Cat behavior Problems

Published: 05th July 2007
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Is Cat Discipline Possible?

First of all let me dispel a common myth concerning the training of cats. Cats are inteligent animals and will learn new behavior much faster than you think. Many people find it hard to believe that cat discipline is possible but despite their independent nature it is possible to train a cat that a particular behaviour is bad. All it takes is some patience and consistency in their training. So give it a try and don't give up.

Cats don't think like us

It is essential to remember that cats are not humans they work using their own logic and instincts. Your Ragdoll cat expects you to think the same way he does and will respond to you accordingly.

Cats do not understand violence

A cat will not understand the use of violence as a form of discipline and so will not associate it with their bad behaviour. The only effect this will have is to make them afraid of you. Hitting your Ragdoll cat is not a very effective form of punishment for bad behaviour, the methods outlined below are several good ways to reprimand your Ragdoll cat:

The 'Face Push' Method

For times when you are near your cat when behaving badly 'The Face Push' method should be used. It consists of a GENTLE but firm push back on your cat's face along with a stern 'NO' command. This is a strong message to cats and used consistently will re-enforce the message that a particular behaviour is wrong.

The Squirt Gun

If your cat is out of reach and needs to be disciplined a squirt gun filled with water and a dash of vinegar is a great tool. Just a quick squirt in the face with a stern 'NO' command is enough to let them know that they are missbehaving.

The Rattle Bottle

Another good technique is a small can or plastic bottle partly filled with pebbles or coins when shaken or dropped and the 'NO' command can provide a great deterrent from bad behavior. Try not to over use this method to prevent your Ragdoll cat from becoming desensitised to its affect.

Being consistant with these methods will soon teach your Ragdoll cat which behaviour is correct and which is bad.

Problems with aggression

Aggression problems in cats is not as common as it is for dogs but for many reasons cats can develop an aggression problem and it is important to address this as early as possible to avoid impacting the problem with wrong treatment from you the owner. There are different types of aggression in cats and below are the most common:

Play Aggression

The most common form of aggression is play aggression and is usually your cat playing rough. This is almost always because they have been taught to play like this from when they were kittens; this is called 'conditioned aggression'.

Conditioned Aggression

As explained above if you have this problem then it was conditioned into your Ragdoll cat from when it was a kitten. To avoid doing this when rearing kittens always divert aggressive play onto toys and other objects like string on the end of a stick. This will help to distance the aggression from you. If necessary use a squirt gun to stop the wrong behavior along with the usual 'NO' command.

Pain Aggression

If the aggression problem suddenly appears for no appparent reason your cat could be in pain. Your cat has no way of telling you if it has a medical condition and is in pain so biting or scratching you could be your cats way of either letting you know or protecting itself. If it doesn't stop over time you should consult your veterinary surgeon to get a diagnosis if there is a medical problem, which needs treatment.

When your ragdoll cat jumps on the table

This is a common problem with cats if you don't teach them not to. A squirt in the face with the squirt gun or a drop of the rattle bottle along with the 'NO' command may be all that is required to deter your cat from jumping up but you must be consistent so that your Ragdoll cat knows why they are being disciplined.

As mentioned above it is not that difficult to have a cat that is disciplined and knows his boundries if the above techniques are used consistantly.

The auther is the writer of 'The Complete Ragdoll Cat Keepers Handbook, to find out more visit:

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