Your Ocicat is highly intelligent and can often out-smart their owners! It’s a bit like bringing a two-year old child into your house—they will ‘push the boundaries’ to see what they can get away with.
The best course is to make sure your Ocicat has enough stimulation and interest in its life—but your Ocicat needs to respect his new home and learn the house rules. They must also see you as ‘head of the pride’.
Ocicats respond very positively to love, affection and rewards, but do not like to be growled at or yelled at, or otherwise punished.
Chocolate spotted silver Ocicat kitten
So teach your Ocicat with love. For every time you need to growl at your Ocicat, make sure you love him, reward him, praise him - ten times more!
This really works! The more you praise your Ocicat for good things done, the less you will find he does naughty things.
You can teach your kitten—or rather your kitten can teach you—how to play fetch with a favourite ball or toy.
Start by throwing a toy just a very short distance and when your kitten picks it up, encourage him to return it to your hand—always remember—Praise! Praise! Praise!
Some kittens learn to retrieve quickly; some take a little more time and patience and praise!
Walk on a Leash
Your kitten can be trained to walk in a harness on a leash. Purchase a harness that is soft and comfortable and put it on your kitten for just a minute to let him get the feel of it. He won’t like it, so make sure he doesn’t relate the harness to punishment.
Put the harness on several times each day, leaving it on just a little longer each time, always praising him each time.
When the time comes to take your kitten into the garden on the leash, it is best not to let him walk over the threshold—rather carry him over. Otherwise, each time you go to walk through your door into the garden, your cat will try to go with you, harness or not!
A word of warning! Although lots of our Ocicat owners have trained their cat to walk on a harness and lead, it is not recommended by Oz Catz!
Picture this—walking down your quiet street with your Ocicat on a leash; as you walk past a gate, a large dog suddenly rushes, barking and snarling; your cat will react instinctively and attempt to seek safety; no matter how well you have put the harness on, under an emergency situation like this, your cat will pull back, slip his shoulders forward and get himself out of the harness in a second and run!
Problems at the Door
If your cat waits to rush the door each time you go out, try a distraction.
Throw a toy away from the door just before you open it.
This way, your cat will be distracted by the toy, or may even chase the toy, allowing you to exit in peace.
Not everyone can tolerate a cat walking on the kitchen benches. There are a couple of things to remember -
Cats are opportunists.
If just once he finds something interesting or edible somewhere, he will return again and again on the off-chance that he may find something the next time he visits.
It’s a bit like buying a lotto ticket—the chances of winning are remote, but there’s always that one chance!
So keep benches clear of food when you’re not around to supervise.
Set your rules—not too many!
If kitchen benches are out of bounds—NEVER deviate from that rule.
The first time you say it’s OK just this once—you’ve lost.
Punishments / Admonishments
It’s inevitable your Ocicat will do naughty stuff now and then.
NEVER hit your kitten or cat—no matter what!
So what do you do?
A stern warning (voice only)
Take your Ocicat away from the scene of the ‘crime’ with a stern warning, a stern face and voice.
Take him to a ‘go zone’ like his scratching post, then change your voice tone to one of pleasure and tell him—Good Kitten.
The naughty room
If your Ocicat kitten refuses to heed your warnings, then a quiet time of reflection in a kitten naughty room—a place where he can settle down may help.
Only leave him there for ten minutes or so.
The water spray bottle
Many people use a water spray bottle to squirt at the kitten -
But it must be used at exactly the same time as the crime—not a second later!
And there is always the risk of damage to the kitten’s eyes or water in the ears.
The water spray method is not a remedy that is recommended by Oz Catz.
Inevitably even in the best of households, accidents will sometimes occur.
A simple cleaning solution is to mix half white vinegar with half warm water and a squeeze of dish-washing detergent in a spray bottle.