Cats have a reputation for doing whatever they want, which is why many people consider them “untrained”.
But in reality, Your feline friend can learn many of the same behaviors you would teach your dog.
About cat trainingThe world is at your feet, says Beth Brown, cat behavior expert and owner of Ear to Tail.
particular, Your cat can learn endless fun or useful treatsAs:
- Cute tricks like “sit down” or “high five”.
- Correct use of litter box
- walk on leash
- come when called
- get into his carrier to go to the vet or on vacation
- getting in and out of the cat flap
In addition to bringing you premium TikTok content, Training your cat can benefit both of you, as it keeps your pet focused and strengthens your relationship.
So if you’re ready to train your cat, read on for 5 expert tips on cat behavior.
1. Do it with a positive attitude
You can know its 2 main methods reinforce a pet’s behavior During training sessions:
- Positive reinforcement: This means rewarding your cat for desired behavior, such as giving it a treat if it uses its scratching post.
- Negative reinforcement: This includes scolding or punishing him for behavior you don’t want, such as yelling at him if he scratches the couch.
“Los Methods based on positive reinforcement are much more effective for cats. Instead of trying to punish the unwanted behavior,” says Joy Luswardi, feline behavior expert and owner of Class Act Cats.
Although negative reinforcement may make your cat temporarily stop a certain behavior, it can also damage the relationship.
For example, the famous bottle of water. If you spray your cat when she jumps on the kitchen counter, she probably won’t associate it with coming on the counter, she’ll associate it with you., It doesn’t just scare your cat. According to Lusworthy, using this method will not give you the desired results in the long run.
If you opt for positive reinforcement, you’ll have better overall results, as well as less stressful training sessions for both you and him.
Quick tip: Before punishing your cat for negative behavior, try redirecting it towards what you want it to do. So instead of focusing on getting him off the counter, Lusworthy suggests, you can try encouraging him to go to that new scratching post you bought him.
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2. Find What Inspires You
Your dog may struggle to get food or hugs. But when it comes to your cat, finding her favorite inspiration can be a little tricky.
JR Henderson, feline behavior expert, contributor to The Animal Training Academy, and owner of ZenCatsRoc, explains that cats are more of themselves, and each one has different preferences.
Many cats find motivation in food or treats. But others may be interested in other types of rewards, such as:
- play time or access to toys
- brushing sessions
- hug session
- a pinch of catnip
If you’re not sure which reward your cat prefers, Henderson points to a preference test as a useful tool.
Give the cat several options and see which one she consistently chooses. For example, you could drop a chicken-flavored treat and a salmon-flavored treat on the floor, and see who catches it first.
If your cat treats salmon 9 times out of 10, you can be sure that it’s probably her favorite flavor and the one she’s most likely to work for.
3. Introduce a Clicker
As its name suggests, a clicker is a small handheld device that “clicks” when pressed. These or other training tools can help your cat learn.
clicker training It works like this: The control is applied when the cat performs the behavior you want to reinforce, and is then given its favorite reward. Like a few seconds with your favorite toy. Experts also call this marker training, because it “marks” the clicker behavior.
Over time, your cat will learn that the click equals a reward and will begin to perform more treats in an effort to get the reward.
According to Lusworthy, it’s always necessary to promote after you score, even if you score at the wrong time or accidentally click when you didn’t mean to. Otherwise, your cat may stop responding to the sound once it learns that you may be teasing it.
4. Reward Natural Behavior
Sometimes it can be helpful to reward your cat when she naturally does certain behaviors. Experts call this technique “capture”.
For example, If you want to teach him the “sit” command, you can wait for him to sit on his own and then mark the behavior with the clicker.,
“At the exact moment his butt hits the ground, click,” Lusverdi insisted.
From there, you can give a reward and add a cue, such as the word “sit” or a hand gesture, to reinforce the behavior.
If you repeat this over and over, your cat will eventually get the hang of it and begin to sit when you signal.
To get the most out of a training session, Lusverdi suggests encouraging your cat to change positions while you give her the treat. For example, you can throw the treat on the ground instead of letting him eat it from your hand.
“This gives him a chance to sit again, and you can reinforce his behavior again.”
5. Teach the Behavior Progressively
Are you ready to teach your cat something more complicated than a simple trick? According to Henderson, breaking down the behavior into “bite-sized pieces” can help you better understand what you want from him.
For example, if you want Teaching Your Cat to Enter the Cat FlapAre you:
- First open the flap.
- Then coax your cat into the cat flap.
- Finally, mark your progress with a single click.
When your cat is comfortable, you can raise the criteria for Earn a reward, such as starting by closing the cat flap and only rewarding it when it completes it on its own.
According to Henderson, training with a progressive approach guarantees the greatest success.
It is important that during training, your cat is able to perform the current one at least 80% of the time, before moving on to a new one.
things to keep in mind
There really isn’t much difference in training a cat and a dog. Many of the basic processes are the same, confesses Lusverdi.
That being said, not everything is equal between species, and cats can exhibit some unique quirks. For example, Your dog’s obedience class may last an hour, but cats have a much shorter internal clock.,
I often recommend Training sessions for cats last no more than 5 minutes, In fact, I’d aim for 2 minutes,” advises Brown.
Any longer, and your cat may lose interest, and you want him to enjoy the training sessions.
“Both you and your cat need to have fun all the time. If neither of you enjoys training, it won’t be very effective,” says Lusverdi.
What to do if your cat doesn’t ‘get it’
What if you follow all the experts’ advice, but your cat just stares at you during the training session?
“When cats choose not to interact with you during training, it is often because they are feeling anxious, scared or frustrated.”Ravella Brown.
Common issues affecting progress include:
- Environmental Distractions: Cats are sensitive to certain sounds. Therefore, any loud noise in or outside the room, such as a dog barking, can be distracting.
- Floor Training: Your cat may become fearful if you train him to that level. “Keep in mind that you, the human, are Godzilla, and your cat is just a little floof Brown suggests trying to figure out how to live in your world. Putting your cat on a raised surface can level the playing field and make him feel more comfortable.
- Untimely Reward: According to Lusworthy, you need to reward within 3 seconds of appropriate behavior for the association to form. This moment is important in order for the cats to perceive it correctly.
- Timing of training sessions: You will also want to take into account the overall timing of your training sessions. For example, if treats are your cat’s favorite reward, she may be less interested in training right after eating.
It is normal that several sessions are needed to tame several cats.Luswardi says. So don’t worry if your cat doesn’t “get” things as quickly as possible.
If you’re having trouble overcoming potential training roadblocks, Lusverdi suggests recording your sessions. You can watch the footage like sports replays and spot any potential mistakes — and use that “glitch” to advance your cat’s career as a viral video star.
“It’s okay to laugh during a training session if the cat doesn’t notice right away. Enjoy the process and understand that you will eventually reach the end goal,” encourages Lusverdi.