Last Updated on March 16, 2022 by Dogs Vets
A Quick Guide To Training A Cat
If you have a cat you will probably wish from time to time that you could just train it and life might be a little easier. However, this is totally possible.
Sure, it might sound absurd to say you can train a cat, especially for people who may have cats that are a bit more wild and ‘out there’. But, even the wildest kitty can be trained.
We train cats to use a litter box all the time anyway, so why not other things.
Even if you are trying to train your cat to use the litter box it is easier than you think.
Unlike dogs, they require a little more time and patience though.
So, if you are a cat parent, and you need to get your kitty trained, read on, or check out https://mycatneedsthis.com/ for more fun cat info, facts, and assistance.
Can You Really Train A Cat?
Cats are independent animals for the most part. Unlike dogs, they do not need our constant attention, well, at least most don’t. Cat’s are still perfectly capable of taking care of themselves in the wild, and most stray cats survive very well.
So, it is safe to say that they are independent and are therefore a little harder to train. Your best bet with a cat is to train them while they are still a kitten, when they do need your help the most and are more susceptible to building up habits.
But, you can still train a cat even if they are not a kitten, just remember, you will not always see progress overnight.
The most important thing to remember is to try not to get frustrated. Cats sense when we are annoyed, and they will pick up on this and it will reflect in their progress.
Decide What You Want To Train Them To Do
The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to train your cat to do. Do you want to litter train them? Train them to come when you call? Train them to be still and calm for grooming?
Do you want to train them to play, sit, lay down, or even play dead? Train them to interact well with other people and animals, or to be calm for travel and get into a carrier well?
There are many things you can train your cat for, so decide which you would like to do. Of course, all on this list are desirable, but you should pick which you would like the most.
This is because cats might be great at many things, but try to teach them too many things at once, and they will falter.
Keep Sessions Short
Cats are not the most patient animals, any owner will know this. They want food and they want it now! They want cuddles and they want them now!
So, when you are training a cat, keep training times short and sweet, you do not want them getting bored, if they get bored they will not be enthusiastic and will not learn as well.
So, keep sessions brief and do not get disappointed if they do not progress as fast as you had hoped. They will want to do things their way, not your way, so 5-10 minutes per time is more than enough.
They need a lot of patience from you, but you probably know that already!
Do Things One At A Time
Try not to ask your cat to multitask, focus on one type of training at one time, and when they have perfected one behavior then move onto the next thing. While they can learn more than one thing at a time, it is best to teach them these things individually.
Allow them to master one thing before you try to get them to master another, this will work the best. You might want results fast, but the cat doesn’t care about that. Give them time.
Positive Reinforcement Works
Cats are very responsive to positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement will actually be more of a stimulus for aggressive behavior and anxiety.
So, do not shout when they don’t do what you want, try to use positive reinforcement when they make any progress, use a clicker and treats, like you would with a dog, and they will start to make connections.
If you use a clicker and treat them when they do a good job, they will associate this positively and want to do the action more, knowing they did a good job, and they will be praised for it. It’s like giving your kid some ice cream if they ate all their greens.
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