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Household Pet Manners -
Playing by the rules
Although you may not need "house rules" to play poker with your
feline, establishing some basic
house rules often help strengthen the bond between you and
What are house rules?
House rules are decisions you make,
hopefully early on, about where your
cat will be allowed and what
want and what behaviors you will
prevent, interrupt and redirect. For
example, if you do not want your cat
to be on counters or tables, you
must make sure that nothing good
happens when you cat tests these
The rules should be fair, consistent, and designed to optimize the bond and relationship with your cat.
How do cats learn house rules?
All family members agree to not give table scraps or treats from the table ...unless they are willing to have a cat that develops into a picky eater and possibly becomes a beggar who steals human food at every opportunity.
Believe it or not, most cats learn
from the consequences of their
actions, similarly to dogs. So, if
you praise a cat for using the
litter box, scratching and climbing
on cat furniture and playing with
cat toys, those behaviors tend to
the cat gets an unpleasant surprise
from jumping up on counters or
tables, those behaviors are likely
to stop. It is VERY important that
the cat think the counter and table
are unreliable. You do NOT want your
cat to associate you with any bad
if you can hide and use a water
blaster without being noticed, that
might do the job. Or
if you can sneak under the table and
make it wobble, that may discourage
a table cat. What you do NOT want to
do is pick up the cat and put it
down. Just your attention and touch
is reinforcing enough for your cat
to continue this unwanted behavior.
"Helping you raise a fabulous feline
friend for life."