Is Cat Discipline Possible?
Many people find it hard to believe that cat discipline is
possible but despite their independent nature it is possible
to train a cat that a particular behaviour is bad. All it
takes is some patience and consistency in their training. So
give it a try and don’t give up.
Cats are not People
It is important to remember that cats are not people they
work using their own logic and instincts. Your Ragdoll
probably sees you as another large cat and will respond to
Don’t Use Violence
A cat will not understand the use of violence as a form of
discipline and so will not associate it with their bad
behaviour. The only effect this will have is to make them
afraid of you. Hitting your cat is not a good form of
punishment for bad behaviour the following techniques are
acceptable ways to reprimand your Ragdoll cat:
The ‘Face Push’ Technique
For times when you are near your cat when behaving badly
‘The Face Push’ technique should be used. It consists of a
GENTLE but firm push back on your cat’s face along with a
stern ‘NO’ command. This is a strong message to cats and
used consistently will re-enforce the message that a
particular behaviour is wrong.
The Squirt Gun
When your Ragdoll cat is further away and needs reprimanding
a water pistol filled with water and a dash of vinegar as a
great tool. Just a quick squirt in the face with a stern
‘NO’ command is enough to stop them in their tracks.
The Rattle Bottle
Where the above methods are impractical a small plastic
bottle partly filled with pebbles or coins when shaken or
dropped along with the ‘NO’ command can provide a great
deterrent from bad behaviour. Avoid over use of this method
to prevent your Ragdoll cat from becoming desensitised to
Using the above techniques consistently will soon teach your
Ragdoll cat which behaviour is correct and which is
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Problems with Aggression
Aggression problems in cats is not as common as it is for
dogs but for many reasons cats can develop an aggression
problem and this issue must be addressed as early as
possible to avoid impacting the problem with wrong treatment
from you the owner. There are different types of aggression
in cats and below are the most common:
Play aggression is the most common form of cat aggression
and is usually your cat playing rough. This is almost always
because they have been taught to play like this from when
they were kittens; this is called ‘conditioned aggression‘.
As explained above if you have this problem then it was
conditioned into your Ragdoll cat from when it was a kitten.
To prevent doing this when rearing kittens always divert
aggressive play onto toys and other objects like string on
the end of a stick. This will help to distance the
aggression from you. If necessary use a squirt gun to stop
the wrong behaviour along with the usual ‘NO’ command.
When an aggression problem develops suddenly for no apparent
reason, it could be caused by pain. Your cat has no way of
telling you if it has a medical condition and is in pain so
biting or scratching you could be your cats way of either
getting your attention or protecting itself. If it persists
you should consult your veterinary surgeon to discover if
there is a medical problem, which needs treatment.
Keeping Your Ragdoll Cat off the Table
This is a common problem with cats if they are not taught
otherwise. A squirt in the face with the squirt gun or a
drop of the rattle bottle along with the ‘NO’ command may be
all that is required to deter your cat from jumping up but
you must be consistent so that your Ragdoll cat knows why
they are being squirted.
Stop Them Shredding Toilet Paper.
If your Ragdoll cat attacks your toilet paper simply ensure
the roll is turned so the paper comes down between the wall
and the holder and place a small plastic cup with a little
water in it on top of the roll. When your cat grabs the
paper they get a cup of water on their head. For less mess
you could use a rattle bottle instead.