Why cats are difficult to train – Part 21

If you want to train any animal you’ll be much more likely to succeed if you understand and use its natural behaviour.

Dogs are relatively easy to train because they are pack animals and instinctively want to please the pack leader – usually their human owner. If a dog performs a certain action and his owner praises him he will want to repeat the experience (even though the action has no meaning for him) because it’s important for him to get that affectionate attention

Cats, on the other hand, don’t need to please other animals to get what they need. Feral cats may live in loose groups where the dominant male fights the others to mate with the most females, but when it comes to getting food, finding shelter or defending itself, it’s every cat for itself.

It’s easy to ‘train’ a cat to use a litter tray or let itself in and out of the house through a cat flap because you are providing it with something it wants. It will come when you call it at feeding time but it’s the food that it wants – not your company.

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