Cat Training: November 2008 Archives

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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.

 

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