Cat Training

Cat Training

As a pet owner, you cannot afford to neglect pet training. Indeed, you can train every animal – with the exception of fish. However, most pet owners believe that only dogs can be trained to follow commands and obey. This is a misconception. Training is a fantastic way of strengthening your bond and helping your pet become more sociable. Pet training can be a life-changing experience for owners who struggle with disobedient or misbehaving pets.

As a cat owner, you can just as well train Felix to reproduce positive behaviours on command. Indeed, while cats are independent creatures, it does not mean that they can’t learn to listen to you. If you are wondering how to train your cat, here are some essential tips to get starting with cat training.

Why you need cat training

Training a cat is a long-term process, regardless of the age of your pet. Therefore, the first question you need to address is not how but why you want to train your cat. Indeed, cat training needs to have a clear purpose so that you can promote the behaviours that are meaningful to you. The purpose of feline training is to make your experience of having a cat more enjoyable, both for you and your pet. That is why you need to set clear objectives.

The typical cat owner expects to achieve the following elements from dedicated cat training:

  • Cat toilet training
  • Coming when you call, which is extremely helpful if your cat is allowed to go outside
  • Staying still and docile for grooming and any health check at the vet practice
  • Being calm while travelling in a carrier
  • Socialising with other animals and people for multi-pet families
  • Playing with you and other pets with or without toys

The bottom line is that you don’t train your cat for fun. Training serves a clear purpose, which is to help you and your cat react positively to different situations. It can help you look after your cat better and elevate your relationship.

How to train a cat?

Whether you are searching on your favourite search engine “how to train a senior cat?” or “how to train a kitten?”, the principles will be the same. Cats have a short attention span. They are unlikely to sit tight for long training sessions. Instead, keep your training short and sweet, focussing on 15 minutes maximum. Ideally, you should let your cat dictate the length of each cat training session.

Sessions need to respect a gradual progression. This way, you can respect their learning pace and space, making cat training a fun activity rather than a chore.

You can keep the training environment varied, helping your cat stay attentive and engaged in the process. Besides, mixing environments and bringing new people or animals around can also encourage social skills.

Each cat training strategy needs a reward system. Using cat treats will reinforce positive behaviours. It is important to limit snacking for your cat, but a couple of treats to promote some responses can go a long way.

The first important lesson: Cat toilet training

Typically, most kittens find out how to use the litter tray by observing their mother. However, rescue kittens may not have had any role model to learn from. How to litter train a cat? The best method is to be patient and attentive to your cat’s behaviour. Most cats instinctively understand essential house training rules and are keen to keep their home clean.

However, there may be specific reasons why your cat refuses to use the litter box. Cats do not like using a tray that isn’t clean. Your role as a pet owner is to clear the litter tray as soon as you can. You can rely on smart accessories, such as cat litter liners and ergonomic litter scoops to keep the tray fresh. If you have several cats, it is good practice to have at least one litter box more than you have pets.

Some cats are specific about the type of litter they like. It is worth trying out a new brand if your cat refuses to use the toilet.

Playing with your cat: how to tame a cat?

Just as in The Little Prince, it takes dedication to tame an animal and build a connection. When you adopt a cat, you can introduce playful training to encourage socialising skills. Kittens, especially, are receptive to playtimes. But a senior cat can also enjoy a quiet game with a toy.

Games become part of effective cat training because they reinforce other skills, such as calling you cat’s name and having positive interactions with people and other pets. Take it slowly, however, with an anxious cat. Let her smell your hands and get used to you. Gradually the cat will associate the smell with someone she can trust, and fun games will appear.

Good luck with cat training!

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