Since this is the basic element on which every good relationship is based, today we will explain how to receive respect from the cat and give it in turn.
One of the things that irritates new cat owners most is to see that, for a certain period of time, they act as if human beings don’t even exist and everything around them only serves to please them. This attitude of superiority is repeatedly misunderstood: very often it is not arrogance, but insecurity what our feline friends try to communicate to us through their strange behaviors towards us and towards our things.
So how do we show the cat that he can trust us and, above all, how can we receive respect from the cat? Simple: we must treat it well. Obviously, the first thing we need to think about when we put a brand new pet into our context is its training. Then the only thing that can truly establish a bond of mutual empathy between us and them is to first respect the needs of our puppies. When the cat feels respected by us, then he will reciprocate by respecting us in turn.
That’s why we will explain how to train your cat to respect and how to make him understand that you love him and only want his good.
How to get respect from the cat, even if it seems difficult (or even impossible)
We are sure that we have all met that type of cat: the one who does not care about anything or anyone. You can call his name as many times as you want, but he will never come; it will simply ignore you. He’ll pretend you don’t exist, even when you scold him; and he is so disrespectful and stubborn for his party.
Fortunately for us, it is entirely possible to show your cat that he is not the boss. To do this, we must first earn his respect, which can be done in several ways.
How can you receive respect from the cat? Before anything else, you have to earn his respect, and this can be done by gaining his trust, showing him affection and also teaching him discipline. It is possible, but how difficult it is to reach and how long it takes varies from one cat to another, because it depends on their personality.
Here, then, what are the steps to be taken in order to build a relationship of trust with your cat, show positive reinforcements, but also maintain borders and obedience: a perfect strategy to receive respect from the cat.
Receive respect from the cat, how? Guadagnatelo
As we all know, cats are really made to do anything, quite the opposite. About four thousand years ago, humans and cats made a sort of agreement: they would kill rats for us and in return we would provide them with shelter, in addition to all the things necessary to live with dignity.
Throughout this time, cats still have a strong sense of self and are clearly not domesticated like dogs. However, there are still several ways in which we can gain their respect, namely through:
- affection and positive reinforcement
- discipline and boundaries
How to build trust?
Without trust, there is no respect to be gained. Ideally, it does not take long to earn that of a cat: he will certainly not ask you to parachute from a height of a thousand meters, nor will he beg you to do a deadly double somersault in front of him. Nothing too complicated. Cats are demanding yes, but almost practical.
The most important things to start with would be:
- Your approach. Avoid making sudden moves and sudden loud noises, and always approach the kitten or cat calmly
- Routine. Establish a routine as quickly as possible, such as feeding them at set times. The routine gives comfort to a cat, just as it does to humans
- Eye contact. Try to avoid direct eye contact, as there are some cats who might consider it a challenge
- Communication. Instead of using your hands as many of us do, use your voice and speak softly to your cat. This could help build a necessary bond and help keep them calm
- Never prod the cat or force him to do anything. This includes forcing affection on them, as you will end up taking one step forward but two steps back. Maybe they still don’t want you to touch them frequently, or they just don’t like to be touched in a particular area, like their bellies or paws.
- Make sure your cat sniffs you well. Observe the language of their body and always leave them, if they show aggression or fear (such as ears lowered, arched back, fur fully raised)
- Use toys to encourage him to get distracted and offer it to him whenever you think it is appropriate. For example, if the cat plays with his toys, uses his scratching post or approaches for a massage, he deserves a surprise.
Show your cat affection and positive reinforcements
You can show affection and positive reinforcement:
- Caresses and cuddles
- Praise: use your voice, tell him he’s doing well
- Give delicacies or use catnip
- Play his favorite game or with his favorite toy
- Encourage social behavior. Use the delicacies, if necessary, to attract and convince him to socialize
You have to show your cat the right direction using positive reinforcement at the right time. Whenever your cat does something good, like doing his needs inside the litter box, you should praise him and maybe give him a sort of surprise.
By doing it every time, he convinces himself to show good behavior and simply does nothing and stops taking negative actions, because he is too focused on seeking your favors in some way: over time your cat will learn.
Without positive reinforcement, your cat will not learn anything. If you are not consistent with the reinforcement (always match a positive action for us with an equally positive reaction for the cat and vice versa), it may not work.
Timing is also very important, as you have to reward them very quickly after the action, so that it is not confused with a different action.
It would be wise to have a different variety of treats to be able to reward your cat, as they may get bored of the usual reward. This is why we also suggested catnip: because if any other surprise fails to interest your cat, the catnip should not fail.
Never force affection on your cat, as this will cause discomfort and distrust.
If you notice that your cat suddenly becomes aggressive towards you, when you pet him, or he moves you away, when you try to pick him up, it would be better to stop and leave him alone for a while.
However, if this happens too often, check with your vet to make sure the cat isn’t trying to tell you that something is wrong.
Let him come to you when he wants some attention, and make sure he has it if possible. Giving your cat some treats after doing this is the kind of positive reinforcement you need and in this way it will slowly begin to learn that it can trust you and love you.
How to establish discipline and boundaries
With puppies you have to have the palm of your hand sweet, but an iron fist: they must understand immediately (or at least it must be clear) what they can and cannot do. By showing a negative reaction (saying “no” and perhaps showing themselves cold with them for a short time), they will slowly learn what the limits are.
The kittens, as you know, have that little bit more skin on the back of the neck that you could also grasp gently, when you have to tell them that they have done something bad.
You should only use this method if your voice is not effective enough: there are some cats that recognize the authority of our voices and others that simply don’t. You also need to keep your attitude for a while, to help your kitten understand.
We explain this in more detail in this article. The good-natured but decisive reproaches, together with the positive reinforcement, are fundamental for your cat to understand how he must respect you. Getting respect from the cat right away is not easy, but after water has flowed under the bridges, you will see clear improvements.
It’s time to act: be a teacher!
Disciplining your cat not only means using cures as a positive reinforcement and showing negative reactions, but also teaching him tricks. Just because he’s a cat, that doesn’t mean he can’t learn to sit, grab objects (relatively, since he doesn’t have opposable thumbs), lie down, roll, and stuff like that.
In fact, teaching your cat to do some tricks usually helps eradicate aggressive behavior.
Each cat is different, so they will be as careful and eager as learning the tricks will prove varied and interesting. This is why patience is needed, as they don’t always manage to do things, or even just understand your commands, on the first try.
Train your kitten doing stunts can also help form a strong bond between the two of you.
Make sure that any type of training session is always short, as cats tend to have short attention spans and get bored fairly easily. Focus on learning one trick at a time, moving forward only when your cat has mastered it.
Make sure to practice in different areas and rooms of the house, so that your cat gets used to answering you in different environments and not to associate makeup only to one room.
Most cats only learn with positive reinforcement, which means punishment isn’t really necessary because it can’t get anything done. When they have done something wrong or bad, just say “no” severely and leave them alone for a while.
The lack of attention should be enough for them to understand that what they did was wrong. Punishing them more than that, or even damaging them, will only cause distrust.
During your cat’s training, try using the clicker. It’s reward-based training, but use the clicker to help your cat associate sound with training. Sound also helps to get and maintain their attention.
The clicker training method
- The first step you need to take to start this type of training is to make your cat hear the clicking sound and reward him for nothing, at least the first time. This step is called “Loading” the clicker.
- Secondly, either let your cat perform a trick he knows, or wait for him to do it alone. This “trick” can be anything like head-to-head rubbing, or other tricks you’ve taught your cat, like sitting. Make the clicker sound alone after he does a trick and reward him with a surprise.
- The final step is to show your cat that after performing a trick, the clicker will sound and each time a prize will be given to him. Give rewards only if the trick was done correctly.
While you are busy training your cat to do some tricks, don’t forget to communicate with him at the same time.
So if you are teaching him to sit down, be sure to also say “sit down” so that he can start associating this sound with the trick he has to do.
As mentioned earlier, cats can get bored quite easily: so don’t forget to keep the sessions short and teach them a new command every month or so.
By making sure you do your homework and always be consistent between what you say (or teach) and what you do, all the problems of misconduct should gradually fade away.
With particularly difficult cats, you could adopt more immediate methods: you could, for example, show him food before, and not after, that he does what he has to deserve it. In this way you will surely catch his attention, of course.
If you want to know the simplest tricks you can teach your cat, you can find many ideas on this site. What is certain is that although cats depending on the breed to which they belong are not all the same, certain methods work in general, no matter what type of temperament you are facing.
This is a way of showing your cat a kind of “good manners” and showing respect for its owner.
Don’t confuse certain behaviors with disrespect
Our cats that jump on the counter do not want to disrespect us at all, but they simply act as a cat, as felines feel the need to get up and observe everything from a high point (instinct of conservation). It is important to be aware of the differences and try to understand our pets as much as possible.
If you have a kitten, and when you play, it is becoming a little too aggressive, it is because it is still learning what the boundaries are and what its strengths are.
You will have to show a negative reaction when it exceeds a certain limit, and over time it will learn how far it can go.
Many people mistakenly believe that when their cat lashes out at them, apparently for no reason, it is out of disrespect.
Another misconception is that their cat suffers from bipolar disorder. The way cats behave and their body language is their particular way of communicating.
When a cat goes wild and acts aggressively for no (apparent) reason, there is usually a reason, even if we don’t understand what it is. Maybe he is feeling sick or suffering. Always check with your vet if you are unsure of your cat’s behavior.
If you are sure it is not bad and you have checked your cat, try to think: has something happened that could be traumatizing for a cat?
A move, an air change, unexpected guests in the house or a new family member could cause your cat to be altered and put him in a state of anxiety and suspicion.
What is the “Alpha cat”?
The Alpha Cat is one who:
- Bullyize and manipulate
- It bites you when it wants something, like your toes or nose in the morning to wake you up
- He is overly protective of his toys and food
- It allows you to caress him only for a short time and only when he says so
- It has explosions of sudden and unpredictable aggression
This type of cat believes he owns his owners and believes that he should train you. There is still hope, despite everything, so don’t throw in the towel. Behavioral training should be necessary to show your cat who the boss is, such as:
- Make him deserve pampering, they are not free. You should only caress your cat when they have earned it and use caresses as a positive reinforcement whenever it shows good behavior and not only when it requires it.
- If it is biting you to wake up in the morning, you will have to lock it out of the bedroom overnight until it learns. Make sure you have access to everything you may need. In case you think it’s cruel to put a cat in a room at night, don’t worry: felines do not suffer from claustrophobia (quite the opposite) and they are used to being in the dark. It’s definitely fine.
- If you are dealing with a demanding and manipulative cat, you should never respond to any request for attention or demanding behavior, but simply ignore or leave. Cats thrive on attention and it is sometimes irrelevant to them whether it is positive or negative attention. Over time they will learn that they cannot simply ask for what they want, whenever they want it.
- Clicker training would definitely help stop any bad behavior
Receive respect from the cat: does it mean to dominate it?
Many believe that you must dominate a cat, but it is not so. It is a mutual agreement, a friendship, what you have to establish. Cats are not pack animals, so if you try to dominate them they will simply pretend that you don’t exist, depriving you of their respect.
This is particularly true of females, as they are even more alpha than males: they are the dominant genus of the species. For them, dominion is maternal and the boss takes care of others, providing for their needs.
If your cat has ever brought you something like prey it may have caught, or even a leaf, then your cat respects you and loves you.
Communication is important
Just because our cats can’t understand exactly what we’re saying, that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. They always observe our body language and learn how you act in each particular situation.
Cats tend not to appreciate loud noises and can surely understand the differences between your quiet and agitated tone of voice.
They understand that when we call their name, they should respond to that sound. Many cats don’t care and choose to ignore you. This is just their way of being independent and not having to respond to you if they don’t want to.
Some people say that cats can even tell when we’re lying to them, such as when we are taking them to the vet, but we do our best to convince them that this is not the case.
To conclude, don’t forget to talk to your cat and show your pet that he is loved, but you can still respect his space. In this way, you should receive double the love and respect you offer.
Not just receiving respect from the cat: here are 10 ways to respect it
Although many people are sure of being good foster parents and of treating their cat very well, even with gloves (butler’s), the cat does not always manage to perceive the respect we think we give him. There are simply communication gaps that distance us greatly, both to us and to pets.
This means that you should make sure to show your feline not so much what you would like, but what he would like: there is a huge difference between the two. Whether it’s giving your kitten some extra treats or some extra animals, there are many simple ways to respect your cat.
However, although these are great ways to honor your cat, respect for your kitty goes much further. You also need to know how to take care of him properly and how he would like to be treated, cared for and even caressed.
Innocent things, like feeding your cat too much, keeping the cat in a way that makes him feel insecure and even stroking it in a way that annoys him, can seem like real disrespect for these fur balls.
Here are ten tips that will improve your relationship with the cat, so that he really knows how much you love him. Only then, surely, will you have any chance of receiving respect from the cat.
Look after your cat in the best way
Taking care of your cat may seem like a fairly simple task, but you may notice that there are times when you stroke your cat and his mood suddenly starts to change.
Cats are complicated, as many cat owners know, so you need to be careful where you pet them. This is good advice especially for children: so knowing how to caress a cat without disturbing it and blowing it up or scratching it is not at all as simple as caressing a dog, but it requires much more attention, delicacy and yes, sometimes even a little of strategic skills.
Cats certainly like it more when you caress their head and neck, while it is better to stay away from the belly (even we humans do not like being molested in that area very much).
Learn to hug your cat
The right way to keep a cat can seem fairly obvious. However, there is actually a correct way to take it so that it is comfortable and there is less likely to be scratched and abandoned.
The more a cat’s body leans against you, the more comfortable he will feel. It is best to keep it close to the body so that it feels more secure. The more he feels welcomed in your arms, and therefore more stable, the more confident he will feel that you will not drop him.
Despite this technique of collecting and keeping functions on some cats, it is a fact that not all cats love to be kept in any way. And that’s fine.
Just remember that if your cat doesn’t like being held in his arms, he does nothing: just avoid doing it, because it would make him feel very bad.
Take it by the neck only when it is necessary
Taking a cat from the neck is a technique that can prove to be a good knowledge for emergencies. Of course, mother cats will collect their puppies by grabbing the back of their neck, when they are still very small, taking them safely from one place to another.
However, this technique is also used by mother cats as a disciplinary measure. This means that scruffing (as it is defined in the English language) should not be done unless it is a real emergency.
For example, “scruffing” a cat could prevent it from attacking another cat, human or animal, or from running down the street. Don’t take your cat by the neck unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Take care of his fur
Brushing is a significant part of a cat’s possession. It keeps their coat healthy, thus helping to keep your cat in a general state of well-being.
Especially applies to people with longhaired cats, such as the maine coon, the Burmese or the Siberian. Longhair cats can develop problems with tangled knots and hairs, so it is extremely important to brush them with a constant daily rhythm, so that this does not happen.
There are some types of combs that are good for longhair cats, and it is good to know exactly where tangled hair can accumulate, to know where to concentrate when brushing those areas.
Learn to feed your cat consciously
One of the most common questions that cat owners to Google’s Oracle is How much should I feed my cat?
Just like every human being is different, not all cats require the same diet. Depending on your cat’s metabolism, lifestyle and activity level, the amount of food it needs will differ from that of other cats.
To have some basics to understand with what and how to feed your cat, with the explanation of the differences between the various dry and wet foods, together with the feeding guidelines that each manufacturer recommends, you can continue reading this article: Feeding the cat: what are the recommended foods for its health.
This is a good article to read, especially if you have recently become a cat owner.
Manage the times and ways of the cat’s bath
Cats and water are the worst combination ever. You may think that it is impossible to bathe your cat, as it is a real undertaking to put it in the water.
While you may be right (it’s difficult, in fact), don’t say it’s impossible until you try. Fortunately, cats don’t need very frequent bathrooms and many don’t even need a bathroom unless they get into something particularly smelly and dirty. But sometimes a cat bath turns out to be necessary.
The cat owner simply doesn’t have to understand how to bathe the cat: he must also master the very difficult art of psychologically preparing his cat for a bath, putting him at ease. You can’t just throw your cat into the tub (as our parents did with us as children and that’s why humans have psychiatrists and cats don’t) and see what happens. Instead prepare it to suffer the ordeal with the right frame of mind.
It may be necessary to be patient, but bathing the cat is not an impossible undertaking.
Cut his nails well
You may think that cutting a cat’s nails is so difficult that you have already given up.
Before raising the white flag, know that it is important for the health of a cat, especially “indoor” cats.
As we have already explained in other articles, cat’s nails always grow. Cats at home can have problems if their nails stretch too long, as they can lock them on the carpet and tear them.
Other problems can occur if the nail grows too long and curves in the pad, causing an infection.
Before saying it is too difficult, ask your vet for advice, or have a professional groomer do this job, because it could save your cat from an infection.
Tell him how to use the litter box
The litters are fantastic, but they are not as useful if your cat doesn’t use them.
If your cat is not at home, don’t worry, because teaching him this is a very simple task.
If you are thinking of add a cat to your family or you are a brand new cat owner, it is better to keep in mind all the explanations we have provided you, step by step, in our articles. Training your cat to use the litter box is quite simple, both for you and your cat.
Also, remember that it’s extremely important for your cat’s health to keep the box clean on a daily basis.
Are you sure your cat won’t get bored?
While many people only take cats because they don’t have the same maintenance as dogs, that doesn’t mean you can simply ignore them.
Cats need attention just like any other pet. If you are busy during the day, there are some fantastic toys that can attract your cat’s attention, without you having to give it around the clock, seven days a week.
Small robotic toys that move on their own and interactive toys that distribute food are a good solution to not get your cat bored.
Remember though that these toys shouldn’t physically replace you: you have to make time for it be in the company of your cat.
Try to learn your cat’s body language
Part of respecting your cat is knowing how to understand his body language. Knowing what all his sinuous movements mean can improve your relationship with him.
For example, know the difference between aggression and fear is very important. Likewise, when your cat exposes your belly, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for a pet and that he does it because he wants scratches (it’s not Fido).
Remember: just because your dog shows his joy by wagging you in front, it doesn’t mean the same for your cat.
You may also be interested in: