Training your cat is possible! – Part 14

Training a cat is different than dogtraining, but possible. With patience and kindness, felines can be trained to walk on a leash, sit and use a toilet. Some cats even learn to operate a TV remote control!

Dead Cat Walking

Have you ever attached a leash to a cat, only to have the cat droop bonelessly to the ground? A harness prevents this behavior. Give the cat 1-2 weeks to get used to being harnessed. A good time to attach the harness is while the cat is eating. Once the cat is comfortable, move to the next step: a leash. Let a short leash drag as the cat performs its usual catlike indoor activities. Be patient. Next, decide on a verbal command, like “heel”, and hold a piece of food in front of the cat. When the cat moves forward, give the cat the food and much praise. Soon, you and your cat will be strolling around the block!

Good Sit

Teaching a cat to sit also uses food as a reward. Place your cat on a table, holding food over and slightly behind the cat’s head. The cat will tip its head back, following the food, and sit to keep balance. If the cat doesn’t sit, lightly push its back end. Praise and pet your cat for its sitting abilities.

Now Teach Them To Flush

One of the most difficult feats is kitty potty-training, because things can go very, very wrong. The key is slow progression. First, place the litterbox next to the toilet. Elevate the litterbox day by day with phone books, until the box is the same height as the toilet. Transfer the litterbox to the toilet. Substitute a metal bowl, filled with litter, for the litterbox. Decrease the amount of litter slowly, and put water in the metal bowl instead of litter. Take away the metal bowl. Don’t despair when the cat uses the sink or bathtub as a litterbox, or falls into the toilet!

Lions, Tigers, and Cats

Large cats have a long history of being circus performers, going back to 1833, but the Moscow Cats Theatre, begun in 2006, uses 35 housecats as performers. The cats hurdle, walk on narrow beams, and perch on pedestals. The founder, Yuri Kuklachev, doesn’t use food as motivation, only “long good words, touching them”. However, the tricks the cats perform change daily-they might be trained, but they are still cats. Ultimately, if a cat doesn’t feel like doing something, it won’t.

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