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Old 05-12-2005, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default do cats remember physical punishment ??

hi...... thre is a frnd of mine who asked me to post this question....
he has a kitten around 2 months old and this was his first ever cat........
he didnt knew the methods to train a cat and so he used to hit the kitty or push him away in order to stop him from doing certain things he didnt wanted the kitty to do.........
when he got to know tht cats do not understand with physical punishment and he felt very sorry ......... now he does not know whether wat the kitten thinks abt him and whther the kitty will remember the physical torture inflicted on it throughout its life or will it forget and be normal if my frnd becomes nice to the kitten and never physically punish him........
will the kitten ever try to take revenge from him as it gets old ?? or will it forget everything???
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think cats seek revenge, but yes, they do remember the source of pain or rejection. But since he has stopped, I think over time he can win the trust and affection of the cat once again.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't say how long the memory lasts, but my two cats still look frightened when I open a container of medicine. They used to run away. It has been about a year since I used earmite drops on them, but that's when it started. Evidently they still remember.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: do cats remember physical punishment ??

Quote:
"hit the kitty or push him away" "the physical torture inflicted on it"
There's a huge difference between those two desciptions, if he simply lightly "swatted" the kitten away from things he didn't want it in, the kitten is likely to forget and forgive him as long as it's not happening anymore--on the other hand, if he really did "physically torture" the kitten--it is my opinion that the kitten will have trust issues with him in the years to come, but will still be able to forge a bond with him.

Also--someone who is physically torturing animals isn't likely to be able to just up and stop it--it is the same as child abuse and your friend was getting some sort of twisted feeling of "power" over having absolute control over something. I'd keep an eye on your friend and if theres any evidence of abuse in the future, you're the one who can come to the cat's rescue.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, my cat KitKat remembered. About 2 years ago I used to be mean to my cat for some reason. It must have been because I was young...and just didnt understand what I was doing. But I used to dress him up in doll clothes, I would pull his tail, or mess up his hair, and he hated it. He used to attack me a lot because I was always so mean to him. Even after I stopped being mean to him he still attacked me. So, obviously he remembered. He must trust me now, or he forgot all about it, but I am not mean at all to him anymore, and I would say I'm his favorite in the family We are best friends now, and hes my favorite kitty in the world
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: do cats remember physical punishment ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhateverWorks
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkitty
"hit the kitty or push him away" "the physical torture inflicted on it"
There's a huge difference between those two desciptions, if he simply lightly "swatted" the kitten away from things he didn't want it in, the kitten is likely to forget and forgive him as long as it's not happening anymore--on the other hand, if he really did "physically torture" the kitten--it is my opinion that the kitten will have trust issues with him in the years to come, but will still be able to forge a bond with him.

Also--someone who is physically torturing animals isn't likely to be able to just up and stop it--it is the same as child abuse and your friend was getting some sort of twisted feeling of "power" over having absolute control over something. I'd keep an eye on your friend and if theres any evidence of abuse in the future, you're the one who can come to the cat's rescue.
I totally agree. How long did this kind of punishment go on and how old is the kitty now? This cat may well wind up having issues, but all cats are different.
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanie
I can't say how long the memory lasts, but my two cats still look frightened when I open a container of medicine. They used to run away. It has been about a year since I used earmite drops on them, but that's when it started. Evidently they still remember.
that about sums it up!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Bad human! Bad!

My husband used to “tease” (as he called it) my cat... who by the way, was crippled (she has no back legs), and couldn’t even TRY to run from him when he started. He’d hold her tightly - she could breathe, but still was plenty uncomfortable - and blow in her face, and hang her upside down. While he didn’t actually cause her physical pain, you can bet she was definitely annoyed!
That was before we were married, and he visited the house. Now that we share the house, she’s constantly hiding under the bed, or skittering off into corners that have bookshelves to hide in. This has been two years, and she still hisses at him if he gets too close (she also swats at him, but hasn’t bitten...yet). It doesn’t help that he thinks he’s allowed to squirt her with water and yell "Bad kitty!" when she’s telling him off, too! I try to tell him not to do that, but I can’t be home with him all the time *sigh*

On the weird side, I heard that if animals are abused by a man, they’ll hate all men. Not with Paizly. When my dad comes to our place, to fix something, she’ll go right up to him and snuggle against his ankles... maybe because my dad simply ignores her, rather than approaches/harasses her. Paizly likes other people too, if they sit quietly for a moment and let her approach them first. But if my husband is even heard, in the other room, she skitters off to hide.
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, they do. Tux, bless his buttons, runs for me whenever little brother thinks the cat did something wrong.Tux is not a fan of being picked up or messed with, and little brother does this all the time.

Sometimes I really dislike that kid.
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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IMO, yes they do remember physical punishment. Negative reinforcement is very powerful, and one of the primary purposes of pain is to teach you to avoid what has caused that pain. For your friends cat, that may be human hands

However, while the cat will likely never completely forget, this doesn't mean their relationship is permanently damaged. Theres a lot your friend can do to rebuild those lines of trust, including a lot of "gentle touch" and positive attention.
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