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Spraying Cat With Water? Is It Good Or Bad?

Spraying Cat With Water? Is It Good Or Bad?

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Like every pet, cats can display bad behavior. Sometimes it seems that they do this on purpose just to provoke you, but of course, that’s not true!

Although cats may sometimes seem uninterested and untrainable, they’re very smart animals and may learn a lot of things with the proper training methods.

Some behavior issues may be due to a lack of cat training, especially at a young age, or due to the wrong methods being used.

However, it’s a lot harder to control the unwanted behavior of an adult cat, because she’s used to doing certain things, and if you punish her for something that she has always done, you may confuse her.

Today, there are a lot of training and punishment methods and one of the most popular is spraying cat with water. So, if you want to learn more about this technique, read the article and find out if it’s okay to spray a cat with water and what other methods can be used!

What Is The Purpose Of Spraying Cat With Water?

spraying water

Spraying cat with water is usually used as a punishment for unwanted behavior. However, this is not considered the best method because it can lead to negative effects, such as exacerbating bad behavior.

It may be more effective with a kitten, but again, this method may have negative effects which I’ll discuss later. There are many different training methods, so it’s much better to try some more positive techniques rather than this negative one.

What Makes Spraying Cat With Water Positive?

Spraying water is a very popular but not so effective method when it comes to cat training.

This method may be positive if it’s used with a kitten, to start training it from a young age. Besides that, the only positive thing about this method is that it gives immediate results. However, you have to be careful.

If you’re using this method, you need to find the underlying cause of the bad behavior first, and then the most important thing to do is to reward good behavior while punishing or ignoring unwanted behavior.

Spraying with water may be helpful, but not in the long-term, because you need to be constant with this, and who knows what your cat is doing when you’re not home? So, even though this method may be effective and helpful to some cat owners, there are many other methods which are easier and more effective.

What Makes Spraying Cat With Water Negative?

This technique of spraying your cat with water may have negative effects. You won’t be able to punish your cat with water every time. For example, your cat may continue with the bad behavior when you’re not around. So basically, there’s no one to punish her.

Another negative effect may be because you can’t punish your cat right away if you don’t have a water bottle with you. By the time you get a water bottle and spray your cat, the poor animal won’t know what the punishment was for.

So, first you need to learn how to communicate with your feline! If you want to punish a certain behavior, you need to punish it right away so that the cat understands what you want from her!

Also, you should use positive reinforcement. It’s really important, when you’re trying to discourage bad behavior, to reward good behavior, so that the cat can easily understand the difference between good and bad!

There are a lot of bad consequences from spraying cat with water, so read on to find out more!

Why You Should Never Spray Your Cat With Water!

spraying cat with water

I already mentioned that using a squirt bottle as a method for reducing bad behavior is not very effective and that a lot of bad consequences may follow when trying to train your cat this way.

Let’s look at the possible consequences of spraying water to train your cat, and why you should find an alternative method.

So, let’s see why you should never spray a cat with water!

Your Cat May Become Stressed

The biggest problem with spraying may be that your cat cannot connect the behavior with the punishment. This may be really stressful for your feline, and it may be even more stressful if you’re constantly spraying your cat and she doesn’t understand why.

This may result in your cat feeling stressed and afraid. Of course, the reaction depends on the individual cat, but many cats will feel unable to relax, because they’re always expecting you with a spray bottle around the corner.

It’s very important to find the best way to communicate with your cat so that she can understand what you want from her.

It Won’t Fix The Undesirable Behavior

If you spritz your cat a few moments after the undesirable behavior, she won’t understand exactly why you punished her. It is unlikely that you will fix undesirable behavior by doing this.

If you want to punish your cat for certain behavior, you need to do it as soon as the bad behavior occurs so that the cat can make a connection between what they did and how you reacted. However, it’s really hard to do that with this method because you probably won’t walk around the house with a spray bottle waiting for your cat to misbehave.

Also, your cat may not understand the rules. For example, if you don’t want your cat scratching furniture so you spray her when you see her doing it, she may think that the rules apply only when you’re there. This may mean that the bad behavior is repeated when you’re not there, or she may simply start scratching something else!

When it comes to scratching, it would be best to provide your cat with a few scratching posts, especially if she’s prone to doing it. Don’t forget the most important thing; to reward your feline when she uses the scratching posts. That way, she may stop scratching furniture and turn to scratching posts.

Your Cat May Distance From You

You have to be very careful with the water spraying method if you don’t want to damage the bond between you and your cat friend.

If your cat fails to connect the punishment with the unwanted behavior, she may perceive you as the cause of the punishment and start being afraid of you, especially if it’s a new cat. This might be less likely to happen with older cats, but there is always a risk of damaging your relationship with your pet.

Don’t be surprised if you notice your cat hiding or running away from you, but it’s not too late to try to fix things so that your cat can trust you again, and of course, try to find a new method of cat training.

It Makes Them Uncomfortable

Water spraying isn’t the best method because it can make your cat uncomfortable. Cats have sensitive senses, especially their whiskers (which are usually first to be affected by a spritz or two of water).

If you notice your cat feeling uncomfortable, try some other technique, unless you want your cat to feel uncomfortable and insecure around you and in the environment which is supposed to be her safe place. You certainly don’t want your cat to react and give you a swat every time you pass her!

They May Start Avoiding Water

Cats aren’t usually water lovers, however there are cats who adore water, especially indoor-only cats. If you use this method, don’t be surprised if that changes. It won’t reduce bad behavior, but spraying a cat with water may be irritating for her – especially if she doesn’t understand why you are doing it.

Eventually she may stop liking water at all, refusing the bath or getting anxious around water because she’ll see it as something scary, without knowing why. She’ll try to avoid bad experiences by avoiding water, and this may make life more difficult for her.

The Punishment Won’t Always Occur

As previously mentioned, you won’t always be there to punish certain behavior problems, and when you are around, you won’t have a spray bottle with you all the time. That may result in your cat doing more bad things when you’re not home.

It’s better to try another method that will have a positive outcome so your cat can understand what she can do and what she cannot.

Cat Behavior Issues & Solutions!

gray cat lying on table

Every cat is different. Some cats are calm, and some aren’t. Some are lovely and gentle, whereas others may be aggressive and independent. There are many common cat behavior issues, but that doesn’t mean that every cat will experience behavior problems.

So, if you have a problematic cat, here are some cat behavior issues that you may recognize and some good methods you can use to discipline your cat!

• Scratching is one of the most common cat behavior problems. They may do it because they’re bored, or they need to sharpen their claws, or they’re marking their territory. Provide your pet with cat scratching posts to redirect her attention from the furniture. Don’t forget to reward your cat any time she uses scratching posts.

• Jumping up onto high places such as countertops or kitchen counters is another common but unwanted cat behavior. If you want them to stop jumping up there, the best thing to do is to put some sticky tape on the surface. After a few attempts, she’ll stop trying to climb up. You can also use cat trees and encourage your cat to climb on them instead on countertops. Remember to reward her when she uses a cat tree.

• Destroying houseplants by eating them or by digging in the dirt. This may be due to your cat’s need for grass, which they eat for their stomachs. The best thing to redirect their attention from your plants is to put some catnip around, and she’ll leave the plants alone.

Other Methods To Discipline A Cat

• Reward good behavior

• Use your voice to stop them

• Clap your hands

• Ignore the bad behavior

• Use noisy cans

• Playtime with the cat

• Use spray bottle or squirt guns


Why Would Someone Use Water To Spray A Cat?

Spraying cat with water means giving punishment for unwanted behavior. If you spray your cat after the bad behavior occurs, she may stop doing it again. But, consistency is the key for this method and it is not a good training method!

Is Spraying Cat With Water Abuse?

No, spraying cat with water is not considered abuse, it is just punishment for bad behavior. Of course, this means a light spritz with water from a distance, not being aggressive or doing anything that could harm the cat. She may stop doing bad things, but you have to reinforce good behavior too, and you do this by rewarding the cat.

What Does The Cat Do When You Spray Them With Water?

After being sprayed, a cat may run, swat, or hide. More aggressive cats may even attack you.

Will My Cat Hate Me If I Spray It With Water?

This depends on the cat; make sure you’re using this method carefully.

She may feel shocked, uncomfortable, or even confused because she doesn’t understand why you did it. That is why it’s more important to reward good behavior, so that she can learn what’s good and what’s bad.


spray bottle

Spraying cat with water is one of the most popular cat training methods. However, is it that effective? Well, the evidence says no.

You might achieve some limited success using this training method. Spraying is used to punish bad behavior, but this is hard to implement if you’re not always there.

A cat may understand that and continue with unwanted behavior when you’re not there.

It’s very important that you redirect your cat’s attention from doing something unwanted to doing something good and of course, to reward that good behavior. Only then can a cat understand the connection between the behavior and the punishment or reward.

Either way, water spraying isn’t the best option as it may have long-term negative effects. There are many other training methods that can be far more effective than this. You have plenty of time, so find out what suits you and your cat best!

If you feel that you cannot handle your cat’s behavior, whether it’s scratching or excessive meowing, then it’s time to consult with a cat care center or cat behaviorist.

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