Why do we feel the need to physically harm our kitten, cat or any other pet for that matter when they display unwanted behavior? Is it because we were spanked as children and we believe there is nothing wrong with it?
Quick newsflash! Your pet is not a human so why should it get the same treatment? Would you like to be whipped like a donkey or an ox when you are tired of working and take a sick day… when really you are sitting at home watching reruns of low budget shows and endless advertisements for vacuums? Would you not be happier if you got more praise at work? It’s a common suggestion that entrepreneurs make and doesn’t seem to get the credit it deserves in all the categories it is applicable.
So maybe we have reached a bit of a confluence. You and your cat would like more praise. And neither you nor your cat wants to be hit.
Does your cat understand yes and no? The research is extensive. We can train them certainly and they then react to what sound it sounds like to them that we are making. More simply, like how we understand our cat’s call of distress when he is stuck in a cupboard or his hungry meow.
Cat’s respond to what you give them. Give them love and they will be loving (Discounting external factors like another cat making them aggressive. I think Jackson Galaxy from “My Cat from Hell” has shown us all this.) Give them treats and they will do more of what you gave them treats for. Hit them and you end up with a skittish, confused cat that hides under the couch and hisses at you.
Hitting them just makes them lose their trust in you. We are supposed to be understanding or else we have no right to be calling ourselves the superior species. We need to understand why our little Mittens or Truffles The Cat is acting the way he is. He is not capable of telling you he is sick so he does the next best thing and the least best thing for your carpet. He doesn’t deserve punishment for trying to make us understand.
Punishing a cat for scratching your leather couch is also not alright. Cats scratch. It is in their nature. It is you who brought the cat into your home and you should have been prepared to face those consequences.
Your cat needs positive reinforcement. And that does not involve you saying “Good kitty” and leaving it at that. A kitty nibble will do wonders in the discipline department. Reward them immediately or else they’ll forget what they are being praised for. As the saying goes “There’s no time like the present!”