Why you should never punish your cat

Let’s be honest, we should never punish our pet, cat or dog. Cats look to us for shelter and safety and we shouldn’t betray that at all even if they’re a little temperamental at times. We look at why you should never punish your feline friend.

Positive reinforcement works far better than punishment

Could your cat be stressed?

Cats are not spiteful animals, they don’t do things to annoy you. They simply respond to their environment. So, if there’s something they’re not quite used to or simply out of place then this can cause stress in your cat.

When a cat is stressed it can cause a change in their behaviour, and this can often be unpleasant. If you are able to find the source of your cat’s anxieties and there’s something you can do about it then be sure to do it.

Training your cat is important

If you haven’t taught your cat to use the litter tray, then it’s not realistic to expect them to use it successfully. Cats are clever and they’re trainable so will react well to positive reinforcement.

You’ll want to find a motivator that your cat enjoys like food, toys or attention and reward your cat for preferred etiquette. This might help with any unwanted behaviour.

Finding the source of your cat's anxieties may point to the solution to the behaviour issue

Your cat will become scared of you

If you were to punish your cat it doesn’t tell them what you wanted them to do, so it doesn’t have a positive effect on behaviour, instead it has a negative impact. Simple things like shouting, stamping your foot and spraying water on your cat when they misbehave can scare your cat so please try not to do that.

Responding to their action does not address the root of the problem so it’s important to try and remain calm and rational.

As a cat owner it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and happy environment so do try to look out for the source of your cat’s behaviour and help them instead.

Increasing the unwanted behaviour

When you punish your cat for unwanted behaviour it could make things worse with their original behaviour as well as create new problems. This will cause stress for you and your cat, which is not ideal for anyone and could have a severe effect on your relationship.

Cats don’t deserve it

Cats, or any other animal, don’t deserve to be punished. After all, an animal’s unwanted behaviour can often reflect our own so by providing a safe, stimulating and loving environment we could see a positive change in their behaviour.

Looking for more cat advice?

We’ve written some handy cat advice guides, to help you unlock the secrets of your mysterious moggy.


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