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Yes, You Can Train Your Cat ! 9 Tips to Train Your Cat
Felines are one of the most independent and incredibly intelligent creatures. They usually have a reserved and a quiet disposition, but it’s interesting to note that we humans have domesticated these adorable feline fellas for nearly 9,000 years, however house cats are still considered only as partially or semi – domesticated pets as compared to a canine puppy or dog who would run around his master almost all the time. Cats on the contrary, have a different personality altogether and successfully training your feline pet might require a lot more patience and persistent work, but training your feline companion is definitely not a herculean task, it is really worth it, and yes you can train your cat!
It is also interesting to note that just like us humans, our feline munchkins have great memory skills. Cats in fact have both short term and long term memory, and also they do know and understand the activities that they can easily get away with, but be it scratching the household furniture, chewing on the wires or jumping on top of the kitchen shelves – all such unsolicited cat behaviour can be entirely stopped by way of some easy to implement tips and tricks.
Mentioned below are 9 supremely useful tips that would greatly assist you in training your endearing feline munchkin.
1. Please Note – A Cat Is A Cat
Primarily it is extremely crucial to understand that cats and dogs are completely different creatures with very different personalities. Many people unfortunately falter miserably whilst trying to train a cat, and this is fundamentally because they tend to take the same approach for training cats as they usually do for training dogs. This undoubtedly results in unsolicited experiences with your feline fur baby as this approach basically fails to gauge on to how a cat thinks.
Training a cat requires the cat parent or the trainer to primarily pique the interest of a cat and to convince the feline fur ball that the task to be done is worthy of your baby’s time and attention. This might require a bit more
patience and perseverance, but unlike the wrongfully perceived notion, cats are very much trainable, and who wouldn’t want a well behaved and an obedient, loving catto pet, but please always remember that a cat is a cat!
2. Reward Your Cat With Some Training Treats
Our pets undoubtedly react well to positive reinforcement, and they remember whenever they get something that they enjoy. Kitties too, like other pets yearn for that special something that entices them, be it their hooman’s attention, delectable treats, small knick-knack baubles or even all the three. Get your hands on what your cat likes the most, and wheedle your way out with a small toy, a creamy treat, canned cheese, tuna, shrimp, or the ultimate catnip toys. Some cats might like a combination of these that would result in a form of positive reinforcement and would unquestionably help mould your feline munchkins behaviour. However please make sure to reward your kitty with one or more of the above mentioned treats only while training for that particular behavioural trait that you want your kitty to inculcate as by doing so, the reward would become much more tempting and alluring for the cat.
So remember to reward and lovingly pat your cat the next time she gets hold of the scratch pole instead of the sofa, or when she’ll play with her catnip toys and would not chew your expensive gadgets wire. Your cat is sure to learn the difference between good and bad kitty behaviour in case you assiduously implement this extremely powerful trick.
3. Train before Meals
Train your feline munchkin just prior to her meals. A hungry kitten or a cat would be much more receptive towards training. The mealtime, in addition to treats can hence be used to inveigle your kitty and this would definitely make her learn a command or two from her hooman.
4. Train Your Kitty in a Quiet Place
Please make sure to eliminate all kinds of unsolicited distractions while training your cat, be it the background noise from the television or the
sweet hubbubs of your tiny hooman baby, it can all distract your cat, and especially younger kittens who would be left baffled. It is hence advisable to train your kitties in seclusion and in a quiet place. Also please consider pausing your session as and when your catto gets distracted.
Furthermore it is important to note that only when you have your kitty’s complete attention, should you give her a treat.
5. Indulge in Consistent and Brief Training Periods
Consistency is undoubtedly the key when it comes to training your little feline student. It might take some time for you to train your munchkin but herein brief training periods for as less as 15 minutes or so is what you need to repeatedly indulge in because just like our hooman kids, kitties too learn through repetition. Also cats easily get bored and it’s crucial to keep your fur ball riveted. Make sure to not keep long training sessions as that won’t help, and it would only irk your cat. Furthermore please see to it that you always use the same cues and signals as that is what a cat would be able to recognise and associate with.
6. Create an Unpleasant Association
If you really want to keep the cat off your kitchen shelves or counters, then roll up your sleeves and make use of some creative strategies to discourage your cat from doing so.
• An easy trick for this would be to place double-sided tape or aluminium foil over surfaces that you don’t want your cat to jump over or scratch.
•You could also make use of something with a strong pungent smell that the cat dislikes. It is interesting to note that cats usually abhor citrus smells, pepper flakes, vinegar etc. and so you could use these or else put some lentils and pennies in a can and shake it to startle your fur ball.
• There are also some commercially available sprays that smell awfully bad, and act as successful deterrents to keep your kitty away from the kitchen counters and other specific areas.
• The easiest of all is however a water spray bottle. Cats don’t like to be squirted with water, and so the next time when you see your cat doing something that it shouldn’t be doing, try a quick spritz with plain water. It is highly likely that after a few times of being sprayed and rebuked, your kitty would perceive the bottle as a daunting deterrent for her bad behaviour and would immediately stop just as you reach and hold the spray bottle.
These aforementioned quick tips would definitely prevent your cat from jumping over places that you don’t want her to jump upon. Also with time, your cat would eventually get rid of bad habits and then you could probably remove the tape or other objects.
7. Never Physically Hit or Punish Your Cat
Cats are smart creatures and they have an impressionable mind with a good memory. Therefore as pet parents, please refrain from physically punishing your cat, be it hitting, spanking, kicking, scuffing or deliberately hurting your cat in any manner, that your cat is sure to abhor. Your kitty might get scared of you, and can even exhibit a much more aggressive behavior that would play a havoc on your otherwise loving relation with your fur baby. It is extremely important to note that cats are supremely receptive towards those delicious treats and tiny morsels of delectable cheese as compared to any form of physical punishment.
8. Shout Out and Startle Your Cat
Fret not if your adorable fur ball indulges in some rough play. Also as mentioned above, please do not physically punish your baby, but rather just baffle your cat with a loud “ouch” or any other similar word to divert her attention and thereby put an end to her unsolicited rough behavior. This trick is especially useful for cats who are a little aggressive and dominating, or for cats who might playfully bite or grab onto your arm or legs.
You may also consider rendering a brief timeout and leave your cat in isolation for at least 20 minutes or so. Your cat is sure to calm down during this little hiatus and she would then demonstrate a completely different demeanor.
9. Make Your Kitty Master One Skill At A Time
It is true that a cat can learn an eclectic array of commands, be it a simple sit, yes and no commands, high five, roll over or shake a paw, your intelligent and brainy kitty can learn it all.
However as a prudent cat parent, please make sure that you tackle one skill at a time. Don’t baffle your cats by teaching them various different tricks and behavioral traits all at once as that would make the entire training a stressful and an unproductive experience both for you and your feline munchkin. Instead please try to repeatedly reinforce each trick, making your cats master it, before you move on to another one.
Lastly please remember that just like us humans, each cat too is different from the other, and while some cats might not initially show any interest towards being trained, others might think that their hooman parent has gone mad, whereas some might even get super excited and curious, but please do give enough time to your feline students and we are sure that they won’t disappoint you.
However in case you still face any problem or if you would want a personalised consultation for your fur ball from our expert feline behaviourist, please feel free to contact us at Mykitten.in