Cats are extremely intelligent and curious pets. While dogs get all the credit for cool tricks, cats deserve some love too. In fact, cats can be trained to give high-fives, shake hands and do some really incredible things. However, this does require some training.
There’s no reason to dread training your cat. On the contrary, it can be a fun and playful experience. In addition to teaching cool tricks, such training also helps in increasing the bond between your feline friend and you. If you're not sure how to train cats, read on for tips that make it easy.
“Disciplining a cat” doesn’t really work the way you want it to. It could lead to stress and anxiety, making your cat wary of you. In some cases, it gives the cat exactly what it wants- attention. Both are detrimental to your training. Patience and positivity are your best friends if you are trying to train your cat. Ignore any undesirable behavior, and avoid punishments. Don’t let your poor cat wonder what she did wrong, and get into a pit of misery. This will only turn her more aloof and indifferent towards you.
The best way to train your cat to follow good habits is to combine clicker training and treats. Get a clicker or even a regular pen that makes a “click” sound. Say your command, and when the cat obeys, click and treat. This lets the cat know why it's being rewarded. It's more likely to catch on because of a click at perfect timing and a noticeable noise. You can even choose to make a sound with your tongue if you don’t have a clicker. This is a very popular method among cat trainers all over the world.
Some Tricks to Try
Train Your Cat to Come on Command
You can train your cat to come to you when you call for her. Just make sure you’re not calling or training during her naptime, or you’ll be left with a very grumpy cat. You can start this training by making distinct sounds before feeding. This could be as simple as “Come” or you could call out their name. Give your cat some time to form a positive reinforcement with the word. Encourage this outside of feeding times. After that, use the clicker to click and reward when they come to you when they call.
Getting your cat to shake hands is much simpler than you might think. All you have to do is align yourself to the cat’s level and tap their paw. When the cat offers you the paw, click and treat. Continue this until the cat can follow the command without any prompts, like paw taps. This will take quite a few sessions to master, but your cat will pick it up quickly enough.
Use a Harness and Leash
Using a leash for a cat is a very gradual process. Help the cat associate the harness to good things by feeding near the harness, offering treats when they touch the harness, and so on. Then gradually move to simply placing it on them during feeding time. Once the cat is comfortable, you can secure the harness without a leash. Make sure only to secure it for a few minutes, as your cat needs time to get used to it. Attach the leash only when the cat is comfortable with the harness for longer periods. You can then gradually ease into taking short walks outside.
Training your cat is a great way to spend quality time with your furry companion. Like Freud said, “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” With these tips, you’ll never have to wonder “How to train cats.” And the next time your friends show off their dog’s latest trick, you can surprise them with a few cat-tricks of your own!
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