Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: MOM21SON on January 03, 2014, 07:50:05 PM

Title: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MOM21SON on January 03, 2014, 07:50:05 PM
What do you say or do when someone yells at your pet?

We have a cat, a very curious cat.  He is a rescue and we love him.  We adopted him a year ago this month and he was estimated to be about 4 weeks old.  He now is a large cat, about 10lbs.

He loves counter tops and the table.  When we are home we can easily redirect and do.

New Years Day we had a couple over that we have been friends with for 20 plus years.  Cat, jumped on the back of the chair and started sniffing the edge of the counter.  I said, "no no" and clapped my hands, he jumped down.  Well, cat did it again and both the wife and husband screamed at my cat!  "DON'T YOU DARE."  I then settled cat on the back porch.

Today my neighbor came over for help with her new phone.  DS and I had just got back from the store and the kitchen table was full of plastic grocery bags.  Neighbor and I were sitting on the couch talking and fiddling with the phone.  The table is in view.  All of a sudden Neighbor screamed, "DON'T YOU DARE JUMP ON THAT TABLE!"    I looked up and he was only sniffing the bags.  I went and picked him up, kissed him and set him down.

I don't yell at their pets when I visit.  Every response that I come up with has me yelling at them.

How do others handle it?





Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: NyaChan on January 03, 2014, 07:52:15 PM
"Please don't yell at my cat."  "She's fine.  No need to yell."  "I've got this, thanks."

That's what I've used in the past, but I've never come across someone who kept doing it, so I don't know how I'd handle a person who wouldn't figure it out after that.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on January 03, 2014, 08:15:13 PM
I have this issue with my dad, who has always equated being stern with shouting.  He will bellow at my dogs to "sit" or whatever and they're bewildered and afraid of this man who is bellowing at them for no reason they can fathom.  I try to tell him he doesn't need to yell, in fact he doesn't need to speak at all because they are all trained to hand signals, but he insists he's just "being firm".
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: SiotehCat on January 03, 2014, 08:39:15 PM
I think you can ask people to please not yell at your cat.

For me, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the rest of my evening if one of my guests yelled at my cat. If be very angry.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: PastryGoddess on January 03, 2014, 09:10:51 PM
I think it's bizzare.  I mean my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.  I can't even imagine that they would listen to a strange person yelling at them. 

I think the time to address is at the time of the incident or if you invite those people over again, before they can yell at your cat. 
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: edgypeanuts on January 03, 2014, 09:12:26 PM
If people have heard you correct him for being on the counter, they may think they are helping.  I still wouldn't like it.  I would just interrupt and say "don't yell, it scares him" or "don't yell at him, I want him to like new people."

In my case, "Don't confuse him, he IS allowed up there!"  My cats are allowed on the table and counter, just not by the stove where I cook, so I would really not allow anyone to confuse them when they know where they are allowed and not.  But as one of my cats greets people by standing on the island when people come in the door, they generally know that it is allowed in my house.

If anyone persisted in scaring or yelling at my animals, I would remove the animal from the situation or ask the person to stop or leave.  It is my job to protect them.  That said, sometimes my pets are happier up in the bedroom where they can relax and not worry about people in the house.

(you didn't ask, but if you do want to train your guy off the counters- get him a high place where he is allowed to be (a cat tree or table that he is allowed to be on) and then try a boobytrap on the counters where you don't want him.  Empty soda cans with pennies in them on top of a sheet of tinfoil works great.  When they jump up, they disturb the foil and send the popcans flying.  It is loud but won't hurt them if it lands on them.  Works best if they are jumping up, less if they are able to step up from a stool or chair.)
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: purple on January 03, 2014, 09:22:28 PM
I think you would be ok to address the issue immediately and directly - "Please do not yell at my cat".

I would be (and have been) livid when visitors in my house decide to discipline my dog/s.

Certain people have been not invited back because I didn't like the way they treated my dog and/or my dog didn't like them.

I even once asked somebody to leave because they yelled at my dog, I asked them not to do it then they yelled at him again a little while later and even lifted their hand as if they were about to strike him!  Friendship over.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: doodlemor on January 03, 2014, 10:28:13 PM

If anyone persisted in scaring or yelling at my animals, I would remove the animal from the situation or ask the person to stop or leave.  It is my job to protect them.  That said, sometimes my pets are happier up in the bedroom where they can relax and not worry about people in the house.

(you didn't ask, but if you do want to train your guy off the counters- get him a high place where he is allowed to be (a cat tree or table that he is allowed to be on) and then try a boobytrap on the counters where you don't want him.  Empty soda cans with pennies in them on top of a sheet of tinfoil works great.  When they jump up, they disturb the foil and send the popcans flying.  It is loud but won't hurt them if it lands on them.  Works best if they are jumping up, less if they are able to step up from a stool or chair.)

Brilliant idea to keep the cats off the counter.  Must try that for my newbie, misGretademeanor.

I think you would be ok to address the issue immediately and directly - "Please do not yell at my cat".

I would be (and have been) livid when visitors in my house decide to discipline my dog/s.

Certain people have been not invited back because I didn't like the way they treated my dog and/or my dog didn't like them.

I even once asked somebody to leave because they yelled at my dog, I asked them not to do it then they yelled at him again a little while later and even lifted their hand as if they were about to strike him!  Friendship over.

I agree.  If someone actually lifted their hand to one of my pets, that would be the close of the friendship.

I read somewhere on an old thread about a doofus/creep at a party who thought it would be funny to put the hostess' kitten in the microwave.  [He later claimed that he was only teasing, and wouldn't have turned it on.]  Anyway..... he was surprised to be grabbed by a 100 or less pound enraged woman and literally thrown out the door.  That was also the end of the friendship, or acquaintanceship.

Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: EllenS on January 03, 2014, 10:43:44 PM
I would actually wonder about the mental health of anyone who yelled at a cat as a means of behavior modification.  Of the cats I know, that would be about as effective as yelling at the wind.

I don't have pets, but anyone who yelled at an occupant of my house, short of "dear Diety, your hair is on fire", would not be asked back.

"Please don't yell, there is no need."
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Bluenomi on January 04, 2014, 12:57:43 AM
Unless the cat doing something really bad (say about to pull a roast chicken off the dinner table) and the owner is out if the room, I wouldn't yell set someone else's pet. Even then I'd be more likely to shoo them or pick them up, not yell.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: aussie_chick on January 04, 2014, 04:51:06 AM
Good ideas from other posters already. I think dealing with it at the time with "please don't yell at my cat" or some variation that sounds normal to you is good.

One of my friends tapped my cat on the nose once. She climbed up onto the back of the couch and was sniffing his head. I didn't know he didn't like cats. I thought it was cute that she was trying to smooch him. Anyway he kept shaking his hand in front of her which made her try and play so she grabbed his hand with her paws. He tapped her on the nose and said "No!"

I was horrified. I said "don't hit her" and I got up, grabbed kitty, gave her a cuddle and put her on the couch next to me. He left after that and has not been back.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Cherry91 on January 04, 2014, 05:49:42 AM
The first time they yelled at MY kitty, those guests would have gotten a stern "Please don't yell at him, all you're going to do is frighten him!"

If you've been friends with these people for 20 years, OP, I think you should be able to have a quick word with them. Maybe next time you invite them over, mention it as an FYI? "Just so you know, kitty can get a bit skittish and doesn't respond well to loud sudden noises. If you see them misbehaving, please let me know and I'll deal with it."
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on January 04, 2014, 06:05:23 AM
I think it depends.  Obviously these folks went about it wrong.  Screaming at a pet is not the answer (except that my cousin's 6 year old daughter somehow makes it work).  However, there are many pets which I am allowed, and even expected, to discipline while in their homes.  My friends, my parents, my grandparents, have all let me know what voice commands to use on their pets, so there's an expectation that I'll be able to discipline the pet if necessary.  It takes me a second for my friend's dog, as she uses the exact opposite commands that I do (For me, get down means "stop jumping on that person/counter" and get off means "get off that piece of furniture".  She reverses them.) 
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Snooks on January 04, 2014, 07:05:19 AM
I've probably been guilty of this. I was eating dinner at my friend's house and was the only person who could see the dog getting up on his back legs to investigate the food on the stove top. I said "Fido, no!" but I did immediately apologise to my friends.

As for my cats my usual tactic is to say to anyone bothering them "Just leave them be. They're ok". Unless they've harmed your animal (using whatever definition of harm you want to) I don't think it's an offence which should get someone banned from your house the first time they do it.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MrTango on January 04, 2014, 08:16:40 AM
I think that unless your pet is doing something directly to the person in question, it's fine to tell them that it's not okay to yell at your pet.

If your pet is actively doing something to them (marking territory, scratching/clawing, mounting, biting/nipping), then they're going to react however they react, and I don't think yelling is inappropriate in that sort of situation.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Sharnita on January 04, 2014, 08:36:15 AM
I think that a lot of people do see animals on a dining/food prep surface as directly affecting them.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 04, 2014, 08:46:22 AM
I think that a lot of people do see animals on a dining/food prep surface as directly affecting them.

But that doesn't give them the right to yell at the animals.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: menley on January 04, 2014, 08:51:54 AM
I think that a lot of people do see animals on a dining/food prep surface as directly affecting them.

But that doesn't give them the right to yell at the animals.

Perhaps not yelling, no. But I've noticed often that anytime some of my friends are relating a story about someone telling them something negative about themselves, they refer to that person as "yelling at them". For example "I was at the store and someone yelled at me for leaving my cart at the end of the aisle!" I then ask "Wow, they really screamed at you?" And their response is usually something like "No, but they told me not to do it and I could tell they were upset."

I have to wonder if these people were really yelling at the cat, as it seems very unusual to have two separate people scream at a cat for sniffing.

And I must say that I am also surprised at the posters who say that their cats are allowed to walk on the counters. Given that cats step in the litter box, if I saw that a friend allowed her cats on the countertops, I would never eat any food offered by that friend again.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 04, 2014, 08:56:16 AM
I was eating dinner at my friend's house and was the only person who could see the dog getting up on his back legs to investigate the food on the stove top. I said "Fido, no!" but I did immediately apologise to my friends.

This wouldn't bother me at all and I would tell you that you didn't need to apologize.

My cats are allowed on the furniture but not on food prep and eating surfaces and my friends know this so if someone scooped a cat up and put them on the floor with a strong, 'No!', I'd be fine with it, as that's how I would discipline them myself if I didn't have a squirt bottle handy.

But anyone who struck one of my cats?  Get out and don't come back.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2014, 09:27:01 AM
DH and I and our kids were camping at a piece of property owned by my in-laws. DH's brothers and their wives and kids were also there. We all brought our dogs to run around etc. MIL & FIL showed up later.

A dog belonging to one of my brother-in-law's (still just a puppy) started pulling at some of the garbage that had been put in the bonfire sticks (it was daytime so no fire going). MIL saw this and didn't like it so picked up a fair sized branch and whacked the puppy over the back while yelling at it to stop.

My brother-in-law's wife was livid. She started walking towards her dog to pull her away from the area and yelled at MIL "you don't need to hit her!" but FIL gave her low grumbled warning to back off and let it go.

I was also feeling pretty angry. We have a dog that I love to bits and it could have just as easily been him getting hit. I recognize that it is their property but I still don't think that gives them the right to abuse other people's animals. I would not have been offended at her just yelling at the puppy to stop though.


Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: TootsNYC on January 04, 2014, 09:44:21 AM
I really think it's pretty much like "do you discipline someone else's child?"

In certain situations, non-pet-owners (and non-parents) are OK to step in. Life-and-limb situations (in which case, you don't so much yell, etc., as intervene--call the puppy/child away, pick up the animal/child and move them out of danger, etc.).

And of course, situations in which you've expressly been *delegated* the task of disciplining (you were taught the code words, or have been asked to be responsible).

Others, you either just shut up and butt out, or you say things like, "Kitty/Child, are you allowed on that table?" loud enough so Mom can hear.

And isn't it funny, OP, that the mere sniffing set both these people off? That they can't fathom that sniffing may be all the cat is intending to do, and you could probably wait and see, but they have to react RIGHT NOW? And they have to make a BIG DEAL out of it, instead of simply saying at a conversational tone, "no, kitty--don't you get on that table!" (But when the owner --or parent-- is right there, especially if it's not your table, I think it's off to issue an order directly to the pet or child. That's taking over their role.)

And I'm so intrigued by your choice of words--you described them both as "screaming." How much of your description is hyperbole, and how much is strictly accurate?

As for how to handle it, I think you might consider "channeling your inner daycare worker." Because you mentioned that when you thought about responding, you kept mentally wanting to yell back at them. To me that's a sign that your own emotions are deeply involved. And I think of the *best* daycare workers as being quite clinical about misbehavior. They don't get mad at kids in their care, because, well, that's just what kids are, so you correct them as calmly as possible simply because it is effective.
    So if you were a -good- daycare worker, and a 3yo in your care yelled at a pet, how would you respond? You'd teach, right? And you calmly lay down rules.

So you say, "We don't yell at the kitty--it doesn't do any good, because he doesn't speak English, and he doesn't think you're talking to him, but it upsets the people who also hear it. We don't interfere with the kitty until *after* he has actually jumped on the table, because otherwise it just confuses him. Expressing an interest in the bags on the table is not a problem. And since we wash the table before every meal, we really don't get that upset about the occasional foot on the table."

Or, you say, "Please leave all the yelling at and disciplining of the cat to me. If you think I need to be alerted to what the cat is doing, just say something quietly to me."
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: gen xer on January 04, 2014, 10:01:12 AM
 I wouldn't want anyone yelling at my cats because it could frighten them....and I certainly wouldn't allow someone to abuse them in the name of "discipline" but honestly a raised voice if they get on the counters or table wouldn't faze me at all.  Menley has a good point "are they really yelling?  Or was it a raised voice?  Big difference.

Some family members don't like cats and don't want them on them.  They can say "no or get off" and physically remove them.  I don't take it personally.  I love cats but not everyone is quite so enamoured.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: TootsNYC on January 04, 2014, 10:08:02 AM
I think it's bizzare.  I mean my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.  I can't even imagine that they would listen to a strange person yelling at them. 

Really? I've never had a cat that listened to anybody. Especially anybody yelling.

Oh, I've been successful now and then in shooing them off from some place by clapping at them right next to them. But simple yelling? None of my cats have ever paid the slightest bit of attention. Oh, sometimes they might cringe a little bit, but it's *only* for show. It never stops them doing anything.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 04, 2014, 10:08:41 AM
DH and I and our kids were camping at a piece of property owned by my in-laws. DH's brothers and their wives and kids were also there. We all brought our dogs to run around etc. MIL & FIL showed up later.

A dog belonging to one of my brother-in-law's (still just a puppy) started pulling at some of the garbage that had been put in the bonfire sticks (it was daytime so no fire going). MIL saw this and didn't like it so picked up a fair sized branch and whacked the puppy over the back while yelling at it to stop.

My brother-in-law's wife was livid. She started walking towards her dog to pull her away from the area and yelled at MIL "you don't need to hit her!" but FIL gave her low grumbled warning to back off and let it go.

I was also feeling pretty angry. We have a dog that I love to bits and it could have just as easily been him getting hit. I recognize that it is their property but I still don't think that gives them the right to abuse other people's animals. I would not have been offended at her just yelling at the puppy to stop though.

She could have broken that puppy's back or a rib or three! I would've picked up my pup and gone home because there is no way I could have remained civilized toward that awful woman and her husband.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Jovismom on January 04, 2014, 10:13:54 AM
I have a very well behaved and exceedingly well trained dog.  She knows the house rules and she respects them.  If someone were to come in and try correcting her behavior for something like getting on the furniture, I would immediately inform that person that we bought leather furniture for the family room specifically because it was dog friendly.  I'd then tell that person that if my dog requires correction I will see to it myself.

If that person took it upon him/herself to correct my dog verbally again, I would ask them to leave.

Any person who hits my dog in anyway including a tiny little "bop" on the nose will be escorted out of my house immediately.  I don't care who it is and why you did it.

Yes, I have tossed people out on two occasions.  One of the friendships recovered and the other didn't. Quite frankly I had no interest in remaining friends with someone who hit my dog.

I'm fortunate that since I'm deeply involved in the dog community through dog sports, most of my friends are dog people. 
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Need to Change on January 04, 2014, 10:17:04 AM
I think it depends.  Obviously these folks went about it wrong.  Screaming at a pet is not the answer (except that my cousin's 6 year old daughter somehow makes it work).  However, there are many pets which I am allowed, and even expected, to discipline while in their homes.  My friends, my parents, my grandparents, have all let me know what voice commands to use on their pets, so there's an expectation that I'll be able to discipline the pet if necessary.  It takes me a second for my friend's dog, as she uses the exact opposite commands that I do (For me, get down means "stop jumping on that person/counter" and get off means "get off that piece of furniture".  She reverses them.)

You're reinforcing the home-humans' training, at their request.  Most cool!
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: juliasqueezer on January 04, 2014, 11:15:05 AM
This is a bit of a sore spot for me. First of all, I volunteer at a local animal shelter and work with dogs (mostly dogs; there are many more "cat people" than dog people at this particular place) almost daily. I walk them, clean out their kennels, bathe them when they get stinky and work to find them rescue placements and permanent adoptions. Not bragging, but I feel comfortable saying I know how to handle dogs of all sizes and temperaments. You learn to read body language, tail placement/movement, eye contact, etc.

I have a longtime friend who I love dearly, but no longer invite to my home. She has no idea why we meet at neutral places and some day I'll have to come out and explain it to her. She has always had one certain breed of dog. The breed tends to be a bit hyper and high strung, and hers have been no exception. She's taken each dog to many rounds of obedience classes, but doesn't reinforce the lessons at home. She admits this. When you visit her, you have to wait while she locks the dog in another room; otherwise, it will jump on you and knock you over.

My dogs, and I have 2, are about 20 lbs each. They do not jump on visitors. They are trained not to do this. However, one of them gets up on his back feet and "dances" when someone comes in the house. He knows to stay well back from the door, and then dances backwards, hopping back about 5 feet further. I have no idea how this started, but it's harmless, so I've left it alone. Most visitors think it's funny. He won't do it on command, either. It's reserved for new arrivals.

This friend apparently thinks the dog is going to jump on her (as hers does). Whenever she comes in my door and sees the dancing dog, she walks forward several steps, and then knees my dog in his chest and hollers "Off!". So there's my dog.... he's knocked over, laying in the middle of the room, confused.

One of her dog trainers taught her that trick, and she uses it on my dog, but not her own. And that's why I don't want her coming to my house anymore.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Snooks on January 04, 2014, 11:21:19 AM
Your dog sounds amazing, I love the idea of a dancing dog to greet me.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 04, 2014, 11:28:07 AM
I use the knee to the chest technique but I would never walk forward to knee a dog that wasn't jumping ON me.  And I probably wouldn't knee a 20 lb dog, either.  That's pretty small.

juliasqeezer, I don't blame you for not wanting her to visit you in your home any more.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: gen xer on January 04, 2014, 11:30:13 AM
 It's risky to assume what is allowed and what isn't allowed when it comes to someone else's pets.  For example I would never presume to discipline an animal for getting up on furniture unless specifically told to.

It's their own home.  They can do with their animals as they seem fit as long as it isn't infringing on someone else's comfort.  But if an animal was bothering me ( and don't worry - I love cats and love it when they come to be petted or snuggled ) I would most certainly be stern with it.  I push dogs down and say "get off" quite firmly when they jump up on me ( I hate that )

My cats usually leave people alone...but if they were to pester someone who didn't want the attention I would be fine with them physically removing them and I would put the cats away if it continued.

It just depends.  I think it's rude when people don't control or train their pets so in those cases I think disciplining someone's animal is just fine.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: edgypeanuts on January 04, 2014, 12:00:34 PM

And I must say that I am also surprised at the posters who say that their cats are allowed to walk on the counters. Given that cats step in the litter box, if I saw that a friend allowed her cats on the countertops, I would never eat any food offered by that friend again.

I find that some people are shocked by this, which is why I mentioned it- so people don't assume that every cat on a counter is doing something wrong.

We have several high energy dogs and several cats.  The cats feel safer when the dogs are playing if they can get up high and out of the way. (they are not scared of the dogs, just don't like the commotion) They also each have an eating spot on the counter so that the tall dogs cannot bother them. 
We tend to live in our kitchen (it is where our main computer and TV are) and if the cats weren't allowed on the main counter they would miss most of their snuggle time as we don't tend to retire to a living room couch.  (Clyde is between me and the keyboard right now.) Our main island/counter area is NOT where we prepare food and we wipe it down with disinfectant at least once a day.  Similarly, we do not leave food or dishes out and areas are cleaned before we prepare or put any food on them.  All and all, I think our food prep is likely cleaner than most people who often think nothing of setting the mail or purses on the counter. 

If people choose to not eat my food because of it, I am fine with that and will try not to judge them for it.  I understand the feeling as if I saw someone roll out dough on a counter they had not cleaned first it would gross me out, whether they had pets or not!

Just providing some of the reasons why different families and households may have different rules.  :-)
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Library Dragon on January 04, 2014, 12:23:07 PM
I think that a lot of people do see animals on a dining/food prep surface as directly affecting them.

But that doesn't give them the right to yell at the animals.

Perhaps not yelling, no. But I've noticed often that anytime some of my friends are relating a story about someone telling them something negative about themselves, they refer to that person as "yelling at them". For example "I was at the store and someone yelled at me for leaving my cart at the end of the aisle!" I then ask "Wow, they really screamed at you?" And their response is usually something like "No, but they told me not to do it and I could tell they were upset."

I have to wonder if these people were really yelling at the cat, as it seems very unusual to have two separate people scream at a cat for sniffing.

And I must say that I am also surprised at the posters who say that their cats are allowed to walk on the counters. Given that cats step in the litter box, if I saw that a friend allowed her cats on the countertops, I would never eat any food offered by that friend again.

Thanks Sharnita and menley for wording this better than I.

Growing up we always had indoor cats and dogs, but the cats were never allowed on the table or counters.

If a cat jumped on either one in front of me I might speak sharper than intended out of surprise. It wouldn't be malicious.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: citadelle on January 04, 2014, 12:51:26 PM
I think that a lot of people do see animals on a dining/food prep surface as directly affecting them.

But that doesn't give them the right to yell at the animals.

Perhaps not yelling, no. But I've noticed often that anytime some of my friends are relating a story about someone telling them something negative about themselves, they refer to that person as "yelling at them". For example "I was at the store and someone yelled at me for leaving my cart at the end of the aisle!" I then ask "Wow, they really screamed at you?" And their response is usually something like "No, but they told me not to do it and I could tell they were upset."

I have to wonder if these people were really yelling at the cat, as it seems very unusual to have two separate people scream at a cat for sniffing.

And I must say that I am also surprised at the posters who say that their cats are allowed to walk on the counters. Given that cats step in the litter box, if I saw that a friend allowed her cats on the countertops, I would never eat any food offered by that friend again.

Thanks Sharnita and menley for wording this better than I.

Growing up we always had indoor cats and dogs, but the cats were never allowed on the table or counters.

If a cat jumped on either one in front of me I might speak sharper than intended out of surprise. It wouldn't be malicious.

I think it is also unusual that both of these different people on different days used the expression, "Don't you dare!" Or maybe that is just how the OP remembers it.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: sevenday on January 04, 2014, 01:36:59 PM
I'm with the others - "Don't yell at her, it's not necessary."  If you feel the need and trust them (you say you've been friends for 20 years) you can say "Let me handle it - but if I'm not in the room, just clap to get her attention and then say 'no' and that should do it. Don't worry, she's a good kitty."

I had a relative try to discipline my service dog once.  He was on leash at a family gathering (at my parents' house, semi-outdoors - garage with doors open) and wandered a bit away from me to check out someone sitting nearby.  Everyone was holding food, but the point of interest at the moment was not the food, but the person - he was sniffing their shoes if I recall.  Someone else behind us suddenly reached down and grabbed the leash and gave a hard jerk toward me, which made him let out a short yelp as he was forcibly dragged back.  Everyone in earshot turned to us, and I whipped around to look at my uncle.  "Don't DO that," I snapped, then reached down to check on my dog, who was now crowding against my leg in confusion and fear.  The uncle in question spent the rest of the day sulking in a corner because everyone kept giving him the evil eye.   Was what I said rude? Yes, but so was what HE did!  Another time I was at a friend's house, and her boyfriend used his arm to scrape her cat off the back of a chair without warning.  The friend didn't see, but I did.  I asked her later if the cat was allowed on the chairs and she said yes.  I told her what I saw, and she was initially just a bit... "OK" about it.  A couple weeks later she told me that my 'tattling' had made her tune in more and pay attention to how he treated her cat, and she did dump him shortly thereafter.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: EllenS on January 04, 2014, 01:47:13 PM
I do have an incident with a cat to confess on myself.

When I was in high school, my best friend had 2 cats.  One was both affectionate and unpredictable.  I had never had pets, and my friend seemed unable to decipher her cat's behavior.

One evening while we were watching a movie, the cat came along the back of the sofa and started sniffing/purring and nuzzling my hair, which I thought was really cute.  Then without warning, she sank her fangs into the back of my head. (drew blood)

I confess, I knocked the cat quite a few feet across the room.  I am glad to say the cat was much less hurt than I was.  I still have no idea why she did that, but I did not let that cat get near me again.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Katana_Geldar on January 04, 2014, 02:30:41 PM
First time my Dad came over he put a bag on the couch for ten seconds and one of our cats (who loves bags and boxes of all kinds) came over to investigate. He yelled at the cat and scared her, which shocked both me and DH. DH said he would have a big problem with my Dad if that happened again, fortunately it hasn't even though the same circumstances happened again. He put a bag on the couch, she sniffed it and peeped inside, then he moved the bag.

I would never discipline someone else's pet, it's not going to make much sense to them coming from me anyway.

And about counters, when I first moved in DH let the cats on the table. I asked him if this could stop and it's been that way since. They still do it from time to time though and we have to remind them.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: EllenS on January 04, 2014, 02:35:00 PM
First time my Dad came over he put a bag on the couch for ten seconds and one of our cats (who loves bags and boxes of all kinds) came over to investigate. He yelled at the cat and scared her, which shocked both me and DH. DH said he would have a big problem with my Dad if that happened again, fortunately it hasn't even though the same circumstances happened again. He put a bag on the couch, she sniffed it and peeped inside, then he moved the bag.

I would never discipline someone else's pet, it's not going to make much sense to them coming from me anyway.

And about counters, when I first moved in DH let the cats on the table. I asked him if this could stop and it's been that way since. They still do it from time to time though and we have to remind them.

As far as cats on the counters, I assume if someone has cats, their feet have been on every surface in the house. (including inside the cabinets and in the pots & pans-seen it too often)  I make my decisions about whether to accept food in that house, from how frequently and thoroughly the person cleans, rather than their statements or beliefs about whether the cats are "allowed" on the counters.

In my experience, "cat is not allowed" means "cat has learned to only do this when I'm not looking".
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Amanita on January 04, 2014, 02:39:43 PM
I have gotten after a friend's cat on a couple of occasions- she likes to sharpen her claws on furniture and carpet. She's a few years old, my friend adopted her from the SPCA, so she probably picked up the habit from her previous living situation.  Now, my friend is trying to break her of the habit. So when I was visiting one day, he was at the other end of the apartment, while Miss Pussycat was in the living room with me. She got up, stretched, and proceeded to use the arm of the couch as a handy claw sharpener, with me sitting right there. So I said "Cat, Stop That!" just loud enough to get her attention. She quit digging the couch. When my friend came back into the room, I told him what had happened. Likewise on another visit when she started digging the carpet- my friend was elsewhere and I was right there. I knew she wasn't allowed to do that, so I discouraged her. My friend wasn't mad at me- I didn't scream at or hit her, just a firm "Stop that!", done when she's doing something I knew wasn't allowed, and he wasn't right there to deal with it.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: immadz on January 04, 2014, 03:21:58 PM
Good ideas from other posters already. I think dealing with it at the time with "please don't yell at my cat" or some variation that sounds normal to you is good.

One of my friends tapped my cat on the nose once. She climbed up onto the back of the couch and was sniffing his head. I didn't know he didn't like cats. I thought it was cute that she was trying to smooch him. Anyway he kept shaking his hand in front of her which made her try and play so she grabbed his hand with her paws. He tapped her on the nose and said "No!"

I was horrified. I said "don't hit her" and I got up, grabbed kitty, gave her a cuddle and put her on the couch next to me. He left after that and has not been back.

 I love cats. I have been owned by a cat and I have tapped her on the nose to get her to stop doing something. To be honest, I kind of feel sorry for your friend. Your cat was in what can be defined a his personal space. His hair, his hands. I would say the same thing if your baby was walking over your friend and they told the child not to. It might have been better for your friend to ask you to get your cat away from his hair. But I don't think what he did was necessarily all that egregious.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: cross_patch on January 04, 2014, 04:04:11 PM
I really think it's pretty much like "do you discipline someone else's child?"

In certain situations, non-pet-owners (and non-parents) are OK to step in. Life-and-limb situations (in which case, you don't so much yell, etc., as intervene--call the puppy/child away, pick up the animal/child and move them out of danger, etc.).

And of course, situations in which you've expressly been *delegated* the task of disciplining (you were taught the code words, or have been asked to be responsible).

Others, you either just shut up and butt out, or you say things like, "Kitty/Child, are you allowed on that table?" loud enough so Mom can hear.

And isn't it funny, OP, that the mere sniffing set both these people off? That they can't fathom that sniffing may be all the cat is intending to do, and you could probably wait and see, but they have to react RIGHT NOW? And they have to make a BIG DEAL out of it, instead of simply saying at a conversational tone, "no, kitty--don't you get on that table!" (But when the owner --or parent-- is right there, especially if it's not your table, I think it's off to issue an order directly to the pet or child. That's taking over their role.)

And I'm so intrigued by your choice of words--you described them both as "screaming." How much of your description is hyperbole, and how much is strictly accurate?

As for how to handle it, I think you might consider "channeling your inner daycare worker." Because you mentioned that when you thought about responding, you kept mentally wanting to yell back at them. To me that's a sign that your own emotions are deeply involved. And I think of the *best* daycare workers as being quite clinical about misbehavior. They don't get mad at kids in their care, because, well, that's just what kids are, so you correct them as calmly as possible simply because it is effective.
    So if you were a -good- daycare worker, and a 3yo in your care yelled at a pet, how would you respond? You'd teach, right? And you calmly lay down rules.

So you say, "We don't yell at the kitty--it doesn't do any good, because he doesn't speak English, and he doesn't think you're talking to him, but it upsets the people who also hear it. We don't interfere with the kitty until *after* he has actually jumped on the table, because otherwise it just confuses him. Expressing an interest in the bags on the table is not a problem. And since we wash the table before every meal, we really don't get that upset about the occasional foot on the table."

Or, you say, "Please leave all the yelling at and disciplining of the cat to me. If you think I need to be alerted to what the cat is doing, just say something quietly to me."

This just seems like a very patronising response. I don't think everything is a 'teaching moment', particularly for adults. Wouldn't it be more straightforward to say please don't shout at the cat?
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: PastryGoddess on January 04, 2014, 04:54:25 PM
I think it's bizzare.  I mean my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.  I can't even imagine that they would listen to a strange person yelling at them. 

Really? I've never had a cat that listened to anybody. Especially anybody yelling.

Oh, I've been successful now and then in shooing them off from some place by clapping at them right next to them. But simple yelling? None of my cats have ever paid the slightest bit of attention. Oh, sometimes they might cringe a little bit, but it's *only* for show. It never stops them doing anything.

My cats understand and react to the word no, mostly because we don't use it very often.  They also understand that there are certain place in the house they can't go (when we're not looking of course).  The also know their names, although they pick and choose when they want to acknowledge us. 

I don't yell at my cats unless they are getting into a hissy fight.  Other than that, we simply give negative commands in a sharp tone of voice.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Mel the Redcap on January 04, 2014, 05:13:00 PM
I think it's bizzare.  I mean my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.  I can't even imagine that they would listen to a strange person yelling at them. 

Really? I've never had a cat that listened to anybody. Especially anybody yelling.

Oh, I've been successful now and then in shooing them off from some place by clapping at them right next to them. But simple yelling? None of my cats have ever paid the slightest bit of attention. Oh, sometimes they might cringe a little bit, but it's *only* for show. It never stops them doing anything.

I've always had cats that do listen... to certain people, and certain tones. It needs to be someone they seem to think of as the 'boss' or 'parent', and it needs to be the tone that means "Stop That Right Now Or There Will Be Trouble". (And if they don't stop, the trouble needs to arrive!)

Right at the moment we've got Holly and April. Holly comes when she's called (with reasonable consistency); April won't, but both will get down off surfaces or stop scratching something if we raise our voices with a particular deep emphasis. There's another tone of voice that means "I See What You're Thinking Of Doing There" which will get them to turn around and go "Me? No, I wasn't about to jump up on the fish tank, I was just... looking at it! While wiggling my rear! Honest!", but doesn't have the same immediate "argh I'm in trouble" impact. I don't know if we've just always picked odd cats, or have lucked into the right tone of voice etc and kept using it. ;)

I'm fairly sure the "Stop That Right Now" tone of voice would upset a lot of people if I used it to their pets, in their home... but I wouldn't, unless it was something like seeing a cat about to launch itself onto a hot stovetop. :P
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Possum on January 04, 2014, 05:50:41 PM
(you didn't ask, but if you do want to train your guy off the counters- get him a high place where he is allowed to be (a cat tree or table that he is allowed to be on) and then try a boobytrap on the counters where you don't want him.  Empty soda cans with pennies in them on top of a sheet of tinfoil works great.  When they jump up, they disturb the foil and send the popcans flying.  It is loud but won't hurt them if it lands on them.  Works best if they are jumping up, less if they are able to step up from a stool or chair.)
I tried this once.  Didn't work too long.  It's not the method, it was my cat.  She was... Headstrong.  And crafty.  I tried cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and tinfoil, nothing worked for too long (though the pepper was the best and least wasteful), eventually she'd be back up there.

Of course, she did stay off the counter for a few weeks after the unfortunate flypaper incident.  Heh.  (It was totally her own doing.)
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Roe on January 04, 2014, 06:43:24 PM
Like Toots, I also equate this with correcting someone else's child.  Unless the pet and/or child are in danger, you stay out of it.

I wouldn't like someone correcting my dogs or my children.  Stay out of it or go home!
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Figgie on January 04, 2014, 07:20:23 PM
I just finished reading this thread and had to laugh.  :)  I just had to scruff one of the cats and give her a gentle shake because not even the dreaded squirt bottle kept her from appointing herself guardian of the food and water dishes and preventing all of the other cats from eating or drinking. 

I needed to remind her that the biggest cat here is me and treating her like a Momma cat treats a kitten is one of the ways that our vet recommended dealing with that kind of behavior.  It appears to have worked, as she is now in my lap purring away and her whole attitude is "what food and water dishes are you talking about?"  :)

I don't need other people to yell at our cats.  I can do that if it is needed. 

I don't allow them on counters or tables. I keep a 20 page booklet (the perfect size) where I can skim it along the counter/table at the cat so that they jump off.  I've never managed to actually connect the booklet with the cat, but it seems to startle them enough that they hop right down.  I prefer that to water because I have to wipe up any water whereas I just have to collect the booklet and put it back where it lives near the hallway to the kitchen.

My spouse says I should own stock in bleach wipes.  :)  I work under the assumption that when we are gone, the cats are performing all acts of A Midsummer Nights Dream on every counter and table top. 

Since I know where those paws have been, everything is wiped down before any food prep and I wipe them every morning and multiple times during the day.

I've never had anyone yell at any of the cats, but I have heard plaintive requests to remove the extroverted ones from non-cat lovers laps.  I just put them in the bedroom, as it isn't a relaxing visit for anyone if I have to keep removing a clinging cat from someone who doesn't like cats.  :)
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Shea on January 04, 2014, 07:38:24 PM
I think it's bizzare.  I mean my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.  I can't even imagine that they would listen to a strange person yelling at them. 

Really? I've never had a cat that listened to anybody. Especially anybody yelling.

Oh, I've been successful now and then in shooing them off from some place by clapping at them right next to them. But simple yelling? None of my cats have ever paid the slightest bit of attention. Oh, sometimes they might cringe a little bit, but it's *only* for show. It never stops them doing anything.

I've never met PastryGoddess's cat, but mine listens to me and BF. She's allowed anywhere but on the dining table and kitchen counters (and she knows it), but she'll sometimes hop up there anyway. All it takes is one of us telling her "No!" or "Off!" in slightly raised voices, and she jumps off. I know that's unusual for cats though :).
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: TootsNYC on January 04, 2014, 07:58:53 PM
I just had to scruff one of the cats and give her a gentle shake because not even the dreaded squirt bottle kept her from appointing herself guardian of the food and water dishes and preventing all of the other cats from eating or drinking. 

I needed to remind her that the biggest cat here is me and treating her like a Momma cat treats a kitten is one of the ways that our vet recommended dealing with that kind of behavior.  It appears to have worked, as she is now in my lap purring away and her whole attitude is "what food and water dishes are you talking about?"  :)

This reminds me--when it was the vet assistant who "disciplined" my cat, badly.

My last cat really reacted badly to being "scruffed"--I always said she had a bad case of you're NOT my mother's. She'd flat-out launch an attack at you if you tried that.

I took her to the vet, and she was snarling, etc. The vet thought he could hold her down, w/ a towel, etc., and was trying to figure out how to wrap her, or whatever. The vet assistant came in, got a disgusted "you people don't know what you're doing" look on her face, and advanced on my cat with her arm out.

I started to say, as fast as I could, "DON'T grab her by the scruff of..." I think I got as far as "grab," and she'd latched onto the scruff of my kitty's neck.

Seven-five gouge wounds later, the vet finally agreed with my very initial suggestion of sedating her.

So yeah, in my experience, what works with one cat may well backfire with another. That's another reason not to try to discipline someone's pet.

Maybe my cats have never really listened to me because I've always assumed they wouldn't, and therefore didn't end up finding anything that worked, because I didn't really try.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: cass2591 on January 04, 2014, 08:51:35 PM
Years ago I screamed at a Chicago PO not to shoot my cat.

He was in my apartment asking me about a burglary in the building, which I knew nothing about, but my cat came from right behind him and jumped on something noisy that startled the cop. Before I could say anything he whirled around while instinctively putting his hand on his gun, but obviously didn't draw it. It was rather amusing, though probably more for me than him. the d

Other than that I figure the cat/dog won't be psychologically traumatized if someone else scolds it. Hurt it and we'll have issues, but that's never happened.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 04, 2014, 08:57:54 PM
Verbal warnings to me about my animal? No problem.
Shouting, when the animal is not in danger? Problem.
Touching one of my animals in a bad way? The person would be leaving and would not return.

Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MOM21SON on January 04, 2014, 10:11:28 PM
Yes, they screamed at my cat.  It is possible that I considered it screaming because my house is normally quiet.  We all speak at a normal level.  It is also possible that I was sensitive to it with my neighbor because it had just happened a few days prior.

The people I am speaking of are "dog people".  I certainly don't scream, yell, or talk loudly at their dogs to stop barking or to stop jumping on me.  To them, their dogs are just greeting me.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: wheeitsme on January 04, 2014, 10:24:43 PM
I am a "dog person".  I would never scream/yell at an animal that wasn't endangering itself.  Not being a dog/cat/whatever person is not a good excuse.

In the situations you are describing, I would probably stare at the person for a second and then go over to my pet and give it some comfort touches and say (very clearly),  "It's okay sweetie, you are being a very good dog/cat/whatever".  And then go on like nothing happened.  If it happened again, then I would do the same thing but add "I would appreciate it if you didn't yell at my pet".
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MOM21SON on January 04, 2014, 10:47:15 PM
I am a "dog person".  I would never scream/yell at an animal that wasn't endangering itself.  Not being a dog/cat/whatever person is not a good excuse.

In the situations you are describing, I would probably stare at the person for a second and then go over to my pet and give it some comfort touches and say (very clearly),  "It's okay sweetie, you are being a very good dog/cat/whatever".  And then go on like nothing happened.  If it happened again, then I would do the same thing but add "I would appreciate it if you didn't yell at my pet".

I mentioned that they are "dog people" because it might be helpful to some people responding to my post.  None of these friends that I am referring to would ever consider a cat for their pet. 
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: wheeitsme on January 04, 2014, 10:55:28 PM
I am a "dog person".  I would never scream/yell at an animal that wasn't endangering itself.  Not being a dog/cat/whatever person is not a good excuse.

In the situations you are describing, I would probably stare at the person for a second and then go over to my pet and give it some comfort touches and say (very clearly),  "It's okay sweetie, you are being a very good dog/cat/whatever".  And then go on like nothing happened.  If it happened again, then I would do the same thing but add "I would appreciate it if you didn't yell at my pet".

I mentioned that they are "dog people" because it might be helpful to some people responding to my post.  None of these friends that I am referring to would ever consider a cat for their pet.

Oh, I didn't take that badly, I just wanted to point out that "Dog people" isn't a good excuse.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MOM21SON on January 04, 2014, 10:58:14 PM
I am a "dog person".  I would never scream/yell at an animal that wasn't endangering itself.  Not being a dog/cat/whatever person is not a good excuse.

In the situations you are describing, I would probably stare at the person for a second and then go over to my pet and give it some comfort touches and say (very clearly),  "It's okay sweetie, you are being a very good dog/cat/whatever".  And then go on like nothing happened.  If it happened again, then I would do the same thing but add "I would appreciate it if you didn't yell at my pet".

I mentioned that they are "dog people" because it might be helpful to some people responding to my post.  None of these friends that I am referring to would ever consider a cat for their pet.

Oh, I didn't take that badly, I just wanted to point out that "Dog people" isn't a good excuse.

Thank you.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Margo on January 06, 2014, 04:09:31 AM
Like Toots, I also equate this with correcting someone else's child.  Unless the pet and/or child are in danger, you stay out of it.

I wouldn't like someone correcting my dogs or my children.  Stay out of it or go home!

I agree with this, except in a situation where the pet or child is bothering the guest - e.g. if a dog is jumping up on a guest / child is hitting them with a toy / cat is trying to walk on them   and the owner doesn't step in to stop that or check that the guest is OK with it, then it is not unreasonable for the guest to take steps of their own. Of course yelling or hitting isn't appropriate, but if the guest is not familiar with the pet/child they may speak more forcefully than is necessary.

I don't currently have a cat, but when I did, I assumed that as his owner I was responsible for him, and that included checking whether guests were OK with him, and either letting them know how to respond if he came closer then they were comfortable with, or shutting him put of the room, as appropriate.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Arila on January 06, 2014, 10:53:55 AM
Actually, you did exactly what I would have done -- you picked him up and took him to another/safe room. Strangers (And sometimes owners) shouting at (my) cats doesn't faze them at all, so I don't think he was harmed by the initial incident, and by removing him to a place where they are just as happy solves the issue for all involved.

A friend of mine has explained that the cat is not allowed on counters or tables, so I have participated in alerting/shooing the cat, so I guess I see the temptation for your guests.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Lady Godiva on January 06, 2014, 12:31:21 PM
Not exactly a guest disciplining my cat, but maybe the guest was schooled by the cat?

A fellow once came to pick me up for a date and spent way too much berating me for having a cat (according to him, they're dirty, smelly, treacherous and dangerous.) He told me I'd have to get rid of my cat if I wanted to spend time with His Wonderfulness. He'd dropped his jacket on the couch, and Scarlett O'Hara, my calico Maine Coon cat, deliberately walked over and scratched over the jacket as if covering something in the litterbox. He had no idea how clearly and completely he'd been insulted in Feline. Scarlett was absolutely right about him, and that was our first and last date!
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: wolfie on January 06, 2014, 12:48:24 PM
We have a cat, a very curious cat.  He is a rescue and we love him.  We adopted him a year ago this month and he was estimated to be about 4 weeks old.  He now is a large cat, about 10lbs.

My 17 pounders disagree and say your cat is normal size! :-)

I have never had my cats be yelled at by anyone but me. And that is when a fight breaks out. They are pretty good at knowing what they are allowed to do and what I will tolerate and sticking to it. I wouldn't like it if someone else yelled at them - besides that fact that it would make no difference. I remember berating Loki for doing something and having her turn around and look behind her. It was so obvious she was trying to say "what other Loki? Cause it couldn't have been me"
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MindsEye on January 06, 2014, 01:15:06 PM
Like Toots, I also equate this with correcting someone else's child.  Unless the pet and/or child are in danger, you stay out of it.

I wouldn't like someone correcting my dogs or my children.  Stay out of it or go home!

I agree with this, except in a situation where the pet or child is bothering the guest - e.g. if a dog is jumping up on a guest / child is hitting them with a toy / cat is trying to walk on them   and the owner doesn't step in to stop that or check that the guest is OK with it, then it is not unreasonable for the guest to take steps of their own. Of course yelling or hitting isn't appropriate, but if the guest is not familiar with the pet/child they may speak more forcefully than is necessary.

I think this is still unreasonable.

See, I am having trouble wrapping my head around a situation where a hypothetical guest is being made uncomfortable by a cat climbing on the couch next to them (and possibly wanting to play or curl up in their lap) and that guest doesn't just get up and walk away.

Standing your ground and forcing a confrontation is a better option then removing yourself from the situation?   ???

I don't get it. 
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: esposita on January 06, 2014, 01:22:06 PM
Like Toots, I also equate this with correcting someone else's child.  Unless the pet and/or child are in danger, you stay out of it.

I wouldn't like someone correcting my dogs or my children.  Stay out of it or go home!

I agree with this, except in a situation where the pet or child is bothering the guest - e.g. if a dog is jumping up on a guest / child is hitting them with a toy / cat is trying to walk on them   and the owner doesn't step in to stop that or check that the guest is OK with it, then it is not unreasonable for the guest to take steps of their own. Of course yelling or hitting isn't appropriate, but if the guest is not familiar with the pet/child they may speak more forcefully than is necessary.

I think this is still unreasonable.

See, I am having trouble wrapping my head around a situation where a hypothetical guest is being made uncomfortable by a cat climbing on the couch next to them (and possibly wanting to play or curl up in their lap) and that guest doesn't just get up and walk away.

Standing your ground and forcing a confrontation is a better option then removing yourself from the situation?   ???

I don't get it.

My experience is limited, but I have never met a cat that wanted to play or cuddle who wouldn't also continue to follow me if I got up. In fact they usually escalate it by reaching for me with a paw which ends up freaking me out a bit more, because claws.
I probably wouldn't even try to physically bop the cat or remove it from myself, I'd just keep still and call my host to help.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: fountainof on January 06, 2014, 01:45:04 PM
I think it is inappropriate to discipline someone else's pet if the issue doesn't directly involve you (like the counters/bag stuff mentioned).  That said I think you can both discipline pets and kids when what they are doing affects you.  For example, if a child pulled my hair I would tell him or her no and if he/she wasn't letting go I would remove his/her hand myself.  I probably wouldn't smack the hand unless what was being done was extremely painful and the child would not release the grip.  Same for pets, would say no and gently push the pet off what is being done.  It is was high, like the back of my chair I would lift the pet to the ground.  However, if a pet bit me hard I would knock it off me, probably the same would happen with a child as instinctively you push something away.

Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 06, 2014, 02:19:03 PM
Like Toots, I also equate this with correcting someone else's child.  Unless the pet and/or child are in danger, you stay out of it.

I wouldn't like someone correcting my dogs or my children.  Stay out of it or go home!

I agree with this, except in a situation where the pet or child is bothering the guest - e.g. if a dog is jumping up on a guest / child is hitting them with a toy / cat is trying to walk on them   and the owner doesn't step in to stop that or check that the guest is OK with it, then it is not unreasonable for the guest to take steps of their own. Of course yelling or hitting isn't appropriate, but if the guest is not familiar with the pet/child they may speak more forcefully than is necessary.

I think this is still unreasonable.

See, I am having trouble wrapping my head around a situation where a hypothetical guest is being made uncomfortable by a cat climbing on the couch next to them (and possibly wanting to play or curl up in their lap) and that guest doesn't just get up and walk away.

Standing your ground and forcing a confrontation is a better option then removing yourself from the situation?   ???

I don't get it.

I'm a cat person and have two overly friendly cats. I would not expect my guests sitting on the sofa having a conversation to get up and move because my cats decided they wanted attention right then. Just like I wouldn't allow a child to interrupt a conversation because the child was demanding attention RIGHT NOW!. A guest in my house is free to push my pushy cats off their laps and then I'll get up and redirect the cats attention somewhere else or move it to a different room.

One of our cats prefers climbing onto your chest and tries to put her face right by your nose. Cat lovers find it charming at first but after a little while even they get tired of breathing in 4 inch pieces of fuzzy hair.

And my cats will respond to a sharp no. They may not mind it all the time or wait till my back is turned to try again, but they do understand the word or at least the inflection of your voice.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: msulinski on January 06, 2014, 02:30:42 PM
Good ideas from other posters already. I think dealing with it at the time with "please don't yell at my cat" or some variation that sounds normal to you is good.

One of my friends tapped my cat on the nose once. She climbed up onto the back of the couch and was sniffing his head. I didn't know he didn't like cats. I thought it was cute that she was trying to smooch him. Anyway he kept shaking his hand in front of her which made her try and play so she grabbed his hand with her paws. He tapped her on the nose and said "No!"

I was horrified. I said "don't hit her" and I got up, grabbed kitty, gave her a cuddle and put her on the couch next to me. He left after that and has not been back.

 I love cats. I have been owned by a cat and I have tapped her on the nose to get her to stop doing something. To be honest, I kind of feel sorry for your friend. Your cat was in what can be defined a his personal space. His hair, his hands. I would say the same thing if your baby was walking over your friend and they told the child not to. It might have been better for your friend to ask you to get your cat away from his hair. But I don't think what he did was necessarily all that egregious.

I don't find this all that bad either. If the person is unfamiliar with cats in general or even just with your cat, that person probably thought the cat was attacking him when she grabbed his hand in her paws. You probably should have intervened before it got to this point.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Mel the Redcap on January 06, 2014, 06:35:43 PM
Not exactly a guest disciplining my cat, but maybe the guest was schooled by the cat?

A fellow once came to pick me up for a date and spent way too much berating me for having a cat (according to him, they're dirty, smelly, treacherous and dangerous.) He told me I'd have to get rid of my cat if I wanted to spend time with His Wonderfulness. He'd dropped his jacket on the couch, and Scarlett O'Hara, my calico Maine Coon cat, deliberately walked over and scratched over the jacket as if covering something in the litterbox. He had no idea how clearly and completely he'd been insulted in Feline. Scarlett was absolutely right about him, and that was our first and last date!

There wouldn't have been a first date if someone said that to me! :o
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: jaybee21nz on January 06, 2014, 06:54:00 PM
b] my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.[/b] 

Wow!  What magic do you have?
 :)
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: PastryGoddess on January 06, 2014, 07:26:27 PM
b] my cats listen to the people in this household because they know us.[/b] 

Wow!  What magic do you have?
 :)

Negative reinforcement in the moment helps.  We don't speak to them harshly very often and give them lots of love.  So when we are "mean" it seems to sink in. Spray bottles are also good for the initial training.  Once they learned where they weren't supposed to go, it only takes a look or a sharp no for them to veer away and start to wash their butt :)


Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MeowMixer on January 07, 2014, 09:08:09 AM
Good ideas from other posters already. I think dealing with it at the time with "please don't yell at my cat" or some variation that sounds normal to you is good.

One of my friends tapped my cat on the nose once. She climbed up onto the back of the couch and was sniffing his head. I didn't know he didn't like cats. I thought it was cute that she was trying to smooch him. Anyway he kept shaking his hand in front of her which made her try and play so she grabbed his hand with her paws. He tapped her on the nose and said "No!"

I was horrified. I said "don't hit her" and I got up, grabbed kitty, gave her a cuddle and put her on the couch next to me. He left after that and has not been back.

 I love cats. I have been owned by a cat and I have tapped her on the nose to get her to stop doing something. To be honest, I kind of feel sorry for your friend. Your cat was in what can be defined a his personal space. His hair, his hands. I would say the same thing if your baby was walking over your friend and they told the child not to. It might have been better for your friend to ask you to get your cat away from his hair. But I don't think what he did was necessarily all that egregious.

I don't find this all that bad either. If the person is unfamiliar with cats in general or even just with your cat, that person probably thought the cat was attacking him when she grabbed his hand in her paws. You probably should have intervened before it got to this point.

I'm a cat person, owned at least one most of my life. The only reason I don't have one now is my hubby's allergic (and since that's hubby's only real flaw I guess I'll keep him).
That said there are some cats that scare me. My bff's cat 'owns' everything he sees. He's gotten better with age but back a few years ago if I came over no matter where I would sit he would jump on me, or beside me and get really in my face. The only place I was 'safe' was if I just stood in the middle of the room. Because I am a cat person I would pet him a couple of times, but no more than that because your hands are 'play things'. What I have learned from him (and other orange cats, I don't know why it is but I have had very non-positive interactions with orange cats) is that when they 'grab' onto your hand with their paws a good bite or at the very least claw marks are just around the corner. If your friend isn't a cat person to begin with he may have read it as 'I'm being attacked'. I feel kind of sorry for him. The shooing didn't work, feels attacked, retaliates by doing something physical. A former friend of mine's mom had to be hospitalized for three days after being bitten by a cat, so I can understand not wanting to be bitten by a cat.

As for the tap on the nose, I don't know. I could see how it's just an automatic reaction to being grabbed. I will bop my dog on the nose with my finger tips when he noses my food. It's not a pain thing, it's a grab his attention thing. He's not a smart dog. My other dog all you need to say is 'leave it' and she won't go near it. The mastiff on the other hand? I *know* he's not deaf, but the elevator does not service the top floors and if you don't distract him with a nose tap you'll end up with a drool sauce. *that* is the tap I have in my head. If it was a smack to cause pain then yes, I would be upset with that.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MindsEye on January 07, 2014, 09:25:48 AM
This is all probably going to end up being a YMMV situation, with the particulars depending entirely on the host (and how they prefer that their guests interact with their pets) and the pets themselves.

For DH and I and our cats... both of our cats are rescues, and the younger one (who we have had for less then a year) came from an abusive situation.  We have been working very hard with her to re-socialize her and get her to trust people again.  Anyone who comes to our house knows that they may not displace them from areas they are allowed (e.g. the sofa and the easy chairs) and they may not raise their voices or their hands to our cats (not even a "tap" on the nose).  If they don't want to be near a cat, get up and move.  If the cat in question is sitting on them, gently lift the cat to the floor or stand slowly.  Or call to DH or myself to assist you.  Any disregarding of our rules regarding our cats will get the guest in question an escort out the door, because disregarding our rules could undo all of the progress that we have made with our little girl so far. 

Edited to add:  Because of the background of our cats and what we know they went through before we adopted them, DH and I have very very strong feelings about anyone but us disciplining our cats, and I realize that this is definitely a hot button issue for us.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: EllenS on January 07, 2014, 10:19:20 AM
This is all probably going to end up being a YMMV situation, with the particulars depending entirely on the host (and how they prefer that their guests interact with their pets) and the pets themselves.

For DH and I and our cats... both of our cats are rescues, and the younger one (who we have had for less then a year) came from an abusive situation.  We have been working very hard with her to re-socialize her and get her to trust people again.  Anyone who comes to our house knows that they may not displace them from areas they are allowed (e.g. the sofa and the easy chairs) and they may not raise their voices or their hands to our cats (not even a "tap" on the nose).  If they don't want to be near a cat, get up and move.  If the cat in question is sitting on them, gently lift the cat to the floor or stand slowly.  Or call to DH or myself to assist you.  Any disregarding of our rules regarding our cats will get the guest in question an escort out the door, because disregarding our rules could undo all of the progress that we have made with our little girl so far. 

Edited to add:  Because of the background of our cats and what we know they went through before we adopted them, DH and I have very very strong feelings about anyone but us disciplining our cats, and I realize that this is definitely a hot button issue for us.

I think it's a really important part of your situation, that you discuss this with guests BEFORE they come over.  That makes all the difference.  Guests already know how your cats react and have specific tools. There was no indication in aussie-chick's post that she had specific parameters for what she expected guests to do in case of conflict or perceived conflict with the cat.

I don't think what a_c's guest did was unreasonable as the circumstances were described.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: m2kbug on January 07, 2014, 11:17:57 AM
I'm kind of wondering if these guests were (now) aware that you shoo the cat from the counter or table and were "helping" because you were distracted. 

I wouldn't normally scold another's pet like that unless they were getting into open food on the table or counter.  The best story I ever heard was watching a full turkey make its way out the doggy door via Pug.  They ordered pizza.  There are other situations where I will discipline an animal, like if they're jumping on me, getting into my plate, danger situations, but as a whole, I really just leave it alone or mention something to the owner - "Is it okay if he does that?" 

Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 07, 2014, 11:28:00 AM
I'm kind of wondering if these guests were (now) aware that you shoo the cat from the counter or table and were "helping" because you were distracted. 

I wouldn't normally scold another's pet like that unless they were getting into open food on the table or counter.  The best story I ever heard was watching a full turkey make its way out the doggy door via Pug.  They ordered pizza.  There are other situations where I will discipline an animal, like if they're jumping on me, getting into my plate, danger situations, but as a whole, I really just leave it alone or mention something to the owner - "Is it okay if he does that?"

Pretty much my choice as well. Same with children, if I see a young child digging in mommy's purse and mommy doesn't notice, then I will mention it to them. I will only scream or yell if someone is in grave danger.

I have noticed many people take it upon themselves to scold other people's pets and children for non-emergencies. I'm not sure where that comes from.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: cb140 on January 07, 2014, 12:37:02 PM
This is all probably going to end up being a YMMV situation, with the particulars depending entirely on the host (and how they prefer that their guests interact with their pets) and the pets themselves.

For DH and I and our cats... both of our cats are rescues, and the younger one (who we have had for less then a year) came from an abusive situation.  We have been working very hard with her to re-socialize her and get her to trust people again.  Anyone who comes to our house knows that they may not displace them from areas they are allowed (e.g. the sofa and the easy chairs) and they may not raise their voices or their hands to our cats (not even a "tap" on the nose).  If they don't want to be near a cat, get up and move.  If the cat in question is sitting on them, gently lift the cat to the floor or stand slowly.  Or call to DH or myself to assist you.  Any disregarding of our rules regarding our cats will get the guest in question an escort out the door, because disregarding our rules could undo all of the progress that we have made with our little girl so far. 

Edited to add:  Because of the background of our cats and what we know they went through before we adopted them, DH and I have very very strong feelings about anyone but us disciplining our cats, and I realize that this is definitely a hot button issue for us.

I think this really explains why you feel so strongly, and I quite understand. Before this, I was thinking that you were being a little over protective, and that no cat ever came to harm from being tapped on the nose. But a cat recovering from an abusive situation - quite different. I think you probably should explain this to your guests in advance though. I still don't think tapping a cat on the nose for, eg, it grabbing your hand with its paws is outlandish behaviour. Your poor little kitty - I hope she continues to make a good recovery.

Our beautiful Russian Blue has been pampered all of her eleven years, and she can still be a madam at times, specializing in the swift bite when she decides she's had enough cuddling, even though SHE requested the cuddle in the first place. Our warning to visitors is always just to stick to her head, chin and ears which she adores.  We warn that she might bite if they take a risk with petting her body. If a guest were to get bitten, to be honest I'd quite excuse a bop on the nose or throwing her on the floor. That cat can *hurt*!
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Micah on January 07, 2014, 04:43:56 PM
All three of our cats do as they're told, or rather two of them do. The kitten is getting there. I trained them roughly the same as I do my dogs (not a cat person, so just relied on years of dog training). It seems to have worked. They get 'off' when told, stop playing with things they're not allowed when told and go 'out' when told. Magic, the oldest one will swear at me profusely when ordered to do something, but he does it. Seriously, I've had guests go into fits of laughter.
Me: "Magic!"
Magic: "Mrroooowww!"
Me: "Magic! Out!"
Magic: "Mreeew, mrrrp MROOOOOOOW!" And he stalks outside, tail lashing, muttering under his breath.

Disciplining other people's dogs is a good way to potentially get bitten. You're not part of their pack and you're in their territory. A dog is perfectly within its rights to object to authority they don't recognise. If a dog jumps on me, I tend to look to the owner for direction. The owner will either tell the dog themselves, or just say, "Tell Fido to get down when he does that." Fortunately pretty well everyone I know with dogs is an experienced owner with well trained pets. I've never really had to deal with badly behaved dogs when visiting, or cats for that matter.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: MrsVandy on January 07, 2014, 07:58:42 PM
We have 3 cats. All 3 know the rules and listen, although they do mouth back  ;). We have several close friends who know the rules for our cats. If they catch them doing something they aren't supposed to be doing they will tell them not to. They don't yell at my cats, its more of a "You know your not allowed on the counters get down please." No one has ever yelled at my cats, but I'm sure it would scare me more then the cats!

I was recently at our friends house and they just got a new kitten.  I know my friends are trying to train him to not use furniture for scratching. During the movie he went for the couch, thinking no one was looking. I asked him "Kitten should you be doing that?" friend scolded her kitten. But in this case I knew the house rules and never raised my voice or physically touched the kitten, I simply made the owner aware that he was misbehaving.

I think its okay to make the owner aware that there animal is misbehaving, provided you actually know the rules and never yell or touch the animal.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: LadyStormwing on January 07, 2014, 10:00:19 PM
Wow, I think I really lucked out with my cat. He was technically your average housecat, but on the large side, weighing in at about 16lbs most of his life. He was also incredibly well-mannered. Never climbed, never jumped, and if he did start to get into trouble, all we had to do was use our "teacher" voices and he'd give us that smirking cat look and knock off whatever it was he was doing. The only time we had to isolate him was when we had large crowds over - he didn't like them. I miss that cat something fierce. He just passed in September at the ripe age of 15.

That said, I would have less-than-gently escorted anyone who raised a voice or hand to my cat out the door and to the sidewalk. Never in a million years would I even think of doing the same to anyone else's animal, with the singular exception of a large dog jumping on me. (I'm on the very petite side and can be knocked over easily, so if any medium- to large-sized dog gets too enthusiastic in his greeting and the owner doesn't immediately stop it, I have to or risk falling over.) Usually a simple but firm, "No, down." with one knee raised (not kicking or kneeing them, just blocking) is enough, and then praising them with a greeting when the dog responds is more than enough.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: lmyrs on January 08, 2014, 07:32:27 AM
For me, part of the disconnect is that once a pet has jumped on or licked a guest, it's too late. Guests should not be allowed to discipline pets or any member of the family when the behaviour is not impacting the guest. But once the family member has licked or jumped the guest, that is unacceptable behaviour. Honestly, if a cat jumps on my lap, or a dog licks me, I'm not sure what my instinctive reaction would be. But if I was escorted out for it, it would be for the brst anyway because I won't be in a home where any faily member is allowed to touch me against my will.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Sharnita on January 08, 2014, 07:36:29 AM
Also if your pet bites people your concern shouldn't be whether somebody raises their voice but whether they decide to report it to animal control.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: --- on January 09, 2014, 09:49:41 PM
There really isn't any need to discipline The Cat, he is well behaved and rarely does something he knows he's not supposed to do. The only time he really gets in trouble is when one of us is trying to make food in the kitchen and if it's something he likes, he wants it NOW! Only then will we discipline him, otherwise he's a good cat.

We don't let anyone discipline The Cat, only to let us know he's doing something wrong so we can be the ones to do it. The first and only time someone did that (smacked him on the head for jumping onto a wooden chair that was no where near a table or food), the person in question was told that they had five minutes to get their belongings, get out of the house, start their car, drive off, and don't come back -- otherwise they would be chased out by one of us with the biggest knives we can get our hands on. It wasn't the best way to go about it but it told this person loud and clear that they were not allowed back.
Title: Re: When people disipline your pets.
Post by: Hollanda on January 10, 2014, 07:30:47 AM
It isn't their place to discipline your pets. Just as it isn't your place to comment on how they keep their home.  It isn't anyone's place to walk into someone else's home and comment on pets' behaviour, children's behaviour or discipline (or lack thereof) or colour of the downstairs loo.  Sure, it's anyone's place to think these things, but to act on them and actually begin trying to exert any power or control? Absolutely rude, rude, rude.
 
Of course, where danger is concerned (esp with pets/kids, but not exclusively), things are gonna be slightly different, but as a general rule, just no.  Keep out of it.  OP mentioned she had a handle on this already, it was quite unnecessary for anyone to "jump in" and use their own means of "discipline" at all.
 
Their house, their cats, their choices on how to deal with behaviour.  End of.