When we talk about animal training, the first animal that comes into mind is a dog. We all know that dogs are highly trainable and they are often seen playing fetch with their owners, doing some entertaining tricks, and even working in the security field as K-9 dogs. But did you know that cats are trainable animals too? Yes, our lovable cats can do more than just to chase laser lights on the wall or curl up and nap on your lap. If you have a cat and would like to start training it with some simple tricks and teach it some good habits, then you can do it by understanding your cats’ behavior and of course, a little bit of patience too.
Before you begin training your cat, do not think of comparing it to how you will train a dog. There is a big difference between these two animals in the sense that dogs are usually ‘people pleasers’ while cats are not. They will do what they want to do and not because they want to please their owners. Cats appreciate it if people encourage their good behavior instead of punishing them for things that they did wrong. When training cats, there are also three R’s that should be remembered and these are Respect, Reinforcement, and Rewards. Respect pertains to the behavior that we show when we are around cats and that behavior should be ‘cat friendly’. For instance, cats do not like sudden movements or noises so when training them, you should be calm and composed so as not to scare your cat away. Aside from showing respect, reinforcement is another important factor in molding your cat. Just like any kind of training, there should be consistency and repetition to ensure that the ‘trainee’ will be able to absorb and understand what needs to be done. Lastly, make sure that you reward your cat whenever your cat shows progress or does something that you asked it to do because it can definitely motivate your cat to do good again next time. Rewards can be in the form of kitty treats or a praise from you which you can show through words or actions.
Another thing to keep in mind when training your cat is to focus on one command at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself and your cat by teaching it to do multiple commands in a day. Give it time to adjust and as much as possible, keep the training sessions short so that you can keep your cat interested. Practice the command and once your cat has mastered it, you can start teaching it a new one.
Training your cat can be done and you can do it on your own. You do not need to hire a professional to do it for you but you can definitely ask for some tips and tricks from the experts to make your training sessions with your cat more effective and more productive too. In a few months, weeks, or days, you will have that rewarding feeling when you see that your cat was able to do everything that you have taught it to do. When that happens, give yourself a treat too.