Cat training ……….What?

cat training
training cats

Cat training can be a reality

Yes, cat training. Anyone who has a cat knows that they have a different disposition than other animals.  They seem more aloof, more self sufficient somehow. In reality, they learn a bit differently than dogs and may not care quite as much about pleasing you.

But they are teachable.  And they can be very affectionate with people they love.  Like my cat, Sena, who wraps himself around my legs when he wants attention.  Note to Sena; that doesn’t work very well when I’m carrying stuff and trying to walk someplace.  Might get you accidentally kicked.  Sorry Sena.

What cats learn

You may have noticed that it doesn’t take very long for a cat to learn that the sound of their bowl on the counter means they are about to get fed. They come running. Likewise, they learn pretty quickly that waking mom up by swatting her face or sitting on it leads to good stuff.  Food.  Getting let outside.  Love and pets.  Whatever it is, they just got rewarded for the behavior so they want to do it again.

Cat training can help you get them to do the “it” you want them to do

Basically, you need to convince them that they want to do “it”.  Make it rewarding.  If you want them to use the cat box, for example, reward them for using it.  

Catching a cat in the act of doing something undesirable like peeing in your closet can be tough because they’re so quiet and, well, sneaky. If you find the spot later, show them the spot and then take them to the litter box, they aren’t learning that you want them to use the litter box.  They’re learning that mom is mean and litter boxes are for punishment.  Not the lesson you want to teach. 

You have to make it a positive.  And you have to be creative.  If you make the litter box a good place by rewarding when they go in or near, eventually it becomes a good place.  If you keep your closet closed so your cat can’t go pee in there, you don’t reinforce a bad habit.  

Works with pretty much anything you want to teach your cat.  But you’ll want to teach in short sessions since cats lose interest pretty quickly.

What is our reward?

Cats can be taught to use a litter box, come when they’re called, or use a scratching post instead of the curtains with patience and planning. They can even be taught to use the toilet, shake hands, ……..the list is endless.  But the key is to make it rewarding. If the cat feels like she’s winning, so are we!

Read more about cats in my post, Cat nutrition; what do you feed a cat? PetMD also has this great post about training cats.

Have you tried training your cats? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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