Whether kittens or seniors, cats CAN be trained. Everything they learn on their own, they keep secret!
Tips for training cats their way (the only way):
- Choose training times when your cat is awake and relaxed.
- Cats, being so intelligent, get bored easily. Focus on one trick per training session and keep it short. If your cat is losing interest or wants to leave, that means training is over.
- Use positive reinforcement. When your cat does what you’re asking her to do, reward her with a treat, some head scratches and even a “good girl” in a soft but reassuring voice.
- Cats learn commands for movements they already do throughout the day like sitting or hopping up onto your lap.
- Never force your cat do to do something that could cause her stress or discomfort. Be mindful of her cues during training like ears pinned back and tail flicking as well as cues afterwards like hiding and house soiling. These cues are her way of telling you she’s not comfortable with the training activities and they either need to change or stop.
- Meal-feed your cat rather than free-feed. Most dogs will readily perform for more kibbles, hungry or not. Cats, on the other hand, won’t respond as well if they already have food in their bellies.
Do you have some great training insight to add? Please share in the comments!
Kathleen and Wallace