As you seem to have enjoyed entering into the skin of “Mr. Cat” or “Miss. kitty”, in our last article, let’s repeat the experience. Again, the goal is not to make anthropomorphism (the worst enemy of the behaviorist) but to try to make you see the world from the cat’s perspective. This allows us to better understand what he perceives when we punish him and to be more informed on how to educate him. Ready? You now have four legs, whiskers and meow instead of talking!
You climb onto the table. That’s when your favorite slave … oops! True, he doesn’t like to be called that way. Let’s go for “owners” and let him believe he is the real owner of the house. So you just got on the table and your owner approaches you with his angry face and he is saying:
– FLAN DSERIT, RLU FSA SU KCHAI … flali oust, treflla!
You do not understand what he tells you. If you had a human-cat translator, you would have understood that he said:
– NO cat, NOT ON THE TABLE … get down now!!!
In fact, all you know is that he speaks loudly and that it is unpleasant, but you really do not know why. Here he goes into the kitchen without saying anything more. Why did you yell after me? It’s hard to understand this slave … oops … owner! Hoooo no, here he comes out the “water spray”! You know what happens when he has this in his hands! He sprays water on you so it is better to run away.
You run into the living room and climb into your cat tree, your brand new Katt3 by BeOneBreed, that you adore (yes yes it’s free advertising … it’s the price to live in the skin of a cat now :-). Your owner seems satisfied now. Does he really believe you understood that you should not go on the table with this water spray? Absolutely not. After all, the vaporizer never pursued you in the house. It is always held by the owner. Also, if you had really understood, you would not go back to the table every day. If you really did not have the right to go to the table, would you be punished every time you go? But you’re never punished when your owner is not there and even when he’s there and watching TV, he’s never upset that you’re on the table. So the problem is not the table, is it?
In fact, when you think about it, the only common point of all these punishments is … your owner himself. He is the problem. As a cat, you live only in the present moment and your owner does not seem to understand that every time he punishes you, it is for what you are doing at the time of punishment. Now, when he punishes you, sometimes you washing yourself, sometimes you looking outside or you looking at him. Every sanction punishes different actions and less you understand what he wants to punish. Especially if, when he approaches you, it is to pet you or punish you. If this continues, you won’t take a chance and you will keep your distance at all times. If ever this little trick continues, you might come to defend yourself or become a little wilder so that he does not want to approach.
You turn your attention to the television and you see the face of your idol the Cat Educator who explains another method to how educate a cat (yes, yes it’s another ad to thank him for writing this funny blog!). You meow loudly to attract your owner’s attention. Meow, Meow … darn, it doesn’t work! Desperate, you meow again. You know the one who attracts his attention at night?!
Finally, it works! He approaches you, pets you and decides to listen to your idol who says:
“… and therefore instead of punishing him, why not tell him what behavior you prefer him to adopt instead and reward him when he adopts it? Very often ignoring bad behaviors and rewarding the good ones with his favorite treat (a quarter of a treat, it’s a treat even for cats with little overweight), the cat will soon realize that he has a lot more interest in adopting paid behavior. ”
Your owner turns to you with a little strange smile and he speaks to you. If you had your human-cat translator, you would understand this:
“You’re so gluttonous that it’s going to be easy with you!”