So, how do you train a cat? First and foremost, you need to ask yourself what you want your cat to learn? Some of the most common goals in cat training are: using the litter box, eliminating outside the home, teaching a cat new tricks, and becoming friendlier toward people and other pets. If you’re not sure which goal you should be focusing on, then consider these examples to help you decide. Also, these tips can help you work towards a more positive relationship with your cat.
When attempting to teach a cat something new, it’s important to understand that natural behaviors don’t always work well with new tools or techniques. For example, in terms of eliminating in the home, many cats are accustomed to rolling around in their boxes. While this natural behavior may have worked in the past, using a box to eliminate can often lead to “going potty outside” instead, which can result in your cat not realizing they have cleared out the box. The best way to get your cat to realize it’s okay to go potty outside is to use a litter box that mimics the natural behaviors and rewards those behaviors with treats and praise.
One example of a great tool for teaching cats how to be potty outside is the clicker. Clicker training involves using a clicker to indicate a positive behavior by clicking a clicker whenever the desired behavior occurs. Clicker training isn’t limited to the use of treats. You can also use other tools such as a tennis ball or a stuffed toy to give your pet a treat when it meets all of the requirements of a behavior you ask of it. Using positive reinforcement when your pet responds correctly with a click or other reward can significantly improve your pet’s success with learning new tricks, eliminating waste and acquiring new skills.
When you are learning how to train a cat, the key to success is consistency. Cats aren’t like dogs, who will often respond to the same commands and respond well when those commands are consistently followed. How to train a cat begins the moment you bring the cat home and begin to use positive reinforcement as part of your training routine. However, if you do decide to combine the positive reinforcement with treats, make sure you always use them in the correct manner. You don’t want to confuse your pet or reward it for doing something that it shouldn’t have done in the first place.
One of the biggest problems facing cat owners today is that most cat owners do not know how to tell when their cat is exhibiting inappropriate behavior. As cats become more comfortable with their surroundings and learn more complex tricks, this can lead to inappropriate behavior such as scratching the furniture or getting into the trash can. If you notice this problem, the best thing to do is correct it before it gets out of hand. When you pick up the cat from the yard, make sure you tell it now, before it has a chance to scratch the furniture or get into the trash can. This way, you will prevents it from repeating the inappropriate behavior. Then, as you get it used to being alone or with you more often, you can teach it tricks to help reinforce good behavior.
There are some other simple tricks you can teach your cat in an hour or two. For example, if you want to get your cat to stop scratching your furniture, start by giving it a high five each time it scratches past the furniture’s edge. When it understands what this means, you can start taking it outside more often, until it understands that it has to stop touching those hard, rough edges to get to the cat bed or the couch. When you get it trained on that simple high five, try leaving it with its food, or where it sleeps at night. Eventually, your cat will understand that it must scratch those things to get to its food or to sleep at night. That’s all there is to getting your cat to stop irritating your furniture with its claws!