A common question asked by first time cat owners is “how do you stop a cat from hissing and biting?” The answer is actually two parts, and definitely easy to do. The following is a cat training tip that I’ve used and had wonderful success with.
The first angle of approach is to apply some punishment to the cat. There are two important things to remember here:
1) You don’t want to HURT the cat physically – so no hitting or striking or throwing of the cat. This will only make him or her more upset and want to wage war against you… which will lead to more cat scratching and biting.
2) You have to catch and punish the cat when they are IN THE ACT of biting. That is, you have to catch them “red handed” (or pawed in this case). Punishing the cat after they’ve stopped biting will not get your point across.
So now you’re wondering, how do you stop a cat from hissing and biting if you can’t hit them and you have to catch them in the act!? — the answer is a spray bottle.
Having a water spraying or squirt bottle filled with water near by is a great idea when it comes to cat training.
In the case of hissing and biting – spraying the cat with water (in the face or body, doesn’t matter) will teach it:
“When I hiss or bite, I get squirted with water… I don’t like getting squirted with water… SO I won’t hiss or bite.”
It is pretty much as simple as that. Cats (and dogs for that matter) have simple minds. They have feelings, but definitely don’t complicate matters like humans do. Instead, they work on Pavlovian Conditioning.
A secondary approach, which is to be used in conjunction with part 1, is rewarding the cat when it’s not acting in ways you don’t want. So if you want to know how do you stop a cat from hissing and biting, you can reward his or her good behavior, so the bad won’t happen as often.
This approached, mixed with the punishment angle (part 1) will teach the cat the simple difference between right and wrong.
For instance, when you cat is laying on the couch being cute, give it a treat! That way, since it enjoys eating those yummy treats, it will learn not to hiss and bite, but to be cute instead!
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