Cats are fantastic pets that are lovable and often inadvertently hilarious. It’s a common misconception that a cat cannot be trained in the same manner as a dog – cats are more than capable of being trained, you just need to start early!
This is why it’s best to begin training from a young age, preferably as soon as you bring your feline friend home! Cats aren’t as receptive to training as dogs, so you want to give yourself a head start!
Check out these handy kitten training tips !
Getting your Cat to Sit
The basis of cat training is positive reinforcement. If a cat is rewarded for behaviour you deem acceptable, they are likely to be more receptive to learning it. Starting early means the chances of your pet doing it in the future are much greater.
Teaching sit is relatively easy to do. Playing around with your cat, as soon as they sit down, give an immediate reward. This can be a nice treat such as tuna or a cat snack, a clicker, or just a positive response with your voice such as ‘good’ or ‘yes’ – always reward the moment the bottom is on the ground!
Avoid giving the reward if they move from their position, such as lifting a paw or going on their hind legs. Only offer the treat when he is sitting completely to make him understand the reward. To make him more receptive to being fed as a treat, perform your training during mealtime!
There will be the need to transport your cat at some point in its life, and more than likely a cage or carry crate will be needed for this task. So you will want your kitty to be open to going into the crate to make things go smoothly!
This can easily achieved by placing his meals in your cage or crate for a short period to get him used to being inside. Once he is happy enough to be inside a confined space, you can attempt to close the door. Only do it for a short time initially, ensuring he isn’t distressed or traumatised by the experience. After you can close the door for a prolonged period and you cat is not fussed by his location, you can safely transport you cat whilst keeping him happy.
Cats are happy to be handled for the most part, yet there are some areas of their body they don’t like being touched too much. This can be trained out of them from a young age however, making future trips to the vet and grooming him a stress (and scratch!) free experience.
To teach handling, you will want to get your cat when he is in a good mood and feeling ncie and relaxed. Gently handle him in any sort of awkward position, such as holding him on his side or under the arms, and reward him as you do so using a treat or your voice.
The same goes for areas that will need to be handled in the future. The ears and teeth are good areas to gently touch when your kitten is feeling in playful mood, again rewarding him as you go. Some cats are more open than others, meaning you can give them the treat as soon as you have held or touched them in a certain way. More intimidated kittens will need their treat as you perform the handling, not after.
Should you be successful in training him to be more receptive to being touched and handled in a variety of ways, then grooming tasks like teeth brushing, nail trimming and cleaning the ears are far easier to do.