Dog owners know the joy of teaching their pups new tricks.
There is nothing better than watching your dog advance from a simple “sit” command to more difficult commands, such as roll over or high five.
But as a cat owner, there’s probably a good chance that you’ve never even given a thought to cat training.
And if you have thought it about, your thought was probably, “Is it even possible?”
Dogs need a lot of hands-on training.
They don’t naturally come with skills such as using the bathroom outdoors and not eating your furniture.
And apart from destructive behaviors that need to be curbed, dogs are very responsive, and even enjoy following a master’s commands.
Cats are clever and instinctively know how to do things like use a litter box. Many cats also live as indoor pets, so they don’t need to be trained to sit, stay, and walk safely on a leash.
That is where the disconnect for training occurs.
We assume that dogs are for training, and we just go ahead and let our feline friends do their own thing.
After all, dogs are loyal and obedient, while cats just do whatever they please, right?
Wrong. Well, at least mostly wrong.
Cats do have a tendency to follow their own agenda, but with the right motivation and training techniques, you can train a cat to do almost anything a dog can do.
Keep reading to discover a few things that are necessary if you plan on training your pet cat.
The number one thing you need to train a cat is patience.
We’ve already established that cats like to do things on their own timeline. Because of this, training your cat to do a simple cat trick can take a while.
It can take weeks for a cat to master a trick as simple as “sit.” But with patience and persistence, you should be able to accomplish your goal.
As you begin training, I recommend you begin with the command sit. Every time you see your cat sit, verbally say the word “sit,” and then reward your cat with a treat.
Eventually your cat will pick up on the idea that the action of sitting on command means a reward, and he will do it when you ask.
Starting with simpler commands makes it easier on both you and your pet.
Rewards are a vital part of any training process.
This is especially true for cats. If you want your cat to pay attention and do things on your time, she’s going to need motivation.
I suggest using fresh treats from your kitchen to reward your pet. Small pieces of chicken, white fish, or beef can be safely used as tasty rewards.
As soon as your cat responds to the command you give, reward her with a small treat.
Just be sure not to overfeed your cat. A tiny taste is usually enough motivation to keep your kitty going.
If you need to restrict your cat’s caloric intake, or are worried about your kitty getting too many treats, you can always use sound rewards, like a clicker.
In order for your cat to pick up a new trick, you need to be consistent with your training.
Set aside a half hour or so every day where you can work with your cat.
Work on the same trick every time. And don’t move on to a new trick until the first one is mastered.
Perhaps you’re having a hard time getting your cat to enter his travel cage.
Every day pick a time when you place a reward inside the cage. Make sure your cat is near by, and when you see him enter the cage, give him a command.
Do this every day, and eventually your cat will look forward to seeing the cage come out, knowing that a treat awaits inside.
Slowly you can remove treats from the cage and just use the command to get your pet to go inside. Once he goes in, give him the reward.
Eventually, your cat should learn to enter the cage with a command, and you should be able to wean him off the rewards.
Of course, I would still recommend giving your cat a treat every once in a while when he enters the cage, just to reinforce the command.
And there you have it.
It’s definitely possible to train your cat, and with some time, patience, and a few delicious treats, your cat may become the envy of your neighbor’s dog.
If your cat already knows some cool tricks, I’d love to see it!
Share your videos or pictures on my Facebook page.
I look forward to seeing your adorable fur babies!