Punishing Pets Long After a Crime Was Committed
When pets do misbehave, they don’t always do it right in front of their owners. Who hasn’t caught their dog digging up a flower bed or stealing scraps from the dinner table behind their back? Or maybe your cats have a habit of scratching furniture when you aren’t looking.
If you notice a pet’s bad behavior long after they actually committed the crime, it’s common to punish them immediately. But yelling at your pet for peeing on the carpet yesterday just confuses them. If you begin reprimanding your pets for behavior that happened hours — or days — ago, your pets aren’t going to understand what you’re so mad about.
Pets forget that they actually committed these “long ago” crimes. Unless you catch them in the act, don’t bother trying to fix or punish their behavior for something that’s already happened.
Petting Your Cat’s Belly
It’s pretty common knowledge that cats hate having anyone touch their bellies. Cats rarely roll over and show off their stomachs, keeping them protected most of the time. But when your cat does roll onto its back and give you the “all clear” by exposing their stomach, it’s clear they trust you — or do they?
It turns out that all cats, no matter how deeply they trust you, hate belly rubs. When you touch your cat’s belly, you’re breaking their trust. They might look like they’re okay with it, or they may even seem to be giving you a signal. But pet behavior experts say that cats really show their stomachs as a greeting. If you use that greeting to touch their belly, you’ll have broken their trust… and you’ll probably get bitten.
Yelling to Reprimand Them (Or Yelling for Any Reason)
The go-to way to discipline your pets is to immediately — and loudly — call attention to their wrongdoings. That means most pets get a “NO!” shouted in their direction when their pet parents want them to stop whatever they’re doing. When pets misbehave, we as humans tend to instantly react by yelling, just like we would do with any human who’s doing something they aren’t supposed to.
And while yelling gets your pets’ attention, animals really don’t understand it. When we yell at our animals because we’re frustrated or angry, dogs, cats, and other types of pets are just… really confused. They don’t understand the language we speak, but they do understand body language. So, while pets can tell that you’re angry when you’re yelling, they can get aggressive or anxious themselves because they only perceive a threat that they don’t know how to counter.