Cats can be one of the most lovely pets on Earth, but they can also become extremely annoying in some cases. It is when your furry friends scratch, bite, poop on the floor, or do anything else that spoils your peaceful life.

You still do not know how to punish a cat effectively? Necessary as it is, I know this is not always easy. 

However, now you are here in this post, and you will probably find out how to properly punish a cat

Keep reading to learn.

I. How to punish a cat effectively

How to punish a cat effectively

 Instead of answering many questions such as “how to punish a cat for biting,” “how to punish a cat for pooping on the floor” or “how to punish a cat for hissing,” etc., I will give you the key answer for the most generic question “how to punish a cat for bad behavior.”

1. When will you need to punish

1.1. Does your cat need to be reprimanded?

First of all, be sure about whether you need to punish your cat or do anything else. You must be aware of the fact that cats may misbehave because of their physical or mental problems. Let’s check if your cats feel stressed or unhealthy, have pain, or any diseases that make them unable to behave well. 

For example, when a cat suffers from urinary tract problems, he might urinate all over your houses, or when the litter box is too small and dirty, cats will not use it. In this case, it’s not the cats fault. Your cat meets trouble and needs your help rather than punishment.

To ensure that both of your cat’s mental and physical health is fine, take it to the vet regularly. You should also check other factors such as your cat’s lifestyle, diet, medication, litter box’s type and position, interaction with other pets in your house, etc.

1.2. What is the right time?

Secondly, choosing the right time to reprove your cat is crucial, too. As no matter how proper the methods you take are, it seems never to work.


Remember that “Only rebuke your cat when you catch them in the act of doing wrong things.” For example, if you come back home and find poop on the floor or the sofa in the living room scratched from 2 hours ago, it is useless in punishing them for those things.


Cat is not so smart as a human, so you must help them link your punishment with their bad behaviors. Let’s them know that they have done wrong by giving them a sign of disapproval right after they do it. Or else, when looking at you losing temper, furry friends will wonder, “Why are you so mad, man?”.

2. How to punish a cat for bad behavior

2.1. Use your voice or sound:

When your cat is misbehaving, it might be sufficient to use your voice only. Prepare a stop word in your mind and use it for your cat whenever it tends to act wrongly. For example, you can say “Stop, “Hey,” or “No” loudly and firmly.

A loud hiss or unpleasant sound-emitting (or even ultrasonic) device may also have the same effect. Besides, you can also point your finger to the cat’s face at the same time to increase your ominous sign.

However, unless you are consistent enough, this method can not take effect well. Stick to this method until your cat successfully associates its misbehavior with your warning.

point at cat

2.2. Clap your hands:

Simply clapping your hands can work in many cases. A loud and noisy sound in which a hand clap emits can stimulate the cat and stop it.

Some cats can also get panic because of this sound. Punish them by clapping your hands and keep repeating this in a period. Gradually, your cat may associate their wrong behaviors with the sudden sound of your claps. Since then, they will not perform any similar actions anymore.

2.3. Use water sprayer:

Human does not like to get wet incidentally, and neither do cats. What’s more, the sudden shock of cold water and the spray bottle’s sound can be the most annoying thing to all kinds of cats.

Prepare a spray bottle, and whenever your cat acts up, squirt him with water.

Nonetheless, be sure that your cat does not know it is you who make him as wet as a drowned rat. Or else, the cat is likely to associate the sprayed water with you instead of his bad behaviors and, he will hate you, too. Try to use a water spray gun from the farthest distance so that the cat will not know about your presence.

Effective as this method can be, it is quite risky!

2.4. Smell method:

This method can work in the same way as when you use spray, wax, oil, or lotion with particular odors to prevent mosquitos, flies, fleas, or even other animals. Let your cat smell unpleasant odors when they enter restricted areas or do wrong things (Of course, this smell must be comfortable for you and non-toxic). You can do this by buying related products in the markets.

2.5. Time out

cat jail

Time out, known as “cat jail,” can work on cats as effectively as humans. Imprison your cats in a suitable amount of time when they commit “crime.” It can be up to 20 minutes long in their kennels or the warehouse/bathroom. And your cat should feel repentant after losing his freedom.

2.6. Booby trap the environment :

Use booby trap on your cat could be an excellent way of punishment though you may not manage to use traps everywhere in your house. These traps should have no harm but can scare your cats enough so that little friends will not retake the same action.

To use this method, you may need the help of remote devices or create some homemade traps if you are handy. What you need is to be as creative as possible. Now, let me show you some good examples of booby traps, then you can use your traps with your creativity in your cases.

  • Set a pile of empty bottles or plastic boxes balanced on the arm of a chair or the top of a wardrobe so that it will fall onto the cat when he starts to scratch.
  • Apply double-sided sticky tape to furniture or carpet in your house to make them less appealing to sharp-claw friends. This should make the cat searching for other places to satisfy its desire to scratch.
  • For handy and creative cat owners, you can manually set up compressed air sources like in a bag/a balloon or a cap gun so that when triggered, a sudden blow will startle your cat.
  • If you want to use modern remote devices, there are devices triggered by motion and will spray the cat with a ray of water or blow him with compressed air when the cats touch limited things or enter restricted areas.

There are many other booby traps for cats that you can try to make or search for on the internet, although all of the above may be quite enough.

Until the cat has learned they should leave things alone, you can remove booby traps in your house.

II. Restricted punishment

  • Never use physical punishment or other harsh penalties. Those wrong methods only bring about a worse result. You will fail to correct their bad behaviors but succeed in making your cat hate you and avoid you. Moreover, your cats might become aggressive or depressed instead of being obedient.
  • Unpersistent. Unless you spend enough time educating your cat, you will achieve nothing. You know even people can not change their awareness quickly, so please be patient with your furry baby.
  • Ignore the cat. In some cases, a cat will have a fear of losing attention, but this does not mean to work in all situations. For cats who do not need your notice, ignoring them makes them feel free to do anything they want. And, therefore, this even makes the situation worse. 

III. Final words

In general, penalizing a cat is not always recommended due to its chance of reverse effects and your unwillingness to displease your furry baby. However, you may resent to do so in exceptional cases when there is no alternative way of disciplining a stubborn cat.

Therefore, after reading this article, you should have full knowledge about how to punish a cat effectively. I hope that all of the shared tricks above are useful for you.

Thanks for reading.

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