How To Train Your Cat

So you are a new cat owner who is ready to begin training your cat to live by the rules–your rules. Maybe you already are a cat owner who has a cat who has become unmanageable. You need to know how to conduct your own kitty boot camp.

Giving your feline friend lessons in obedience is not an impossible feat. You just need to understand which methods work best for getting your cat to learn. Much like training any animal, cats respond to a system of rewards and reprimands. You need to keep in mind that a cat’s ideas of what constitutes a reward are very different from what you would consider rewarding.

Cat behaviors you should discourage are clawing furniture and woodwork, clawing or biting people, eating houseplants, and not using the litter box. You may think of others and people have gone so far as to train their cats to play fetch, sit and give high fives, even to use the human toilet. The basis for all of this is to repel the cat from the unwanted behaviors and replace them with desirable ones.

Keeping cats from bad behaviors involves making the behavior unpleasant. This includes squirt bottles (kitty gets a squirt to the face when caught trying to eat a houseplant), loud noises (“ouch” yelled loudly can keep kitty from biting you again), and textures (netting or double-sided sticky tape on furniture legs will deter kitty from clawing).

Then comes the fun part–the rewards. Give your cat his own kitty garden filled with cat grass. Spend extra time at play with your cat to use all that energy she has for hunting. Give him little cat treats when you see him in the litter box and relax in the knowledge that you are raising a good kitty. These ideas are the fundamental basics on how to train your cat.

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