Your cat can be your best friend. Cats have the ability to make any home feel more lively and energetic, as they are known to be quite independent, yet provide a lot of affection as well. Usually, those who adopt dogs as pets start training immediately to teach them new tricks and behaviors to adapt to. This is not the case when a person adopts a cat, as it’s generally assumed that felines are untrainable. The reality is, cats are very intelligent creatures that can easily be trained and learn numerous behaviors that would make both your and their lives much easier.
1. Potty Training Using Rewards
The first thing anyone who has a pet cat should want is to potty train them. The younger your cat is, the easier this will be to teach. Oftentimes, untrained cats will mark almost every part of the house they can reach, and you will end up trying to find what works best against the stains and the smell of their urine. When you are doing your research just to how to get rid of the stink, you might as well read up on how to train your cat to do their business properly. If you are trying to teach your cat how to potty in its litter box, you should know that cats do not respond to punishments. The best way to train them is for you to place the cat right on the litter box and offer some treats every time they do their business. Try to keep the treats on you or near you at all times during the initial period of you adopting the cat, so you can offer it treats every time it behaves properly.
2. Handling Training
Many cats do not like being held by their owners. They can get quite irritated if they are not trained or not used to it, which can result in them tossing and turning to attempt an escape from their owners’ arms. Your cat needs to learn how to stay relaxed in your arms when you try to handle it gently. The best way to train your cat to this is by holding it firmly but gently until it relaxes. You can then pet the cat so it knows it is doing well by not escaping your grasp and also to offer it comfort.
3. Scratching Control
Cats scratch; it is a known fact that cannot be entirely eliminated but can definitely be controlled if the cat is designated a specific scratching area. As a matter of fact, cats scratching is actually good for their health, as it helps their muscles stretch better and reduces the risk of any limb problems. But excessive scratching that might harm you or damage anything around the house is something that needs to be addressed. An effective teaching approach is for you to get your cat a scratching mat or pole so it can learn that it is the only acceptable place to scratch.
4. Reducing Playful Biting
Among the many natural behaviors of cats is biting. Cats usually bite when they are playing with other cats or with their owners, but it can be quite irritating at times, or even aggressive. The key to teaching your cat that this biting is not okay is by keeping your arm or foot steady in place when the cat is biting it. When you move as the cat is biting, it thinks that you are playing and that can reinforce the wrong behavior.
5. Eliminating Meowing Constantly
Cats meow for attention. The noise can get incredibly annoying sometimes, especially if the cat constantly meows at night and wakes everyone up. This can be simply a result of the cat needing extra attention and love, or sometimes wanting to eat. To somewhat control this, you should make sure it is well fed before going to bed, and sticking to a regular feeding routine. Make sure you also pet your cat regularly and give it the attention it needs during the day whenever you can.
6. Discouraging Eating Litter
Numerous cat owners complain of how their cats sometimes eat litter. It is a disgusting habit that has a number of repercussions. Cats usually do this out of boredom and curiosity. The key to teaching your cat that this is unacceptable behavior is by distracting it whenever you see it eating the litter. This way, the cat will be able to eventually understand that it should not eat the litter.
Cats are incredibly smart and independent. Contrary to common belief, cats can learn to improve certain behaviors that their owners might find annoying. The key to teaching your cat any tricks or alter their bad behavior is to persist and encourage good behavior. Make sure you avoid punishing your cat and instead reward it with treats whenever it does something good.