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Isolating a cat in the shower, good form of punishment?

FountainDew
December 15th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Hi, I read that misbehavior from cats (ie. overactive biting, ignoring somebody's wish to be left alone, etc) should be dealt with by putting the animal in an enclosed room for some "time out" such as a bathroom. However, my bathroom has many bottles, some open jars, and basically a bunch of things that can be tipped over, dangled and played with. He also loves to just lounge in the sink like its a cat spa, so clearly the washroom is not an ideal punishment spot.

Every other room in the house is similar, and so I thought why not put him in our stand up shower and close the frosted door so that he can't get out? This does seem to correct his behavior, as immediately after this treatment he will make eye contact with me, listen to every word I say, as well as lick my hand much more frequently and minimizes his playful biting to barely a peck. However I'm worried about the time that he does spend in there because he will meow and yelp for the entire duration (~5 mins) and it doesn't seem quite humane.

Does anyone have an opinion on my treatment of my cat? Suggestions? Thanks in advance. ;)

mollywog
December 15th, 2008, 06:57 PM
are you kidding me???
is this a joke? :wall: :wall:
you should never attempt to "punish" your cat in this way!
what was the cat doing to "deserve" this treatment?
you can't train a cat right vs. wrong, and they definitely will not learn from punishments or consequences.

Love4himies
December 15th, 2008, 06:58 PM
Your cat is a cat not a child. Your cat has no idea what you are trying to do. You don't punish a kitty, you train.

If your cat is biting, then a sharp, not loud, "No" and stop play and restart play with an appropriate toy.

I take it your kitty is young? It needs to burn a lot of energy and needs to play. Your kitty is lonely and wants to play with you. If you don't have the time to spend with your cat, then I highly suggest you get it a playmate or rehome your kitty to somebody who is willing to do give it the attention it needs.

kathryn
December 15th, 2008, 07:14 PM
I put my cats in the bathroom to chill out :shrug: I keep the light on though.

I dunno, your cat might not understand. Do you have a squirt bottle? I use that. It's probably best to try training your cat. But yes, I do lock my cats in a room by themselves when they are getting too out of control. Just last night Jack was bouncing off the walls and kept attacking Missy and Tessie and wouldn't know it off. So, I scooped him up and put him in the upstairs bathroom with the light on for about 10 minutes to give him some chill time. There are rugs in there that they nap on.

So yeah, a time out is appropriate in some situations but so is proper training!

14+kitties
December 15th, 2008, 07:20 PM
As already stated....... your cats' ability to preceive punishment for doing something wrong is not the same as a humans. Please do not isolate them. Time outs mean nothing to them. As L4H said, a firm, not loud, NO and redirecting the kitten to appropriate playtoy(s) is the proper thing to do. If she doesn't settle, walk away for a few minutes.

This site has some good info on training your kitten/cat. There are also some really good books on the market on trainging your kitten.

http://www.proplan.com/media/cat/CatBehavior.pdf

FountainDew
December 15th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Your cat is a cat not a child. Your cat has no idea what you are trying to do. You don't punish a kitty, you train.

If your cat is biting, then a sharp, not loud, "No" and stop play and restart play with an appropriate toy.

I take it your kitty is young? It needs to burn a lot of energy and needs to play. Your kitty is lonely and wants to play with you. If you don't have the time to spend with your cat, then I highly suggest you get it a playmate or rehome your kitty to somebody who is willing to do give it the attention it needs.

I've been trying to find effective ways to train my cat but it seems he's still too young and impatient to sit down and learn. So when he goes totally berserk on my hand, I tried walking away, switching to a new toy, firmly saying "NO", shouting "NO," hissing my lips dry and a bunch of other recommendations. They just don't work on him when he's in this "overdrive" mode that he has occasionally. Most of the time he is totally lovable and gentle, but only on these rare occasions he has these totally aggressive fits that are way too random to predict. It seems as though hes playing, albeit extremely rough, because he is well taken care of. There is nothing in the house that threatens or angers him and everyone gives him plenty of love. He just has these sudden moments where he'll go totally berserk without warning.

I knew that training his energy elsewhere hadn't worked so it was time for me to punish the behavior, and many articles recommended isolation so I tried it. I lured him to the bathroom and closed the door behind him. Today was the 3rd time I had to and I don't like it any better than he does but these bursts of biting and scratching need to stop. Even though i hate seeing him that way, the punishment does seem to work pretty well. I posted here because I'm worried about the long term psychological effects it will have on him and if i can find an equally effective but more gentle method.

I don't enjoy treating animals cruelly because if I did, i wouldn't bother to post at all. =\ Some links would be helpful because I really would like to know alternatives.

Jim Hall
December 15th, 2008, 07:31 PM
ahhh well first welcome to the boards have you tried just walking away when he starts to bite ( whats the fuzzbots name BTW?} since you have used negative re enforcement and it seems to work a bit its ok for short term no i would try a little less when he starts up again say no or hiss a liitle and pick him up like you are goimg to isolate him but put him down again when cats play and one gets to rough the roughed up kit will hiss or miaow and run away
also get some other kinds oof toys a lazer tag things to trow things to drag on the floor etc

cats require lots and lots and lots of patience and even some mpore patience sometimes

have you tried a stufffie filled with cat nip sometimes that gets tier aggresions out .

FountainDew
December 15th, 2008, 07:35 PM
As already stated....... your cats' ability to preceive punishment for doing something wrong is not the same as a humans. Please do not isolate them. Time outs mean nothing to them. As L4H said, a firm, not loud, NO and redirecting the kitten to appropriate playtoy(s) is the proper thing to do. If she doesn't settle, walk away for a few minutes.

This site has some good info on training your kitten/cat. There are also some really good books on the market on trainging your kitten.

http://www.proplan.com/media/cat/CatBehavior.pdf

Thanks for the link, I read it but I guess my solution is to contact my vet for advice. The "berserk" moments I described earlier are not frequent but they happen enough to be habit-forming and would be extremely unpleasant when my kitten becomes older. I introduced the punishment in hopes to address his behavior early before he begins to think it's okay to expend all his energy in an effort to shred my fingers apart.

FountainDew
December 15th, 2008, 07:39 PM
ahhh well first welcome to the boards have you tried just walking away when he starts to bite ( whats the fuzzbots name BTW?} since you have used negative re enforcement and it seems to work a bit its ok for short term no i would try a little less when he starts up again say no or hiss a liitle and pick him up like you are goimg to isolate him but put him down again when cats play and one gets to rough the roughed up kit will hiss or miaow and run away
also get some other kinds oof toys a lazer tag things to trow things to drag on the floor etc

cats require lots and lots and lots of patience and even some mpore patience sometimes

have you tried a stufffie filled with cat nip sometimes that gets tier aggresions out .

You know cat nip sounds like a great idea. Show's how dumb I am for resorting to punishment before exhausting all my options. I'll go buy a bottle of it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. :thumbs up

Jim Hall
December 15th, 2008, 07:41 PM
lol shreddding fingers he will get better kittens are little devils cute as all heck but devils none the less

if its random its just what kits think of as play

14+kitties
December 15th, 2008, 07:44 PM
You know cat nip sounds like a great idea. Show's how dumb I am for resorting to punishment before exhausting all my options. I'll go buy a bottle of it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. :thumbs up

How old is your kitten? Just as a heads up...... if he is younger than six months he may show no interest in cat nip. Some kittens don't develop any interest. Some don't show interest until after the six month phase. Sounds to me like he is bored and in need of entertainment. :shrug:

A site where you can order some books on training kittens...........

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Kitten-Raise-Problem-Free/dp/0762100389

Jim Hall
December 15th, 2008, 07:51 PM
im not sure this would work cause it diesnt seem his niting is stress related but lavender is usually a calming scent for kits

badger
December 15th, 2008, 08:31 PM
If you're worried, then find another way. The only time I have isolated a cat is if there is real trouble brewing, involving loss of blood (including mine). I wouldn't waste your money on a vet visit if the cat is otherwise healthy. Tranquilizing him at such a young age would be a real shame and it only makes them drowsy; some react in the opposite manner, becoming more aggressive. When he freaks out, try using Rescue Remedy in the spray form (available at health food stores and some large grocery chains; it's made by Bach). It should help calm him down. And withdraw all attention with a loud NO. When he is back to normal, give him a good cuddle.
It's true kittens (by that I mean up to a year) can be a real pain, but if you are consistent, he will get it eventually. Avoid grabbing or containing him while you are playing; at that age they have so much energy, they just want to go go go. Laser tag is a good no-hands activity and really wears them out.

FountainDew
December 15th, 2008, 08:46 PM
How old is your kitten? Just as a heads up...... if he is younger than six months he may show no interest in cat nip. Some kittens don't develop any interest. Some don't show interest until after the six month phase. Sounds to me like he is bored and in need of entertainment. :shrug:

A site where you can order some books on training kittens...........

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Kitten-Raise-Problem-Free/dp/0762100389

Well he was born in early August this year so this would make him nearly five months old. I understand he has way too much energy at this age but I'm also preparing myself for when he is older and much stronger because even at his age he's quite powerful when it comes to biting. I'll stop my isolation therapy until I desperately need his energy controlled. At this point in his life, I play with him two hours daily by making him chase crumpled paper bags, to follow-the-leader with a shoestring, laser tag, and a few other running games. He also spends most of his time destroying this plastic shopping bag that I tied up into knots and ripping apart the two teddy chew-toys I left in his kitten bed. Even with all this playing and attention he sometimes has those berserk bursts and becomes a little demon. He has actually made me bled a few times but it was from me pulling out of his grip that caused his claws to dig into my hand. In general he's a very intelligent and lovable kitten, but its just those rare occasions that he drives me totally up a wall.

I guess patience is all I can hope for from the looks of it. :sick:

[edit]
Oh and I suppose I should have created a better introduction thread, sorry about that and thanks for the welcomes from everyone. I didn't think my topic would be given this much attention, but I appreciate all the advice and will take more time to raise my kitten properly.

badger
December 15th, 2008, 09:27 PM
If you have room for another cat - around the same age, probably a male - that would also be a solution. Kittens learn a ton of stuff from each other, including the limits of rough play.

Jim Hall
December 15th, 2008, 09:48 PM
Even with all this playing and attention he sometimes has those berserk bursts and becomes a little demon. even at the age of 8 my Girl DU still gets the zoomies is the sign of a healthey cat

manda at 2 yrs still plays about 2 hrs a day

Love4himies
December 16th, 2008, 08:16 AM
How old is your kitten? Just as a heads up...... if he is younger than six months he may show no interest in cat nip. Some kittens don't develop any interest. Some don't show interest until after the six month phase. Sounds to me like he is bored and in need of entertainment. :shrug:

A site where you can order some books on training kittens...........

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Kitten-Raise-Problem-Free/dp/0762100389


Some cats can, I made the mistake of giving Sweet Pea's kittens some fresh stuff at about 3 months of age, we had to separate them as they started getting much too rough with each other, it was hilarious trying to catch them.

I agree that this cat is bored and needs companionship of another kitty his age, or, for you to take the time to play with him until he is tired.

chico2
December 16th, 2008, 08:35 AM
Welcome to our Forum!!
Cats/kittens do get what we call the"Zoomies"where it seems they want to climb the walls,it's not something unusual,unless he is actually attacking you out of the blue,I would not worry too much about him becoming an aggressive adult cat.
A second kitten is great advice,2 is always better than one,they'll play with each other, not your hands+you'll have lots of fun watching them:cat:
I have to admit,I give my Rocky time-out sometimes,but not in a shower-stall.
This morning he was all nervy and was going after one of my other cats,not in a playmode,so I put him in a room by himself.
It works with him,he soon calmed down,with some extra cuddles,but he's 13 yrs old.
A shower-stall,is probably a very scary place for a little kitten though:sad:
You know we want kitten-pics,right;)

I should also mention,my cats love fresh cat-nip,but it most certainly does not calm them down,quiet the opposite.

Jim Hall
December 16th, 2008, 10:33 AM
it desnt calm them but aftere they try to rip the stuffie apart thier aggresivve paly is worn out

ancientgirl
December 16th, 2008, 11:44 AM
Get the little guy a playmate if you have the room. They will keep each other occupied and they will teach each other boundaries.

When your kitten bites you, I agree a firm NO and redirecting him is a good idea. Have a toy on hand to give to him when he gets bitey.

Punishing him won't really solve anything, as he doesn't understand he's being punished or really why.

I have a big boy who is always giving one of my girls grief. When I see him doing something wrong, I say NO and walk towards him. He immediately runs away because he knows he's doing something wrong. He will then leave his "victim" alone and redirect his attention to something else.