Check Out Tips For Training Your Cat
Are you struggling with cat training? Don't worry; you're not alone!
This guide is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about cat training and needs to learn how to start.
First of all, you can’t train a cat like you train a dog. If you try to, you’ll probably cause behavioral problems later on. But you can teach them not to perform bad or aggressive habits.
Most times, the owner must change to fit in with the cat. Everyone in your house should agree with what you will allow the cat to do.
Before starting, please note that you shouldn't change the rules when you’ve decided on them, as this can cause difficulties for your pet.
What can you teach your cat?
Here are a few things to teach your cat:
- Use a litter box
- Tricks like playing dead, rolling over, jumping, ringing the doorbell, etc
- No biting
- No scratching
- Following simple commands, like sit, come, stay, jump, etc.
- Not to do something, for instance, spraying
- Stay calm for grooming
- Interacting and playing with other people or animals
- Calm traveling, using a carrier
Tips for training your cat
- Make a plan and be patient.
Cats are very independent animals! Most of the time, they appear uninterested in your commands. That is why it is better to decide what you want to teach your cat and then do it with persistence and patience.
Before you start training, think about the commands you will use and what actions you want your cat to take. If you wish to forbid something, be consistent. Don’t change your mind, and stick to the same command.
Cats have shorter attention spans than you, so keep your lessons short. The best way is to let the cat dictate the time and length of training; they like to do things on their terms, when and how they want to do them.
Be persistent and calm, cats are strong-willed and very independent, so it might take more time to teach them than you initially thought.
- Be calm and avoid showing negative or aggressive emotions and behaviors.
- If your cat trusts you, they will probably do what you want, so speak calmly.
- Your cat can tell if you are anxious, so don’t worry if things go wrong. Keep calm and start again.
- Don’t force training on your cat; only attempt it when they seem happy to do so.
- Don’t move too quickly, or the cat might misunderstand.
- When teaching a kitten, only do it for ½ hour a day and only repeat it a few times. An annoyed kitten will not learn anything.
- If you’ve caught your cat doing something wrong, give them a quick squirt of water from a plant sprayer. This will soon curb the behavior.
- Never hurt or shout at your cat, or they will associate you with unpleasantness. Instead, put some dry beans in a tin and shake them briefly if your cat misbehaves.
- When the cat obeys, praise and stroke it.
- Treat your cat with food when they do well; they will learn to associate good behavior with food. But don’t overdo it; so that they can soon do it without help.
- Please do not ignore your cat when you are mad at them; cats do not understand this behavior and feel insecure.
- Make sure you have a scratching post for your cat.
From the start, your cat will not know that they have to use a scratch post to sharpen their claws. It would be best if you taught them to do so.
If your cat attacks the furniture, clearly say ‘NO.’ Then take the cat to the scratching post and put their paws on it.
You can also show them and scratch with your nails, as the noise will make the cat curious.
If your cat refuses to use the scratch post, they might not like the fabric that covers it. Try putting an old piece of clothing that smells like you over the board; put some hemp rope around the scratching tree, or put down some straw mats; cats often like these better.
- Set up a comfortable rest/sleep place
Make sure your cat has a quiet and comfortable sleeping space. Provide your cat with a covered basket with a soft filling, such as a blanket or towel. This place can be where you spend time, like the living room. This is good for your cat to feel safe while still being present and able to see what is going on.
- Be assertive when it comes to food.
Don’t let your cat beg; once they have formed this habit, you won’t be able to break it. Don’t give in to a meowing cat! Keep your cat away from the dining table!
- Don’t offer your cat food from the table.
- Don’t give treats outside of feeding time just because they want some.
- Don’t put your cat on your lap when eating at the table.
- Set your cat certain feeding times.
- Feed your cat when you eat so that they will be occupied.
- If your cat jumps on your lap or the chair next to you while eating, say ‘NO’ and place them far from the table.
- Reward them
The easiest way to teach a cat some tricks is by using food as a reward because cats love doing something when they get good things out of it. So whenever your pet masters an item you are working on, reward it with a treat or scratch.
For treats to work, cats should not have their bowls full of food all the time. To build food motivation, introduce small scheduled meals, and do not let them free-feed. You can use a portion of the food for training and do a small session before their mealtime. So after the training, putting the rest of the food down will be an excellent reward for all their hard work.
- Don't teach them too many things at once
Practicing one lesson at a time is a great idea. Once your cat masters one exercise, you can move on to another. Your cat will fail if you get too excited and try to teach them everything at once.
- Teach them how to use a litter box
Litter box training usually takes a short time; most kittens learn it before coming to your home just by looking at their mother. Put a box in a quiet and secluded area, ensure it is clean, and in a day or two, your cat will use it regularly.
- Try to use a clicker and desensitization.
One of the most effective cat training methods is a clicker. A clicker is a small device that makes a clicking sound when pressed. You can also choose the sound it makes yourself.
Whenever your cat does a given task, the key is to make the sound immediately and give him a treat to reinforce the behavior.
Desensitization is a type of training where you teach your cat to overcome fears. It can be used when you teach your cat to touch its paws and nail trim. It may help to have a written training plan made by a feline behaviorist.
By combining these two methods, you may get the best results in creating a confident and happy animal.
The bottom line
To conclude, here are a few things for you to remember:
- Cats can be trained.
- Use a reward system they value; the easiest way is with food.
- Cats can learn a few commands.
- Positive reinforcement is better than discipline techniques.
- Keep your lessons short.
- Use training treats only for training.
- Teach your cat one thing at a time.
- Involve other family members in training.
- Start early with kittens.
Pet training is the key to a happy and healthy animal and owner. Cats can be taught to be friendly and social. And the amount of fun you can have during the process is priceless.