A water gun or spray bottle is often recommended as a means of training a cat. But cats have a mind of their own and don’t always understand this type of punishment. Therefore, only use the pedagogically intended water splashes sparingly or try alternatives.
Water? Ugh! That’s how some cats think, and that’s why water pistols and spray bottles seem at first glance to be practical tools for training cats. But is the water penalty really useful against rebellious house tigers?
Water Gun Punishment Can Backfire
The problem is that cats can’t always figure out why they’re being sprayed with water guns or spray bottles. In the worst case, they associate this unpleasant experience with you and lose trust, possibly even becoming afraid. Or the velvet paw doesn’t understand that she was punished because she jumped on the table, scratched the wallpaper or furniture, or peed on the carpet.
Even if you respond promptly, the cat may have been doing something else when the jet of water hit it. Some cheeky cats are also happy about the attention and see it as a game. Then their unwanted behavior worsens. Water pistols and spray bottles used sparingly and in a targeted manner can sometimes discourage cats from doing something forbidden. However, it should not become a habit. You should also only set the water pistol very softly and gently so as not to injure the furry friend.
What You Can Use Instead of a Spray Bottle
Use simple commands and your voice instead of water pistols and spray bottles when training cats. For example, you can rebuke rebellious cats with a “No”, “Leave it”, “Off” or “Down”. Always use the same command and stern tone of voice, and don’t get too loud.
You can also show your house tiger the behavior you want if it’s acting a bit slow-witted. For example, set him down from the table to the floor again and again with the command “Down” if the four-legged friend is not allowed up there.