Encourage or punishment?
Most of us unfortunately have the experience of being taught by punishments during our life. Because of that we think and believe that the punishment is a key for teaching. It isn't right and especially it's wrong with the cats.
Punishment usually means physical or psychological attack with emotional attitude. Its aim is to make the victim feel itself unhappy, confused or just silly. Try to apply this system to your cat and it will go away. If it can't go away physically it will "do it" in its mind. If it can't do it in its mind, perhaps it will answer aggressively. Ten points in favor of the cat!
If we mean cats we should remember that if they have decided to attack us they have better equipment for this than we have. Everyone who has ever been attacked may prove it. Such attacks don't happen very often but you should remember that cats are domestic beasts which live with us in our homes. You must respect them.
The correction is an unemotional negative encourage which teaches more than frightens. You should catch the necessary moment for the ideal correction. It must correspond to the actions and you have to say to your cat just what you want to say. Keep these three points of an ideal correction in your mind and then you'll almost succeed on your way of changing cat's behavior.
In process of any teaching the right choice of time moment in fact means everything. The best time to stop the bad behavior of the cat is when the cat starts doing it. The other good moment is the time when the cat is doing it. The most widespread and at the same time the most ineffective way to stop the cat is to correct it when it has already done everything.
Here are the examples of each of these types of correction the cat that has appeared on the working top in the kitchen.
The best moment
You see that your cat is entering the kitchen and comes up to the kitchen table. You take the bottle of water and stay at the door so that your cat doesn't see you. Cat prepares to jump. As soon as it starts jumping your splash it with water and hide again. Cat runs away under the table and thinks about what has happened. It's wonderful! It associates the accident with the moment of jump. If you teach the cat that it mustn't jump on the table you'll never have problems with the cat on the kitchen table.
The other best moment
You see that your cat enters the kitchen and goes to the kitchen table. You take the bottle with water and stay at the door so that your cat doesn't see you. Cat prepares to jump, it jumps and lands on the table. You splash it with water one or two times and hide again. It jumps down and runs away under the table where it begins to think about what has happened. It's not bad but you have only taught your cat to jump down from the table as soon as it was shown in the previous example you'll be able to teach your cat never to jump on the table.
The worst moment
You see that your cat enters the kitchen and goes to the kitchen table. You take the bottle with water and stay at the door so that your cat doesn't see you. It jumps on the table and stays there for some seconds. At this moment you rush into the room with scream "No!" and splash it with water. Cat jumps down and you run after it splashing it again and again. What lesson has your cat just have? Mainly it understands that you have lost your mind. That you jump from anywhere and attack it without any reason, as it thinks. At the some moment as you scare it your cat begins to connect its fright just with you but not with the fact that it was on the table. You follow it and so it doesn't have any encouragement from the fact that it has jumped down from the table. If the punishment didn't stop at the moment when the cat followed your order then how it will understand what you want?
The good correction doesn't give your cat the opportunity to continue the wrong actions but at the same time it doesn't cause other problems during this process. If you do too many corrections: scream, attack your cat or terrorize it in some other ways, it will be scared. And, of course, this fright will be connected with you but not with its own actions. Another wide spread example is when the cats don't use the toilet box in their owners' presence thing. The following often happens: the owner finds the cat or the kitten when it makes mistake in the forbidden place and his reaction is very strict: he screams, beats the kitten or push its face into the puddle. What lesson will he teach? Your pet will understand that you are very upset when you see the kitten doing its needs. Now it will go farther for you not to see it. It will make such mistakes again but it will do it in such a way that you won't see it. So people say that the kittens which hide their mistakes do it as a revenge and they prove that the kitten knows very well that its actions are bad. But it is the wrong opinion. The kitten just reacts to your lesson and hopes that if you see nothing you won't learn about anything.
The same kind of bad and ineffective correction that doesn't have any practical effect teaches the cat just to ignore you and quietly do its own actions. Let's go on with the example with the kitchen table. You see your cat on the table. You come up to it and say: "No, baby, no, no!" and you say this with the tender voice with some reproach in it. You take your cat from the table, put it on the floor, pet it and say: "Kitchen table is not a good place for you, dear, but the floor is a good one!" What lesson will your cat learn? It'll learn that when you find it on the kitchen table it gets much attention and love from you.