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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 01:52 AM
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When my first two pairs were kittens, I would growl at them when they did something like scratching the furniture and I had great success with it. Mother cats growl at their kittens when they want to get their attention and make them stop doing something. The only drawback is that it's hard on the the throat muscles and can lead to weeks of hoarseness.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 12:15 PM
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Mother cats only growl at their kittens when they're doing something particularly obnoxious - like jumping on her head repeatedly. Even then, she'll tolerate it or walk away until they're 6 weeks and up.

Mother cats never growl for their kittens' attention. They might chirp or trill at them, using a special call, but they don't growl for attention.

In any case, people aren't cats. Your cat knows you aren't a cat. So 'growling' is silly, especially since we literally can't make the 'right' noise due to vocal cord differences. So all you're doing is making and interrupter - a distracting noise that catches their attention long enough for them to forget what they were initially doing. You can just as effectively use any noise, without the difficulty to your throat.


Becky and the cats: Jitzu (11), Torri (9), Doran (8 ), and Muffin (8 )
The boys at 8 - not lol

Last edited by marie73; 10-09-2016 at 04:12 PM.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 10:29 PM
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Well, it worked, we trained two successive generations of kittens to not scratch the furniture. They definitely stopped when we growled at them and we never had to resort to squirting them with water.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
IME, It's been my observation over many years with my Manx and now with my Devons, that kittens do respond to dominance for bad behavior.
Exactly, I agree. That`s why i find it strange when people say `Don`t be dominant`. I`ve seen cats display dominance to get their point across to another unruly cat. I`m not saying you should beat your cat or anything, but if you are not the dominant one in the cat`s eyes, he will take over and be the dominant one.

For instance, I`ve had to display dominance to my cat to put her off bad actions and she doesn`t hate me for it. In fact, she seems to want to cosy up even more (once she`s got over the shock of me putting my foot down).

There is a place for it. You can`t solve everything in the animal kingdom by being passive.

Last edited by marie73; 10-13-2016 at 03:43 PM.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 12:17 PM
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All I can add to this is you have to behave like a cat. Withdrawal works well. Having a second cat also teaches cat manners. My newly adopted kitten was 12 weeks old when she arrived. That seems to be the magic milestone when it comes to social skills. She has learned from my other two what works and what does not in the house. My 12 year old female wants nothing to do with her and she knows it. My 7 year old male has become a big brother, playing some of the time, and demonstrating limits at other times. You can't go backwards but they do learn from each other and in doing so learn how to relate to you. Time and patience are key, interact with the kitten 15 minutes 3 times a day with toys. If she miss behaves, walk away. She will learn very quickly.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 01:06 PM
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Having a second cat also teaches cat manners.
This can also go sideways. When the twins came along, they taught Cleo all kinds of bad things. Bratz!!

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 01:20 PM
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Well you do have to have a good starting point. I happen to have two well behaved adult cats, never walk on counter tops, never strike with claws out, they think everyone loves them and greet everyone like they are their new best friends. That goes a long way with kitten training.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 02:19 PM
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That's how Cinderella and Cleo were before the arrival of the Terrible Two. The bratz broke Cleo. Mostly snooping, opening cupboards, counter surfing, etc.

Although I like it now when they keep me company in the kitchen. They know they can hang out on the counter on the other side of the sink while I'm working in there.

When they were little, the "Ow!" and putting them down away from me worked fine when they were biting or scratching. Cali hated being ignored.

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 11:51 PM
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Exactly, I agree. That`s why i find it strange when people say `Don`t be dominant`. I`ve seen cats display dominance to get their point across to another unruly cat. I`m not saying you should beat your cat or anything, but if you are not the dominant one in the cat`s eyes, he will take over and be the dominant one.

For instance, I`ve had to display dominance to my cat to put her off bad actions and she doesn`t hate me for it. In fact, she seems to want to cosy up even more (once she`s got over the shock of me putting my foot down).

There is a place for it. You can`t solve everything in the animal kingdom by being passive.
Unless you're secrely a cat you're not capable of displaying dominance signals to a cat even if they did work that way. For starters, you don't have a tail or pointy ears, and you are a human.

If your actions have worked there's a solid likelihood that your cat stoped because it was infused by your sudden change in behavior or loud noises.

I'm not saying be passive and let your cat do whatever it wants, I'm just saying there's no point having a nice big human brain if you'd rather pretend to be a cat.

It's simple to set up situations in ways that encourage behavior you'd like to see from a cat, but if your focus is on 'dominating' or on how the cat 'knows what it shouldn't do' then you're going to have a harder time changing their behavior in the long term. My goal as an owner and trainer is to get my pets to make the choices I'd prefer even when I'm not looking.

As for 'well it worked for me'...there are always easy ways that work, and better ways. I prefer to do the best that I can and not resort to fear or intimidation.


Becky and the cats: Jitzu (11), Torri (9), Doran (8 ), and Muffin (8 )
The boys at 8 - not lol
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