Cat Behavior - How to Train Cats
Before beginning to try to change the behavior of your cat, it may be a good idea to learn a little bit about cat behavior. One of the most natural instincts for a cat is to jump and automatically land on their feet. A kitten is not born with the natural cushion it takes to be able to land on it's feet and it takes about 7 weeks for this cushion to actually develop. Also, cats have a unique bone structure when compared to other animals. A cat's bones are more flexible and because they have no collar bone they are able to turn more easily. This enables a cat to jump from many different angles without causing injury to itself in most instances.
As a result of this natural instinct to jump, you may wish to teach you cat how to jump through hoops, over sticks, or even from a scratching post onto your shoulder or back. Watch out for the claws though. Also, do keep in mind that a cat can be injured when jumping from extreme heights such as breaking a leg or internal injuries so use caution when training your cat to jump. Cats have the ability to hear high frequencies and pitches so you will often find they come running when you are opening a can of food or a door.
I know my own cats always seem to know when I am about to open a door to go outside and they will either be waiting to come in or trying to get out and heaven forbid I should open a can of anything, all four cats are right there wanting to know if they are going to get a treat. I am sometimes amazed at a cat's sense of smell. Just the other day when Ben was cutting up cold chicken, my cat Twinkie, who was sound asleep in the other room, woke up and came to see if she could have some scraps. She loves chicken.
It is their sense of smell that causes them to rub up against things or to urinate in certain areas. They are leaving their scent so that they will know they have been there before. This is what is known as marking their territory. When another cat or animal is in the same area, they will know that this cat was there before them. Understanding a little about these natural instincts and behaviors can help you learn more about how to train cats. Letting you cat use it's natural instincts during training is an important thing to keep in mind.
Older cats sometimes tend to become a little aggressive, especially if they are ill or if there are other cats in the home. Training a cat that is not in good health is not a good idea so check with your vet if you think your cat may have any medical problems before you start trying to train them.
If your cat had a previous owner and for some reason they decided to give the cat up, this can cause a cat to become depressed and show some signs of anxiety. I know this for a fact because when Sammy was first born he was supposed to go to my father in law but Sammy knew he was supposed to be my cat. He cried non stop for 2 days until Wally couldn't take it anymore and brought him back home. Don't worry if you have a similar reaction from your cat because they will learn to love you just as much in a short period of time. Again, be patient and don't try to train your cat if he is stressed out.
You should never, under any circumstance hit a cat because this will cause the cat to be afraid of you and it is very hard to undo the damage once it has been done. I do yell at my cat's every now and then if they do something they shouldn't but I have had them for a number of years and they are spoiled rotten and already know that I love them unconditionally. Using a spray bottle filled with water is one of the best ways to control unwanted behavior.
If you find your cat is constantly behaving in a way that bothers you, such as knocking things off tables or counter tops, simply remove everything just like you might do for a child. Learning how to train cats before you get one is the ideal way to go but if you already have a cat, it is never too late to start teaching them good habits. The best time to begin training is when you first get your cat or kitten but keep in mind this is only if there are no health or depression issues. If you have a good relationship with your cat from the beginning, you are more likely to have a happy, healthy cat.Article By Kimberly Aita
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