It breaks my heart knowing that many people still use spray bottles to punish their kitties when they’re breaking the rules. Spraying your cat with water every time she does something naughty only does two things; it teaches her that she can still do what she wants as long as you and the spray bottle aren’t around, and it also ruins the relationship between the two of you because she will begin to see you as a threat rather than a friend.
Spraying your cat is a horrible, bond breaking, fear inducing, and all around cruel technique. There are so many other methods that can be used to fix a bad behaviour that are 100% more effective than punishment. Praising your kitty for doing what is right with treats and pets, blocking her from being able to be naughty, giving her lots of mental stimulation, and playing with her daily are just a few behaviour modifiers that actually work all in tandem with each other by being fair, kind, and rewarding to all of her kitty needs.
When cats are kittens, their moms will pick them up by the loose skin at the back of their neck (their scruff) to carry them away from the trouble they were about to cause, this is called scruffing. Some owners will use scruffing as a way to restrain their cats or carry them around. This should NEVER be done by owners to cats or even kittens. Full grown cats are too heavy to be grabbed and carried by their scruff and if you weren’t trained on how to properly scruff you could really hurt your cat or kitten by trying it.
If you’re in a situation where you would normally scruff your cat to restrain or calm them, try blanket wrapping them instead, it is a much more effective and safe technique to use. If you need to, or want to, carry your kitty, they should always be carried with all four legs supported by your arms and held close to your chest with no body parts dangling.
While scruffing is a mother cat’s way to show love and protect her young kitten, it doesn’t go over well with us humans, luckily, we have many other safe and gentle ways to restrain, carry, love and protect our wonderful kitties so we never have to try to scruff!