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A Speeding Ticket and a Spray Bottle

I got a speeding ticket the other day. No big deal, a few miles over the limit and a small fine. But still I certainly didn’t like the experience, and I vowed not to let it happen again!

The next time I passed that spot, I noticed a recently installed camera. Surely, this was the camera that caught my speeding. Over the next few days, I noticed that other drivers on the road had noticed the camera as well because they slowed down before the camera and sped back up shortly after passing it.

Clearly, all the drivers were only modifying their behaviour only in this one circumstance. Otherwise it was business as usual.

I noticed a similar thing happening with one of my neighbours. He is not fond of the local cats coming in his yard. He uses a spray bottle to chase them away. They run away but when the man leaves the house, the cats return and roam freely about in his garden.

So, what does this have to do with my speeding ticket?

Well, the cats respond the same way to my neighbour’s spray bottle as I did to the speeding ticket: the cats modify their behaviour in response to my neighbour’s spray bottle only! Just as I slowed down only when passing the speeding camera. Our behaviour is not corrected, it’s only amended to avoid an unpleasant experience: my and the cats' behaviour modification is temporary!

Next time your cat’s naughty - maybe jumping on a workspace or climbing the curtains - take a moment to think before you grab that spray bottle. Will that work? Or will you just get your cat to avoid places when you’re around, but continue being naughty when they’re alone?

  • Feline Behavior Therapy
    My mission is to collaborate together with you, the owners, and develop together tools and strategies to: care for and living together with your feline companions peacefully, symbiotically and with optimum health.
  • Who am I

    Who am I

    My name is Jonne Kramer. Since my childhood, I have enjoyed the companionship of cats. I have four adopted cats: Fripp, Eno, Peter and Madison. I have completed a Master's degree in Biology at Amsterdam University VU.
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    My approach is distinguished by a relaxed way of working with you, looking together for solutions to manage your cat's unwanted behavior. I apply my knowledge and experience for sound solutions and personalized advice.
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    Local rehousing centers house lot of cats in my area. I support these by (re-)socializing (re) cats with severe behavioral problems. I specialize in in cats that show excessive fear or aggression, but I also support the team by recognizing health problems, and optimize living arrangements for elderly cats, and other cats with special needs.
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