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Can you train your cat at home?

Can a cat be trained to walk on a leash, perform tricks, and come when called?

By GEORGE LAZARIDISPublished 3 months ago 6 min read

The answer is YES! All of this and more will be possible for you.

If you know its routines and use the appropriate approach, a cat is a clever animal that easily comprehends the "rules of the game."

1. Never punish a cat

The only thing that can practice discipline is a man. Untrained cats simply do not understand what is permitted and prohibited inside the home. This is very challenging to explain, and many people's actions send contradictory messages to their pets, further complicating matters.

Important! If a cat is difficult to teach, angry, or too unhappy, it could have physical or mental health problems. Following checking with the doctor in preparation, take your pet to the vet and continue exercising after treatment.

Punishment can result in behavioral issues and possibly grave health issues for the animal. However, the animal does not immediately start to comply with your requests. When training any cat, keep in mind that persistence and positive reinforcement are key.

2. Choose a clicker and treats

The clicker is an inexpensive thing that is used to train a wide variety of animals. It helps to develop a clear positive association in the animal. The clicker makes a distinct sound, this is its main purpose. If you have a clickable pen or another device that makes this type of sound, you don't have to buy a special device.

It is best to pair the clicker with rewarding treats, such as cat treats . If the cat correctly executes the command, hears the click of the clicker, and only then receives a treat, positive associations will form much faster. We love to spoil our pets and we can give them delicious food for no reason. In this case, the cat does not understand why it is being praised, and what kind of behavior the owners want from it.

3. We teach the cat to approach on command

Cats can learn to respond to vocal commands, such as approaching when you call them. This is very convenient - if the cat runs out of the apartment or outside the site, it will be quite easy to return it home.

You need to start by forming a positive association. Speak the command clearly when you open a bag or a can of cat food. Gradually, the animal will understand that the team and the food are related. When the cat comes up on command in order to eat, you can proceed to the second stage.

Repeat the command loudly and clearly at times when you would normally not feed your pet. If the cat approaches, continue to reinforce the positive association by clicking the clicker and giving her something tasty (low-calorie training treats are best). Gradually increase the distance from which you call the cat.

You need to train your pet 1-2 times a day for 5 minutes. During this time, the cat must execute (or try to execute) the command 20 times.

4. We teach the cat to go to the toilet

Getting your cat to use your litter box will require some work. But think about the benefits - the house will be much cleaner, and to remove all the droppings, you just need to press the flush button on the toilet. In addition, you do not have to spend money on cat litter and store it at home.

5. How to potty train a cat

First, put the tray next to the toilet so that the pet gets used to defecate in the bathroom.

Gradually raise the tray to the level of the toilet seat. You can use a stable stool or chair to keep your pet comfortable.

Buy and install a special tray with flushable filler in the toilet.

Gradually reduce the amount of litter so that the cat gets used to doing its business without it.

When the filler is no longer needed, remove the tray.

In the process, it is important not to rush and let the pet get used to each new stage. Cats are very sensitive to any changes, so they should be as smooth as possible so as not to cause stress.

6. How to teach a cat to shake your hand

One of the easiest tricks you can teach your pet. Prepare a treat and sit so that you are at the same level with the cat. For example, you can sit on the floor or put the animal on the sofa. Touch the paw, say "shake hands" and if the cat moves the paw properly, reinforce the association with a clicker sound and a treat. Repeat the procedure until the pet responds to the voice command without the clicker and food. Animals usually learn this trick in a few days. You need to do it a couple of times a day, no longer than 5 minutes.

7. We teach the cat to ask

Another simple workout that a pet can easily master. In terms of teaching methods, it is similar to the handshake trick. Take the treat in your hand and hold it directly over the cat's head. Say "ask." The cat should stand on its hind legs and stretch its front legs towards the treat. Click the clicker and give the cat a treat if she does everything right. Use the clicker and food until the animal learns to ask only on command.

8. Train your cat to walk on a leash

When using cat-specific ammunition, the cat leash should be fastened to the harness rather than the collar. The cat needs to get used to the leash and harness beforehand. First, keep these things close to where your pet spends the most of their time, like by the bed or near their water and food bowls. The animal will become accustomed to new things and their smell in a few days.

After that, give the cat some time to grow acclimated to the idea of having a harness placed on her. Call the cat, carefully place the harness on her back (do not put it on just yet), and reward her at the same time. Repeat the activity until the animal gets acclimated to it with the harness on but not fastened, then with the harness fastened. The cat should initially wear the harness for a few minutes before the period is gradually extended.

Attach the leash to the harness once your cat is comfortable wearing it. Avoid picking it up and letting the animal roam around with it. Start picking up the leash after a few days. Practice guiding a cat on a leash at home, then pick a peaceful area of the street (ideally one you are acquainted with), and start strolling with your pet.

How long do cats study?

It all depends on the unique traits of the animals. Like people, they pick up information at varying rates and comprehend some things better than others. If you are patient and gently insist on studying on your own, age does not significantly impair learning. A domestic cat may be trained to obey commands much like a dog with a little work.


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