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Shocking as it may sound, cats can be trained! You can train your cat to do novelty tricks as well as develop useful behavior. Unlike dogs, cats are less instinctively driven to work with their human companions. You cannot train your cat the way you train your dog. But you can train your cat to
- Litter training: always use the litter for defecating
- Approach to gesture or call
- Stay still and calm for grooming
- Interact with you and others
- Play with you, others or with toys
- Remain calm while traveling
You and your cat will have a better relationship if your cat develops useful behavior. The first thing to remember is that cats respond to positive reinforcement and not punishments. Punishing them induces stress, which will lead to behavioral and health problems.
- Positive reinforcement with clickers and treats to develop good behavior! Offering your cat treat for good behavior following a click helps train your cat better. Rewarding without a clicker may confuse the cat as to why he/she is being rewarded. When a command is obeyed, the cat hears a click followed by a reward that is more likely to catch on.
- Vocal cues: You can start by using a distinct noise before you open a can or a bag before feeding. The cat will learn to associate that sound with something positive like food and treats and head to you when it hears it. You can encourage response to this sound outside feeding time by rewarding the cat.
Positive reinforcement and reward also help to train the cat to stay still while grooming, especially while treating flea and tick.
Things to keep in mind while training your cat
Training a cat helps in its well-being, and it is important for your well-being as well. You will have a better relationship with your cat with proper training. The most important thing to keep in mind while training a cat is that a cat does not respond to punishment and dominance. Some things to keep in mind while training a cat include
- The best positive reinforcement you can use while training treats such as the Greenie’s Pill Pockets.
- Make sure you give your cat a reward only when he/she responds to a specific command/sound or for a specific behavior
- Repeat the training process several times so that your cat learns why he/she is being rewarded with a treat
- Use a clicker to time your reward precisely and eventually cut down on treats. Your cat will start to respond to the clicker.
- Make sure you train one trick at a time to avoid any confusion.
Make sure you always start with simple tricks and treats and proceed to big rewards for bigger tricks. This way, you can keep the training interesting and rewarding as well.