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10 Ways to Modify Your Pet's Behavior

Sometimes, your pets don't behave the way you wish they would. Here are 10 easy tips to help keep them in line. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read

Disclaimer: Always check with your vet to make sure these tips are smart for your pet.

1. A red-hot repellent

If your dog finds your shoes more appealing than any of his chew toys, there’s a simple way to break the attraction. Mix together a little cayenne pepper and petroleum jelly, then swipe a little on the shoes. The hot pepper will deter him, but it won’t cause any health problems.

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2. Distraction tips

Distraction is sometimes the best medicine when it comes to behavior modification for pets. Head off trouble by shaking coins in a metal can when you see your furry friend about to jump headlong into a spot where he shouldn’t be or a dinner plate that isn’t for him.

3. Spray away trouble

Unfortunately, cats rarely respond when you tell them “no.” So to make sure they have a reason to not repeat bad behavior, spray them with water from a spray bottle when you catch them being bad. If this doesn’t work, try spraying them with air from a compressed air can (usually used to clean electronics and computer keyboards).

SEE ALSO: Quick and Dirty Tips Resident Pet Expert, The Dog Trainer

4. Keep cats off furniture

Specific piece of furniture you don’t want your cat on, or place you don’t want him to go? Try this: In a spray bottle, mix together ½ cup water with 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, and shake to combine. Cats detest the smell of cinnamon, so if you spray this solution where you don’t want him to go, he should stay away.

5. Foil your furniture

Especially when you’re not around, you can cover any area you want off-limits to cats with double-sided tape or aluminum foil. They can’t stand the feeling of the stuff under their paws.

6. Stop the scratching

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Cats hate hot sauce. So if you can’t get your cat to stop clawing at your woodwork, just rub in a little hot sauce, buff it thoroughly, and your cat will stay clear.

You can also swipe a bit of VapoRub on scratching targets. Cats can’t stand the cough medicine’s mentholated smell.

7. Chewing solution

If your cat likes chewing on electrical cords, we know you need a solution, and fast! Here it is: Unplug the electronics, then rub the cords with a wedge of lemon. Once they’ve dried, you can plug them back in. Cats don’t like the taste of lemon and will steer clear.

8. The herb that curbs plant digging

If your cat seems to think your potted plant is a fun place to hang out—or worse, a good place to go to the bathroom—use some thyme to help her find some other place to play. Sprinkle dried thyme on the surface of the soil once a week. The strong scent will chase her away.

RELATED: The Dog Trainer's Keeping Indoor Cats Active and Happy

9. Better bathroom habits

Your cat seems to have taken a vacation from the litter box, and you’re finding unpleasant surprises in interesting places like the bathtub. To fix this problem, try placing a bowl of food in the areas where you’ve found those surprises. Cats don’t do their business in the same place that they eat, so she’ll hopefully find her way back to the litter box.

If your cat isn't using their little box consistantly, call your vet to make sure they're not suffering from any health problems.

10. Keep pets in their bed, not yours

If you’d rather your pets not climb on top of you while you sleep, try this tip. Throw an old sweatshirt or sweatpants of yours into the dryer for 5 to 10 minutes on high, then wrap it around your pet’s bed. You’ll create a warm space with the scent of you that will help your pet settle.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.

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