Can You Train A Cat – Is It Possible?
Cats are independent creatures, and they have a mind of their own, but that doesn't mean that you cannot train them. Read on to learn how to train your cat.
Cats are known as independent creatures who will always do things on their own.
This is the main reason why many believe that cats can’t be trained, or they can? Here is what you should know about the cat training process and what you should expect.
When training your cat, you need to arm yourself with patience and willingness to fail and learn.
So, when learning how to train your cat, you will start with fundamental steps that should reward good behavior and discourage the bad.
Should you train your cat the same way you might train a dog? It depends.
Cats are highly independent animals and a bit aloof when it comes to following your commands. This attitude doesn’t mean that you can’t influence their behavior.
If you are consistent and patient your kitten or older cat can be trained easily. Let’s see how.
What Do You Want to Train?
Like with everything in life, you need to know what’s your goal. This way, you will be more effective in conducting your plan, and you will have more focus.
So, always be honest, determine what you’d like your cat to learn, and then move toward your ultimate goal in small ways each day. Think about your commands as well, before the training process.
What commands you’ll use, and what type of behavioral actions you want her to learn. Have one command for one action, and never use multiple terms for a single move; this way, you will confuse your feline, and your training will kick off on the bad term. Be confident.
Don’t forget that you have already trained your cat! That’s right, you trained her how to use a litter box, how to stay calm when going to the veterinarian office, where to find food and water bowl, how to play with toys and son… So, what do you want to train your cat to do?
Do you want her to stop scratching your furniture, or do some trick? Think about your end goal.
Most common objectives include:
- House training
- Litter training
- Coming to you on call
- Staying calm for grooming
- Better interaction
- Playing with toys
- Playing with another cat and you
- Calm traveling
There are many other reasons you might want to train your cat. Regardless of the main goal, training will help her become more social and feel more pleasant around other animals, household pets, and even around humans.
All in, training can help your cat be more clingy. Training is also important for your own well-being.
Keep Each ‘Session’ Short and Natural
Once you know your end goal, the rest of the process should go smoothly. Once you have a goal, you need to determine which lessons and your cat will master.
You should know that opposite to dogs, cats have a shorter attention span. Their attention can’t be compared to a human, so you can’t expect her to stay interested every time you have time to act as her trainer.
Let the lesson dictate how long she’s willing to be in your company. In general, kittens take to potty training quickly after watching their mother use a litter box. However, you may still need to dress this training early, merely to remind her where it is.
If you are training your kitten to play with her toys, you may expect longer training.
Cats often prefer to explore toys on their own, they found great satisfaction in such a process, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t show her how toys work.
Just make sure to leave her enough time for her to explore and enough space during her exploration. Once she gets used to the new site, you can participate.
Always Start Small
If you want firm results, it’s always best to start small. Small steps can take you a long way. Even when you are super excited about training, you should practice one lesson at a time.
Once your cat has mastered whatever you’re working on, then and only then you can move on to the next training exercise.
For example, when bringing a new kitten home, you may want to litter train her right away.
Once you are done with teaching her how to stay calm during the grooming session, you can move on to interaction with other people, then pets, and so on. It all depends on your goal and your car’s needs.
Don’t Limit Her to One Area
Once your cat has mastered a new command, you should practice it in different areas of your home. This way, you won’t limit her to limit specific home area with a particular commando of occurrence.
For example, if you have other pets and you only let them see your cat in the living room, she might believe that ere aren’t other pets in the house. Eventually, this can lead to problems because she won’t understand what the pet does in other areas. Of course, if you have fish, this won’t be a problem.
Much like litter training, some types of training will require using different areas of your home. If you are house training a cat, it may be necessary to have more than one litter box available.
Keeping her from scratching furniture will require a more comprehensive lesson, as she will find more items in more than one room.
Involve Other People
Other people are crucial in your cat’s training success. You want a pet that’s social, not afraid of the unknown, and polite to your guests, right? To achieve this, you will need to involve the people in your training process.
The main goal here is to teach your cat to be social, not territorial. Once you bring your cat home, invite friends or family members over to socialize with your new family members. Again – start small.
You don’t need to invite a huge group of people, just small spurts. If your family is large, it’s important to involve everyone in the training process.
Teach your children how to act around pets, not disturb them when eating, drinking water, or spending time in the litter box.
Your entire family should be involved to create a consistent and strong relationship. Everyone should be informed ion the training goals and which methods are used and why.
Use A Reward System
Rewarding good behavior is always a good method. Famous treats or small food bites are great motivators for pets, especially while training.
Try to always speak in a kind and cheerful voice while petting or scratching her fur – this way, she will know these gestures mean well. Just like dogs, cats will respond to treats.
Reward your feline with small kibbles or anything she likes when she correctly masters the commands you’re working on.
For this, you can use a ‘clicker’ system: when your cat performs the right behavior or action, sound a tool that clicks, and then give her a treat that signals a job well done. Hearing the noise each time she does something good will reinforce good behavior.
What If It Isn’t Working
Training doesn’t come overnight, which is why you should have a lot of patience and calmness. Sometimes your cat will make a mistake, and you need to be calm enough to let her try again.
Never punish your cat no matter how much her mistake may stress you. Always use only positive reinforcement, but understand that she needs time to learn.
Always keep your voice calm. If you feel threatened by her, not only that your training will fail, but she will only learn to be afraid of you.
If you want to redirect her a bad behavior, try using a quick and sharp noise. The point here is to make your cat alert and distract her from what she is planning to do.
Avoid words that you generally use, such as ‘hey’ or ‘no’ as your cat will get confused when she hears it in a different context.
The Bottom Line
Learning how to train your cat can be challenging, but it will also be much rewarding. Training can also be a fun experience for you and your entire family.
Just remember to be positive all the time, use a calm voice, and be patient, and you will both reach your goals.
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