With the right motivation, cats can also be trained in a range of tricks and behaviours. While they may not be as easy to train as a dog, finding the right thing to motivate your cat is the key to success. We look at some tips for training your cat.
Cats tend to do things in their own time, which is why it is imperative to be extremely motivated, patient, and offer a reward in the form of play time, treats or affection. Do not overload your cat with different tricks or commands as they will become easily confused and will not understand what it is you want them to do.
Litter training should be a priority for all cat owners, making sure that they don’t start using your bedroom or clothes as their bathroom. Training a cat to use the litter box usually isn’t too difficult if you start as early as possible. Cats are generally clean creatures and have a natural instinct to bury their waste, making it the easiest form of any feline training. The quickest way to train a cat to use a litter box is by placing them in a confined room for a few hours with the litter box, plenty of food and water and leave them (checking every hour or so). If they go to the toilet outside of the litter box, pick up the waste and place it in the box – teaching them where to go. After a couple of days they will instinctively use the litter box.
If your cat’s behaviour is something that they shouldn’t be doing, it is quite possible that this bad behaviour can be trained away. Many behavioural characteristics can be understood as being an acceptable response from your four legged friend. For example – if they are clawing at your furniture, this is due to their natural instinct and you will have to slowly train them to use a more acceptable object such as a scratching post with positive reinforcement training.
Using aggression or negative based training will not help the cats learning at all and could possible lead it to doing that behaviour more. In saying this, using a hissing noise or loud clap and then walking away when they are showing aggressive behaviour is a technique that can stop this aggressive behaviour.
Old cats can learn new tricks, it’s is ultimately up to you and your patience for training. They will respond best to rewards which will help the process move along easier, although it is a much longer task than training a dog. Even though it can take a long time for your cat to understand the training, this process will ultimately strengthen the bond between you and your feline friend.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.