"Punishment" is not in your cat's vocabulary. Positive reinforcement of good behavior -- with treats, attention and verbal praise -- solves most kitty behavioral problems.read more
My older male cat joins me for dinner every night. And by “joins me for dinner,” I mean he sits on the table 3 inches away from my plate and stares longingly at my meal. He knows it’s not his, but he keeps wishing and hoping. Either that or he has his nose in my water glass, helping himself to a few laps.
I admit, sometimes I give in, which I shouldn’t do because many foods for humans are toxic to cats. And needless to say, this table-mannerless madness doesn’t go over so well with company. Plus, he has his own quality cat chow to enjoy.
My younger male cat, though, could care less about people food. I learned my lesson and never gave in. You know what? He has no idea what he’s missing, so he doesn’t beg for it.
When he was a kitten and curious about my meals, I always sweetly shooed him or plopped him in front of his own cat food bowl when he tried to sniff my supper. A couple of weeks of this and he learned!
This same technique can help train your older, set-in-its-ways cat as well. I also find that rerouting the feline’s attention to a healthy cat kibble -- away from the dinner table -- is also a good move.
Now, if I could just keep him off the table in the first place, I might get more dinner dates around here!