by Doris Donnerman
(last updated August 29, 2009)
Training cats is sometimes a difficult endeavor because cats respond so differently from dogs, and cats' behavior is so different anyway. How you discipline cats is very different from how you discipline dogs, and you should recognize that right away. Here is just one technique you can use specifically for your cat to better train it and get it to do the things you want it to do.
In order to train your cat you need to find something that you can easily use for "punishment" if the cat does something it shouldn't. This negative incentive doesn't need to be harsh or harmful; a good choice with cats is to use some water.
Whenever your cat acts on a tendency to do something it knows it's not supposed to—climbing on the furniture, walking on the counters, lounging in the bathtub, sleeping in your bed, crawling up your leg—just squirt a small amount of water at it. By having that immediate and negative reaction to its behavior, your cat will assuredly back off, and cease doing whatever it's not supposed to be doing.
It may take a few times to fully train your cat to not do what it's not supposed to, but after repeatedly experiencing the water squirts, your cat will definitely stop what the behavior in fearful anticipation of getting the cold air.
The best source for administering the water squirts is to use either a small spray bottle or a squirt gun. If you use the spray bottle, make sure the bottle's nozzle is set to stream instead of spray; it will have a much better result. You can use regular tap water, as there will be no harm to your pet by the quick spray. This approach is inexpensive and will definitely do the trick for your cat!
You can't forget to reward your cat for behaving the way it's supposed to. The cat won't have too much positive incentive for maintaining good behavior if there's no good reward. Praise and stroke your cat when it does what it's supposed to, and your cat will keep up the good work!
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