How to teach a cat in 7 steps
Teaching a cat can be seen as a myth by most of the population. However, like dogs, cats also have the ability to learn.
Cats are extremely intelligent beings, yet have a reputation for being independent and not obeying their guardian. However, this is not true, as it is possible to teach a cat, and you should start doing so early in your life.
WHAT CAN YOU TEACH YOUR CAT?
You can teach your cat everything you want, ideally do it early and be consistent. You can teach from behaviors whether you have it at home or not, teach how to live with other animals, dogs or cats, and even teach you some “tricks” such as sitting, pawing.
There are also other things that cats, unlike dogs, learn on their own, without the need for the tutor to teach them, such as littering, which cats do instinctively, even if not taught to them. .
7 STEPS TO TEACH A CAT
1. REWARD IT
Positive reinforcement training is the best method for teaching dogs as well as cats, although it is best known for dogs. This method is based on the use of rewards in order to reward the animal for doing something we wish it had done.
The reward does not necessarily have to be food, but something that the cat loves and preferably not always has at his disposal. If you choose food choose very appetizing snacks , suitable for cats or sausage, ham, cheese. These foods should always be offered to the cat after questioning your veterinarian, as some cats have food sensitivities and may not ingest certain foods.
The idea of this training is to teach the cat that if performing a certain behavior or allowing a certain situation is rewarded. For example, to teach your cat how to brush, you can offer snacks while you brush, to associate brushing with something positive.
The first time should offer the reward every time the animal performs the intended task. Once the cat has already made the association clearly, you can choose to give the reward intermittently.
It is also important to train the cat with food before feeding it with its usual meal so that it is hungry and more responsive.
2. USE A CLICKER
Clicker training is also more famous with dogs, however it is also possible to teach your cat with clicker . The goal is for the cat to associate the clicker sound with the reward, so each time you want your cat to do a certain behavior uses the clicker and the clicker performs it because, in a way, is already waiting for the reward.
3. NEVER PUNISH HIM
To teach a cat you should never punish him either physically or verbally, as it can cause behavioral disorders such as aggression and fears. Punishment should not be used as a training method, but positive reinforced training.
Often when the cat does something wrong, the first instinct is to scream or hit him, however, the best thing to do is to ignore him and push him away.
For example, when kittens want to bite people’s hands and feet instead of hitting them, they should ignore and redirect them to a toy.
Often this behavior is natural in small cats, but hitting it can be interpreted as a continuation of play by the person, which will create even more excitement and consequently bite more intensely.
4. BE CONSISTENT
When teaching the cat should be consistent, ie always have the same attitude and reaction to a given situation. It should sometimes not allow the cat to behave and sometimes not.
This will cause the cat confusion, and will make you not understand what you want to teach it.
5. OFFER YOU OTHER ALTERNATIVES
When you try to teach your cat not to have certain behaviors, you should offer them other alternatives, as cats often need to manifest certain natural behaviors, and if they do not have appropriate objects, they may use objects that their guardians do not want to be used. .
This applies for example when your cat scratches the furniture . Scratching is a natural feline instinct, so it is perfectly natural for your cat to scratch.
If the cat does not have appropriate places for scratching such as scratching trees or scratching trees, the cat will look for other alternatives.
So if your cat has some natural feline behaviors you should allow them to do so, but it should provide you with the right conditions to do so.
6. MAKE UNPLEASANT WHAT THE CAT INTENDS TO DO WITHOUT PUNISHING OR HURTING YOU
Punishment should never be used to teach a cat, however you can try to get the cat away from certain places by making them unpleasant.
For example in the case of kitchen counters or on furniture, you may at first make them unpleasant places, for example by putting tape, as cats hate the feel of tape on their pads.
7. LINK WORDS TO BEHAVIORS
In order for the cat to understand what its guardian wants it to do, it is important that it understands what it says, that is, the feline must associate what the guardian says to the behavior.
Begin early on by associating words with “yes”, “no”, “sit”, “good”.