Whats the appropriate way to punish a cat?

Yes, especially indoor cats, if they don’t use their scratching post much, need their claws trimmed.

I wouldn’t suggest de-clawing them, but keeping the claws/nails short is good.

You can’t really. They don’t learn like a dog. Antagonizing a cat for being aggressive will likely just aggravate the problem, giving the cat anxiety when the person who punishes them is near and thus making them more aggressive. This is similar for other problems. It’s more important to find the source of the behavior (for example, a lot of times an aggressive cat is a cat that is not confident & feels insecure, or is an unneutered male so the aggression is hormonal) and then working on that.

Some people try to get their cats to stop climbing on things by putting crinkly noisy stuff up there and I think that’s pretty harmless. But you actively scolding and scaring your cat is only going to give it anxiety and bad feelings towards you. A cat’s not a dog. My recommendation is to simply not allow your cat in the area with the keyboard, or cover the keyboard if you aren’t around.

I have rats who chew literally everything. Rats do not understand punishment and can’t be taught not to chew that’s just what they do. So I just have to keep anything I don’t want them to chew out of whatever area I play with them in. You have to adapt.


It’s impossible to punish a cat. They are impenetrable.

You could try to clicker-train it, reinforcing its good behaviours like going away when you give it a certain signal to move, and such.

Had heard a spray bottle with water and vinegar does the trick. Other behavior problems a product called feliway. It’s the pheromone of a mother cat and relaxes a cat can get it in a spray or diffuser https://www.feliway.com/au/

Vinegar is probably overkill and dangerous for the cats skin and eyes. Really all I did to keep my cat off the table is take him off but he was a good cat. He really only cuddled with me if there was something wrong with him.

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Tend to agree @anon1571434 no idea where I heard that. May be for dogs. Maybe bad for dogs also. Research Feliway usage instead.

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The more you yell at your cat, the tougher he will be with you.

When we were training our cats not to jump on the counters, we put squares of toilet paper along every surface. When the cats would reach up to climb onto something, they would just grab the toilet paper and fall down. It took about two weeks of this to train them not to climb on surfaces.

If he is jumping at you with claws out, chances are he’s bored and trying to play. That’s how cats play with each other. Make sure he is getting plenty of exercise and play time. When he hurts you, make a whining meow sound. That is how he will learn he is being too rough with you. Cats cry when they are being played with too roughly. They expect you to do the same.

And, if he hasn’t been neutered yet, he will probably calm down once you get that taken care of.


Give up. You’ll never win.

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@Jonnybegood You need to sit down with Don Juan and explain to him that he’s a lover not a fighter. :smile_cat:


I used to play aggressively with Charlie with just my hands. That took a long time of scratches and heartache over the years to get her to be a cuddle cat. You just have to work on their behavior which is like pulling teeth. I’d suggest just slowly being good by patting and such behavoir. I have the same problem with the keyboard but leave a spot beside me where I push her to sleep.

Slowly, slowly and just be affectionate. Charlie bites everyone who tries to pat her except me. That took a long time teaching her that pats are bettter than scratching the shite out of me!

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