How to Discipline a Cat?

training fat cat to sit

There are times when it will be necessary to discipline your cat. 

It is important that you know how to do this properly. Making even a seemingly small mistake could potentially make the situation worse. This is something that all cat owners should learn about.

Cats vs. Dogs

The first thing you should understand is that disciplining a cat is very different from doing so with a dog. These are two very different animals, so you cannot use the same approach to disciplining them. Most of the techniques that work with your dog won’t do anything to get your cat to behave properly.

Avoid Getting Physical

You never want to get physical with your cat when disciplining it. This could harm your kitty as well as causing it to stay away from you. It is important that you don’t do anything to compromise their safety or the close bond you’ve established with them. The fact is that hitting or smacking your cat won’t yield any positive results whatsoever.

Yelling Isn’t a Good Idea

You should also avoid yelling or screaming at your cat when it does something wrong. This will only serve to confuse and agitate them. Your cat won’t understand why you are being so much louder than normal, so it’s not even worth trying. 

This could actually cause them to become anxious and act out as a result. The last thing you want is to worsen your cat’s behavioral issues.

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Safe and Effective Discipline Methods

Now that you know what not to do when disciplining your cat, you’ll want to learn about some of the methods that tend to work well for these animals.

1. Spray Them with Water

You’ll find that spraying your cat with plain old water can work well when it comes to discouraging certain behaviors. A couple of quick sprays should be enough to stop your cat in its tracks. 

These animals have a reputation for despising water, so this is usually a very effective method of discipline. Even cats that don’t especially hate water will still be startled by getting sprayed. This is one of the best things to try on a naughty cat.

2. Make Some Noise

While yelling at your cat isn’t a good idea, you can try to startle them by shaking a can full of pennies. This is a simple but often effective means of teaching a cat that their behavior is not acceptable.

3. Put Them in a Timeout

You can also try giving your cat a “timeout” by putting them in a certain area that doesn’t have any toys or anything else it can have fun with. This is a method that has been known to work well with these animals. You should only keep them in this area for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Cover Surfaces with Tinfoil

If you are trying to keep your cat off certain surfaces in your home, you can try putting tinfoil on them. This can actually work really well, and it won’t harm your cat at all.

training little kitten

5. Using Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a crucial component of properly training any cat. You’ll want to give your cat verbal praise when it starts doing what it is supposed to. It’s also a good idea to give them a treat as a reward once in a while. You don’t want to overdo it on the treats though, as this can cause your cat to become obese and unhealthy.

Preventing Bad Behavior in Your Cat

There are lots of different things you can do to prevent bad behavior from manifesting in your cat.

1. Give Your Cat Lots of Attention

You can drastically reduce the need to discipline your cat by simply spending more time playing with it each day. A lot of these animals end up acting out because they feel neglected. It therefore only makes sense to give them plenty of attention.

If you could be spending more time with your kitty, you’ll want to take the time to do so on a daily basis. This could make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting your cat to stop being making so much trouble at home.

2. Provided Your Cat with Lots of Toys

When your cat has a nice variety of toys to play with, they are less likely to cause trouble in various ways. You should also make sure that they have at least one scratching post. This can help you keep your furniture and other things from getting clawed up.

3. Keep Your Cat Healthy

There are a variety of health issues that can cause a cat to act up. You will, therefore, want to make a point of doing everything you can to keep them healthy. This means keeping them on a healthy and balanced diet, as well as regular checkups at the vet.

The healthier your cat is, the more likely they will be to act normally and not become aggressive or aggravated. You also need to make certain that your kitty is getting enough exercise on a daily basis. Certain cats are known for acting up if they don’t spend a certain amount of time outside each day.


  • It is important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t use the same methods for disciplining cats and dogs, as they are different animals.
  • Avoid yelling at your cat when disciplining them, as it will only confuse and agitate them.
  • It is also not a good idea to get physical with your cat, which means not hitting or smacking them, even lightly.
  • Make sure that you use positive reinforcement when your cat does what you want it to. Give them verbal praise and the occasional treat.
  • Try spraying your cat with some water from a spray bottle when they do something they shouldn’t.
  • Another good method to use for disciplining a cat is to shake a can filled with pennies at them when they do something wrong.
  • You can prevent a lot of acting out with your cat by simply carving out time to play with them each day.
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