Marv came with some bad habits that we have been working on. I grew up with cats and over the years raising cats and kids, I learned how to get cats to not scratch the furniture, pee in my plants or not use the litter box. Nellie was the worst cat ever and if these worked to turn Nellie from the worst cat EVER, to a mostly pleasant friend, I am sure they will work on Marv.
To correct your pet’s behavior, You can’t yell at or physically punish your cat. This does not work. In fact, hitting your cat or yelling at them makes them more afraid to be around you and even likely to be fearful around you and other people. You cat can get downright aggressive and scratch and bite. They will continue the behavior that you don’t like as they know nothing will happen when you are not around.
I use remote correction. This method works by having the cat associate an unpleasant texture, smell, taste, or sound with a certain bad behavior (or behaviors) to stop your cat from doing them. There are quite a few things you can do without having to buy expensive sprays,
- Texture: You can put sticky paper, aluminum foil, or heavy plastic carpet runners on areas that you would like your cat to avoid. Cats generally dislike walking on any of these textures. To stop Nellie from using the fig tree pot as a litter box, we put aluminum foil in the pot on top of the dirt. When summer came around and we could drag the pot outside and repot the tree –putting in all new dirt that had not cat smell, we did not have to put foil back in – at least until Jo Jo came along…then we had to start over.
- Smell: Citronella, perfume, air freshener, citrus, aloe, eucalyptus oil, and oil of wintergreen are all smells that cats don’t like. Using cotton balls soaked in the areas where you don’t want the cats. We put them in the cupboard under the sink, on the mantelpiece and the top of the cupboards. You may need to periodically replace these – no matter how often we put them on top of the kitchen cupboards, Nellie would wait for the smell to die down and then head up there.
- Taste: This may seem a little strange, but if you put bitter apple, citrus products, hot sauces, cayenne pepper, or aloe gel on the places where the cat likes to scratch, over time, they stop. After they scratch, they clean their paws, and after a while, they associate the bad taste with the object or surface and avoid it. With Nellie, we tried Bitter apple, Orange oil, and cayenne pepper before we finally sprayed a watered down hot sauce on the box spring.
- Sound: Yes, its hard not to yell, when you catch your cat in the act of peeing on the carpet or scratching the sofa, but there are more effective solutions. You can use noises to startle your cat to stop from doing a behavior or going on a surface. Try blowing a whistle, ringing a bell, clapping your hands or shaking a can with some coins inside. These will work more effectively than your yelling. If you use the sound, instead of your voice, to startle him just as he is about to do something you consider bad behavior, soon the cat will associate the behavior with a negative sound. Nellie hated “the whistle”. It was the most effective means of stopping her from clawing the sofa.
With Marv, I’ve found clapping my hands loudly is an effective deterrent but he’s still a work in progress.
Do you do something that is effective?