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Old 11-01-2009, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

I always read that a water spray bottle is great for when you want your cat to not do something, so I decided to give it a try. We've had our two cats (Muriel and Prowler) for a couple of weeks now, and as they got more comfortable in our home, they are starting to knock things over, digging stuff out and kicking them around on the floor, and they do this when we are sleeping at night and very early in the morning. We free feed them dry food so it's not a food problem. They use the litter just fine too. The two cats are also very close, snuggle and sleep together a lot, and chase each other around to play--never fighting (they were buddies at the previous owner's place even before they came to our household).

So I tried using the water spray yesterday when they started digging little rocks out of our indoor plants and kicked them around on the floor, making a lot of noise. They ranoff immediately when I sprayed, which is exactly how cats normally react. Afterwards I'd wait a bit and then go comfort them to let them know I'm still their friend. But after a few times, they started to avoid me. If I walked anywhere near them, they immediately got away from me. They didn't do that before the water bottle.

The water bottle was the last resort since we couldn't get them to stop by simply clapping our hands loudly and yelling "NO!" anymore. They just ignore us. But if the water bottle alienates us from the cats, what else can we do to stop them from doing things we don't want them to do? We can try to "cat-proof" our home in every way possible (we already gave them claw caps), but it's impossible since they would just jump on the bookshelf and knock DVD cases down on the floor, or even pulling down an entire stereo system by pulling on the power cord.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

Yea, that's one of the reasons I'm not that keen on the water bottle method. Although it can be effective, it can backfire too.
I hate to say this but you're going to have to adjust. Little stones in a pot that go plunk when they hit the floor and then fly around the room when batted? What cat could resist that!! Maybe you could get bigger stones or use something else as a plant cover that doesn't interest them. What their doing really is in their nature and you can't train that out of them. They can certainly learn some things but you can't change their basic curiosity and playfulness. Basically, you're putting a really cool toy in front of them and telling them they can't have it. Good luck!
Sounds like they are having a wonderful time.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

The spray bottle didn't work for me, either. Different reason - Cali and Charlee would brace themselves and shut their little eyes, waiting for the spray, and then continue with their bad behavior.

Yes, it is okay if you're smiling. It was funny. Brats.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

Ok, I'm glad to know others have the same problem. So I guess we can only try to cat-proof our home as much as we can stand, and then just accept the rest as the necessary evil that comes with having pets.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

But they're worth it.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73
The spray bottle didn't work for me, either. Different reason - Cali and Charlee would brace themselves and shut their little eyes, waiting for the spray, and then continue with their bad behavior.
That made me smile. Love it! Cheeky kitties!

I use a spray bottle on Nala...when she is climbing on the table or scratching at the sofa...but for biting it doesn't work, I'm having to tell her off and ignore her...its a slow and painful process
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

I know my 2.5 year old Bengal, Teddy, does not like loud noises. I usually will give a loud "Ah" noise or clap my hands loudly when he is doing something I don't want him to do.

So far, I have trained him to stay off of counters and tables for the most part (he still will test me once in a blue moon). He is also trained not to chew on wires (though he will still roll around an tackle them if he is wanting attention). As well as a few other things. I am currently working getting him to not moosh-moosh claw the carpet when he is in a playful mood.

I also keep knick-knacks and other valued breakables in a china cabinet. I have also found that I needed to get a trashcan with a heavy lid because he was opening and or knocking over the flip lid can that I did have and was eating stuff that gave him UTIs. (that is always fun to deal with)

There are also other effective punishment methods to employ. If your cats are people oriented (like my Teddy), ignoring them is one of the worst punishments you can give. I taught Teddy not to bite or scratch by studiously pretending he didn't exist after a bite or scratch incident for a half hour. He has not purposefully bitten or scratched me in 6 months or more.

There are also certian behaviors that you need to ignore. About 3-4 months ago, Teddy took to swatting my leg (without claws) when I would walk by him. At first I employed the loud "ah", chase him away and ignore him completely for a half hour. However, that only increased the frequency of the swattings. So I figured that him swatting my leg was a bid for attention and so I took to not reacting to this at all. Within a week or two of ignoring this behavior, it stopped.

The best advice I can give is to use trial and error to figure out what form of dicipline your cats respond best to (without truamizing them).

Best of luck,
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanook
Yea, that's one of the reasons I'm not that keen on the water bottle method. Although it can be effective, it can backfire too.
Ditto. Cats aren't stupid. If you aim something at them and fire, they DO know it was YOU! Generally the spray bottle method is a big mistake.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

I used to use the spray bottle on Neko but the poor cat became so paranoid i felt awful. If I got up from a sitting position quickly, walked towards him quickly, picked up anything that looked like or sounded like the water bottle he would rocket away and hide. The poor cat seemed like he was on pins and needles all the time, When would I scare him next? So I decided to stop using the spray bottle and just get persistent. If he was doing something wrong I got up and removed him over and over until he gave up. Eventually he no longer got any fun out of doing the "naughty" things because he was always interrupted. I did the same thing with Willie but he gets time outs too because he enjoys the attention of being removed from the activity too much, he'll continue the bad activity just so I'll come get him. With the time out he looses all attention even though he does get picked up, the solitary confinement is so unpleasant for him that it outweighs the joy he gets from the minor attention. It is not as shocking and scary as the spray so they don't get so paranoid, plus if you use a vocal cue first (like off, no, bad kitty or something) they know when to expect it and hopefully will start responding to that so you don't have to keep getting up. The most important thing is not letting them get away with it or else they'll keep testing you to see if maybe next time you'll let them do it.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water spray bottle alienates my cats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raecarrow

There are also other effective punishment methods to employ. If your cats are people oriented (like my Teddy), ignoring them is one of the worst punishments you can give. I taught Teddy not to bite or scratch by studiously pretending he didn't exist after a bite or scratch incident for a half hour. He has not purposefully bitten or scratched me in 6 months or more.
That is very reassuring, thank you!!
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