Is Your Cat Misbehaving: Are Shock Collars For Cats The Answer?

Posted: March 22, 2022 by Anita

shock collars for cats
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Shock collars for cats? Is this really a thing?

Yep.

Before I go any further, let me answer the question; “Are shock collars for cats the answer to discipline or training a bad-ass cat?

No, I don’t believe it is the answer to straighten out a cat with behavior problems.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about it. Maybe you’re at your wit’s end with your cat’s asshole behavior and unsure what to do. Perhaps you’re on the fence about it and need some answers.

In this article, I discuss, “are shock collars the solution for a misbehaving cat?”

What are cat shock collars?

Shock collars for cats (or training collars) deliver varying levels of shock to a cat to try to curb a negative behavior or for containment.

Shock collars were initially intended for training hunting dogs. The earlier shock collars were high-powered and quite painful. The modern-day shock collar can deliver low levels of shock that could be painful, especially for a cat.

A cat shock collar looks like a regular collar but has a small device capable of giving an electrical shock.

Types of shock collars for cats

Shock collars for cats are used for the following:

  • Obedience (or training) – cat owners observe their cat acting in a negative manner a shock is delivered to the collar via a remote.
  • Containment – as the cat approaches the boundaries of the yard, a shock is delivered to the collar via a closed loop circuit box that transmits a radio signal to the collar. The system contains in-ground wiring that once crossed by the cat delivers a shock.

Are shock collars safe for cats?

No.

In most Europe and Australia, you cannot use them on pets. In the United States, we haven’t banned them for dogs, let alone cats.

Shock collars for cats can be dangerous. Most shock collars are made for dogs, although you are starting to see them advertised for cats.

Shock collars cause fear and pain to cats. The use of shock collars could cause a cat to go into shock, which is caused by trauma.

Check out this Youtube video from Cat Daddy about cat shock collars –

Why are shock collars used on cats?

Here is the way shock collars are used on cats:

  • The cat owner observes their cat misbehaving inappropriately
  • The cat owner delivers a shock to collar via remote
  • The cat stops misbehaving inappropriately (maybe or just for now)

Instead of correcting the cat’s action with the shock you are administering, you are confusing and stressing your cat out.

And it is perhaps causing more unwanted behavior such as peeing on your carpet or just freaking terrified of humans.

Are shock collars for cats effective?

Besides being painful and traumatic for cats, shock collars are not effective in getting your cat to behave or stay off that kitchen countertop.

Cats don’t respond well to positive punishment. Cats are quirky and weird (in a good way), so they make fantastic housemates. But they also are very independent, curious, and love to explore the world with their sense organs. Cat sense organs include their feet (claws), nose, ears, and whiskers.

shock collars for cats
Theo tossed items off my desk while getting cat hairs on my dishtowel. Time to distract him.

Alternatives to shock collars for cats

So can cats be trained? Yes, but not in the same way you train dogs.

Cats respond better to positive reinforcement. Ignore your cat’s unwanted behavior and distract from the behavior that drives you crazy. Reward the behavior when they get it right.

Eventually, you and your cat will come to some mutual understanding.

But what should you do when you’re at your wit’s end, and it might be time to end the cat owner relationship?

Here are some tips:

  • Schedule an appointment with your vet to make sure there’s nothing medically wrong with your cat.

  • Get to know your cat’s body language. The telltale signs of a cat that is anxious is a swishing tail, hunched body, ears flattened or just plain nutty acting for no apparent reason. Try to ignore your cat during this time and not add to its anxiousness. If Theo and I are both having a crappy day, I know we both need our space. So, either I will go into my room or place him in his room so we both can have a timeout. If he’s having a crappy day I will leave the room and deny him the pleasure of my company – you will not believe how effective separation is in getting your cat to act appropriately.

  • Behavior problems in cats can be due to anxiety and stress. So turning down the stress level in their environment is a great way to calm your cat. I like using Feliway Calming Pheromone Diffuser through out the house for the ambience. The diffuser is a hit or miss – your cat will either succumb under its power or not. And it takes time before you’ll notice a difference – like 60-90 days. And the change will be subtle over time – one day you’ll realize your cat has chilled somewhat.

  • Deterrant spray can be great as long it doesn’t harm the cat. I like using the “Super Kitty Natural Cat Deterrent Spray” that I purchased through Etsy to deter Theo from cords, kitchen counters, my couch, etc. – click here to check it out. It also makes the house smell lovely.

  • Get your cat a scratching post (or two). I’ve placed a scratching post in areas where I know Theo loves to scratch – near my couch, and near my bed. There’s also a scratching post in his room – click here to check out Theo’s favorite scratching post. It allows him to scratch and perch on top if he so desires to do so

  • Catnip can be great at chilling out a cat. When I want Theo to fall in love with a toy, scratching post, cat bed, etc, I will sprinkle some catnip on it. Click here to check out the brand that I like using.

  • Did I mention distraction as an alternative to cat shock collars? Distracting a cat with its favorite toy can be a great alternative to a shock collar and engages your cat in some other activity other than climbing on your counters. I toss Theo’s kicker toy in the air like a football when I want to distract him. He loves the kicker toys from Hartz, click here to check it out.

  • Be patient. A lot of what a cat does (climbing, scratching, etc) is part of being a cat. As a cat parent it is important to understand a cat’s nature. Give your cat the space to be a cat by providing things such as cat trees, scratching posts, toys, etc. If there is a part of the house that’s off limits – block it or close the door, if possible. But provide your cat an alternative (there’s that word again); a space for them to be a cat.
  • Last but not least – award your cat when he’s being his amazing self by giving him your undivided attention for at least an hour a day. This has been a game changer for me and Theo. I like hanging out on the couch and giving Theo a treat while scratching behind his ears – click here to check out his very favorite treat. And click here to check out his second favorite treat.

Conclusion

Are shock collars for cats the answer to correcting a misbehaving cat?

No, I don’t believe it is the answer to straighten out a cat with behavior problems. Shock collars for cats (or training collars) deliver varying levels of shock to a cat to try to curb a negative behavior or for containment.

Shock collars for cats can be dangerous. Most shock collars are made for dogs, although you are starting to see them advertised for cats.

Cats don’t respond well to positive punishment. Cats are quirky and weird (in a good way), so they make fantastic housemates. But they also are very independent, curious, and love to explore the world with their sense organs. Cat sense organs include their feet (claws), nose, ears, and whiskers.

Cats respond better to positive reinforcement. Ignore your cat’s unwanted behavior and distract from the behavior that drives you crazy. Reward the behavior when they get it right.

Eventually, you and your cat will come to a mutual understanding.

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