19 Jul Training Techniques to Use with Cats
It’s been said that this is a cat’s world, and we are only living in it. When you see the behaviors of some kitties, that statement seems to have a ring of truth.
Reality provides a different story. Training cats is possible and probably easier than most people realize. When you start this process, you’ll take small steps to reward positive behaviors while discouraging unwanted ones.
It is somewhat similar to what you’d experience when training a dog, except with a personality that exudes more independence. Cats require more consistency and patience to achieve a successful outcome.
Cats Get Trained for a Variety of Behaviors
Have you ever heard someone say, “Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty!” When the cat comes running over for attention, that’s a trained behavior.
Do you have a cat at home that goes to the bathroom in the litter box? That behavior is also something that the animal learned.
You can teach cats how to interact in positive ways with others, play with specific toys, or stay still when grooming. It is even possible to teach kitties how to appreciate the benefits of a bath. When the goal is to enhance the natural behaviors of your pet, you’ll find the results tend to develop faster.
Cats Learn in Short Bursts
After you determine what behavior to teach your cat, the lessons you use for training must be short, natural, and to the point. Most kitties don’t stay interested for more than a few seconds.
Let your cat be in charge of the time you spend in training. When your pet shows an interest in learning, jump at the chance to be a positive influence! The lessons tend to be gradual, based on individual exploration, and a respect of space. If you get perceived as being pushy or smothering, the work is going to go nowhere.
Most kittens need you to start small, even if your goal is to get the cat to use the litter box immediately. Take one step at a time, waiting until your pet masters the lessons taught, until moving to the next task.
It helps to practice the new interactions in a safe place at home. Go into different rooms to communicate that the expectation for the new behavior exists everywhere. You can also involve other people to show that there is a social aspect to these interactions that can be a positive reward.
My Cat Keeps Growling at Me!
When a cat growls at the idea of training, that behavior suggests they want to be in charge instead of you. Strong-willed kitties can be frustrating, but their intelligence can also create unique interaction opportunities.
Physical discipline does not work with cats. If you have an aggressive kitty, don’t reward that behavior with any attention or praise. Wait until you get the desired response, then heap lots of love on your pet. It may take some time to see changes, but they will eventually come.
Cats are trainable if you can stay in control. Kitties of any age can start this process if you’re willing to put in the work.