If you thought pet training was just for dogs, think again. It may be trick to teach a cat how to fetch, but cats can be trained some basic manners. The process of training your cat can be mutually beneficial to both you and your kitty, so it’s worth giving it a shot. However, it does take dedication and work to train a stubborn house cat. To help you get started, we’ve got some helpful tips for training your cat. Put these tips to use, and you’ll be bragging about your well-trained cat in no time.
Reward Positives, Ignore Negatives
Whether it’s the kitchen table or a new piece of furniture you’d like to keep fur-free, cats love to go where they don’t belong. There may be a reason behind this, though. When your cat makes herself comfortable in an off-limits spot, you probably scoop her up and remove her as soon as you catch sight of her. The problem is, you’re inadvertently rewarding her for bad behavior. The next time you find your cat in an unwanted place, try ignoring her (as hard as that may be). After some time, she may get bored with the area and move onto spaces where she knows she’ll get your attention.
Use Clickers and Treats
Cats are motivated by food, just like dogs. That means the best way to train them is to use food as a reinforcement tool for positive behavior. Similarly, a “clicking” sound is pleasing to cats, so you can use the noise to praise their good behavior. Invest in a clicker or make the sound with your mouth to use this training method.
You may assume a cat who comes when called is somewhat of a unicorn. But cats can learn to respond to your voice and vocal cues, and utilizing sounds is one of the best tips for training your cat. Begin by making a sound, like clicking your tongue, right before you feed your cat, so they begin to associate that sound with feeding time. Eventually, your cat will learn the sound and should respond to you when it hears you.
A common misconception is that a cat will learn not to do something if you punish them for bad behavior. This method may work on humans, but it’s useless for cats. Punishment will only scare your feline and create anxiety, which often leads to unwanted behavior (some of which may be worse than what you initially scolded your pet for). Focus on the positives, and don’t lose your temper with your pet.
Try A Harness
A cat on a leash can be an odd sight to see. Once they’re used to a harness, though, some cats love to go on walks outside. If you’re curious about training your cat to walk on a leash, start slow. Allow your cat to get used to the harness by putting it by her food bowl first. Once she’s comfortable, try draping it over your cat while giving her treats. Do this for a few days before you finally bring her outside to try walking on the leash, and be sure to buy a harness that attaches to your cat’s back and not their neck.