Top Cat Training Tips

Cats are wondrous creatures, and are full of curiosity. They can be snuggly, affectionate and friendly creatures; often content to nap on a human lap and be patted until their fur glistens. Some are more stand-offish and will only allow the occasional solemn head pat before regally stalking off to stretch and preen in the sunshine. And others are just wild cats, hell bent on running straight up the walls in pursuit of invisible prey, knocking down all who dare stand in their pathway. While you cannot change the basic nature of the cat that you have in your home, you can change some of his more obnoxious behavior.

The advantages of training your cat are many. Your first cat-training tip should be to understand why they do some of the things that they do. Some cat behavior is out of boredom, some out of transitional changes as they grow out of kitten stages into adulthood, and some can be a symptom of impending or ongoing illnesses. Knowing which is which can help you to avoid potentially dangerous problems before they become life threatening and out of control.

Once you get a basic understanding of the why of cat behavior, you can start working on the things that he will need to change. Make sure that you list out the poor behaviors, and start with the worst offender first. Try to teach new behaviors one at a time, because too many changes will make the cat confused and potentially worst behaved than before. If a cat is doing something that is possibly dangerous that problem should be addressed first, otherwise…

Remember that training a cat is a matter of patience overcoming frustration. Shouting at a cat can never bring a positive change, and in fact will bring up a whole new set of issues to deal with. Timid cats will become even more fearful, and aggressive cats may take your shouting as an actual danger.

Do not bother with reprimanding your cat, as it is often an ineffective maneuver as well. Cats will learn that getting caught doing the targeted wrong behavior brings about some horrible consequences, so they will simply learn to better hide. This is seen frequently with toileting issues. A cat will stop using his litter box for a variety of reasons, including illness, so that you must find out why. Finding kitty messes after the fact is a pain, but it will not do you any good to drag it over to the spot, show it to him and then take him to the litter box. Unless he is a brand new cat or you have recently moved homes, he knows full well where that litter box was, he just did not use it. Find out why and the behavior should be stopped.He might be sending you a message. Eliminate all causes, including sickness, and then work from there. Some cats will never use a litter box, but will allow themselves to be trained to use an alternative.


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