everything your cat does is motivated, and the quicker you understand them, the better you can discipline them. For instance, a cat would usually scratch furniture because there aren't any better places for them to claw. Buy a nice scratching post and make sure it has a comfortable place for your kitty to rest afterward.

Lastly, to correct a cat's behavior, consistency is vital. That's when your cat starts to comprehend and link their behavior with the consequence.

Recent Updates

Sign up to our newsletter