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Teaching Your Cat Good Petiquette

Cats are very cute and lovable, but they certainly aren’t purrfect. In fact, Fluffy has some bad habits, such as scratching the furniture and, well, occasionally biting us. How do you go about teaching your feline buddy to be more polite? Read on as a local Mt. Pleasant, SC vet offers tips on teaching Fluffy better manners.

Avoid Punishment

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that cats don’t think the way we do. That said, it’s important to realize that they have no concept of the idea of punishment. If you reprimand your kitty for doing something wrong, she may not even associate her behavior with your reaction. Therefore, negative reinforcement may just make your cute pet feel scared, angry, and/or anxious. This often ends up making matters worse. Focus on positive reinforcement instead.

Giving Hints

While you should never punish your pet, you can teach her what is and is not acceptable furball behavior. For instance, if your feline pal bites you while playing, blow in her face, tell her ‘No’ in a firm tone, and then ignore her for a while. Another way to curb bad habits is to squirt your kitty with water. You can also make a loud noise: stamp your foot, clap your hands, or bang two pots together. These things won’t hurt Fluffy, but they will startle her. Cats absolutely hate being startled! This will help your furry buddy form a bad association with the undesired behavior.

Reward Good Behavior

To reinforce good petiquette, always reward your kitty for being good. If you see Fluffy use her scratching post instead of the couch, immediately offer her some of her favorite treats. You can also give your pet a new toy, or offer her ear scritches and praise. Essentially, you’ll want to bribe your furry friend into behaving properly.

Playtime!

Regular play sessions can also help curb unwanted behavior. Playing will help your feline buddy burn off any extra energy, and give her a healthy outlet for any anxiety or anger she may feel. Plus, if your kitty tires herself out with a fun session of Catch The Red Dot, she’ll probably be more interested in napping than in jumping on your toes. Tired cats are good cats!

Please feel free to contact us, your Mt. Pleasant, SC pet hospital, anytime. We’re always happy to help!

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