Are water pistols and spray bottles useful for cheeky cats?

Water gun or spray bottle are often recommended as a means of raising cats. But cats have their own heads and don't always understand this type of punishment. Therefore, use the pedagogically intended water splashes sparingly or try alternatives. Can you keep cats away from the dining table with a water gun and spray bottle? - Shutterstock / Dirk Ott

Water? Yuck! This is what some cats think and therefore water pistol and spray bottle seem at first glance to be a practical means of raising cats. But does the water penalty really help against insubordinate tigers?

Punishment with a water gun can backfire

The problem is that cats cannot always understand why they are sprayed wet with a water gun or spray bottle. In the worst case, they associate this unpleasant experience with you and lose confidence, possibly even get scared. Or the velvet paw doesn't understand that she was punished for jumping on the table, scratching wallpaper or furniture, or peeing on the carpet.

Even if you react promptly, the cat may have been busy doing something else when the water jet hit it. Some cheeky cats are also happy about the attention and see it as a game. Then their undesirable behavior worsens. Water pistols and spray bottles can, sparingly and precisely dosed, sometimes prevent the cat from doing something prohibited. However, it shouldn't become a habit. You should also only set the water gun very softly and gently so as not to injure the fur nose.

What you can use instead of a spray bottle

Instead of using a water gun and spray bottle, it is better to use simple commands and your voice when raising a cat. Revolting cats can, for example, be reprimanded with a “No”, “Leave it”, “Off” or “Down”. Always use the same command and the same strict tone and don't get too loud.

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You can also show your house tiger the desired behavior if he is a bit confused. For example, use the "Down" command to repeatedly put him down from the table on the floor when the four-legged friend is not allowed up there.

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