Many people believe that you cannot train a cat because, well, they’re masters at training people. I know our cats definitely have us trained in many ways. However, did you know that cats can be trained just like dogs can?
I find it interesting that dog parents (usually) love to train their canines but cat parents rarely put in the effort to train their kitties. Cats have a reputation of being independent and only receptive to doing ‘their thing’, but training your kitties is actually a great way to stimulate their minds and also strengthen your bond with them.
Training A Cat
Unfortunately many only train their cats with discipline in order to curb unwanted behavior. I often hear people say that they’ve trained their cats not to jump on the counter or scratch furniture. Discipline is not the most effective or desirable way to teach your kitty. Using spray bottles, loud noises or newspapers only scares our cats. This often makes them scared of us – not the action we are trying to change.
Using positive reinforcement with treats, clickers, love, etc. works much better for training our cats to do or not do something. Just as you would train your dog, you can also get your kitty to give you a high five, roll over, jump, meow or climb with positive reinforcement and a bit of time. Dogs aren’t trained overnight and neither are our cats.
Does your cat have a favorite treat? We have trained some of our cats to sit, jump, stay, etc. with a simple treat prize for doing what we asked. Cats also respond well to “sweet talk” as a reward. For instance, when our cat, Oliver Twist, wants to jet outside when I open the back door I simply say “No” – and he stops. When I open the door I say “good boy!” and he stays. If I miss the “good boy” part, he still jets. No treat required!
Comment below and let us know how you train your kitties!