Training your cat is possible! – Part 8

It’s always been said that a cat does as he pleases and most people believe that it is very difficult to train a cat but this actually isn’t true. Cats can be very trainable if the right motivation is supplied, consistently and with persistence. While they may be more difficult to train than a dog, training your cat can be a very rewarding experience. First, you need to decide what you are aiming for in your training program. Most people would just like their cat not to claw the furniture and to use a sand tray rather than their carpet. While this is important, it falls well below what you could train your cat to do if you have the time, patience and a good sense of humour.

Why not train your cat to come when you whistle? Cats are notorious for wandering off to do their own thing while completely ignoring all efforts by their owners to catch their attention. As with any animal you wish to train, the best incentive is food. Feeding your cat in the same place and same time every day will ensure that you always have his interest at that time of the day. Now all you have to do is use that basic training to your advantage. As feed time gets nearer and your cat still hasn’t turned up, call him with a whistle followed by his name as many times as it takes until he appears. Now make sure you feed him immediately – it won’t take more than a few days for him to associate your whistle with his food and, hey presto, you have whistle trained your cat.

Sometimes you need to train your cat not to do something, such as not leaping on the dinner table or clawing your furniture for instance. Now you need to find a motivation that your cat finds unpleasant and nothing works better than a simple child’s water pistol. The important thing is to not let your cat see that you are the one squirting the water, He needs to associate a squirt of water with the undesirable action, even when you’re not around. Every time he jumps on the table or starts to claw a piece of furniture, surreptitiously give him a quick squirt – this method is harmless, effective and won’t sully your friendship so long as he doesn’t realise it’s you.

There are so many things you could be training your cat to do so use your imagination and have some fun. Remember, consistent persistence always pays off in the end.

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