Believe it or not, there are no bad cats. Cats are just unique. They live in a cat world and do what cats do, no matter what you try to say or do to convince them to adjust to your world. The most important thing for you as a cat parent is to understand why your cat does what it does. Cats do not go to obedience school. If they had their way, you as a pet parent would go to obedience school to learn how to deal with your pet.
A cat is not a dog; a cat does not act like a dog, think like a dog or behave like a dog. If you want a pet that behaves as a dog, get a dog not a cat. That said, let’s get to the point of understanding cat behavior. Punishing a cat for wrong behavior is like trying to empty the ocean one-cup at a time. Try as you may, you will never empty the ocean or get your cat to understand why you are punishing him/her.
Punishment will never cure bad behavior; it will only make your cat frightened and leery of you. Cats are smart enough to know that once punished for a misdeed they will not do it again, in front of you. They will wait until your back is turned or you are out the door. Though you may believe your cat understands what you are saying, or rather yelling about, it will pay you no heed except to run away, ignore you or wait to do it again later.
A perfect example is our male cat Smokey, he dislikes our female cat Tiger and every chance he gets he will chase her. However, if he starts out to chase her and then sees me he stops, looks at me and then will turn away as if he was just out taking a walk. He knows I will say “No” quite loudly and scold him. Of course, it doesn’t do any good to scold him, but it makes me feel better.
There are several good reasons why your cat does what it does to annoy you. First of all, cats really don’t have a good grasp of the English language; they are not furry little people. However, they do understand positive and negative responses to their actions. Cats love praise, pets and treats and this is our secret weapon. Screaming, yelling, spanking or throwing (heaven forbid) will only traumatize your cat and make it fearful of you.
Stop for a moment and think about the life your cat is leading (okay, you wish you could lead that life) take into consideration its day. You are at work all day and may get home late and tired. Your fur ball has been sleeping all day and wants to play.
You want to sit, eat and watch TV. You give your cat a few pets and while you are doing that he/she gives you a little nip on your hand. You react by jumping up and possibly yelling…