best ways to
Train your Cat
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Cat Training 101
Some people think that cats and training just don't go
together, but training your cat really can be fun and
rewarding. First thing to understand is that cats do not
respond the way that dogs do. Cats are not as eager to
please their owners, they want to please themselves.
Cats never respond positively to punishment, so yelling or
punishing your cat for doing a bad behavior doesn't help to
train it. Your cat is likely to strike back at you by doing
even worse things or by withdrawing affection from you
completely. A cat that is punished only believes that you
are being mean to it and it will be afraid of you and avoid
Reward Training: Keeping in mind that cats are after their
own pleasure, you can then understand that the right kind of
training to pursue with your cat is reward training. See below
for the Best Quality Treats for Cats!
The important thing to remember with reward training is that
you do not want to reward bad behavior. For example, if your
cat jumps up on your bed while you are sleeping in the very
early morning and you dutifully get up feed it, pet it and
give it water even though you don't want it to wake you so
early, you are telling your cat that this is the behavior it
should demonstrate to get food, petting and water in the
very early morning.
As you can see, training your cat has a lot to do with
retraining yourself and how your respond to your cat. You
have to have patience and perseverance to train a cat. There
will be times when you make mistakes, but you don't
reinforce the bad behavior, you reinforce the good behavior.
You also need to have the tools for retraining your cat. For
example, if you have a cat that uses your furniture for a
scratching post then you should get your
cat a scratching
post of its own so that it has an acceptable alternative.
Determine exactly what behaviors you want to train your cat
to learn or change. Make a list and then go about
determining how you should approach the behavior, what tools
you will need and what you can do to stop the bad behavior.
In many cases stopping the bad behavior will simply require
that you stop reinforcing the bad behavior. As in the first
example, you shouldn't let your cat rule you in the early
morning. You can shut your bedroom door or shut your cat up
in a particular room of the house at night and so
eliminating the night time feeding, petting and watering.
Do not give in and reinforce the bad behavior even if your
cat cries. If your cat insists on being fed overnight then
you can feed it right before you go to bed. Then even if
your cat insists on it you will know that it really doesn't
need to be fed until the next day.
Training your Cats for specific Behaviors
To stop your cat sharpening its claws on your household
furnishing you will need a scratching post and then you will
have to make the places where your cat has been scratching
less attractive. See: Cat Scratches
When a cat scratches it is also essentially leaving a sign
post for other cats, much the same way that dogs mark their
territory with urine. So you should eliminate your cat's
scent from the scratched area first, and then make the
texture unattractive to scratch. To eliminate your cat's
scent you should use a pet deodorizing cleaner on the spots
where it scratches. Then cover the area with plastic wrap or
aluminum foil. Do this on every area where your cat
Then break out the scratching post and cover it with catnip
and put it in a prominent space in the room. Once kitty
begins to scratch it will get a very rude awakening as it
will not like the texture and noise of the plastic wrap or
aluminum foil. Most often it will only take a week or so for
your cat to get attached to a scratching post and then you
can remove the aluminum foil or saran wrap. If your cat goes
back to the old habit repeat the steps above.
Cat Litter box Training
To stop a cat from eliminating in other places than the
litter box, first figure out why it doesn't like the litter
box. Are you using a scented litter? Switch your cat litter
to unscented. Are you using crystal
litter? Then switch your
cat litter to clay and vice versa. Some
cats are very
particular about where they deposit their waste, and a
simple change may stop the unwanted behavior. You may need
to put the box in a quieter or less traveled spot in your
home. If you have more than one cat, try supplying more than
one litter box.
Next make the spot where the cat chooses to eliminate
unattractive by using a pet deodorizing cleaner and then
covering the spot with aluminum foil or saran wrap. Place
the litter box where it is prominent in the room and handy
to the cat.
If a cat's litter box is all the way in the back room it may
not be able to get to it when it needs to quickly enough.
You can purchase some very nice furniture-design litter box
covers so that the litter box is hidden from guests but
easily available to your kitty.
If your cat continues to choose a different spot to
eliminate such as on your carpet, bed, couch, etcetera to
deposit its waste then you should take your cat to a
veterinarian to see if this behavior is linked to a physical
or psychological problem.
Some cats get constipated, which is painful, and they will
go anywhere but the litter box because they associate the
litter box with a painful place. The same may be true for
cats with urinary tract problems. Your veterinarian can
prescribe treatment for these conditions and the cat may
immediately go back to using its litter box.
But if not, you can try litter box crate training. Get an
animal crate big enough for your cat and the litter box.
Then whenever you feed your cat, immediately put your cat in
the crate with the litter box. The cat will then have
immediate access to the litter box. Try to make the floor of
the crate unattractive so that it isn't tempted to use the
crate floor as its waste disposal site.
Once you let your cat out after it has deposited its waste,
keep any eye on your cat. If it starts turning circles or
scratching at a spot then you may want to put it back in the
crate because this can signal that it needs to eliminate
You may never be able to retrain a cat not to attack a prey
animal that you keep as a pet. But you can possibly retrain
the behavior with a squirt gun, some water, and a keen,
attentive eye. Once you see your cat stalking your other pet
or trying to attack your other pet then squirt it with the
water gun. This is the fastest way to stop bad behaviors.
However, it should be used as a last resort.
To train your cat to go to the bathroom in your toilet so
that you don't have to clean and change a litter box first
you must get a litter box that fits inside the toilet.
Usually after a period of time your cat will get the idea
and start going in the toilet after you remove the litter
box after a week or so. Usually only the smarter cat can
accomplish this task.
For more complicated tasks like going through tunnels or
jumping over objects, giving a treat and offering praise
after the trick is completed is a good way to train a cat to
do complicated tricks.
Remember that a cat responds well to methods of training
that are beneficial to the cat. They don't understand that
eliminating on your carpet is a bad thing. Nor do they
understand that you like your curtains in one piece. You
will have to accommodate them and train them in a positive
way. Always offer praise and treats of good behavior and do
not reinforce bad behavior or resort to yelling and violence
and make your cat afraid of you.
Cats Love Treats!
What better way to reward good behavior than by giving your feline friend
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