Basic Cat Training Tips for Beginners
While it’s easy to think that cats don’t do well with training, the truth of the matter is they are actually just as capable of making progress compared to canine counterparts. That’s not to say that cats are the same as for dogs; of course, they have their own perspectives and behaviors. Understanding that is a great start as you go forward with these three great training tips.
1. Be Patient
The best thing you can do while training a cat is maintaining a large amount of patience. With cats, that patience needs to go into overdrive as each motion and decision come with time.
Set up an amount of time and how many times in a week you want to work on the training. Next, look at long term goal. When do you see the cat bring trained? When do you want to see progress? Keep expectations and time frames realistic and you’ll be able to control those expectations.
2. Never Punish
Punishment never works! Let’s get this out of the way before you get too deep into cat training. No punishment of any kind is going to make the process go faster or help your cat learn anything.
Think of it much like you were the cat; would you like someone punishing you as you learned? Of course not, so apply those same goals to the cat or cats in your life. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and kindness. It’s the right recipe for getting you and the cat through growing pains.
3. Consider The Rewards You’ll Use
Treats are everything when it comes to building up a great relationship during training. As you choose a treat or treats, know what options are out there and how any cat could react to them. The most common types of treats are:
The type of treat used is ultimately dependant on the cat. Before picking a treat, ask the cat’s vet about what might be best. They can also advise you on any dietary restrictions or issues that could be a problem later on. After you’ve agreed upon a treat, use it wisely. Be sure not to overfeed or put too many treats out as you train he cat; overfeeding is easy to do if you get excited.
4. Diversion Can Be Your Best Tool
For cat training, there can be some big bumps in the road. Whether it be scratching up modern cat furniture or picking a spot for urination other than the litter box, using diversions may be just what you need to make your training goals happen. When dealing with furniture destruction, the best way to start a positive change is a direct diversion.
For example, scratching on couches and sofas can be easily remedied with the addition of scratching posts or materials nearby. As you try to ween them off of the habit, those welcome diversions can make a difference. For litter box to toilet training, the same things apply. By starting out with the toilet next to their litter box the diversion of having that so close makes the choice easier for the cat. Moving the litter box closer, and then, ultimately on to the toilet itself combines the diversions into one area.
5. Repetition Helps
Training doesn’t happen overnight and it is going to take an effort on your part to make this happen. Repetition is the key to getting behavior to set in, whether in a person or an animal. The idea of this method is simple, do the same thing over and over again.
One of the best examples is how your cat adjusts to feeding times. Like clockwork, they know everything about the time, place, and amount even before you get to it. That instinct comes from intuition and learning over time; it’s exactly what you’ll need for training. Once again. getting a schedule is important but set up cues that it’s time for training.