7 reasons to never punish your cat

1. Your cat may become afraid of you

Whenever cats are doing what they shouldn’t be doing (especially if it is something destructive such as scratching up the bed or the side of your couch), the urgency of such situations can make us act in ways that may frighten our cats.

2. Punishment will stress your cat out

Understand this; there’s always a reason or cause for cats’ bad behavior. Contrary to what most people believe, cats are not cruel. They are not bad when they are doing less than desired things, they are simply communicating.

3. You will break the bond

In contrast to what you have read on social media, cats are not secretly plotting any form of revenge after being punished. However, what may happen is that the bond they share with you could reduce or break.

4. Your cat may fight back

Maybe your kitty bit or scratched you during playtime. While your response might be to strike back — never smite or hit your kitty.

5. Your timing could be off

In case you punish your cat while you are still in the process of getting him out from the counter, he may relate the punishment with being picked up instead of being on top of the counter itself, according to John Roland, a certified animal trainer, and a behavior adjustment instructor.

6. Punishment doesn’t solve the problem

Your cat repeats a behavior because there is a payout for her. For instance, a cat might be pushing items off the table because it is fun or jumping on your countertop because it gives her the best view out of your kitchen window.

7. It can stimulate bad behavior

Even though it is a negative attention, punishing your cat is still giving her attention, something she likely wants.


Cats don’t respond well to punishment, however, they sometimes thrive on positive reinforcement. In case you scold or punish your cat regularly for bad “catlike” behavior, only to find out you are getting yourself stressed out and frustrated, then perhaps you are going the wrong way about it.

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