How to Discipline Your Cat for Bad Behaviour

Cats mostly tend to be mysterious. You never know how they might behave.

And that is quite worrying especially if you are like me and your mother barely lets you keep the cat but won’t tolerate its bad behaviour.

So how do you actually discipline your cat?

The simplest way to discipline them is to discourage their bad behaviour by squirting them with water, leaving them in an empty room for some time to make them feel they have done something bad or by startling the cat by shaking a noisy can.

But that’s not all. There are some other ways to discipline your cat too, even if your cat is more of an aggressive type. Keep reading to know more:

Discouraging Bad Behaviour

Whenever your cat misbehaves, you need to make them realize that they have done something that they should not do.

Here are some simple tricks that you can follow:

Use A Special Word

You can say the name of your cat or any other word in a loud and scolding like voice whenever they do something bad. Use the same word every time. This trick works even on the more aggressive type of cats.

Spray with Water

Just like humans, animals don’t like being squirted with water either. Use a spray bottle for this trick. Spray the water on your cat if it’s misbehaving. After using this trick for a while, you will notice that the cat will stop misbehaving the moment you reach for the spray bottle.

Startle with a Noisy Can

Take a can with some coins or small stones in it. Shake the can at your cat when they misbehave or do something they’re not supposed to.

Isolation/Time out

Leaving your cat in an empty room or washroom with no people in it can work wonders. You will see the change in behaviour after you try this method for about two to three times.

The cat will not misbehave and will not even be seen roaming around that empty room because it will be scared of the timeout. However, make sure that the room is free from any dangerous items, such as razors, scissors or any sharp object your cat could hurt themselves with.

Clap your hands

A sudden and loud noise like this can make the cat feel uncomfortable. Cats often dislike clapping because of this reason. So clapping your hands whenever your cat is misbehaving will most probably make them stop as most cats can easily be startled.

Use Smell Deterrents

Often, cats dislike some smells like that of citrus and red pepper flakes. There are also some commercially available cat sprays that you can use. Whenever used, these smells will become an indication for your cat that it has done something bad.

One more thing:

Appreciation is always a way to go, for humans and animals alike. Treat your fluff ball with some cat snacks whenever it behaves nicely. This way, it will know the difference between the good and bad or the way you want your cat to behave.

Also, treat them whenever they obey your command. And if you are wondering about the type of snack your cat would like, then flakes of tuna or some cooked chicken will work wonders!

Now you know the ways to discipline your cat. But wait! There are some things you need to avoid while training your cat or else it won’t work as effectively! Continue reading to find out:

Disciplining Do’s and Don’ts

Cats are one of the loveliest pets to have but it can be difficult to train them. And you do not want them to start hating you. So here are a few things you need to avoid:

The Don’ts

Never Harm Your Cat: You love your cat and would never want to harm them. So remember, no matter how stressed you are about disciplining your cat, never use your hands to physically hurt them. Cats are already not pleased with the punishments humans give them and physically harming them will not only make your cat hate you but it might even break the bond between youtwo permanently.

Try To Minimize Yelling: Scolding is an effective method to make your cat realize that it’s misbehaving. But yelling too much might scare your cat so much that it could become stressed. This will cause them to become rebellious and misbehave even more than before.  

Don’t Let Your Cat Play Freely: If you let your cat play freely, it might develop some bad habits. For example: if your cat starts biting your finger while playing with you, stop immediately. This will make the cat feel that it is not right to bite fingers. Or else, it might bite the fingers of your children too which would make them hate the cat.

The Do’s

Similarly, there are some things you should keep enforce to encourage good behaviour as well:

Reward Them For Good Behaviour: Cats always seem to obey you when you praise them. So show your love by treating them with snacks when they obey your commands or show good behaviour.

Stop them immediately for bad behaviour: You always need to keep a close eye at what your cat is doing. But sometimes, it’s more effective to either remove your attention from them or divert their attention to something else to get your point across. If your cat is scratching a couch, divert its attention to a toy or a snack.

Try To Be More Playful: You must always have a loving relationship with your cat. While training it, always try to stay calm and be more playful. Spending more time together is also very effective. In this way, your cat will tend to obey you more as it loves you, just like humans listen to their loved ones.

Keep trying: Persistence in training is very important. If you lose heart and stop repeating the tricks described above, your cat might just go back to where it was. It could start misbehaving again. So keep trying! As Sigmund Freud said:

“Time spent with Cats is never wasted”

Take Expert Advice

You tried everything. From implementing all the training tricks to just leaving the cat be. But it just won’t stop misbehaving!

It keeps meowing and waking you up at night. It won’t stop jumping on counters or stop making a mess outside its litter box. If this is the case with you, then you have come to the right place.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Look at the cat’s diet: Are you feeding them fine? Are they getting proper food? There’s a possibility that some ingredients from the cat’s diet are bothering them or maybe messing with their stomach.
  • Look for any undetected wounds: Sometimes, you don’t know and your pet is suffering from some wounds or bruises. They might have also sustained an internal wound which could be causing the misbehaviour.
  • Carefully observe their routine: It’s possible that some of your other pets might be bullying your cat. Or your cat might simply be stressed due to any other reason. Find that reason and try to fix it as soon as you can.

If your cat falls under any of the cases above, then the situation cannot be handled by you. So take your pet to a vet. That’s the only way to get out of this situation.

The vet might tell you that there are hormone imbalances, roundworms, flukes or tapeworms that are bothering your cat. But do not panic just by hearing these names.

 Just follow the process the vet asks you to and make sure to give proper and regular medication to your dear cat as prescribed by the vet. Give your fullest to help your dear pet!

Is that’s all? Not yet! If you are thinking about other ways or different approaches to training cats of different personalities then keep reading!

How To Deal With Aggressive Or Shy Cats

One of the most important things to know about your cat is its personality. The personality of every cat can be as diverse as humans. It can be lazy, loving, aggressive, or easy to please.

But to find that out, you need to pay attention and spend more time with them. And once you do find out, it would be easier for you to train your cat. You would know even if you want to be more aggressive or more playful with your cat.

For example, if your cat is a shy one, then you have to be more polite while training them. If you shout too much, then it might get scared and stressed easily.

While with an aggressive cat, you would need to be a little bit strict, but be careful not to overdo it and to never hurt your pet physically.

Also, before giving any punishments, look for the source of aggression in your cat. If it’s still acting stubborn after you got rid of the source of aggression, then move towards punishments.

And one more way to look at this situation is that it might be your mistake that your cat is not obeying you. You might have done something which made them upset.

To fix this, you need to be generous with your cat. Give it more time. Play with it more than usual. It might take some time for it to act normal, so be patient!

Related Questions

How to discipline a cat for fighting my other pets?

Try to distract them. Find something they love or make a noise to calm them. Give them their favorite snack and they might stop fighting. Cats are territorial so try to keep your other pets away from the place where your cat stays.

How to stop cats from climbing?

Place a piece of aluminum foil where your cat climbs the shelves and they will not climb those shelves. This is because cats do not like the texture of aluminum foil. You can also put them in timeout every time they climb shelves to tell them it wrong to do so.

Why do cats go limp when you grab their neck?

It is because kittens instinctually relax when their mother carries them in that manner. But this reflex is lost after adolescence. And if you grab the neck of an adult cat, it triggers fear and stress rather than relaxation!

How to assert dominance on cats?

To assert dominance on cats is not a good practice, as you don’t want your cat to be permanently scared of you. But if you still want to do it, then just simply get angry with it and speak loudly. Increasing your volume and hardening your tone is the best way to assert dominance.


At all costs, focus on fulfilling the needs of your cat. Be aware of your cat’s mood and if it is behaving strangely, then it means something is bothering it. Remove the source of trouble to make things easier for your cat.

You need your cat to love you. You need to take it to the point that it exposes its belly to you by laying upside down, which means it likes you. I hope this article has provided you with enough information that you can now discipline any cat at any time!


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