Training Tips

Basic Cat Training

Basic Cat Training

Contrary to popular belief, cats can be trained, at least to a degree. While they may not be as easy to teach as a dog, teaching your cat to change or modify their behavior will ensure you have a happy and healthy relationship.

Fetch the ball, kitten! Go get my slippers, kitten! Catch the Frisbee, kitten! These are orders you won’t be commanding your kitten toward anytime in the near future – at least not successfully. Cats, unlike dogs, don’t respond to those kinds of commands.

This doesn’t mean that cats aren’t trainable though. They are capable of being trained, and very well to say the least. While you are training them, your cat can be taught to be more delightful around your home.

Cats need to use litter boxes, unless you constantly want to be cleaning up their waste, so this will more than likely be the first thing you want to teach.

Litter Box Training

Surprisingly, teaching a cat to use a litter box is generally, fairly easy. Cats have an innate desire to bury their urine & feces, which makes them, usually,very clean. While there are many tactics you employ to train your cat to use a litter box, we recommend the following:

  1. Place a clean litter box, and your cat, in a restricted area, like a guest room or a sizeable laundry room.
  2. Ensure that your cat has food to eat and enough clean water.
  3. Simply the odor of cat waste could possibly get them to begin using the litter box, so if your cat happens to ‘go’ on the floor outside of the box, you must necessarily place their waste in the box.
  4. After being restricted to anarea for a couple of days, in close proximity to the litter box, the cat should start using the box on a daily basis.

In some cases, the cat may still be reluctant to use their new box after a few days. If this happens to you, try this: Set your cat in the litter box after he/she has finished eating, then gently run your fingers across the top of the litter.

If that is still unsuccessful, check the box and make sure there is no waste in it. Cleaning the litter box with baking soda and putting new, clean litter in it will hopefully encourage your cat to use it. There are also a variety of litters that you can try; sometimes cats are picky and will prefer one type over another. Again, placing the litter box in a peaceful, restricted area is essential.

Talking with your veterinarian is the next step if none of this seems to work. In rare circumstances, a hidden medical condition could explain why your cat refuses to use a litter box.

Behavior Training

Does your cat do certain things that drive you up a wall? Things they just shouldn’t be doing? It’s very likely that you can teach them that their bad behavior isn’t acceptable.

Firstly, it’s important to learn why your cat is behaving this way. The cat will always think their behavior is okay, but there is always a reason when they they act out.

For example, if your cat won’t stop clawing your favorite leather couch, woven armchair, or your new comforter, it’s not their fault, it’s just their natural instinct. Cats use their claws to survive, in the outside world, so they are naturally driven to use them. There is an easy fix for this though!

You must supply your cat with appropriate clawing pieces. A scratching post is great for this. It will keep cat claws away from your furniture and encourage scratching on designated items.

Discipline is not an effective way to train your cat to behave the way you want them to.  Some may argue cats are too smart for this sort of nonsense. Using confident support will be more effective than punishing them. Please, DON’T abuse your cat as your cat will not comprehend why you’ve become a crazy roommate.  Your cat may just try to steer clear of you because it has now become afraid. It’s important that you reward your cat by giving it love, or even a little treat, when it does something behaviorally right.

Discouraging Aggression

When a cat becomes too aggressive, exhibiting things like clawing or biting, that can also be a correctable behavior.

Loud noises will often stop the cat from doing something prohibited, like clawing or biting. For example, clapping your hands will shock the cat and get it to stop their bad behavior.  The gentle mist of water from a spray bottle is also an abrupt way to discourage undesirable behavior.

Once you have made the correction just walk into a different room.

If you make a loud noise and walk into a different room every time your cat becomes aggressive, it will begin to acknowledge that when it gets rough then their playing time has ended.

Your Cat Doesn’t Know It Can’t Be Trained

Most people believe that cats aren’t capable of being trained. Thankfully, those people are wrong. You are capable and should, teach your cat to have good behavior for the sake of yourself and others in your home. Everyone will benefit from sharing space with a well-trained feline.

If you would like to teach your cat some ‘dog like’ commands and tricks, it is possible for you to teach them how to sit or be walked on a leash.

However, one step at a time.  Let’s start with necessary, basic training at first, then move your way up to the ‘dog like’ tricks. Start with the litter box training and you’ll be set.