Tag Archive | "behavior"

Giving a Cat a Bath

Giving a Cat a Bath

bathing a cat

If you’ve ever attempted to bathe a cat, you might already know that generally, cats do not like baths. Most cats do not like to swim or be immersed in water and will fight it vigorously. A cat threatened with a bath may bite, claw and scratch to get free. It can be a very frustrating experience, both for the cat and the cat owner. Some of the funniest photos and videos on the Internet are of people attempting to bathe a cat and the cat’s evasive maneuvers to avoid the bath at all costs.

The behavior they exhibit when trying to bathe a cat is out of fear. They don’t know what is going on or why someone would have the audacity to subject them to this, so they object in every way possible. To make the bath go smoother, make sure you have everything prepared before you bring the cat in. Run the bath water, have towels and shampoo and a comb at hand and then bring the cat in.

Remain calm and make soothing noises as you put your cat into the water. Do not panic or shout or punish the cat if they scratch you. Imagine how frightened they must be and try to accomplish the task calmly. Have a firm hold on the cat as you bath it. You don’t want them flailing about and panicking. Remain as calm as you can and your cat is more likely to be calmer. Bathe the cat as quickly as you can to reduce the stress on both you and the cat.

Some breeds may never get to a point where they actually like a bath, but some breeds definitely do. I have had Persian cats that were bathed regularly from the time they were kittens and soon came to like their bath and even blow drying. If you get your cat while it is a kitten, it is much easier to get them accustomed to a bath than if you get an older cat that has not been bathed regularly.

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Correcting Problem Cat Behavior

While pain acts as a deterrent for bad cat behavior, beating or hitting a cat is not an acceptable way to train a cat. It is particularly ineffective to punish a cat after the fact. The cat will not know what it has done to deserve punishment, and will do nothing to change the behavior that you’re trying to change. Acting out of anger is not the way to train a cat. There are far more effective ways to change bad cat behavior.

The most effective way to change cat behavior is to alter the cat’s environment and provide alternative ways for cats to be cats and do the things that cats like to do. A lot of cat behavior is normal cat behavior, but is destructive to the house or furniture if not channeled into acceptable activities. You have to provide mental stimulation for your cat and provide a stress free environment for them. Modifying the cat’s environment through some simple changes will provide them with a sense of security as well as relieve their boredom and reduce the stress between cats if you have more than one cat in the house.

These changes include litter box management and management, providing a scratching post where it is ok for them to scratch, providing places for them to hide or climb such as a cat tree, and providing them with plenty of toys to play with. Particularly good are toys that look like their natural prey to satisfy their natural predatory instincts.

While offering a secure and fun environment for your cat is essential for behavior modification, at times a cat will behave badly anyway. There are numerous ways to persuade your cat that their behavior is unacceptable by making it uncomfortable for the cat when they behave badly. Noise aversion or a spray of water from a spray bottle both work very well to deter a cat from bad behavior. If you use either one consistently, the cat will soon get the message and change their behavior. When applied consistently, just reaching for the water bottle can deter a cat from undesired behavior.

Instead of physical punishment that inflicts pain, it is much better to encourage your cat to behave in a more reasonable way by making the actions which bother you uncomfortable for the cat. Therefore, if you are sick of your cat climbing the curtains, a fine mist of water sprayed from a nozzle can be a whole lot more effective than a slap. By being consistent in this response, you can get to the stage where even reaching for the bottle will warn your cat.

For a cat marking issue where a cat urinates in a certain spot, using a little lemon juice deters the cat from using that spot. Cats don’t like a citrus smell, so lemon juice works very well to dissuade them from “going” in a undesired spot.

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