While cats are fluffy and cute creatures that many people love keeping as pets, they can sometimes be problematic. Unpredictable quirks, mood swings, and frequent need to explore the forbidden things and corners of our homes can cause problems for cat owners. It is no surprise that some people even consult professional animal behaviorists to understand how to tame their feline friends. While there are various ways of training our cats, one of the contradicting and most debated methods is the use of shock collars and whether it is a cruel way to tame our cats. Here is an exclusive look at whether it’s cruel to use a shock collar on cats.
How Do Shock Collars Work?
Shock collars are designed to train a cat through positive punishment. On the inside of the collar are two prongs that touch the cat’s skin. Based on the kind of shock collar, a shock between 100-6000 volts is activated via an electronic feature on the collar. While shock collars are mainly designed for cats, these are often rare, and most people use collars designed for small dogs on cats.
So, is it Cruel to Use a Shock Collar on Cats?
Shock collars have been in controversy for many years for good reasons. They are potentially dangerous, but they don’t also produce the desired training result. If misused, shock collars can be cruel to cats. There are many reasons why it’s a bad idea to use a shock collar on cats. First, shock collars are illegal in Australia and Europe. Also, while the shock collars release a low voltage shock, it can be life-threatening to your cat. The voltage can affect your cats’ cardiovascular and nervous systems. The collars designed for large pets such as dogs can even be fatal. The stress and trauma can also make the cat susceptible to feline herpes and other health issues. According to the ASPCApro, shock collars go against the freedoms of animals as it causes discomfort and pain to the cat. Regardless of the type of shock collar, it can be lethal for cats if the owner is not experienced in using such devices. When misused, such as overdoing it, it can be life-threatening and is often an ineffective training method as cats respond better to punishment. Even if it does not affect the cat’s health, the shock collar can make even the coolest cat hate its owner. The best option is trying to adjust your cat’s behavior via positive reinforcement training methods and resort to using the collar if other suggestions and approaches from your vet prove to be ineffective. Remember that punishing your cat because of bad behavior is often ineffective for most cats. However, some cats can possess the right personality for this type of training.
Better Humane Alternatives to Consider
A shock collar for cats can be ineffective, unsafe, and hard to find. There are other safer options you should consider when it comes to training your cat, these include;
If you clearly understand the consequences of using sound and vibration signals to train your cat, training collars could offer a more humane way of training your cat. Some collars are precisely designed for small dogs or cats. Instead of a shock collar, they make sound signals or vibrate to discourage bad behavior. You can select which one to use on your cat based on your preference.
One of the best ways of changing your cat’s behavior is by praising good behavior. Although cats are often spurred by punishment, they are usually responsive to rewards. You can use this trick by offering your cat a treat in their favorite spot when you notice they have good behavior. This can encourage your cat to repeat the excellent behavior until it becomes a habit.
Another humane way of installing good behavior to your cat is frightening them with motion-detection spray. The spray is produced when the cat goes into an inappropriate place or object. The compressed air is harmlessly released to scare the cat away. However, your cat can become irritated to perpetuate bad behavior in other ways. A better effective method is using cat pheromone spray. These sprays have ingredients that calm the cat down, calming it into a restful state.
Usually, the behaviors that we don’t like in our feline friends are triggered by the instincts in cats. Cats often jump on counters due to their instincts of feeling safer when in higher places. They also often scratch things as a way to sharpen their nails and mark their territory while unspayed female cats yowl incessantly after every two weeks. Instead of preventing the cats from following their instincts, you should redirect these behaviors. For scratching cats, get scratch pads for them to do as they like; for cats that like jumping, get a cat tree and either neuter or spay your cat. This way, your cat can freely become a cat while you can get your sanity back.
Can Shock Collars Be Effective on Cats?
As stated earlier, shock collars are seen as an act of cruelty to animals. However, some cat owners may use the device on extremely wild cats. So, in case they are available, and you use them, can they be effective? This will depend on various factors such as the type of collar, your cat’s behavior, your behavior, etc. Motion-activated collars are often effective when you require to keep your cat away from a particular area because the cat does not know you are the one inflicting the fear, stress, or pain.
Cat shock collars are becoming rare due to legislation restrictions in some countries, animal rights activists declaring them cruel, and major pet chains discontinuing the products. This is because the shock can be harmful to your cat’s health and make them act in other undesirable ways. Generally, shock collars for cats can be ineffective and unsafe for cats. Therefore, it is best to try out the other reviewed methods to train and control your cat’s behavior.