How to Fix Bad Cat Behavior

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How to Train a Cat to Scratch a Post....5

The best way to fix bad cat behavior is to encourage a healthier alternate behavior by providing plenty of scratching posts, convenient litter boxes and lots of engaging toys. Keep a cat occupied with appropriate activities with help from a professional pet behavior consultant in this free video on cat training.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Training Tips
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Video Transcript

So, today we're talking about how to fix bad cat behavior. Some of the things that people consider to be bad cat behavior would be scratching the furniture, peeing in places that they're not supposed to be peeing outside their litter box, or trying to dart out the door and escape if you have an indoor cat. So, it's really important to keep in mind with cats; that if they're doing something that you don't like you want to try to avoid using punishment, because unlike dogs, cats don't tend to understand what it is that you're punishing them for. So, it's better, if possible, to prevent them from doing the bad behavior that you don't like, and usually you can do that by changing the environment. And then, to create an opportunity for them to do an alternate behavior, so something that takes place of the behavior that they were doing. Scratching, for example, is not a bad cat behavior. It's just a behavior that is happening in the wrong place. So, the cat is using scratching as a means of stretching, of marking, of when they wake up from an area. So, usually they're scratching your furniture because they've woken up from a nap and they want to stretch out. So, if you place a new scratching post in front of the area that your cat's been scratching, which is usually the side of a piece of furniture, then that will block the old area so that will stop and prevent the old behavior because you're changing the environment, and that will create a place for your cat to engage in the new behavior. And then you want to reward that new behavior and that might be by praising your cat. So, if your cat scratches the post I would say drop what you're doing and go tell your cat how smart they are for using their new post. And you can also attract them to engage in this new type of behavior so you can train them to do the new behavior. So for example, you could use something like a cat toy to attract your cat to want to be near the post, and hang out there, and play in that area, and stretch and scratch there. And if you do catch them still going to the old area because you haven't been able to block it off enough you can also use other tools. For example, you could also use something like a prevention for scratching, so you can get some double-sided tape and you can actually put that onto the furniture, and it's clear and it's sticky, and your cat won't want to scratch on that area, or you could just drape something over it. If your cat's darting out the door, again, this is a safety thing so it's a little bit different. So, you could try to reinforce your cat for doing something else, but if needed, you can also use some kind of deterrent. I just wouldn't want to associate it with you, so I would try to keep in mind that you want, if you're using something like a spray bottle, to make it seem like this was in some way like an act of god. So, the cat doesn't actually see you doing the spraying. They just perceive that being by the door is a bad place to be. So again, bad behaviors; you want to try to create a situation where your cat can succeed. The scratching itself is not bad. Peeing is not bad. Scratching furniture is bad. Peeing outside the litter box is bad. So, try to create a scenario where your cat can succeed, and then reward them for their good behavior.


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