Need to train your cat? Start here for some ideas!
Training a cat may seem impossible with their stubborn independent streak, but it really is possible. There are many ideas out there on how to get your cat to do what you want, but the main thing to remember is that giving kitty a lot of time to bond with you will go a long way towards getting him to behave the way you may desire.
The number one reason to train your cat is to protect him, and to protect your home. Protecting him is important so that he does not hurt himself or get into things that may hurt him. Protecting your home includes litter training, and teaching him not to claw your drapes, furniture, or carpeting.
All cats can be litter trained, providing you pay attention to your cats needs. Cats do not like to eat or drink near where they are expected to eliminate, make sure to keep those areas separate. When purchasing a litter box, make sure that your cat can easily get into and out of it. If it is too tall your kitten may not be able to get into it, which means he will go in an area that is easier for him to get to. There are many different types of litter to choose from. Keep in mind that a litter that soaks up urine and clumps around feces will keep things cleaner for both you and your cat.
When first starting litter training, make sure to pay attention to your cat. If you see him sniffing around or scratching on the floor, this is a good sign that he needs to go. Pick him up and place him in the litter box. If you catch your cat after the fact, let him sniff his mess and then put him in the box. Make sure to reward kitty with a small treat or even lots of praise when he goes in the litter box, even if you put him there. After he starts using the litter box on his own for a little while, you can then discontinue the treats. If your cat refuses to use the litter box, try changing to a different type of litter. If none of this works, consider a trip to the vet to make sure that your cat is not sick. There are some medical conditions that may affect your cat’s training or ability to use the litter box.
Another concern for cat owners is trying to keep their cat from scratching their furniture, carpeting, or drapes. All cats will scratch at things, but there are ways to teach them where this behavior is acceptable. Buy a simple scratching post and placing it near where your cat likes to scratch. Use treats or praise when your cat uses it and this will save your furniture quickly. Scratching posts come in a wide variety of shapes and styles. There are carpet covered styles, and sisal styles. These posts can be stand up types, ones that lay on the floor, and even ones that hang from a doorknob. These are often treated with catnip to entice your cat even more, but simply taking your cats paw and gently scratching it down the surface will help kitty get the idea of what it is for.
Cats love to play and pounce, but if your cat likes to bite this can be a problem. If your cat does bite, do not hit him! This will cause your cat to fear you, and training could become impossible. When your cat bites your hand, do what other cats would do. Howl, ignore him, and let your hand hang limp as if it is hurt very badly. This teaches kitty that he is hurting you, and if he hurts you you won’t play anymore.
Training your cat may not be easy, but remembering a few key points will make it less chaotic. Cats are independent, but they also want to please “their” humans. Cats want to bond with their housemates; when they learn that how they behave affects this, they tend to try harder to please you. Getting your cat spayed or neutered will help as well. Male cats that are fixed will not spray to mark their territory, and female cats won’t go through a heat cycle. This helps both to be a little calmer in the long run. Beyond this, patience and love go a long way in training your cat. With proper training and bonding time, you and your cat can have a long, enjoyable relationship.