Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Spraying kitties with squirt gun?

Sophikko
June 19th, 2009, 01:09 PM
Hi Everyone - I'm pretty new here. New pet owner as well. I have two kittens - 11 weeks old and they have been great.

They are starting to get more frisky and getting up to trouble. Most I understand is just regular kitten stuff.

I've had a number of people tell me cats react well to squirting them with a water gun, for training purposes. I haven't done this yet. I'd like to get your advice first, because you all seem very informed and helpful. I wouldn't want to negatively affect the kittens.

The main things that concern me are biting, trying to steal people food, and scratching the couch.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

TacoGrl
June 19th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Welcome to being owned by cats :thumbs up

A scratching post and sticky tape on the sofa arms will help with detering the sofa scratch thing...not all cats do this however.

Putting kitty down on the ground deters stealing of food.

If kitty bites, stop playing with him/her momentarily...they will learn.

While water does work for some behaviours, I would rather try things like I have mentioned...they will play rough until they set their own boundaries...some noise is normal during play btw ;)

sugarcatmom
June 19th, 2009, 02:10 PM
I'm not a fan of using squirt bottles on cats and completely agree with Tacogrl's advice. For one, you're timing has to be impeccable for the squirt bottle to be effective, and unless you're carrying around a bottle 24/7 with it cocked and ready, there's no way it can be. As well, I find it to be a rather hostile form of "training". There are better methods for most behaviour problems, like the ones suggested by Tacogrl.

About the food stealing, what do you feed them and what are they trying to steal?

philip
June 19th, 2009, 02:27 PM
if a cat is stealing food you put a squirt gun by the food a when it steals shoot it

Sophikko
June 19th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Taco - thank you for your suggestions. I am doing these things so I will just stick to it :) They have scratching posts so I usually just move them over to the posts when they are in a scratchy mood, lol. If one is scratching the post and I praise them - the other one comes running over to show me they can scratch the post too! It is so cute. I think it may be a bit confusing for them though because we have a couch that is a rough knit fabric. Very inviting for a kitty, I'm sure.

I do keep them off of tables and such but they find their way right back up. Sometimes this means climbing up my legs.


Sugarcatmom - I feed them Wellness wet and California Naturals wet kitten & cat. They love their food, when I put fresh food out it is quite the event, they get so excited. I do leave some dry wellness kitten out during the night and if I'm going to be gone long during the day. They go through the wet so fast - they graze on the dry so at least I know they're not going hungry. As they mature I will watch portions more carefully but right now I'm being pretty liberal. The female is just over 2 lbs, so quite small. They try to eat everything! They are real food hounds. The female kitten even meows and tries to get to diet coke while I'm drinking it. I've come to putting out fresh food for them when my husband and I sit down to dinner - mainly to distract them. They are VERY interested in our hot meals.

Bina
June 19th, 2009, 04:06 PM
I'm bad.....my cat sits on a chair when we eat and if she shows interest we give her a little plate with bits of fish, chicken, etc.
She LOVES eggs.
I agree that it is much better manners to feed your cats separate from the :humans: dinner table.
Using the squirt bottle for every little thing will just cause them to get nervous or hostile.
I have only used it occasionally, when Miss Mitten tried to bite my leg during a pissed off kitty cat mood.

chico2
June 19th, 2009, 04:27 PM
A cat-tree is a must,nice and tall so they can climb.
I have to confess,my cats are usually allowed whereever they want to go:cat:
I have a little squirt-bottle but only use it to break up the occasional cat-fight,which only happens once in a blue moon.

TacoGrl
June 19th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Diet Coke...I would watch out...there are bad things in there (Aspartame is even bad for people). I was watching the news last night and a dog ate half a package of sugar-free gum and apparently there is an additive in some sugar-free items that increases a dog/cat's insulin to the point that it can kill them...it is called XYLITOL.

quincymycat
June 19th, 2009, 05:15 PM
I have to go with the majority here and say I am not too fond of the squirt gun method either. In my opinion, it just causes more stress to the kitties and you may find them becoming frightened of any sounds they may hear that may sound like the water gun being readied.
I have 4 cats, all claws intact and have had cats all my somewhat longish life. Right now I have Maine Coon cats and they are big. Scratching posts must be high enough for the kitty to stretch up along them. Most sold in pet stores aren't high enough, so you may wish to consider making your own. Pretty easy actually with a 4X4 piece of wood covered in a tight weave carpet. I have great luck with berber types. Try some cat nip spray to encourage interest in the post and show kitty how to scratch - hold his paws gently and move up and down post. If every time you see them scratch you move them to the post, they will get the idea pretty fast. Lots of encouragement and praise works better than any scare tactics.
As for the feeding - I am guilty of always giving a bit of people food to the kitties who want it. I have cats show interest, only to get the people food and not want it. I still go into the basement to open a can of tuna fish only for the peace and quiet to do it without all the begging. My fault, NOT the kitties. You are on your own in that respect!!! LOL:laughing:
Good luck and enjoy kittenhood. There is nothing more precious than a healthy, spirited baby in the house.

Sophikko
June 19th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Diet Coke...I would watch out...there are bad things in there (Aspartame is even bad for people). I was watching the news last night and a dog ate half a package of sugar-free gum and apparently there is an additive in some sugar-free items that increases a dog/cat's insulin to the point that it can kill them...it is called XYLITOL.

Oh don't worry, she's not getting any. I kind of watch them like a hawk - I am terrified of them getting into anything. So I won't leave my coke out, and I even gave them their own kitten-proof room for when I can't be watching them. I'm a bit neurotic - but if anything ever happened I'll feel horrible.

There is one positive thing about this - I am glad to see her having an appetite. When I adopted her she had coccidia and ever since she got treated for that she has a lot more energy and interest in food.

Thanks everyone for your advice and well wishes :) You are all so helpful.

ownedbycats
June 19th, 2009, 07:01 PM
This may sound silly, but I've found that if you can imitate a cat hissing when a kitten is doing something you need to stop immediately(like jumping onto a hot stove) the kitten will pause for a moment or two, enough to let you grab them or distract them.

14+kitties
June 19th, 2009, 09:20 PM
The key to teaching cats is consistency. Biting is a normal kitten thing. It's part of their play. When they get too rough you can raise your voice and say OW sharply. This will teach them that biting is not a form of play you appreciate. Stealing people food is basically the same. I blame myself when that happens though. I want mine to eat a raw diet so any time they want to try my food I celebrate. The scratchpost ideas you have been given are great.
Water being sprayed does nothing but teach them to hate water. :shrug:
The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your kittens and you will be fine.

Jim Hall
June 19th, 2009, 09:53 PM
cheap scratch post is a good piece oardbord on the floor with a little cat nip on it or rug samples with the same

Sophikko
June 19th, 2009, 10:48 PM
You're right, I don't want them to be afraid of water. I am trying to get them used to being groomed at a young age - thats the last thing I need.

pattymac
June 20th, 2009, 12:06 AM
Punishment I've found rarely works with cats. A good hiss works quite well, most of them understand it. Never had a problem with any of mine and people food, except yoghurt. My Manx has to have his morning treat with my mom. About the only thing I've ever done is throw a soft dog toy at the one cat to interrupt him from jumping on the counter. I try to get the dog to go push him away but she just gives me the 'look' Kittens will be kittens, keep her nails short and she'll be less inclined to sharpen them on your couch. I find corrugated cardboard much better than carpet and cheaper for scratching on.

ashtoreth
June 21st, 2009, 10:53 PM
Diet Coke...I would watch out...there are bad things in there (Aspartame is even bad for people). I was watching the news last night and a dog ate half a package of sugar-free gum and apparently there is an additive in some sugar-free items that increases a dog/cat's insulin to the point that it can kill them...it is called XYLITOL.


two cents, aspartame is bad for -most- people ;) my boyfriend is diabetic, asparatame is great for him :P