Cat Training Tips
When it comes to training an animal, there is no doubt that different limitations apply to different animals. Anyone who has seen a dog show will know that dogs can be trained to do a great number of things. Training a cat is certainly possible, but there is no doubt whatsoever that most of the training you can give a cat is corrective rather than creative. It is important to be aware of this before you set out to train your cat.
Undoubtedly, it would be fun if a cat could be trained to run around an obstacle course and bring its owner a rubber bone just like dogs can. However, this is never likely to happen because cats are not of that nature. You can train a cat to go in a litter tray, to stop scratching the curtains and to wait patiently for its food rather than try to catch it on its way out of the can. However, you will be waiting a long time to get it to play dead or rollover.
This is perhaps why people make the mistake of saying that cats cannot be trained. Without a doubt, you will not be able to convince a cat to do creative things, but this does not mean that it cannot be trained. You simply have to become conscious of the limitations. Sometimes, through practice, a cat will begin to do things that entertain, but this will be a pleasant side-effect of a fuller training program. After all, cats like to play. Just give them a catnip mouse and watch them go.
There is absolutely no doubt that cats are among the most inquisitive creatures on this planet. In fact, they have this in common with humans in many ways. Just as humans are wired up to look at the way something works and consider how it might be improved, so cats have a tendency to explore and work things out – which can work for good or for bad.
Not for nothing is it said, “Curiosity killed the cat”. Cats, as wise as they may be, still sometimes make bad decisions. We’ve all heard stories of cats spending some time in washing machines that are in operation because they sneak in and lie on the clothes before the machine is switched on. However, you can use your cat’s curiosity to work in your favor.
It is very common to find when you take delivery in your home, that when you take the item out of its box and have a look at it, your cat will have an equally inquisitive interest in checking out the box. Usually, it will hop in and curl up to go to sleep. This natural curiosity can be very beneficial when it comes to getting the cat into its carrier when you need to go somewhere.
About half an hour before you need to go, just take the carrier down and leave its door open with a cat bed inside. Your cat, rather than needing to be chased around the house and then stuffed, claws and all, into the carrier, will usually get in of their own accord and go to sleep – making your task a lot easier, and less bloody.
Training a cat does not need to be any more difficult than training a dog. In fact, you will find that as long as you are faithful to the principles of cat training and discipline, that your cat will respect your authority and behave more reasonably. However, it is important to remember that the conferment of this power should not be seen as a license to go overboard with the punishment.
One mistake that many pet owners make is in thinking that all old wives’ tales work because there is some truth in there, somewhere. When you think about it, a cat may very well stop digging in your carpet because you slap it for doing so. It will do the same if you throw a brick at it – but do you want to be that person?
Certain aversion techniques are far more efficient in persuading a cat to behave reasonably. Among these, one of the best is noise aversion. This has the benefit of making problem behavior seem unpleasant and convincing the cat to stop it. Instead of reaching for a paddle or going to slap your cat, why not invest in a clicker?
A sharp clicking noise will annoy a cat without hurting it. clickers are available in most pet stores, but in actual fact may not even be necessary. If you have a small apothecary bottle with a childproof lid, try twisting that lid when your cat is misbehaving. The cat will then begin to associate its problem behavior with unpleasant noise and will behave better as a result.