When you bring a kitten into the fold, you may automatically resign yourself to the fact that they will be self-sufficient from the get-go, and that there is nothing you can do about it.
While this is somewhat true, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to train your cat out of offensive or “bad” behaviors that it has developed!
Cats tend to have a short attention span and aren’t as responsive to instructions as a dog. While cats cannot be trained to do the tasks dogs are usually bred for, the most basic training comes quite naturally.
In addition to the behavior advice and cat tips found on catvills.com, we have narrowed down our top tips for training your cat in this article.
1. Identify A Plan Of Action
Attempting to teach a kitten multiple things at any given time is simply a recipe for disaster. From the second that you bring the cat home, make sure to note down all unacceptable behaviors so that you can begin working on resolving each of them one by one.
Some of the most popular behaviors that you may want to train your cat to stop exhibiting include:
- Biting people
- Chewing and scratching furniture
- Compulsive habits such as scratching or biting itself
- Fear and anxiety
- Peeing and spraying everywhere
2. Start Young
Cats are most definitely creatures of routine, meaning it is harder to teach an old cat new tricks than it would for a kitten.
No cat will have lots of free time to follow all of your instructions and training. However, younger cats are often far more impressionable than older ones.
Your best bet is to never leave training too late. The later you wait to begin training your cat, the more damage they will inflict in the meantime!
Proper training can help to reduce the number of furniture attacks, prevent the cat from jumping on counters (and people), and will also help to get their brains stimulated as soon as possible.
3. Keep Treats Handy
This is one of the most useful tips when it comes to training your cat.
You’ve likely heard of training using positive reinforcement. With dogs, this translates to showering them with compliments, treats, and encouragement throughout the training, instead of telling them off. This method appears to yield more successful training results.
The same idea can be applied to cats. Except, as you might have noticed, your cat simply doesn’t care about what you think or feel.
Telling your cat that they are “good” or behaving well is simply a waste of your breath. In fact, the main reason they have turned up to learn new tricks is to receive some tasty treats! So make sure that you reward your cat with treats when they act appropriately.
4. Use A Clicker
This may surprise you, but dogs aren’t the only creatures that can benefit from clicker training!
A clicker can be used to train or resolve many behaviors. This includes anything from sitting down to recalling. You will then click the clicker every time your cat successfully demonstrates the desired behavior.
You might also need some tasty treats on hand to then associate the noise of the clicker with something positive. If you do both of these things together, your cat will quickly learn to associate the clicker sound with something innately positive.
Once they have learned to associate the clicker with this behavior, you can begin to reduce the number of treats they also get. However, it’s important to give treats occasionally so that they carry on responding well to the sound.
5. Be Patient and Consistent
As we have stated, it might be a little bit tougher to train a cat. However, if you are resilient, consistent, and patient as you train them, you will soon begin to reap the benefits!
It’s easy to become disheartened when a cat doesn’t respond well to training tactics or techniques. They can be pretty stubborn when the situation arises so it may not be too surprising to learn that it will take time to properly train them.
But if you are consistent with your efforts and make sure to incorporate daily training into your routine, too, then you will eventually be able to watch your cat begin to exhibit the desired behaviors toward others.
Training your cat will undoubtedly present some major challenges (for you and them). But if you are consistent, patient, and put in the effort, you will soon begin to see some real behavioral changes!