Cats are known to be owners of their own will. They can’t be tamed like other pets. But you can definitely train them for specific tasks that will make them more social and hygienic. These tasks can be like to listen when you call, litter train, not to bite or scratch the furniture etc. I will give you some tips common to all task trainings that you should follow throughout. Later on, we will discuss individual techniques of how to train a cat for different activities.
While training a cat is possible, but you will need a lot of patience to do it. Your cat won’t understand what are you up to so you can’t expect her to respond positively the very first time. Be patient take one step at a time. Also, don’t take up all the tasks at once. Train her for one thing at a time. Once she is trained for that, you can switch to second activity and so one.
Reward with treats
All living being are like rewards and animals are no different. They like to get rewards, and the only to make them understand what is to be done is by rewarding them every time they do something right. Now, what kind of rewards do they want? They are not employees who like applause for their performance or a promotion. They like their favourite treats and some pat. You can also rub their fur, they love it when you do that.
While you should reward them for positive behaviour, but don’t punish them for any mistake or negative actions. Cats aren’t responsive to punishment. Instead, they might start fearing you. When you feel they aren’t doing something right, try to distract them with a sharp sound. Don’t shout at them that might not help training her.
Keep the practice sessions short
Your cat’s attention span is short, and so you can’t keep her interested for long. You shouldn’t ask her to do things when you are ready but practice when she is in the mood. Don’t force her to do something she isn’t comfortable in. All cats have their individual likes and dislikes. You must consider those when you train them.
Don’t limit the training sessions to yourself. Involve your friends and family members too. The cat will learn to interact with other people and become more social. Her comfort level with humans and other animals will increase. Tell other people how the training works and how you instruct your cat. She will get habitual of listening not just you but other people as well.
Now that you know the thumb rules of how to train your cat, so we will talk about every task individually.
How to Train a cat to use the litter box
The most necessary training is to teach her to use a litter box. I am sure you don’t want your cat to mess around your house. Well, cats can easily be toilet trained. You will need to work on her a few times, and soon he will understand where to release herself.
- The first thing to be taken care of is to where you should keep the litter box in your house. Cats like their privacy, and at the same time, it should be easily accessible. So, keep the box at a quiet place where there is not much noise and also make sure it is not somewhere very far from her approach.
- Also, keep it away from her food and water bowl. Keeping her food nearby will discourage her from using the litter box.
- Next, keep track of her daily cycle. Cats mostly release themselves after eating or waking up. So, initially, you will need to keep them in the litter box just after they have had food or after they have woken up. If they release themselves a few times in the litter box, they will get accustomed to it and look for the same place every time they feel the need to defecate.
- If in case they litter somewhere else, them clean that area and spray some scent otherwise they will tend to pee there again because of the similar smell. Scoop the litter and put it in the box, the smell will lead them to the box the next time.
How to train a cat to come when you call
Cats don’t understand their name, they get familiar with its sound. Now, to make her respond to that sound, you will need to relate it to something that attracts her. And what is better than food for this purpose? You must call her name before giving her a bite of her favourite treat. This way she will associate the sound with getting treats, and gradually she will start responding to it even without treats. You can slowly switch to giving pats or rubbing her fur to reward her.
How to train a Cat not to bite
Cats usually have a desire to bite with their teeth due to their predatory instincts. You can’t expect them to overcome it completely. What you can do is to take care of two things:
- Do not hinder their privacy. Cats need their space, and you must respect it. Don’t try to pick them or touch them without their will. If you force yourself on them, they will become defensive and hence might bite or scratch you. So, let them enjoy themselves, and they come to you when they are in a mood to play or cuddle.
- Your cat might be in the habit of biting you for no reason. In this case, firstly don’t shout on her. This will not help. She might just run away from you, but the habit won’t go. So, whenever she does so stop playing with her. Ignore her completely. Don’t move at all or indulge in any kind of activity with her. She will gradually understand that her aggressive behaviour is not acceptable to you. If she is a mood to play, she will learn to stay calm and not to bite.
How to train a cat not to scratch the furniture
This is probably the most annoying habit of cats. They scratch each and everything that comes in their way. Be it a wall, a piece of furniture, a rug, or even a curtain. Well, they can’t be blamed for it entirely. They feel the inching in their paws and hence the need to scratch everything to soothe themselves down. But how to stop them from doing so? Mind you clipping their nails is not the solution. It becomes very painful for them and they will become very aggressive and irritated.
The first thing that you do is to provide them with a scratching post. Accepting the fact that scratching isn’t just another annoying habit but an unavoidable need of theirs. The scratching post will give them a place where they can sharpen their claws.
Next is to train them to use the scratching post instead of scratching the whole house down. You must stop them every time they scratch something by making a weird and sharp voice. This will distract them. Now you can direct them to the post where they can continue with their exercise. If you do this few times, they will soon learn to use the post and spare your furniture and walls for good. A win-win situation, right?
How to train a cat to sit down, give hi-five, ring a bell etc.
All these exercises follow a similar technique- click and treat. You will direct the cat to do a particular task, and when she does so, you will make a clicking sound and then treat her. The clicking sound is to tell her that she has done something right and hence she will be treated. Make the sound every time she obeys your order and then treat her. She will associate the clicking sound like the time to get a treat and also with the task.
For example- To make her sit down, direct her with your hand to sit. She might not listen to you, because she doesn’t understand hand movements as yet, but as she sits down, make the clicking sound and give her a treat.
Similarly, to teach her to give you a hi-five is very easy. You must keep a treat in your hand, touch her paws and give her a reward. The next time you do the same just lift your hand a little higher. She will soon learn to give you hi-five as you show her your hand even without treats.
To teach her to ring a bell to open a door is the same. You ring the bell in front of her. Ignore her starching or knocking etc. when she touches the ring open the door for her and give her a treat. Repeat the process whenever she wishes to go out or come in. She will soon understand that ringing is what coveys the order to open the door.
You can use this technique for innumerable activities that you want to teach your cat. This will go with you a long way. You can even click these moments which make a beautiful photo. Get it hand painted from BookMyPainting and decorate your home with the masterpiece. These priceless moments will be saved forever.
After reading through the whole article, did you get your answers? I hope you did. Taming an animal isn’t easy especially when it is from the cat family. They are free spirits. My last tip would be to be friendly with them and respect them. They don’t harm without purpose and can prove to be excellent pets if taken care of. I have a pet myself, and she is as well mannered and hygienic as a dog. She even likes to cuddle. So, I wish you good luck with your little kitten.
Tell us what activities would you like to teach your cat?