The Basics of Training Your Cat

Training your cat is an important step in having a happy pet

When you bring a cat into your home, it’s a good idea to have a training plan ready. The sooner you begin training your pet, the better it will be for them and you.

Some people think that training a cat is near to impossible, but if you start right away and remain consistent, a cat can actually become quite obedient, or at least not a major problem. I’ll share a few of the things that I and my family have learned over the years with our many feline friends.

Obviously, the most important thing to do is to start training as soon as you get your cat. If you get your cat young, you’ll have a big advantage, but even older cats that already have their habits need to be trained. Start as soon as you bring them into the home, and keep up with the training at all times. The more you reinforce the habits you want and discourage the ones you don’t, the more obedient the cat will become.

Consistency is also important. Make sure that everyone in your home is on the same page when it comes to training the cat. If you want it to only scratch on the scratching post, but someone else thinks it’s okay to scratch the hassock, training will vary and the cat will be confused. Set up a plan for training, and make sure that everyone sticks to it.

So what do you train your cat? Well, this is about the basics, so here they are: Litter training (or toilet if you’re up to the challenge), where to scratch, where to sleep, staying out of things, staying away from human food and gentle play. Things like tricks should come later, after the cat knows all of the basic commands and habits.

Litter training is pretty self-explanatory. Teaching your cat where to do its business is always first on the list. Most often, just putting your cat in the box will give them the idea, but it may take more work. Where to scratch is also important, especially if you value your curtains and furniture. It’s usually best to have a scratching post so the cat won’t be confused about what’s ok to claw and what’s not.

Where to sleep is important if you want to keep the cat off the furniture. If you don’t mind cleaning up the cat hair, you can skip this part. Staying out of things and away from your food can take some work, but these are important for your pet’s safety and your own sanity. Gentle play is also something that should be taught to prevent injuries to the animal and your family.

Once you get these few items mastered, your cat will be a much better pet and will cause a lot less stress in your home. Cats may be independent, but they make wonderful pets with just a little time and effort from you. Don’t forget that all the time you spend training strengthens the bond between you and your pet!

 

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