How to discipline a kitten that won’t listen:
- Keep it busy during the day.
- Reward good behavior.
- Clap your hands.
- Use cat deterrents.
Never physically harm your kitten while you are disciplining it. Avoid yelling when discouraging unwanted behavior. Your kitten will fear you and grow up into a poorly socialized cat.
Dealing with a naughty kitten can be exhausting to a cat owner. You want your kitten to behave, but it just seems to have extra energy, all the time.
Your kitten can be quite stubborn at times, and you may not know where to start. Disciplining a cat requires patience because all cats are different. A certain method of correcting bad behavior may work on other cats, but your cat may not respond to it.
If your kitten won’t listen, keep reading to know how you can kindly discipline it or train it for acceptable behaviors.
I will also tell you about other methods of cat disciplining that you should never try.
How to Make your Kitten Listen to You
Occasional wrongdoing is something you can tolerate. However, outright misbehaving can be annoying.
The only practical approach to this situation is to discipline your cat. However, before I proceed, I would like to point out that discipline here does not in any way refer to punishment.
It means training your kitten to conform to the behavioral patterns you want it to follow. After all, we know that kittens have so much energy in them and are curious.
Their playful nature will sometimes get on our nerves. But with persistent training, you can enjoy good moments with your cute little friend.
Don’t punish your kitten, but instead, learn how to interact and communicate positively with your cat. Whatever discipline method you choose, ensure it does not scare or stress your feline friend.
Here are practical suggestions to get your cat to obey your rules:
1. Keep it Active
When your kitten misbehaves, most often it is because of boredom. Keep it busy during the day. Play often with your kitty until it tires out. Challenging toys, or puzzles will go a long way in making your kitten sleep.
Stimulation and exercise relieve boredom in your kitty, and may help to stop the bad behavior. If you are not playing with your kitten often, you could be the reason for its misconduct.
If it is the type of kitty that always seem to be energetic, swiping at your feet as you pass by, then your pet is not getting enough play. Take off that extra energy by playing with it.
2. Reinforce Good Behavior
Cats don’t learn from discipline as humans do. The best way to teach your cat good manners is to reinforce good behaviors. When your cat does something right, praise it, and give it its favorite treat so that it learns what it is doing is right.
So, when your kitten uses its scratching post instead of destroying your precious furniture, stroke its head gently or offer it a favorite snack.
It will learn that its scratching post is the best place to go when it feels the urge to scratch. Plus, a reward comes with it.
3. Redirect Bad Behavior to an Acceptable One
You can teach your kitten to obey certain rules by redirecting bad behavior to an acceptable one. For example, if you find your kitten has jumped on the kitchen counter, simply lift it down and walk it away.
If you find it clawing on your curtains, direct it to its scratching post. Once your furry friend starts to use its scratching post, reward it with a treat. Cats are often motivated by food, so they will learn that the reward comes with acceptable behavior.
You can also keep your kitten’s favorite toy close to help you with training. All this requires patience, but the results are worth it.
Cats are intelligent creatures, and if you begin training your little one from an early age, it will grow into a well-mannered cat.
4. Clap your Hands
Clapping your hands is one of the many effective ways to stop bad behavior. The sudden loud noise will startle your kitten and stop it from whatever it was doing. If you don’t want your kitten to jump on the sofa, clap your hands each time you see it doing so.
Be consistent, and soon your cat will associate the startling noise of clapping hands with what they are doing.
5. Use Cat Deterrents
You can keep your kitten off some areas of the house by employing a few tactics or using commercial products. Discourage unacceptable behavior by using repellants. These are scents or materials your cat doesn’t like.
Here are those barriers:
- Chicken wire or stone mulch
If your kitty likes to relax in your small kitchen garden, it will be tempted to poop there because the soil might resemble its litter. Your kitty can also destroy your vegetables or plants.
Place the chicken wire on top of your soil to keep your kitty from walking in that area. The bristly material feels bad on your furry friend’s paws, and it will be discouraged from going there.
- Sound barriers
An ultrasonic deterrent is an electronic device that operates on a high frequency, emitting a sound that is unbearable to cats. You cannot hear the sound, but your kitten does, and it finds it irritating.
Only use the devices that have a motion sensor detector that detects an intruder’s movement and only emits the sound at that time , not the ones that are on all the time as they are for pest control This is because you only want the sound to start if your kitten goes into the wrong place, and not one that is making the noise more than that.
You can also make your sound barrier. Fill marbles in an empty can, and place it in your garden. The cat will be surprised by the loud noise when it steps on the can.
- Odor barriers
Your kitty’s nose is highly sensitive to smell. This can be used to your advantage as you stop your cat from coming to a certain area. If you often find your little one climbing sofas, place citrus peels there.
Cats don’t like the scent of citrus peels or grapefruit.
The Don’ts of Cat Discipline
1. Don’t Compare your Kitty to a Dog
If you also own a dog, you may assume that both animals can respond to your training. This is a mistake most cat owners make. While a dog may readily follow commands such as “sit,” your cat is an independent creature.
Your kitten will not heed your request. The first step in disciplining your kitten is realizing this difference.
2. Don’t Get Physical
You should never physically harm a kitten while you are disciplining it. Avoid hitting, holding down, or shaking your kitten. Such acts will make your little one afraid of you, and thus break your bond.
It will make it withdrawn, and your kitty will grow into a poorly socialized cat into adulthood. Also, your kitten will not associate physical punishment with bad behavior.
If all forms of discipline fall on deaf ears, you can ask for help from a professional trainer.
3. Don’t yell
Your kitten does not understand English, so raising your voice will still not drive the point home. It may notice the volume change but will not understand that it has done something wrong.
Your furry friend will feel stressed, leading to additional misbehavior.
4. Don’t Rub its Nose on the Crime Scene
Some have resorted to rubbing their cat’s nose on the scene where it misbehaved to discipline it. In most cases, it is when your little friend poops, or pees on the carpet.
This is a form of punishment that will not help. You will not know why it has not used its litterbox, and your cat is likely to repeat the action.
Rubbing its nose on the spot may, in fact, reinforce to your cat that it is ok to relieve itself on that area.
5. Don’t use a Spray Bottle
Most people recommend using a spray bottle to redirect bad behavior in a kitten. However, your cat will stop from what it is doing because it has to run away from the water, not because it understands the discipline linked to its behavior.
Check For a Medical Problem
You certainly don’t want to punish your cat for something beyond its control. Make sure you rule out a health problem by going to a vet before you get mad at your kitty.
If your kitten is already potty-trained but suddenly starts avoiding its litterbox, and defecating in some other area, consult your vet. This change of behavior could be due to a health problem.
According to the ASPCA, these are the main causes of litterbox avoidance:
- UTI’s and Feline Interstitial Cystitis: These conditions cause pain during elimination and may teach your kitten to associate the discomfort with using its litterbox. Symptoms include increased urgency to urinate, straining while urinating, and blood spots in urine.
- Household stress: This can also cause litterbox problems. Moving to a new house, new family members, other pets in the house, or a change in routine can cause stress to your kitty.
How to Train your Kitten that Won’t use its Litterbox
You may have established that your kitten is not sick after a trip to the vet, but your kitten will not use its litterbox.
There is no need to get worked up because of this. Usually, it could be because your kitty finds its tray unwelcoming. So don’t rush to discipline your cat, but find out what is wrong. These tips might help:
- Avoid strong detergents, or scents to mask the odor. Most cats prefer clumping unscented litter.
- Clean the litterbox thoroughly and often. Scoop the litter at least once a day.
- The litter should not be too deep. Your kitten prefers it to be at least 1 or 2 inches of litter.
- Give your kitten a litterbox that fits its size, not too big, with high sides.
If your kitten eliminates on the carpet or any other undesirable area, clean the area with an enzymatic cleanser. You can also make such areas less appealing. Place a sticky tape, or tin foil to keep your kitten from coming to that area.
Why Your Kitten Misbehaves
Most of the time when you see your kitten misbehaving, it could be just acting on its feline instincts. For instance, all cats scratch furniture or rub their heads against objects to mark territory.
Another feline instinct is stalking. Your kitten may pounce on your feet or a moving curtain because it is naturally tuned to be a hunter.
This explains why it is not advisable to punish your cat for what nature has made it. A more humane approach is to help it adjust, or redirect the behavior.
On the other hand, sometimes your cat might just pick up bad behavior from nowhere and decide to go with it. That’s why it’s important to train your kitten in its early stages of development for it not to carry the behavior into adulthood.