Recently in Cat Training Category

Article by Sandy Stone

cat1px00010_91_2.jpegIf you decide to get a kitten for your home and keep it indoors, remember that you are taking a lot of responsibility on yourself. You will have a lot more things to do than to only feed and play with your new friend. Your kitten will need to be trained in order to behave well in the house. This may take much of your time and will require a lot of patience and effort.

Usually the best time to teach an animal something is when the animal is still young and so it is with kittens. Luckily cats don't need to go to a special behavior training school like dogs do. It is easier to raise a cat yourself than it is with a dog.

Before you get a cat, read about how they behave in general. If you don't do that it will be very hard for you. Maybe you are not a cat person at all? Cats are affectionate and usually well behaved. If a cat doesn't behave well, you can be sure there is something wrong with them or the environment they live in. As soon as you find out what it is and fix it, the problem is solved and your cat will start to behave normally.

Here are some tips to help you train your little cat at home:

Little cats love to play. They need to exercise. If you will not provide toys for them they will find things from your home and it will be most likely be things you would not want them to play with.

Usually kittens are not toilet trained. You will need to train them in order to keep your home clean and odor free. Get a suitable litter box which is not too small for your cat. Your cat should feel comfortable in it. Put some shredded newspaper or carpet on the bottom initially, as this will help your kitten to understand what it is used for. When they are using the litter box consistently you can then change over to regular cat litter.

In order to protect your furniture from being scratched, you need to buy a scratching pad or post for your cat. A little kitten may not able to destroy much of anything at first because their claws are not strong, but when your cat gets older they will be a danger to your furniture. Your best tool while training your kitten is rewards. Every time your little cat does something good give them a little treat as a reward. Remember about this wonderful tool. It will make or break your training. Hitting or shouting will not be beneficial; if you do that they will be afraid of you and you will not be able to teach them anymore.

Little kittens are wonderful, sweet and lovable. The time you will spend with your little one will be joyful and happy. Your effort will pay off and you will have a well behaved cat at home.

Sandy Stone is a cat lover and author. She owns and maintains No Bad Cats!, a resource for training a kitten.

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relaxing_shoulder.jpgNo matter how you work it, walking a cat on leash is never going to be like walking a dog. That's the main thing we must accept. However, cats can be trained to walk on a leash! It is definitely a learned behavior, as no cat comes by it naturally. But it can work rather well, if you work at it. If you start with a kitten, it is definitely easier to accomplish. But adult cats can learn it, too. It just might take longer, and tax your patience more, but nothing is impossible with determination and perseverance - and most importantly, patience.

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Start by getting your cat used to wearing a collar, if she doesn't have one already. Or, better yet, help your cat become accustomed to a harness. While a collar can be left on constantly, it's not recommend to do so with a harness. Most cats seem uncomfortable in a harness, and it could impact their balance and mental well being if they are forced to keep it on all the time. Just put the harness on when it is time to do the leash thing, and they will learn that the harness is equated with taking a walk. If this is the cat's only opportunity to go outdoors, they will come to accept it and even look forward to it.

After they learn that the collar, or the harness, is not going to kill them, attach a short piece of string to it and let them drag it around the house for an hour or so. Some cats will be frightened by this and others will find it amusing and make a game of it. If you have more than one cat, this could definitely become a game they enjoy.

Once they become indifferent to it, attach a real leash and let them drag that around for a while. (Never ever leave anything attached to their collar or harness permanently. And keep an eye on them to prevent getting snagged and hurting themselves.) Soon, you can pick up the leash and handle it, perhaps tugging on it from time to time. This lets them know you have it and can control it. Now lift it up off the floor and follow your cat around, holding the leash up. Don't tug - just follow. Once they become used to that, you can begin making little tugs now and then, just to let them know you're there.

photoshop_the-second-set-of-eyes-please.jpgNow you can take this show on the road. Well, the sidewalk, anyway. Or the yard, or the park, or.... where would you like to go? Just be near a place where you can quickly put kitty back inside in case a safety issue arises. That place could be your house, your car, a pet taxi, a friend's house, or a motel room. Many motels now allow pets in the rooms, as more and more people travel with their pets.

The thing is, cats are more likely than dogs to freak out and try to run up a tree or under a car. Or into traffic. If she's on a leash, you can prevent these mishaps, but the collar or harness had better be strong, and you will have to be a pillar of calm and strength for her, sweeping her up if she gets into trouble and putting her immediately into a safe place so she can recuperate. It is amazing sometimes what little things will make a cat spook.

The first few real walks will have to be short, but as she, and you, become used to this new activity, she will want to walk farther each time, and you will be amazed at how well she does on a leash. Just don't expect her to heel. And don't encourage any running, as this will only excite her into a fear mode more easily.

Cats also love to stop and smell the roses, or eat grass. Let them smell, don't let them eat. This leash thing isn't going to evolve into a jogging routine for either of you, so let her smell and investigate things. However, eating grass could be dangerous if you don't know whether it's been sprayed with any chemicals. Keep your walks short and get back inside while everyone is still upbeat so these excursions will always be a positive experience.

Article by Dr. R.J. Peters

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pictures_cats_kitten_cute.jpgThis article appears at Little Big Cat, By Jackson Galaxy

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The scenario plays out with cat guardians everywhere: the cat is always getting into something, like jumping onto counters, climbing up screen doors or drapes…and the list goes on. It seems like everyone these days is armed with a handy squirt bottle or squirt gun; sometimes, as I've seen in clients' homes, in every room of the house. Somewhere along the line, this punishing tool has become as prevalent and acceptable as just saying a loud "NO!" In response, we've had many queries, both on line and in consultations, about the efficacy of this method.

I believe that the squirt bottle is NOT an effective way of changing a cat's behavior. When I say this, often I'm met with quizzical or defensive looks. The guardian might say, "But, I've seen it work. I squirt, and Tigger jumps off the counter. Nowadays, he just has to see the bottle in my hands, and he runs away." Yes, exactly my point. Tigger is responding, but is it for the right reasons? No.

What is the cat actually learning in this scenario? Is he learning that the counter is a bad place to be be? No. What Tigger is learning is that, first, the counter is a bad place to be when you are present and holding the squirt bottle, and second, he is learning to be afraid of you. The bottle appears to him as an extension of your arm, and it is you, not the bottle, that is getting him wet.

Pictures_cats_scratching_furniture.jpgDoes he get anxious and run when he sees the bottle sitting neutral on the end table? No. He only reacts when he sees you holding it and pointing it in his direction. In my opinion, this doesn't make for a trusting relationship. In fact, it can cause more behavior problems, fears and phobias that you hadn't considered. Depending on your cat's background, this may be a bigger Pandora's box than with other cats. Specifically, I believe the risk of developing secondary behavior problems is greater in rescued cats, since they may have been subject to unknown abuses, so that something as "mild" as the squirt gun can trigger response to latent trauma.

In a perfect world, we could shape the behavior of cats in terms of all undesired behaviors with 100% positively reinforced training. That is to say, with reward, the cat will want to repeat the desired action. That works in many cases, if not most. In my experience, unfortunately, it's not a guarantee. I do occasionally recommend the use of negative reinforcers, but in limited circumstances, and with some very important facts in mind:

1. Punishment must occur within three seconds (maximum) of the action occurring or else it will have absolutely no effect.

2. Punishment must also happen around the clock, meaning every single time the behavior occurs – whether you are home or not, asleep or not, paying attention or not.

3. The punishment must be consistent in its effect so that the possibility for abuse is nullified.

4. Punishment in itself is not the answer. There must be a positive alternative for the cat, or else a sense of frustration will develop, and the behavior one seeks to eradicate will be redirected elsewhere in the living environment.

Bengal_kitty_clones.jpgLet's address some of these points in more detail. The upshot of numbers 1-3 is that interactive punishment, or punishment involving person to cat, cannot work. There's no way that the cat's guardian can always grab that water bottle within three seconds, or with the same amount of intensity. Most importantly, there's no way you can follow your cat around 24/7. For anyone who tells me that they've solved the problem with the water gun, I tell them that they may have solved it while they're home, but they are seriously underestimating their cat's intelligence.

The cat knows that when the guardian is gone, the negative reinforcer is also gone. That's why, in these cases, the only thing that will work is remote punishment, or punishment that employs a device that is always present. Take, for instance, the Tattle Tale Alarm. It is a small, battery-operated device that you place on the counter. It is motion sensitive, and when activated, lets out a sound that will scare the cat off the counter. It then resets itself. There are many other such devices that use heat and motion detectors, for example, like Scraminal, which can prevent a cat from entering an entire room if you want. These high-end devices can all be found at Drs. Foster and Smith.

On the do-it-yourself side, you can even use double-sided sticky tape, or an upside-down vinyl carpet runner. You can use anything that will consistently send the message that "this is not a friendly place to be!" At the same time, I am strongly opposed to anything that shocks or otherwise causes strong bodily discomfort. For instance, I object to The Scat Mat because it produces an electric shock that can seriously frighten and hurt a cat.

Point #4 is equally important. Putting up a Tattle Tale, or any other remote punisher and thinking, "job well done!" is a big mistake. I've visited clients, frustrated by the climbing antics of their cats, who put tape on their drapes, Snappy Trainers (harmless mousetraps fitted with large paddles to make a noise) on the mantles and counters, but then new problems crop up. The cats start attacking ankles out of play aggression, for instance, or fight with one another. The whole time, the message was loud and clear; "Give me something acceptable to climb on!" So, spend the money. Cat furniture, condos, scratching posts and such, as many as possible, will give your cats a place to climb and scratch where you can praise them for doing what is, after all, natural to them. This way, for every "NO!" there's a "YES" associated with it. Also, consider employing flower essence therapy during the time of frustrating re-learning. Spirit Essences' "Feline Training" is ideal for this purpose.

cutest-sleeping-kitties9.jpgIn the end, the most important reason I can give for tossing that squirt bottle is to protect the bond between you and your feline companion. Let a strip of tape do the dirty work. The points outlined above make it a hard case for us to continue to fill roles as disciplinarians when, in the long run, we know it will not bear fruit. We are fallible; we have emotions and can overstep that line from discipline to abuse, all of us. At the very least, with every shot of water, we are eroding trust. There's no reason to let it get to that point.

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cat_training.jpgCats unlike dogs are highly individual animals and as a consequence, they can't be trained like dogs. When a dog does something wrong, raising your voice at the dog usually sends him the message that he's done something wrong. This tactic is generally a short term solution with no lasting effects for your cat.

According to my vet, one of the best ways to train your cat is by using a positive reinforcement model. When your cat does something wrong, instead of yelling at him, show him what he should be doing and where he should be doing it and praise him while he's doing the right thing. I've found that this strategy works great with my cat Maddy. If I get angry at my cat for being on the kitchen table, it can be confusing to Maddy (my cat) if an hour later, my daughter pets her on the table.

The best advice my vet gave me is consistency. You don't need tricks or gadgets to train your cat, what you need is a consistent message that will allow your cat to understand exactly what you want. It's been my experience that my cat can get very confused about disciplinary issues when I'm not consistent in my message.

I've pasted a video below from YouTube that demonstrates a very popular trend in cat training; it's called clicker training. Writing about clicker training is probably a subject for another day but the essence is that you have a clicker in your hand that you use to tell your cat when she's done something right.

I'm always looking for new training ideas. Got an idea? Share it below.

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Fact: People usually don't try to train them. Here is an example of a cat doing dog tricks. He sits, gives high fives and shakes a paw and more.

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There is a common misconception that cats are untrainable. But it's not the cat who can't be trained, the problem is with the human. Humans often don't spend time teaching their cats anything, and many times humans just don't know how to communicate with their cat so training is completely impossible.

Most of the time cats will do anything for extra attention and extra food or treats. So giving them both of those things while training, will make your training session very successful.

If you want your cat to do tricks, make it fun and rewarding for the cat. Use treats and a calm gentle vice to reward your cat. Work on one command at a time, and be consistent, don't leave long gaps of time between training sessions (like a week or more) and always reward him enthudisasically. And always end with a final treat and lots of petting and even some grooming. Read about Cat training tips, the best techniques

Try this trick:

Shake hands

This one might be the easiest trick to teach because many cats move when you touch their paws. Use your cat's natural reaction. Touch his paw, and say, "Shake." as soon as he lifts his paw, shake it. Then give him a treat and say something like, "Good boy" in a very enthusiastic and happy voice so he know he did something right.

Remember to be consistent, so that means repeating the command and reward exactly the same way each time. Do this until your cat looks like he's had enough or until you're done, maybe 4 or 5 repitions. Then groom him and praise him. He'll remember that extra attention next time and be willing to try the trick again later.

Let me know how this training session goes, and I'll post new tricks to try.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.


Continuing my quest to find the solution to my indoor/outdoor cat issues. So far, I've found underground electronic fences by PetSafe, and a cat gazebo by Kittywalk Systems.

Here is another option called Purrfect Cat Fences and Enclosures. It appears that it works for people with or without existing fences or for people who want to enclose their cats with a flexible fence that lets them see out but not get out. You can see in the video that the top of the fence angles in and over so the cat can't climb out.

Check it out, it looks like it offers your cat a lot of freedom while staying safely enclosed in your yard. They can run, jump and play while enjoying the outdoors.

Ok, so I am continuing my research on ways to keep Neo contained in my yard, without disrupting his fun. Yesterday, I told you about the KittyWalk system that is apparently available at Radio Fence also. I found out that Radio Fence sells PetSafe Premium Electronic Fences for cats.

stray_cats.jpgI've seen them for dogs, and some of the companies say they work for cats, but the collars are huge and the volt too high for a cat. Electronic cat fences were taken off the market for a while but I see they are back. They appear to have smaller collars and lower voltage. By the looks of it, the collar is small enough to be carried around by a cat and the system looks good, but I need more testimonials from real people who've used it.

I found some reviews online about Radio Fence, one of the top sellers of the PetSafe Premium Underground Cat Fences, and the buying experience was excellent, installation was easy, but no one commented on how their cats liked it and how it worked for their cats. So...what I'd like to know is, has anyone used this product on their cat and how well does it work for you and your cat? I'm thinking that this might be the way to go for Neo.

There are a few other options out there, so I'll keep you posted on what I find.

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I've begun my research on what to do about Neo outside. He's an indoor cat who wants to be an outdoor cat. I found this KittyWalk product that seems to be very popular.

I'm not convinced that this will be good for Neo, but take a look and tell me what you think. I'll keep researching this and let you know what I find. I am not sure why this person lets her dogs have free run of the yard but not her cat? Maybe because the cat can get away and out of the yard easier than the dogs, but it seems a little unfair to kitty!

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cat_training.jpgI'd say cat training tips is one of the biggest requests we get from our readers. Based upon my own experiences and some tips I've researched, here is this best advice I can provide.

One of the issues that most people don't realize is that cats can not be trained like dogs. Cats and dogs have completely different social structures which makes it a challenge to train a cat if your previous experience is with dogs. In my opinion, cats are much smarter than dogs which makes it even more difficult to train them.

Whether your are trying to teach your cat a trick or you're teaching your cat discipline, be consistent with your training. The earlier you train your cat, the more accepting they will be to your message. The kitten stage is a great time to take advantage of this.

I actually taught my cat Maddy how to play fetch with a mouse. We now play the game at least twice a week. Basically I take one of her play mice and pat my thigh three times in a rapid succession, she knows from hearing that sound that I'm ready to play the game with her. Usually she hides behind a chair or wall and she'll appear and pounce on the mouse when I throw the toy mouse. It's pretty kewl actually, my friends and family get a kick out of it. The key for Maddy was to praise her a lot when she was a kitten when we played the game. She now aks to play the game by bringing the mouse to me a few times a week.

Here are some other tips that you should be aware of when training your cat:

  • always use praise when training a cat, scolding will not work with cats.
  • keep training sessions fun, pressure tactics will make your cat lose interest quickly.
  • use your cat's name when praising him.
  • be cons
  • practice in a quiet place with Bach or preferably Mozart playing in the background. Ok, the classical music is a bit much but it can't hurt! Keep the distractions to a minimum when you're training your cat.
  • practice during your cat's "alert time."
  • end your training sessions with some sort of a treat. Try and always end the session on a positive note. Sounds crazy, but ending your training session any other way may cause your cat to show little interest the next time you initiate the training. If you're a cat lover, I don't have to tell you that cats have very good memory skills. Make them remember something fun.
  • practice a couple of times a day (depending on your schedule) during your cat's alert times.
  • be consistent and fair with your training.

  • You know your cat better than I do. All cats are different so if playing classical music in the background works, do it! If offering cat nip after the training session works, continue with it. Cat lovers understand that all cats are different so you have to use the motivation that works for your cat. Appeal to your cat and don't fight them and you'll have a happy trainable cat.

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    This guest post is from our friend Cortney, you can visit her blog at cat secrets revealed...

    cat-training-with-dogs.jpgTraining your cat is very important and for several different reasons. First, a cat that hasn't been trained, doesn't know what behaviors are acceptable and what are not, therefore, they are more likely to misbehave because they don't know they are misbehaving. Having a trained, well behaved cat allows the cat and the owner to bond and have a loving relationship rather than having a misbehaving cat that causes its owner a lot of stress and frustration.

    It is very important, as a cat owner, to understand that cats cannot be trained the same way as dogs. They don't behave the same way and they don't have the same thinking process as dogs. If you are trying to use the same training techniques on your cat that are designed for dogs, you probably aren't going to see results. Forcing training techniques on a cat will not work. They are stubborn by nature and if it's not something that is appealing to them, they are going to ignore you.

    The first step to training your cat should be to learn and understand your cat's personality. There are many aspects to your cat's personality and they should all be taken into account when choosing the right training tactics. Find out what your cat's likes and dislikes are and use that information to help you. There are a few simple tips to keep in mind when training your cat:

  • Keep your training sessions short. If you drag out sessions for a long time, your cat will most likely become bored and will stop listening.
  • Only start training session when your cat is already awake. Don't wake your cat up for a session because he or she will probably just ignore you.
  • Always be sure to reward your cat for obeying you, using treats, food, or showing them affection.
  • You should also only train your cat for one thing at a time. Whether you are teaching them to do tricks or use the human toilet rather than a litter box, you shouldn't try to teach them everything all at once. When you're training your cat, let them master one thing before moving on to another. This will avoid both you and them becoming overwhelmed.

    There are many benefits to having a well trained, well behaved cat. You will have less stress because you won't have to worry about how your house is going to look when you get home. You can enjoy a loving relationship with your cat instead of spending most of the time mad at him for misbehaving. Taking the time to train your cat will definitely pay off in the long run and you and your cat will both be happier.

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