They might be willful and independent, but cats can be trained to do a whole host of things – even if it’s nothing more than using the litter tray and not scratching the couch. That doesn’t mean we’ve all been getting right all these years. In fact, there’s a good chance we’re training our cats all wrong.
We could be teaching our cats the opposite behavior
Have you ever felt like you’re constantly telling your cat not to do things, yet they seem to do it anyway? If you see your cat on the counter and want them to get down, there’s a good chance many of us will run over and scoop them up or shoo them off the side. That could be just what your cat wants. They act like independent animals, but many cats love a bit of attention – even if it comes in the form of negative attention. In a cat’s mind, negative attention is often better than nothing at all, so they will continue to do the things that make us angry just to get some attention. Cats might not be so aloof after all.
Being positive can work wonders
Many of us love to get positive rewards when we do something good. Our cats are no different. In fact, switching our mindset and using positive things to reward their good behavior rather than focusing on the things they do wrong could be all it takes to get our cat on our side. Many experts think that teaching your cat to come on command is a good place to start. All you need to do is stand a few feet away from your cat and say their name with a treat in your hand. Give them the food as soon as they come over until they learn to come from further and further away. They should start to learn that listening to their owner gets them the attention that everyone prefers.
Using rich rewards can be the key
One of the best ways to get your cat on your side and help train your four-legged friend is to break things down into manageable chunks. The training with treats should help to show your cat that you can be trusted, and listening to you is a good idea. Once you’ve got that nailed, work up to getting them used to the crate for when they need to go to the vet or having their nails trimmed. Just be sure you don’t overwhelm them with too much at once. Of course, once you’ve got the desired behavior and your cat responds well, be sure to use a lot of praise and something nice – like their favorite treat – to tell our cat how well they have done.
Training a cat doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Even though there’s a good chance we’re training our cats all wrong, it usually doesn’t take long to get things back on track. Who knows what tricks they might learn along the way?