Whether your cat likes to sharpen their claws on your beautiful sofa or wallpaper, climb onto the kitchen table to steal food, sleep on the clean linen pile, or unroll all the toilet paper “just for fun”, it’s time to nip their naughty habits in the bud! There are two solutions for this. The first is to take your kitty’s photo with a “shame board” around their neck and to put it online. While this may grant you some temporary satisfaction, it won’t get to the root of the problem. The second solution is to try to cure your cat of these bad habits, which is where we come in!
Punishment doesn’t work on cats
When your cat has been really naughty, you may be tempted to react by giving them a serious talking to, tapping them on the behind or on the nose, or spraying them with water. In other words, your first instinct is to punish them.
This is not the right solution! In all likelihood, your cat won’t understand the reason for your reaction (especially if it occurs a few hours after the deed itself). In the best-case scenario, your punishment will have the opposite effect: your cat will tell themselves that their behaviour has won them your attention and will therefore do it again. In the worst-case scenario, your cat will be angry with you or start to fear you.
Use deterrent devices
Fortunately, there are several solutions to prevent your cat from getting up to mischief. You can start with a few deterrent devices, such as double-sided tape or tinfoil: cats don't like to rub up against either. All you need to do is put them in the right place, for example on the bed where he usually goes when you are not there or on the couch where he sharpens his claws.
Another formidable "weapon" is motion-activated spray. Place it on the shelf or table where your cat is not allowed to climb, or next to the roll of toilet paper they enjoy unrolling, for example. The spray will scare them, but you will not be associated with this bad experience in your cat’s mind. After getting “caught” a few times, your cat should stop their antics!
Think like a cat!
You will also need to adopt a feline psychology approach. For example, if you want your cat to change their behaviour, you must provide a better alternative. If they are used to sharpening their claws on everything, why not buy them a scratching post. But remember, to make sure your kitty adopts it, it’s important they associate it with a positive experience. This can be ensured by giving them a small treat whenever they use it.
If your cat has a tendency to pee everywhere except in their litter box, it’s best to try determine the root problem. Maybe they don’t like their litter or perhaps their litter box is not in the right place. If your cat has a fondness for eating your indoor plants, place them out reach and buy your kitty a pot of cat grass. In others words, there’s a solution to every problem! However, if all your efforts result in failure and your cat is making your life difficult, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a feline behaviour specialist.
Have you heard of Simon Tofield? This cartoon artist is the creator of Simon’s Cat: a cartoon series inspired by his cat’s antics!