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Rememberme's avatar

How to train a cat using a spray bottle?

Asked by Rememberme (661points) June 10th, 2009

My kitten is very frisky. He has a bad habbit of attacking feet and hands, chewing on tips of pencils while you write with them and trying to bite a page of a book, while I read it.

He has a scratching post and toys to play with. I also spend time throughout the day with him, playing. I know hes a kitten and hopefully soon he will learn the joys of sun bathing and sleeping.

I am trying to use a spray bottle to teach him that biting hand, feet, pens, and paper is a naughty thing. I trained my old cat that way with success. However with my kitten he seems not too bothered by the water. I end up having a kitten with a soaked head. I was thinking about adding a little bit of vinegar to the water to make it a bit more harsh. Any advice

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8 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Vinegar would be a bit harsh wouldn’t it?

eponymoushipster's avatar

stick the nozzle in it’s ass. every time it does something you don’t want it to do, spray.

augustlan's avatar

You may not have any luck with a spray bottle. Maybe try a harsh noise instead. I’ve seen people train dogs by shaking a jar of change to make it clank unpleasantly.

whatthefluther's avatar

Let me see if I have this right….you want to train your cat to use a spray bottle, right? Maybe I got that wrong. Oh well…wtf

rooeytoo's avatar

Vinegar stings pretty badly especially in the eyes, I would try lemon juice, should do the trick and will give its fur pretty blond highlights at the same time.

DarkScribe's avatar

It is a kitten. What you are doing is teaching it to like water. You can’t do much about them when they are small. Either contain it if it is a real nuisance or put up with it until it gets a bit bigger.

I have a very well trained cat, it does everything I tell it to. It ignores everyone else in the family. I used a spray bottle – and a radio controlled car and cannon. And an infrared alarm attached to various loud noisemakers to keep it off benchtops. I also used to put liquid soap all over the benchtops before going to bed. (In the middle of the night we would hear a thump followed by the frantic skittering sound of soapy claws trying to grip on stone floors.)

Putting upside down adhesive contact paper in areas where you don’t want it to go is effective too.

I miss my cat training days.

Buttonstc's avatar

What works for one cat may not work for another so try something else than a water bottle. It’s obviously not working and anything you could put in the water would likely be far too harsh. I mean if you are spraying it in his face it’s also going into his eyes and you don’t want to trade dealing with a fairly typical minor problem for an emergency visit to the vet.

I’ve been goiing through the same thing with mine for the last several months. This is very normal behavior for kittens. He regards you as a member of his family and is playing with you the exact same way as he did with his siblings and Momma cat. He just doesn’t realize that you cant take the same degree of biting and scratching as another cat can. There are several other things you can try to educate him to this reality. Firstly, don’t let him get away with it without letting him know in no uncertain terms that this is not acceptable. Cats don’t obey commands the way dogs do, but they are very intelligent and are sensitive to the tone of your voice. A very loud OUCH or similar sounds go a long way. Mine still lies in wait to ambush my feet, but she now does it with soft paws——claws retracted. Every once in a while she forgets herself and I have to remind her with a loud ouch, stop it!!

The other thing I did in the beginning was that everytime she bit or scratched it was off into the bathroom for a five min. time out. This takes all the fun out of it. They are playing with us because they enjoy interacting with us.

The other thing I did if she was biting my hands was to grab her by the scruff firmly but not harshly, look straight into her face and said—-STOP IT—and promptly tossed her off the bed. It got the point across. (Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t hold them up by the scruff of the neck which could be damaging——this is more for when seated on the couch or bed.) Again, she was deprived of fun interaction for the next few mins. Then afterwards I would get out one of her toys and play chase with her. This way she got it out on the toy. Eventually she realized that human hands and feet are not cat toys——human hands HOLD the cat toys.

It’s really kind of comical now when she starts to bite my hand——I just go uh, uh, uh in a warning tone and she freezes in mid-bite with her mouth agape and then just a little nibble or a lick.

For the pencil erasers, the only thing I can suggest is to keep them upside down in the holder so the eraser end isn’t available for chewing. That’s also what we have to do with any inappropriate objects for chewing——it’s kind of like baby-proofing the house.

Mine is currently fascinated by the ends of my reading glasses so I just have to keep remembering to fold them up so the “delicious” part is inaccessible.

You just have to keep trying diferent things to see what works for your cat. There will be many other bits of advice offered and just keep experimenting.

hearkat's avatar

We trained our cats with the spray bottle and a simultaneous LOUD “PSSSSSSSST!” that mimics their hissing. Eventually we let the spray bottle go and only need to make the sound. Clapping my hands loudly also works.

Since your cat isn’t as bothered by the spray, you might try just the noise. Good Luck!

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