Do Time-outs Work? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
NRD
Tom Cat
 
NRD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Maryland (DC area)
Posts: 525
Do Time-outs Work?

Those following my trials and tribulations with Snowby and Blizzy know that Blizzy is an inveterate chaser. I have tried numerous techniques over the past year to break the habit, including treats galore with them next to each other, playing games, distracting Blizzy--time and time again--telling him no, and using the squirt gun. He KNOWS he's not supposed to go after her, and often nowadays if I just tell him no, he stops. But I have to leave the room eventually, and then he comes back and goes after her. I have in fact stopped this behavior maybe 98 percent of the time, but I don't seem to be able to get it to 100 percent.

Yesterday I got frustrated and gave him a time-out after he challenged her. I never, ever use physical punishment against him, unless you count the squirt gun as physical, and thus while he may be momentarily scared of me, it never lasts long.

My question is whether a cat associates a time-out with having done something wrong, if it is done right after the bad behavior. All I know for sure is that the time-out makes ME feel better, and it obviously gives Snowby and Blizzy both time to chill out, though Snowby returns to normal within a few seconds, she has become so used to his behavior--except that it was putting her off the litterbox, which is why I am doing other things successfully to restore her normal bathroom habits.

My recollection from posts I recall reading on this subject many months ago is that many members here may think time-outs are of either limited or no value whatsoever, whereas a few suggest it puts a stop to the unwanted behavior. I wold thus appreciate views on whether there is a role for time-outs, on top of everything else, not as a substitute for all the positive incentives for them to get along. Thanks.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
NRD is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 03:07 AM
Super Moderator
 
marie73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 28,448
I think they work. Gigi knows after she chases the twins that she's going to get put back on the other side of the house. She knows she's been bad and actually runs into her half on her own after chasing. She cries and cries to get back out, but I let her meow her bratty little butt off for a while. I know that sounds harsh, but she has to earn her free time out. And it's working. She does NOT like being on the other half of the house at all.

When I let her out, I greet her like a long-lost friend, giving her lots of love and kisses and affection, so she thinks of me as her rescuer and not the person who trapped her in there. I know that sounds silly, but I want her to feel welcome and wanted on the twins' half.

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
Always in my heart, my sweet Cali, running free at the Bridge.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
marie73 is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 07:24 AM
Senior Cat
 
tghsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: north carolina
Posts: 798
It all counts on the cat, yeti loves water, squirt gun would be useless, but he has to be the center of attention, when his chasing and pouncing of the older girls gets to much, I grab him(in mid chase) and place him in time out(the down stairs bathroom) for about 15min, untill he stops trying to defeat the door himself.. a much calmer cat is then let out.. on one mid chase grab he didn't know what had grabbed him and went into full "some big predator" has me freak out, first time we ever heard him hiss and growl..

yeti cat: two toes short of the record books
eons ago there must had been a creature with a roar
like a vacuum cleaner, it most likely ate cats.
smokey,yeti, pansy, violet, ember and brullie
jolene, tammi and emma the ghost kitties in the house
tghsmith is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 11:34 AM
Cat Addict
 
librarychick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: St. Albert, AB, Canada
Posts: 3,200
The trick with time outs is that you have to catch them immediately after, or during, the bad behavior. If you have to chase him around the kitchen before you catch him, or if you only give the time out sometimes then it won't work.

The reason time outs work is because they know it's going to happen every single time they get caught doing the behavior. If you don't get them every time, or if you're too slow, then they don't associate the time out with their behavior. Then they would associate it with you catching them, not a good idea.

In this situation one thing you could try is putting a harness on Blizzy, and letting him drag a leash. That way you could catch him quickly every time and he'll learn he's not going to get away with it. You can also use the harness and leash to redirect him onto something else before the behavior even really starts. (when you notice the staring for example)
librarychick is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 11:37 AM
Premier Cat
 
catloverami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,140
I found that "time outs" never worked for me as far as chasing was concerned. What has worked for me is being the "alpha cat". Over the years when I was involved in breeding, I noticed that when a couple of cats were having a disagreement, one of my brown torbie girls took it on herself to play "policewoman". She would get right between them and box both their ears until they separated and then she would leave them be. After I rehomed her because I couldn't keep another spayed female, none of my other cats took over her role, so I stepped in to do it. Whenever a bad tussle broke out that looked like it was going to be serious, I would stomp towards them with heavy feet and follow the instigator (always one of my male neuters), at the same time saying a very stern"No" or "Stop it!". I never touched him. I stopped in front of him and gave him a hard unblinking stare, until he looked away showing submission. Later I would make up to him when he was behaving well with lots of attention and treats. This neuter who despised his spayed half-sister, did decrease his chasing a lot as he didn't like me coming after him, but there were the odd occasions when he would chase her. When I wasn't there to supervise I kept them separated from each other.
catloverami is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
NRD
Tom Cat
 
NRD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Maryland (DC area)
Posts: 525
Great advice, all four of you, thanks so much!

catloverami, I was going to ask if you rented out the brown torbie for hire, lol! And glad to hear you didn't take over the "box their ears" role.

I bought a harness for Blizzy last summer, based on advice from laurief. I have never been able to bring myself to use it, especially because, like you, I have been able to stop it with just my voice whenever I am there. The chasing, when it happens, now happens when I am not right there to supervise. Like Marie, I do think he understands the cause and effect, as when I gave him his timeout it was right after the chased her. I almost never have to chase him myself, it's more like he does it, I come in to find him in the act, and he goes "curses, the jig is up!" Since he more or less behaves when I am around, I am keeping harness in reserve

I also tried staring contests a few times, but I was amazed at how long he could just sit there, unblinking, before finally, and nonchalantly, looking slightly to the side. Barely scraped by as a moral victory!

Main lesson I take from this dialogue is that if I am going to do timeouts, make sure always immediately after bad behavior, do it always, not sometimes, and when timeout is over, lavish praise and attention on him. IN meantime, I'm trying just lavishing praise and attention during the day, in hopes he'll just feel happier overall. We just finished a petting session in my lap at his instigation, and when he does this, he's just so angelic....


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by marie73; 08-27-2018 at 03:27 PM.
NRD is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 06:53 PM
Cat Addict
 
Time Bandit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NC
Posts: 1,956
Time outs only work on Alice. If she's being exceptionally naughty, we'll put her in the bathroom for a short chill out session. She settles down almost immediately, and I always open the door to her laying down nice and quiet.

I've tried time outs on Samantha and they just don't work. She sits in the bathroom and cries, and cries, and cries. And when she's let out, she has to yell at the person opening the door for her, to voice her displeasure at being shut in the bathroom. We don't do time outs with Sammy anymore...

Rochelle has never needed a time out, and I hope things stay that way.
Time Bandit is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome