This question:

What's better than a spray bottle for negative reinforcement of a cat?

Was marked a duplicate of:

How should I discipline my cat for bad behavior?

And the two questions are clearly, utterly different questions altogether.

I created the question because I found a better solution than the squirt bottle for negative reinforcement and decided to share it Q&A style - an option that's promoted by Stack Exchange.

Also, my answer was down-voted, so not only were my efforts to share the answer to a common problem shut down by the question being wrongfully called a duplicate, but were even criticized, and I would like to know if someone can tell me what I did wrong to get answer down-voted and why my question was called a duplicate.

  • Also, I notice this question was down-voted. Am I wrong for even asking about this situation in order to improve my performance on this site? – CuriousWebDeveloper Feb 26 '15 at 1:46
  • Votes on meta can be used to symbolize agreement/disagreement, so I wouldn't take it as being wrong but that someone disagreed. – Zaralynda Feb 26 '15 at 2:00

Obviously you feel they're different, but the community as a group didn't really agree with you. A question doesn't have to be an exact duplicate to get closed for it, there just has to be enough similarity to make it a reasonable case. I have to admit, I think that is very true here. The older question is about discipline, which is a negative reinforcement model, and your answer to your new question would have fit there just fine as an alternative to some of the other answers.

With respect to your answer, I can't say why the person down voted it, but it obviously means that they don't agree that it's a good option in some respect. You also have an up vote on it, so somebody else thinks it is a good option. It's how the system here works, really. It's nice when a negative vote comes with an explanation, but there's no obligation to do so. I used to get a bit more fussed about that kind of thing, but if you're around here long enough, you'll get your share of down votes. It's inevitable.

In any event, if you want to use Meta to make a case for your question, you can do so. I would suggest, however, that you probably need to explain why it is, in fact, essentially different and I think that's going to be a bit hard. That's just my $0.02.

  • As a quick aside, I can also merge your question into the other so that your answer gets to stay on a live. Up to you. – John Cavan Feb 26 '15 at 4:40
  • 1
    Also anyone with 500+ rep can vote to reopen the question, they should include a comment linking to this meta post and/or a discussion on why it should be reopened. It is not unusual for question to be reopened after it has been closed. – James Jenkins Feb 26 '15 at 11:47

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