Big closet punishment
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Punishment is the application of a stimulus that decreases the chance that a behavior will be repeated. It must coincide with the undesirable behavior, and must be unpleasant enough to deter the cat from repeating that behavior. Inappropriately applied punishment can cause fear, anxiety and owner avoidance, making punishment the least desirable tool for changing behavior.
Keep in mind that you are punishing the behavior, not the cat. Punishment should never be considered unless the pet has the means to satisfy its nature and its needs.
For example, the scratching cat should be provided with an appropriate scratching post before any attempts to punish undesirable scratching are initiated. Physical reprimands are one of the most frequently utilized and least successful forms of punishment. Hitting a cat can lead to hand-shyness, fear of the owner, and potential injury for both the owner and the cat.
Depending on the problem, the cat will likely continue to perform the undesirable behavior in your absence since it learns that it can perform the behavior without punishment when you are out of sight. Physical punishment is generally ineffective, potentially dangerous and likely to have a negative effect between the owner and pet. A light tap on the nose or top of the head has been advocated for owner directed behaviors such as play biting, hissing and swatting. However, even these mild forms of punishment can lead to retaliation, fear and an increased level of aggression in some cats, and cannot therefore be universally recommended.
At the very least they tend to make the cat wary of your approach. Instead, whenever the cat begins to swat or play attack, immediately stop the play by walking away or by using some non-physical form of punishment such as a water sprayer, can of compressed air, cap gun, hand held alarm or perhaps a loud hiss. Although ideally you should just walk away from these forms of playful behavior to Big closet punishment that they are not reinforced, many cats will continue to pursue as part of the play and chase.
Before any punishment is considered, the cat should be given ample opportunities for social play. Toys that can be chased, swatted, and batted should be provided. Remember that giving any form of attention to a cat that is swatting, or attacking in play, might, at the other extreme be misconstrued as play, and further reinforce the behavior. The key to successfully stopping undesirable behavior is to associate an unpleasant consequence with the undesirable behavior.
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However, unless the owner remains out of sight while administering punishment the cat may learn to cease the behavior only when you are present. Punishing the cat remotely, while you remain out of sight, is an effective means of deterring undesirable behavior. However, it takes preparation, time and forethought. For remote techniques to be successful there are two key elements. First, you must monitor the cat while out of sight so that you know when the problem begins. The second element is that the punishment must be delivered while the inappropriate behavior is occurring and while you remain out of sight.
Keep a close watch on the problem area while hidden around a corner, in a nearby closet, or behind a piece of furniture. As soon as the cat enters the area or begins to perform the undesirable behavior climb, scratchuse a long-range water pistol, noise device or remote control device see below to chase the cat away.
If the cat cannot determine where the noise or water is coming from, it should quickly learn to stay away from the area whether the owner is present or not. A commercial remote device is the citronella spray collar.
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It can be attached to a harness on the cat or just placed in the area and activated remotely as the cat enters the area. Another option is to set up a remote control switch near the problem area and have a device such as a water pik, alarm, or hair dryer plugged in. When the owner is not around to supervise and monitor, booby trap devices can be utilized or the cat should be confined to an area of the home that has been cat-proofed and supplied with a litter box, bedding area, toys for play, and areas for scratching or climbing.
Punishing the behavior remotely, with you out of sight, is impractical if the cat cannot be prevented from performing the undesirable behavior when you are not there to supervise and monitor. Booby traps are a way of teaching the pet to avoid the area or the behavior itself. One of the simplest ways to discourage a cat from entering an area where an undesirable behavior is likely to be performed scratching, eliminating is to make the area less appealing or downright unpleasant for scratching or eliminating.
A small pyramid of empty tin cans or plastic containers Big closet punishment also be balanced on the arm of a chair so that it topples onto the cat when scratching begins. Mousetrap trainers or motion detector alarms are also very effective at keeping cats away from problem areas. There are devices that are triggered by motion that will spray the cat with compressed air and startle them so they leave the area. For outdoor use, there are motion detector sprinklers, a motion activated compressed air spray, and a variety of sonic and ultrasonic Big closet punishment detectors. Most of these same booby traps would also be effective for destructive behaviors such as chewing and sucking.
Taste deterrents might also be helpful, provided they are unpleasant enough to deter the behavior. Products such as bitter apple, bitter lime or Tabasco sauce are often recommended, but many cats quickly learn to accept the taste.
A little water mixed with cayenne pepper, oil of eucalyptus, any nontoxic mentholated product, or one of the commercial anti-chew sprays often work. To be effective, the first exposure to a product must be as repulsive as is humanely possible, so that the cat is immediately repelled whenever it smells or tastes that product again. Never leave any objects or areas untreated until the cat learns to leave the object or area alone.
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Perhaps most important, punishment, whether interactive or remote, should never be a substitute for good supervision and the opportunity to engage in the proper behavior. This is very important with kittens that are learning what is acceptable in a new home. Prevention, by confining the cat to a cat-proofed area with toys, scratching post, litter, and water, is often the best solution when the owners are not available to supervise.
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What can I do to stop my cat from engaging in rough play with me? How can I discourage my cat from other behaviors? How does remote punishment work? How can I booby-trap the environment to punish the pet? Edited by: VCA Inc. Parent This article has been modified from its original text as supplied from LifeLearn and may not reflect any views of, or is certified to be accurate by, LifeLearn. Veterinarian approved Behavior Support products View Now. Find a Local VCA.
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A 4-year-old boy has been rescued by the US police officials who believe that the minor was staying inside a closet for several years after being exposed to drugs, reported AFP.