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5 Reasons To Never Punish Your Cat


Scolding a cat may be a spontaneous reaction if you see them doing something wrong, however, it does not mean it will help. Actually, doing this will many times have the opposite effect and make things worse or even confuse the poor animal! Here are 5 justifications for never scolding a cat and what to do instead:


5. It Might Promote Cats to Have Bad Behavior

Though it is a form of negative attention, yelling at a cat is still a form of attention, and your cat wants your attention. Some cats might do bad things just to get your attention the same way a small child does it to get their parents to pay attention to them. So if that is the case and you yell at the cat for a bad thing they may keep doing the bad thing because they like the attention they get.

This response underlines one of the main troubles with yelling at the cat: it does not teach them which type of behavior you prefer. They get confused instead and you aren’t providing them a clear choice of what you’d rather they did instead.

The cat behaviorist says it’s best to teach your cat where you like them to go, i.e. their cat bed or cat tower, instead of yelling at them for being on the kitchen counter or table.  He says if you notice your pet doing an action you deem bad, then redirect them to do something you want them to do. Or offer them a toy to distract them or call their name and if they come to you give them a treat.


4. Cats Can’t Read Your Mind

Scolding may seem logical, however, not to a cat. Actually, your pet won’t usually understand the reason his owner is scolding him.  Feline behaviorists say it’s not a good idea to scold a cat because they don’t speak our language or read our minds, and you instead need to figure out why the cat is doing something wrong and solve that issue.

Even if they stop doing the bad thing after you yelled at them, it does not mean they understood and stopped for that reason. Really, likely they will just do that bad thing out of your sight. So, it’s much better to teach them not to do that bad behavior so they won’t do it in your absence instead.


3. The Timing Will Not Be Right

If you yell at a cat as you remove them off your counter, the cat might think he is being yelled at for getting picked up, according to animal behavior and training experts. You might think it’s obvious you are doing it because you don’t want them to jump up on your counter, but the cat relates it to something else in most cases.

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Actually, one well-known animal behaviorist and veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Quan aod that yelling at a cat is usually worthless as likely you aren’t doing it right when the cat did whatever the bad thing was precisely when you yelled at them.  They said that punishment would have to happen within a second or two of whatever they did wrong or the cat won’t understand why it is getting scolded.


2. Yelling at the Cat Will Not Fix Your Problem

Cats do things over and over because they get something from that action. For instance, they might have knocked off that cup from the counter because they were bored or it was in their way or wanted to jump up on the table to see outside the window nearby.

Instead of yelling at them because they did something like that, give them something else to do instead in place of the act.  For instance, if you don’t want them on the counter, put up some two-sided sticky tape they won’t like getting on their paws or some foil that makes it all slick and uncomfy. If they don’t like it they may not do it anymore.

Also, give them cat-friendly choices like a window perch, cat tower, or some toys they can play with so they won’t be bored or can see out that kitchen window. These are great ways to fix the issue.


1. It Might Make Them Act Differently To You

If you yell at your cat even once it might make them scared of you and hurt your relationship with them! Consider the facts. Do you like getting yelled at by your boss? If this happens do you like being around them? I think not.

Yelling at cats could make them scared of people or be edgy and think you will yell at them for other things they do. It teaches your cat to be afraid of you.

So if you want your cat to bond with you, and not be afraid, you need to avoid yelling at them and find some sort of positive reinforcement to try in its place.

You can do this via treats, or in some cases, the cat might prefer play or some sort of attention being paid to him. Just discover what your cat is motivated by and use that to help them learn the right behaviors and get them to do what you want instead of bad things you hate. This helps to redirect bad behavior!


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