What is cat training?
Did you know that you can actually train cats using gentle off leash methods
that are also used to train puppies?
Avoid punishing your cat for misbehaving and you should be well on your way to
reaching your desired training goals.
You may not care if
your cat will "heel" or perform a "down-stay". But
wouldn't it be nice if your cat did come when called, or would "sit" at the
back door instead of rushing in or out?
Not only is this possible, you
your cat to do many fun and
practical things. Why do you think cats suddenly appear when they hear the
can opener? That is a
Cats are individuals
Your cat may act differently when
you begin training. You may notice your cat acting curious and eager or
suspicious of this new routine or completely ignoring you.
Human nature tends to concentrate on the bad and forget about the good.
Rewarding good behavior pays out in spades, giving you a royal flush of
continued good behavior.
Choose a reward or treat that is highly appealing.
Commercial cat treats are great, but if
your cat isn't impressed, try cutting
up bite-size pieces of chicken or tuna. When your cat becomes accustomed
to the routine of training, try using your cat's regular cat kibble as a
Feed your cat on a schedule
It is important that your cat is hungry during training sessions.
Motivation is the
key! Your cat will ignore even the tastiest of treats if
eating food all day or has just eaten.
purposes, try feeding a small breakfast, lunch, and dinner instead of
leaving out food. Then, begin your training session just before you feed
your cat. Do not withhold food unless recommended by your veterinarian.
Remember to count the treats as part of the daily ration of food so that
your cat stays hungry, healthy and lean.
Keep your sessions short
Set up your cat to succeed and then positively
reinforce your cat with treats and praise. Many short training sessions
will be more successful than one long session. Five to ten minutes is
Choose the training area wisely.
busy, noisy area may make it difficult to keep your cat's attention.
Choose a quiet, familiar location.
End training sessions prior to your cat getting bored or frustrated. Try
to end with a positive note and best response. .
Don't introduce too many commands at once.
with one command until your cat can consistently perform it and then introduce
a new command.
In future editions
of Positive Pet Parenting, you will learn how to teach your cat
to sit and fetch a toy.