How to Gain the Respect of Your Cat
It’s important to remember that our natural habitat is not the same as our cat’s. Therefore, in order for us to live harmoniously together, we must establish ground rules for the cat to live by while it’s in our territory while still allowing it to behave as a cat. Your cat needs to be able to engage in all of its normal behaviors, or it could become neurotic. However, that does not mean that bad behavior should be tolerated. You need to change bad behavior into good behavior, and do it in a way that keeps the bond between you and your pet strong. You don’t want your cat to view you as the enemy, which can happen during training sessions if you’re not careful.
So how can you train your cat so that his behavior is acceptable in your world and still remain friends? The answer is to make sure it is clear that YOU are the boss, but to establish your authority with affection and kindness. Cats won‘t respect you if they feel like they are in charge or that you‘re equals. They need to know you‘re in charge. You establish your authority by rewarding your cat handsomely with treats and affection when he does good things, and by being patient but firm in getting him to change negative behaviors without resorting to abuse, such as yelling or hitting.
It is natural for cats to follow authority. From the time they are born, they are conditioned to obey their mothers. So, you have to become the de facto mother to your cat. You can establish yourself in this role by picking your cat up by the scruff of the neck. This is how mother cats carry their kittens. The skin on the scruff is loose, so it is easy to hold onto and doesn’t hurt the cat. Try it. Your cat will likely go limp and just hang there as he would with is mother. You can do this with adult cats as well as kittens, and it is one of the most important things you can do in starting to train your cat.
Once you’ve learned to pick up your cat by the scruff of the neck, simply do so whenever you see him doing something he shouldn’t do. Just pick him up by the scruff and move him to another location. It won’t be long before he gets the message.
Of course, you’ll need some sort of alternative stimulation for your cat so he doesn’t keep going back to the same bad behaviors. Keep him entertained with plush and squeaky toys, catnip, moving toys, and paper bags. Cats love these things, and you’ll soon find your cat is engaging himself in the right way, rather than the wrong way to get along with you in your home.