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Reasons Why Not to Punish Your Cat

September 08, 2019

Millions of people around the world have cats as pets.

Living with these furry friends can be difficult due to their tendency to be quite feisty at times.

This is a completely normal behavior and you may be tempted to try and discipline your cat.

It is common for cat owners to be frustrated by their cats’ behaviors, especially if they have previously had a pet like a dog that responded well to training.

Cats need to be handled differently, since they do not learn and respond to commands the same way dogs do.

However, punishing your cat may not be the best way to deal with such situations and here’s why:

Punishment simply does not work for cats.

Punishing your cat especially for showing acts of aggression may appear to be working at first, but it is detrimental in the long run.

Your cat may appear to stop these behaviors, but they will always return. 

It might take a few days, weeks or even months but after a while, your cat will tend to repeat their actions. This is because your cat only stopped because it feared the consequences and not because he wanted to be peaceful.

Punishing your cat may initiate and intensify defensive aggression.

In as much as cats have been domesticated, they still retain instinctive animalistic behaviors that come to the fore when they feel they are at risk.

When a cat is in pain, fear or is stressed, it is likely to be more aggressive. At this point, punishment will only serve to make things worse. Your cat may bite to show dislike or discontent with your way of handling him and beating your cat may make him become increasingly aggressive every time you go near them.

Just like bonds between humans, the bond between you and your cat will suffer because of physical aggression.

Despite the fact that all cats are unique, their relationship with humans tend to be different, more punishment often results in less communication, less love, more hissing and lower petting tolerance.

As a result, this will lead to lower acknowledgement of the owner apart from feeding time and eventually less communication.

When you punish your cat, you build tension which the cat will have to release in one way or another.

It can do this by playing, hunting, running or by attacking other people.

The cat may redirect this aggression to other people who do not intimidate him as you do. As a result, your kids, spouse or neighbor may be an easy target for your cat to take out their frustration.

The best way to deal with your cat’s behavior is by reinforcing and rewarding good behaviors.

This can be done by praising them or giving healthy treats to show that you approve of their behavior.

When your cat displays bad behavior, you can do so by withdrawing your attention from the cat or by redirecting their attention to a different activity altogether.

Cats are usually very peaceful animals and aggressive behavior is often a sign of an underlying issue.

The best thing to remember is that you cannot solve violence with aggression. Use a peaceful loving approach and your cat will mirror your behavior.

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