Cats as a species are notoriously independent, willful, creative and energetic.
To the uninitiated they seem aloof and disinterested, sometimes disdainful of their humans.
But those who have fallen under the hypnotic spell and have a feline in their life will know that these adorable creatures have an arsenal of behaviors and activities to get what they want. Purring, rubbing, kneading are the obvious ones but more subtly they stare at you (unblinkingly), tilt their heads, fall on their backs, stretch out, trill, follow and a host of other subtle and not so subtle behaviors.
All aimed at getting what they want.
They are adorable certainly. To feel so honored that this great, aloof creature is bothering to seek your attention. The human rushes to fulfill the every whim of their feline friend.
Some food? Of course!
Cat nip? Certainly!
Tummy rub? I’m coming!
Cute, charming and special. The domestic cat has learned how to get exactly what they want. Evolution at its best. Sometimes you have to know how to train your cat and reduce the behaviors that cause problems.
There are times that this wonderful bundle of fur has behaviors that are less than desirable. Behaviors that are annoying, tiresome and sometimes downright dangerous.
Running off with a ball of wool? That isn’t so much bad cat as bad owner. Just don’t leave the wool out.
Eating the houseplants? Not good for the plants and potentially sickening for the cat.
Running across the counter top while cooking? Deadly. This is exactly the time when you need to know how to train your cat.
So what is a loving human to do? There are several different techniques that can be employed to correct behavior. Many of these are effective, but need to be applied consistently and immediately. Breaking a cat or kitten of a habits involves re-training and it takes time. Here are some techniques worth trying with the cat.
Cats dislike water and a quick spray of water generally acts as a good deterent and helps to address undesired behaviors.
Keep a small spray bottle handy and spray the cat (while saying no) and be prepared to repeat as necessary. In time the cat should learn and just the sight of the bottle stops them.
Pro: often works quite well to re-shape behavior / cats learn from this fast
Con: will wet surrounding surface which can be a problem and potentially a safety hazard / have to have sprayer nearby
Cats like to jump onto everything such as furniture, counters, and much more. They love to be elevated. The higher the better. Sometimes this isn’t safe or desirable. Areas where food is placed such as counters or tables, upholstery, unstable surfaces. A simple technique that often works is putting foil on the surface. Cats don’t like the feel or the sound.
Pro: requires virtually no special equipment and is readily available
Con: can be expensive, often is a one time use, isn’t really environmentally friendly, makes your room look a mess.
The clattering sound of some kind of noisemaker will often distract a cat stops them from doing whatever they are doing. Can use small cymbals, whistle, other sharp sounding item.
Pro: frightens the cat into stopping
Con: you have to listen to it too / have to have noisemaker near by
A quick light throw of a bean bag will be the most entertaining option as the cat will often go air bound as a reaction to the shock. Works well for places that the other distractions can’t such as drapes.
Pros: shocks the cat into stopping / reusable and environmentally friendly
Con: can injure the cat so not a good option / can cause other domestic damage if you miss