It’s a common misconception that unlike dogs, cats cannot be trained. Cat owners can attest to cats being independent and sometimes aloof creatures, but the notion that they’re untrainable couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are some tips for training your feline companion!
Most cat owners aren’t looking to wow their friends with a pet that can do tricks. But all people who share their home with a feline friend can benefit from some very basic training:
Litter box training is a given. This is easy for most new cat owners, as cats have a natural instinct toward cleanliness and burying their waste. Just keep your new pet confined in a room with a clean litter box and plenty of food and water, and the cat should start using the litter box regularly within a few days.
Is your cat “going” outside the litter box? Pick up the waste and place it inside the box so that your cat associates where to “go” by smell!
Behavior training is also useful for discouraging unwanted behavior—by encouraging alternative behavior instead! A punished cat will only fear you. Instead, use positive reinforcement, such as giving treats, to encourage your cat to scratch or occupy space that you want it to, as an alternative to scratching your furniture or jumping on the counters.
Want to show off your cat and also give your feline friend a little more exercise? Cats can be well-suited to agility training!
Start by creating a basic agility training course for your kitty to dash through tunnels, weave around poles and/or jump over hurdles. You can use various cat toys and furniture or build your own course using PVC pipes.
Prepare for training by having plenty of treats for rewards! Having a clicker for training and having lures that are attractive for cats to chase are also popular options for training cats.
Agility training should be something that’s fun for you and your kitty. Let your cat have fun and exercise. Reward her for a job well done, and don’t punish her! When your furry friend starts to lose enthusiasm, it’s time to stop training for the day.
Cats can’t learn the same variety of tricks that dogs can, but there are still some basic tricksthat you can teach your feline friend!
Like dogs, cats can be taught to respond to their names and to certain commands, such as “sit,” “fist bump” or “high five,” or “roll over.” But unlike dogs, they’re not going to do these tricks just to please their humans!
The trick to teaching cats tricks is to take things slow, be consistent and use lots of positive reinforcement in the form of giving treats!
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