Introduction: Control Your Cat

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Does your cat keep jumping onto the dining room table? Maybe it will gnaw on your hands and ankles? Learn how to control your cat in this Instructable.

Step 1: The Basics

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This trick works on almost all cats. If your cat is doing any little thing bad, try the squirt bottle method. Every time he/she is being bad, squirt your cat. it will probably get mad and stop.

Step 2: Jumping on the Table

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if your cat is like mine, it jumps on your table, most annoyingly when your eating. You can fix this by when ever the cat jumps on the table, sternly say no and put it on the ground. You may have to do this for a long time, but it should get the idea that no means off the table.

Step 3: Clawing

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Luckily, if your cat claws your nice furniture, you have a couple choices. When your cat is old enough, you could have it declawed (you really only need the front claws out), or, a less expensive option is to get a scratching post. it will make the make the cat happy, but keep in mind that it still has sharp claws and is possibly more dangerous than without claws. NOTE: Karox3 pointed out to me that if you get your cat declawed, it is not as protected from other cats as it would be with claws. Due to the many people that have argued with me, I will also point out that declawing WILL temporarily hurt the cat. Depending on it's size and age, the healing stage could be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Step 4: Neutering or Spading

I have yet to find a picture for this one. If your cat pees on your walls, Spading or Neutering MAY stop it but check with your vet for options first. If your cat is a wild cat, Spading is pretty much the only option to stop your cat from possibly having babies (for females).

Step 5: Attacking

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Does your cat attack you? That can be very painful depending on its strength and if it has claws or not. You should NOT attack back. That only encourages it. A Good way is with the squirt bottle but if your cat does not respond, it may just be normal. Kittens. If your attacking cat is a kitten, it is normal for them to attack. They usual outgrow it. Pain. If your cat is attacking, it may be because of aching joints, toothaches and things like that. Deprivation. if your cat is hungry or thirsty, it may get mad and attack you.

Step 6: Add on Instructable

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If you have any extra steps you would like to add please PM me or post a comment. Mario 4 life!


saver2 (author)2016-10-30

it isnt the type of surgery performed, it is that the ENTIRE knuckle is removed!

the cat is virtually crippled. some will perhaps forget the pain but it causes other problems, back problems, behaviour problems, cats use their claws to scratch at their litter, they cant without their claws, they will only have a stump of thin skin over bone. The best thing you can do it trim the cats nails then they dont desire to claw as much, get a scratching board, post or mat, if you cat claws on your furniture pick him or her up and put him on the scratch board. Wait till he is waking up, they always like to stretch and claw then, pick him up before he wakes fully and set him on the scratch mat or post front feet first, he will eventually get the idea. DONT DECLAW

saver2 (author)2016-10-30

If anyone out there is not able and willing to treat their animal humanely, dont get an animal, it isnt rocket science

saver2 (author)2016-10-30

weirdo62 you should not be posting about how to control a cat if you can not provide safe and humane means of doing so. Advocating for declawing is abuse and inhumane treatment of a cat. Vets do it for the money and to keep customers, whats your excuse?

saver2 (author)2016-10-30

declawing is abusive, it is equivalent to cutting off your fingertips to the first knuckle. They know walk on the bone that is left that is covered by a thin piece of skin and scar tissue. Some cats are in pain the rest of their lives many are not kept by their owners as they can also have behaviour problems.

saver2 (author)2016-10-30

hishealer (author)2009-10-13

With my stubburn stubburn cats, I have to snap my fingers in their ears until they get mad and get down. 

TammyJ1 (author)hishealer2016-02-10

Try shaking a can with marbles (or something other) inside. Usually the loud abrupt noise makes them move.

suayres (author)hishealer2012-03-26

If your cat is somewhere you don't want her, pick her up and put her on the floor, and say, "no"! Repeat as needed, until they finally get the idea that it's not acceptable behavior. If you are consistent, within a couple weeks, you'll have cats who don't climb on the table. As for declawing, I'm firmly in the anti-declaw camp. If you provide your cats with a variety of scratching surfaces, with varied textures, and both horizontal and vertical orientations. My hub and I are guardians to five cats (no-one OWNS a cat, lol), and we have a carpet-and-sisal-rope-wrapped cat tree, some of the cardboard scratchers--two flat, horizontal ones, one diagonal one, and one vertical one, plus two landscape timbers wrapped with carpet--backing side out!--and sisal rope. We rubbed all scratching surfaces with catnip, which encourages cats to use it, and whenever one of our cats tried to scratch the furniture, we Pickens the offender up, said, "no!", and then placed them on the nearest scratcher. And in a fairly short time, they got the idea, and with only a few lapses, they routinely use the scratchers instead.

jusirela (author)2015-04-30

I'm a siamese cat breeder and I also rehome cats that other inconsiderate, self centred and cruel people have mutilated. I'm with all those who abhor de-clawing and ill treating an animal in any way. if you got a cat as a kitten because you thought it would be cute then found that you did not really care about it enoiugh to teach it to live in your environment...then I think thay you need to be re-educated in ethical human behaviour. Think first before you tell yourself it would be cool to have a cat. Cats ar.e one of the most intriguing creatures on earth. Like all creatures they have their ways...and they are not "bad" just because they upset your environment and want to treat it as their own! You brought them into your home with all your precious posessions...they don't know how humans expect them to treat their stuff. Its up to the human to teach the cat with smacking, you will alienate the creature and it will look to get its revenge on you...its the cat way.

If you want an animal you need to learn about that animal's ways and work out how you can co-exist with it...without expecting the animal to pay you and your ways won't, it has dignity and pride too. You are supposed to be the intelligent learn about your proposed animal companion before you get it!

A friend of mine admired the harmonious relationships I had formed with my domestic companions and she got a kitten. She thought she'd have the same raport with her kitten as I had with mine...She didn't! It was inside until she got sick of having to teach it to live with her then she chucked it outside to fend for itself. My opinion of her as a human being went way down and the friendship was seriously injured...what kind of a person was she under all that (whate appeared to be now) just superficial 'sweetness and light' camoflaging a very selfish nature.

I'd minded the kitten for her once when she went she left it alone, cold and unfed one week end...Guess where the kitten came to?
One night at 3a.m it was on my back deck soaking wet and and hungry with sore bloodied paws because it had walked a long way, meowing to be let in....It knew where it would be treated properly and it had only stayed here once and it had come by car that time! Tell me that cats don't suffer if we don't treat them well! Tell me that humans are superior creatures! Compared to cats some of us are really lacking and are pretty discusting and self-serving.

TammyJ1 (author)jusirela2016-02-10

I had a long reply to you & for some reason it wouldn't send & then disapeared when I tried to re-send it.
So, I will just tell you my very last sentence, which was...In the cat's eyes you are his/her hero & in my eyes you are a hero as well!!
Thank you for saving that baby!

weirdo62 (author)2009-09-01

I wasn't really telling people to declaw their cat, just telling them some things that you can do to stop clawing things. And BTW, they now have laser declawing systems so it isn't as painful. Our vet told us that if you get the cat declawed any where from the minimum age to 1 year of age, they will forget the surgery and the pain they had. Believe me, I don't want to hurt them anymore than you do. I will post that they won't be as protected from other animals without claws, though. Thank you.

jusirela (author)weirdo622015-04-30

I am absolutely astounded at the ignorance on this subject and at the humans ( vets included) who think they know what animals suffer due to our maltreatment and torture of them. Just think of this...vets like orthopaedic surgeons and surgeons who do colonoscopies by the dozen all in one session get paid lots of money for operations....Make sense? The more the merrier!

wierdo62 more the pity that you let yourself be convinced as to the benefit of the de clawing process. Let the vet have his digits and nails lasered off and see if he isn't in pain! One never forgets the trauma of surgery...especially an animal.

TammyJ1 (author)jusirela2016-02-10

I wish I could <3 your comment!
If this is his idea of good advice he shouldn't be writing advice at all!!

superMacaroni (author)weirdo622010-03-30

what about if you shutup about how declawing is so great my cat DIED because of that. She never forgot the pain. She ran away for a few weeks. And yes, It was laser.

Tempest36 (author)2010-01-27

Honestly I'm afraid of cats but I currently live with 2 cats that are both declawed. The 3 year old, Wrinkle, has 6 toes on each paw and HAD to be declawed because some of his claws grew in ways that made it painful for him to walk. The other, Milo, is 19 years old now and does just fine climbing on everything and fending off Wrinkle and the dogs. You can rub his paws and he doesn't mind at all. No harsh feelings about the surgery. BTW they are my fiancee's cats and his parents had them declawed long before I met him. Anyways, you should change spading to spaying. Otherwise good instructable.

jusirela (author)Tempest362015-04-30

Cat's claws grow just like human fingernails! One reason they scratch is to trim their you would cut yours. If the cat had nowhere to scratch, = owner or carer failed to think or become informed as to cats' needs, it was their fault that the cat's claws grew long and ingrown making it painful for it to walk.! Regularly checking and trimming its claws was the right thing to do and/ or provide it with a scratch post rather than thinking it had a disability and that cutting off the first digits of its "fingers" was the answer! Honestly! What if a human had not cut their fingernails for ages because whoever was in charge of them did not teach them or did not provide nail clippers? What if those in charge took that human to get the tops of their fingers with fingernails amputated?

So its your fiancees parents... ( responsibility thrice removed ) who commited the deastardly deed? Sorry but the comment about the cat HAVING to be declawed and the reason given for this drastic measure says it all. You cannot say that the cat "has no hard feelings" about being tortured and minimised as a cat. He has been made compliant by force...and he would still be traumatised..but would not show it in case he got the next pit of his paws cut off since he is obliged for his sustenance to live with these humans.

Yes the word is "spaying or neutering or desexing"..but that's only a spelling mistake. No cat HAS to be declawed just like no human, whose nails grow, has to have the first digits of "its" paws cut off. Its a no brainer...and that's the problem. I feel sorry for the animals in the 'care' of such people.

Susitna (author)2014-09-21

Please read Jackson Galaxy's book "Cat Daddy". You have chosen to give this precious creature a home, and therefore have the responsibility to care for it. I stopped using a spray bottle years ago. It only works when you are home. Give the cat a good place to scratch, and he will use it. If it is an indoor cat, he needs good cimbing toy and exercise. The easiest to teach cats not to jump on kitchen tables and counters is to make them unattractive. Thin cardboard covered with sticky side up tape, usually works quickly. Teach the cat "DON'T!" and remeber you have to catch him in the act. When possible, distract with play or treats. Sterilization is important for both sexes, to prevent their hormones from making them frustrated, unless you are planning to let them breed. Just think how preoccupied you were as a teenager. Take care of these needs and you will usually have wonderful pet.

calico cat (author)2014-05-02

Declawing borders in animal cruelty. The cat suffers a great deal afterwards, making its life miserable as well as yours. I prefer the squirting technique. Cats have rights, you know... Thnx for posting this...

averiix (author)2013-01-26

Declawing is the worst thing you can do, declawing involves ligaments and even if the vet is one of the best, your cat can be forever traumatized and slightly uncomfortable when walking.

AussieAnglerGal (author)2012-04-01

Lucas (my orange-marmalade kitty!) lives outside, so furniture clawing is not a problem
but he DOES jump on the table like FIVE TIMES A DAY
i'll try the "no" technique because the squirt bottle doesn't work and i don't want to get him wet during autumn/winter when he can't really dry out and would be cold :(

denise4peace (author)2009-10-27

Many cat misbehaviors are the result of stress or illness.  If your cat pees in the middle of your bed, it is not "mad" at you.  It is probably upset about some change in the environment (new food, your absence, new pets/people, even a new brand of cat litter) or it may have a urinary tract infection. 

There is a product called Feliway that emits cat pheremones into the air of your home from a little plug-in unit like a night light.  These pheremones give your cat a sense of well being and elminate many problems, including spraying, peeing, clawing and fighting with other cats.  We use it whenever we have a change of roommates, until our cats get used to the new person and the smell of his/her stuff (which sometimes includes the scent of cats or dogs from their previous home).  If you take your cat traveling, I would recommend bringing some along, too.  Feliway is somewhat expensive, but well worth it.  Don't buy it at a pet shop--Rip City.  Online is the way to go.  I have done a lot of looking around and buy mine at Entirely Pets.  (I hope it is not considered "advertising" to share this info here.)

BTW:  Declawing your cat is not like clipping your fingernails.  It is the equivalent of amputating the last joint of each of your fingers.  The vet does not just "take out" the claws.  It HURTS--A LOT.  It leave the cat vulnerable to attacke by dogs, other cats, raccoons and possums.  It will be unable to climb a fence or tree to escape, or to fight back.  Declawing should ONLY be done for INDOOR ONLY cats.  Another alternative for the die-hard clawer is a product called Soft Paws.  These are little plastic caps, shaped like a dull claw, that you glue onto the ends of your cats claws.  They have to be replaced every month or so.  Again:  expensive, but totally worth it if you are, for instance, visiting someone else's house and don't want your cat to be unwelcome.  Try the Feliway first, as it can solve multiple problems for about the same cost and is easier.

I hope this helps...  I hope it dissuades at least a few people from declawing their trusting companions.


HarlieD (author)denise4peace2011-11-19

Declawing indoor only cats is NOT a good idea. They can still escape & run into any animal out there, & still be defenseless. It may not be much of a chance of them escaping, but there is always that chance.

Mirime (author)denise4peace2010-03-02

How can you say that declawing indoor cats is some how okay?

Declawing a cat is inhumane and cruel.

we rescued two cats that were declawed and now they have problems with their paws hurting and the one gets an infection every now and again where a claw was.

HarlieD (author)2011-11-19

You understand that MALES help make the babies, too, right? Getting BOTH of them spayed or neutered is important. Males are more important in a way. A female can get pregnant once every so often. A male can get 20 females pregnant in that same time. mooster is right. Your encouraging people to get spays & neuters is important! Just remember, BOTH need to be fixed, not just one. We have gotten strays fixed, not just our own, to cut down on the strays in the area. If these cats are strays, there won't be another 100 to join them next year! :)

Eirinn (author)2011-10-14

I cannot recommend anything in this instructable besides saying NO and putting the cat down. Most of these behavioural issues are the cause of the cat not getting its needs fulfilled. You can easily fix these destructive behaviours by reading your cat and acting on its needs. And don't get me started on declawing which is insane.

m74murray (author)2011-09-18

People be nice. it is an alternative to getting rid of your INDOOR cat that is destroying every thing you own IE expensive furniture, or sending them outside to fend for them selves with other cats, dogs, people, cars, and wild animals. Also didn't see where he said it was ok he said it was an option. if your rescue cats are getting infections its due to the lack of care to the previous owners gave or the vet that did a crappy job. Try the sawdust pellets they are more sanitary and should help your kitties from getting more infections. :-)

sxa2udo (author)2011-08-05

my cat is 2 fat 2 get declawed

tinker234 (author)2011-07-23

you know they do that to stetch right not to sharpen claws it stretchs there spine

Neaz (author)2011-06-06

Cats are cats and will always behave like one!

I have had many of them, each with their own personality. If you have a cat from a kitten you can attempt to stop them developing the bad the habits that you find annoying. However they are at heart a wild animal and as such will behave like one especially when they feel under pressure from us imposing our ideas on how they should behave.

To try and avoid many of the problems mentioned i recommend having them spayed/neutered as early as possible, this will help to prevent them developing the spraying habit and will help them stay affectionate. Plenty of play time which stimulates them as they are growing is vital, both for their wellbeing and yours. Sometimes you are lucky and you will have a cat that allows you to think you have trained it, other times you have to learn to live with its idiosyncrasies or look for a more suitable home for it, no point having a nervous cat if you have young children, its just not fair on the cat as well as meaning you are likely to find unwelcome deposits behind the sofa as it feels to unsafe to get to the litter tray.

Personally i feel declawing and keeping a cat solely indoors is wrong. If you cant put up with cat behavior why have one? A happy well loved and looked after cat that enjoys plenty of mental stimulation is much less likely to cause any real problems. I consider the occasional bit of scratching mine does (he has a post but cant resist testing out the furniture now and again) is a small price to pay for his company. He stops when i give a loud AHHT. Hissing and developing your own cat language will help.

Now i do understand that i am lucky enough to be able to let my cat free range. He has been an out door cat since him and his litter mates were able to follow their mother out the cat flap and since i have had him he spends a good third of the day next door as their cats do at mine. If you are unable to allow your cat to free range PLEASE train it to a harness, there are some great ones on ebay. Then take it out lots, at least twice a day. Make sure you wear a leather/padded jacket for him to climb onto your shoulders to escape from dogs you may come across. Take him out in the car so you can go exploring with him. I had a great cat, Dagda that was trained to a harness, i used to take him on holiday with me, he loved it, especially when we took him to a beach.

Always make sure your cat has a tagged collar and is chipped so if you do lose them you have a good chance of getting them back. Cats go stir crazy if they have no stimulation so it is up to a responsible owner to provide it especially if you lock them up 24/7! They will also do their best to escape at some point and not having any points of reference they will soon end up lost. Non neutered tom cats make up most of the road causalities as well so get it done!

The water bottle spray can be helpful and a loaded powerful water pistol is ideal for seeing off any unwelcome cats to your garden. Consider the free fertilizer that cats bury in your garden a bonus (wear gloves when planting out ). To try and prevent them using your garden as a toilet you can also adopt some of the other measures mentioned in other instructables such as using twigs as ground cover, planting Coleus Canina Scaredy Cat, which is supposed to repel both cats and dogs (i haven't used it so cant say if it works) and making sure you don't have lots on nice soft earth for them to dig in, maybe a gravel mulch?

So basically if you cant provide for a cats needs maybe you should consider a different pet. How about a fish tank instead? You don't have to worry about the furniture or them escaping. Taking care of them is easy and doesn't take up much time but still provides an attractive visual treat to your home.

SarahKat552 (author)2011-05-21

with the whole not attacing back thing i do and he learned it
if he bites he gets smacked in the face now when i raise my hand he just flings his head back when that happens i praise hi

weirdo62 (author)2009-09-18

well soooooory. jeesh you peoples need to relax. I had my cat declawed BEFORE laser declawing, and to this day still thinks it has claws (it still fake-scratches furniture). BTW it was feeling good again in only a week. mind you that our vet (as you peopsles aren't) said and KNOWS that they will forget the pain later. but I have taken your comments into consideration and i will post that it will temporarily hurt the cat.

Grey_valentine (author)weirdo622011-04-30

You seem to be missing the point. It's not just about the pain. You are crippling your cat. It is like telling some one you don't like what they do with their fingers, and that you will be taking them away. Your cat still scratches like it has claws, don't you think that really pathetic? clearly your cat still has things it naturally want to use its paws for and doesn't understand why they don't work. Anyone who thinks amputating a animals toes is acceptable so long as its convenient and the animal doesn't remember suffering horribly or doesn't understand what has happened to it, probably shouldn't have animals, because its clear they don't like animals. They like plushies.

Bengt Englund (author)2011-03-30

The cat will not understand the difference between not jumping up on the table AND not touching the food.

Allow the cat to jump up on the table but NOT to not touch your food. Otherwise it will just be confused.

The correct way to tell him/her this is to gently blow him/her at the face when approaching your food. This simulates a cat hissing. Blow harder if the cat doesn't respond.

In cat language this translates to: "I'm not angry with you, but this is MY food. Go away".

If practiced right, the cat will go away and most often jump off the table.

This technique should not be used in other circumstances. If used as a general punishment, the cat will feel fear and be anxious. 

bowmaster (author)2011-02-21

Never declaw your cat. For a cat the claw is very important. It's how they pick things up, geet tractions to run, and more. Declwing a cat is like cutting off half of a humans finger.

hishealer (author)2009-10-13

Also there are the sticky strips that you can put on the bad places.  They are really annoying to the cats, which hate to have sticky hands.  I have not had my cats declawed, but I am considering it.  My one cat likes to scratch up the bottoms of any closed door I'm behind at about 2AM...  If I don't close the door, it's a sleeping me she's clawing.  I'm rethinking the absolutes at this point in time.

nodnol (author)hishealer2009-10-15

Good idea with the sticky strips!

My 3 "munchkins" all still have their claws, too. You may wantto consider Soft Paws - they're vinyl caps, like Lee Press-On Nails,that prevent kitty's nails from doing damage. If you google "softpaws" you can find their website. I'm probably going to have to getsome for my muscle-bound, 14-lb green-eyed monster :)

naomi1431 (author)nodnol2010-09-17

Soft paws work OK, for a little while. A very little while. We had a cat who had an injury (OK--he was scalped in a cat fight) and kept scratching it. All the scratching was making it much worse. When we took him into the vet, they taped up his hind legs to keep him from scratching, but that only lasted a day or two. Eventually we went with soft paws. BUT, he figure out how to bite them off one at a time, and got more and more efficient at it over time. So they only lasted a few days each.

Just for the record--we didn't get him de-clawed! But we did end up having to do a three-times-a-day treatment routine for a couple of months. And he is a semi-bald on his head kitty.

aeray (author)naomi14312011-02-08

I agree that de-clawing cats is cruel. It is not just the claw that is removed, but the whole first joint of the toe. We've had great results with the Soft Paws mentioned above. They last 4-5 weeks on out cat, and she is totally unfazed by them.

weirdo62 (author)2010-01-14

bowmaster- dont worry, i dont even know what decalwing is, only declawing.

Typogoddess (author)weirdo622010-10-24

Oh really? I don't know what "spading" is, either. Funny.

wikked (author)2010-10-17

Just found the instructable, good info. Also my 2 cents, its inhumane to let your cat outside. Ask anyone who has ever had a pet run over. There claws or lack of claws don't help in that situation. If you love your cat he stays in the safety of the house with you. That is all.

Tshingis (author)2010-09-06

People who declaw their cat need to be de-fingernailed.

mooster (author)2010-04-11

Please: The correct word is SPAYING.  Thanks for encouraging people to get their pets - both male and female -  neutered.  

rathmiron (author)2010-04-02

Declawing also causes that the cat, because he still has the urge to scratch, keeps 'scratching', making wounds on his feet pads

rathmiron (author)2010-04-02

when you do it like that it only learnes it cannot jumps onto the tables (or any other piece of furniture) when you're around

blewter (author)2010-04-01

 Drama, much.  I agree that declawing is pretty inhumane, but so are pet sweaters and possibly animal husbandry in general.  The point is, you wouldn't cut off the tips of your kid's fingers because he scratched up your new Ikea futon, but you also wouldn't keep him captive, make him eat on the floor, and call him funny names (well...maybe).  So, pet owners, please withhold the virulent judgement.  While I would never advocate declawing for an indoor/outdoor cat (lack of self-defense), I understand when people choose to declaw a strictly indoor cat.  Our author is obviously a cat owner who loves cats...just like you.

I think this a great instructable with many basic training/conditioning tips that many pet owners aren't aware of.  My wife works as a primate keeper and has even figured out how to train me.  Behold, the power of Pavlov!

One suggestion that seems obvious, but hasn't been mentioned....  TRIM YOUR CATS' CLAWS.  I have a little ginger tabby and a massive Maine coon, and I trim both by myself (although I suggest starting out with a partner).  You can find specialty pet claw trimmers at any pet store.  You should do this every two to three weeks and never remove any nail beyond the dark blood-line.  For cats with opaque claws, never trim more than 1/4 - 1/3 of the claw's full length while protracted.  Hope that helps someone with cat claw conundrums.  

AlKaswa (author)2009-09-15

That's still perfectly disgusting, no matter what laser-machines the vets claim can eliminate pain. It's the equivalent of cutting off the first joints of a human's fingers - imagine losing your nails and the entire bone they rest on.

superMacaroni (author)AlKaswa2010-03-30

That's true.

superMacaroni (author)2010-03-30


Don't mention declawing please.

My old cat died because of that. She was only 4. I can't really say getting your nails cut off is okay. She started coughing up blood after that, she never forgot the pain nor thought she still had claws.

What about just training the cat to use a scratcher when he/she was a baby.

9lucky2 (author)2010-02-07

if your cat is hitting your feet while your walking or going up stairs you shouldn't punish them they wont realize what there doing wrong Hunting is an instinct! Most cat experts will tell you that you shouldnt be punishing your cat for his/her hunting instincts...

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