Saturday, 6 June 2009

Punishing cats is wrong !

Every day people ask questions about how they should punish their kitten. The kitten is usually called 'bad' 'aggressive' or 'mean'
There is always a spate of answers advising 'yelling loud' 'rattling coins in a can' 'squirting water or some other liquid at the kitten' 'hitting the kitten on it's butt' 'blowing in its face' 'locking it away for time out' 'bopping it on the nose' and other variations on the same theme.
Why do these people not realise that kittens are babies,just like human babies and they surely wouldn't punish a human baby .....would they ??
I always reply, the best way to train a kitten is by distraction, they simply need lots of catnip toys around to throw or put gently by the kittens mouth when they go to bite or scratch someone or scratch a surface they shouldn't. Some of these kittens have no toys and no scratching post ! People play with them with bare hands when they are tiny and then wonder why they grow up thinking it's acceptable to bite their hands.
I also recommend that they don't speak when they gently redirect the kitten but when the kitten is good, to praise him, using his name a lot. The kitten soon learns it's a good feeling to please !
A kickable sized catnip toy is a good thing to buy or make, it's very easy to make one with an old soft towel.You just cut the shape of a fish or whatever,sew the edges securely and stuff it with the rest of the towel with catnip sprinkled in.
You can't put an old head on young shoulders is a very appropriate saying and kittens have to learn about the world, just like children do. I wish people would understand this and realise that the kitten will soon grow up anyway and in comparison to ours, their lives are very short.
Their lives should be made as happy as possible, enjoying being kittens and then cats.

1 comment:

  1. Skinner was right, punishment teaches nothing but fear of more punishment. Same for all creatures, including humans.


    Whicky Wuudler