How to punish your Cat in an intelligent and effective way?

We often hear that a cat does not educate itself… However, when it exceeds the limits, it may be necessary to scold it so that it does not happen again. How should you react when you discover that your cat has done something stupid, or when you catch him in the act? Is it useful to punish him, and how?

Punishment by violence is of course totally prohibited, especially since it will not bring anything to your animal in terms of education. To reprimand a cat effectively, you have to be smarter than him! Here are some tips on the right reflexes to have.

Should we punish his cat?

While the word “punishment” has a negative connotation, reprimands are sometimes necessary. The cat is able to learn by imitation, as he does with his mother, so it is above all the rewards that will allow him to progress in his education. Before punishing a cat for its bad actions, you have to start by encouraging the good ones, and it has to start early. For example, when a kitten is in her litter box, feel free to pet her and congratulate her to show her that she has done well.

When it is somewhere else in the house, start by asking yourself why. A cat is not dirty for pleasure and always has a reason not to use its litter, especially if it is too dirty or placed in a place that does not suit it. On the other hand, for big things like theft, you have to find a way to make them understand that you don’t like their attitude and adopt strategies and behaviours to deter them.

Never hit or scream

Subtlety is required to punish a cat without traumatizing it. Never punish your cat by direct contact, especially not with your hand. Shouting loudly at him will also have no effectiveness, because he will not understand this aggressive attitude and will not relate it to his actions. Raising the tone is often enough to interrupt the stupidity. Keep in mind that a cat never acts with bad intentions, and that it considers normal the acts you consider prohibited.


On the other hand, a common mistake with kittens is to get them used to playing with their hands: by doing so, you give them permission to bite and scratch. Hands must be associated with gentleness and benevolent and legitimate authority, not with an object of struggle or play. If you want to play with him, use toys such as a string, a cap, a paper ball…

How to scold your cat?

Putting him in a situation of discomfort or briefly frightening him are the best options for punishing a cat. If you catch him in the act, it is quite possible to scold his cat with a firm “NO” by raising your voice. Another crucial element is that punishments must absolutely be given at the right time: a few minutes later, he will already have forgotten and will be unable to make the connection between the reprimand and what he has done. So, when a cat has peed somewhere, it is quite sterile to put his nose in it to punish him, because the action has already passed. The only way to punish him effectively is to catch him in the act, even if it means hiding and running into him at the moment of the unwanted behaviour, if possible in the first few seconds.

Among the effective punishments, one can clap his hands or scare him with a “Pschhhh!

Some ideas for punishment

It is easy to scare a cat with noise: by crumpling a plastic bag, snapping a cloth, clapping your hands, etc. It is also possible to throw a non-hazardous object at him, a small ball for example, and to accompany it with a “NO” or a “Pschitt! Water or air jet technology is another effective option, using a water gun or bicycle pump. Every time you catch your cat in the act, renew the punishment and you will see that he will quickly recognize the object used and run away! For greater effectiveness, make sure to surprise him and “pop up” to reinforce the reprimand. Be consistent and wait for the repetition to take effect. And if the damage has already been done, totally ignoring your cat can make her understand that you are angry.