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Best mode of punishment? #358320 03/28/09 11:01 AM
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Niki Offline OP
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I wonder what other's opinions on punishment for misbehavied animals. I of course only mean animals such as cats and dogs that can understand punishment and conditioning.

My cat has been acting up something wicked and it drew the last straw with me. At first I passed it off as her being a playful kitten( my mistake! ) but she's getting older now and it's not so "cute."

I was trying to recall modes of punishment we used on our three cats when I was younger. Sticking them in "time out" in the cat carrier seemed to work. Since little Chai was snarling and throwing a fit while I was trying to stick her in the box, I figured this might be the mode for her as well.

Anyone else have stories? Suggestions?

Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: Niki] #358322 03/28/09 12:25 PM
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most animal behaviorists and trainers no longer believe punishment to be an affective form of animal training.

Positive reinforcment is what is is best and it works very well with much quicker and happier results.


sticking her in a dark crate.carrier that she doesnt like is not going to make her behave, it will only make her angry and upset and thus more likely to disobey or act out.

and honestly, NO animal truly understands punishment, they dont understand why they are being punished, even though it may appear they do, it is just the punishment becoming a conditioned learned behavior not that its actually working.

what is she doing?

Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: ] #358323 03/28/09 12:33 PM
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I agree with Helwa, especially with cats. And yes what is she doing and if you thought it was "cute" then you must bear at least a part of the responsibility.

Did you have her before you got married?

PS your avatar is not showing.

Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: BLR] #358339 03/28/09 04:03 PM
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I had a stubborn moment and decided to change my post.

Last edited by Niki; 03/28/09 04:15 PM.
Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: Niki] #358340 03/28/09 04:14 PM
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With my cat, I would mist the air with water over where she stood and as it sprinkled on her, she would flee. I used this method when she began scratching the couch.

She learned that misbehaving meant a wet coat and she didn't enjoy that. Long story short, she stopped doing it. Good luck.


Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: Darkness] #358341 03/28/09 04:23 PM
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Darkness, we're starting the same thing. From what I researched and experienced, spray bottle seems to be the best method.

Sorry if 'punishment' sounds too harsh in the context of animals. To me, punishing and conditioning goes hand in hand. Although I understand it is not the same in psychological terminology, but my hubbie's the psyche, not me! To me, and in my head, negative conditioning is the same as punishment. I don't "punish" children or animals just for the sake of punishing. So none to fear.

In this one case, I don't remember what particularly happened in what order, but Chai did one of her flipping out moments when she scratched me good and snarled/hissed. When I told her "no!" firmly she just hit me again so Steve rushed over to take her back up stairs. She didn't like that and got him pretty good too so we stuck her in the crate. Which magically she escaped from when I went to let her out. No idea how in the blazes she did so, but she did.

The one thing that's really bothering me and I have to get her to stop is hitting me in the face. My family cats, before I got married, were conditioned to know to NEVER strike the face. Ever ever ever. It's a healthy fear in my book. But Chai has no fear of us at all. It's not good anymore.... At night I lay on the side of the bed that's to the floor (our bed is against a wall, Steve takes that side) and she loves to jump up during the night and smack me in the face. No claws. Sometimes it's playful, sometimes it's downright not nice. Last night I had a cold sore on my lip and she hit it square and good, I wasn't happy. So I need a way to "condition" her not to do that...

Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: Niki] #358342 03/28/09 04:32 PM
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My cat was the same in the beginning. She's much better now. Cats are very smart and can learn just as quickly. So I think if you follow the spray bottle method, I'm sure you'll see some improvement with her behavior.


Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: Darkness] #358355 03/28/09 05:39 PM
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I have to say that my inclination would be to knock her accros the room. But - My siamese male is pretty persestent and not to be denied at times. Something that I found works when I want him to quit doing something (even if it is being to affectionate) is to hold him very securely and not let me down for a minute or two. He really doesn't like that.

It also sounds like this would be a good application for a spray bottle. The hard thing is that you will have to be consistent. Even when you are in the mood to play her game you still have to spray her.

BTW - I do think they understand punishment if it is administered at the time of the infraction. I can site example after example of punishment (of sorts) is the best solution.

Good luck - cats can be pretty stubborn but they will get it they are also really smart.

Last edited by BLR; 03/28/09 05:40 PM.
Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: BLR] #358371 03/28/09 09:34 PM
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Yeah, she's a little smart aleck. But I've been around cats all my life, this is just my first real married baby. We even bread cats for a while and trained them for future owners..

But this crazy beast is a feral cat. We found her as a few week old kitten in the boiler room of my old apartment complex. She sounds and acts feral!

I try to refrain from the smacking across the room thing, especially when she wakes me up with her smaking in the face. Sometimes, I must admit, I give her a god whack!

Holding close doesn't work with her...I try it, then she turns around and "realizes" my face is near, and freaks out and starts attacking it. One time she freaked out she got her claw stuck in the inside of my nose. Needless to say that was the scariest moment of my life trying to unhook her claw and stabilize her so she doesn't naturally try to rip it out herself.

Re: Best mode of punishment? [Re: Niki] #358373 03/28/09 09:44 PM
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Oh wow - I see your problem - my siamese was ferrel - I captured him when he was about 6 weeks old. It is amazing how much different ferrel cats are than those that are born to domestic cats. I guess that is why the survive ferrel rather than adopting someone.

Does she claw you often - I keep my cats claws trimmed. I don't believe in declawing but when they are sharp as razors I do have to clip them once in a while.

Good luck with her - I assume that she has been spayed - if she hasn't that might help. Hopefully the water bottle will work.

I ended up (long story) with a ferrel, full grown, blind, tom cat. The water bottle worked great on him for claw sharpening on the furniture.

Last edited by BLR; 03/28/09 09:45 PM.
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