Everything You Need To Know To Train Your Cat To Come On Command
So you want to train your cat to come when you call them, huh? I think all pet owners can agree that this is a very useful skill for any feline to have. Perhaps you are shutting up the house for the night during cold weather and you want all the cats to come inside from wherever they are playing right now so that they can sleep by the fire. Or maybe it is dinner time and you would like all your felines to come to their bowls so that they can eat.
Luckily, training a cat to come on command is one of the easier skills for it to learn! As you may have read on our site, you can train kitties to do all sorts of things, including shaking hands. Having read our fun and easy guide, you will soon be saying to all your cat owning friends – ‘how to train a cat to come on command, you say? It’s simple!’.
What do cats love?
Cats love plenty of things, among them warm hugs, empty drawers, and unraveling balls of yarn and catnip. But one of the things that kitties love most of all is food. So, if you want to train your cat to come when you call, using food as a stimulus is always a very good idea.
If a cat associates your call with food, then they will be more likely to prick up their ears when they hear you calling out their name. One way to do this is at dinnertime. Bang lightly on their bowl with a fork and call their name. The cat will likely come running as they hear the familiar sound of the fork against their bowl. Soon, you can stop banging the bowl and simply call their name when you want them to come eat: sometimes, it only takes a week or so for the association to cement in their brains between you singing out their name.
You can also have some dedicated training sessions with your cat where you practice calling their name from different places around your house or apartment and then rewarding them with a cat treat when they come. Kind of like a game of feline hide and seek!
Repetition and consistency.
Make sure to use the same word or phrase every time that you call them, so that they associate those particular sounds with treats! If your cat does not come right away you might have to start things off on a lower level, simply by sitting with the cat, repeating the phrase and presenting your cat with a treat afterwards. Then, you can try calling the phrase from the next room: hopefully, they will now know that they will get a treat if they come running!
Make sure not to tire your cat out.
These training sessions ought to be fun, and not arduous! Choose a time for training when your cat is awake and alert and ready to play. And do not repeat the calling exercise too often: 4-5 times a day should be enough or they will get fatigued.
Meow for now … Kristian Taylor
The Best 6 Reasons You Should Keep Your Cat Indoors
It’s the eternal dilemma: should I have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat? In many ways, this choice is not ours to make: some kitties love being in the great outdoors whilst others, no matter how nice it is outside, are total homebodies. But, in general, you can train any cat to be an outdoor cat if you need to. So, which should it be? Here, I give you the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor cats, to enable you to navigate this tricky area with the utmost ease!
The bathroom situation
One of the pros of having an outdoor cat is the fact that you will probably not need a litter tray indoors. This is great if you have young kids crawling around, or if you simply do not have to worry about. If your cat comes home at night, then you will still need a tray inside. They may also prefer to go outside (where they are used to) and this can be difficult if you are asleep and cannot let them out.
A con of cats that are trained to go to the bathroom outdoors is of course the fact that they may use your beloved flower patch as a bathroom!
Competing human and feline schedules
With indoor cats, you need to make sure that you are up in time to let them outdoors if they want to run around (or if you have indoor cats who nevertheless prefer to use the bathroom outside) and that you do not leave them alone for too long. Outdoor cats can be left to fend for themselves a little more during the day as there is likely to be more to stimulate them during the day. Which brings us neatly on to…
Exercise and inspiration
There is often a lot more to stimulate your kitty outdoors, including small rodent like things to run after, other cats to play with, wide expanses of grass to roam through and sunbathe in and random bits of grass to chew to help their digestion. Indoor cats may need more stimulation (such as a wider variety of toys that they can bat about) so that they do not get bored during the day. For young kittens especially, playing is one of the key ways that they learn and that their brains develop! However, an indoor cat won’t come home with scratches from getting into fights with other neighbourhood cats and they certainly won’t come home pregnant.
The grass issue
Cats use chewy bits of grass to cleanse hairballs, small animal bones and other irritants out of their gut. For outdoor cats, grass is generally easy to find (not much is needed: a blade or two of the green stuff will do!) but indoor cats can suffer from gut irritation if they do not ingest grass or something else that will enable them to dislodge those irritants from their indoors.
This need not be a huge con of having an indoor cat, though: placing a small pot of grass in a decorative bowl within easy reach of your kitty is a simple solution to this issue. It will also keep them safe from eating grass that has dangerous pollens from poisonous flowers, or more commonly, grass that has been sprayed with pesticides.
Fleas and jabs
Let’s face it, outdoor cats have plenty more opportunities to pick up fleas and ticks: from the grass, from the soil, and from other animals to name but a few sources. This means that owners of outdoor cats need to be extra vigilant when it comes to checking for and removing ticks, and de-fleaing and de-worming your cat. It is also a good idea to check with your veterinarian to check whether you need to get your outdoor cats vaccinated more regularly.
For some people, this extra effort is a con. Owners of indoor cats should not get complacent, though, and should apply flea treatments and de-worming treatments around every three months as even if your cat does not leave the house, flea eggs and larvae can enter into it on your shoes and clothing.
Territory and your neighborhood
We all know that male cats have larger territories than female cats (roughly ten times larger – and male cats on average can wander up to 500 meters from home during the day), right? But did you know that recent studies of cats left to roam at a deserted UK naval base and other locations demonstrated that suburban cats will have smaller territories than cats in deserted rural areas as there is less territory to go around in more built-up areas?
Nevertheless, if you have several cats (especially male cats) living together in an average sized home, it is a good idea to let those cats roam outdoors, so that they can enjoy the feeling of having enough of their own territory.
If you live near to a busy highway or in an otherwise dangerous neighborhood it might be best for your cats’ safety to keep them indoors!
So, the consensus is in. Whilst cats love the outdoors, vets and humane associations agree that an indoor life is far healthier for them — they’re safe from outdoor hazards, and their people tend to pay closer attention to them and notice signs of health problems earlier.
Let us know your thoughts on the issue, and if you’re sitting on the fence leave us a comment and let us know what you decide to do.
Download our guide to apartment living with your cat!
Meow for now… Kristian
Your Pet Could Die If You Don’t Have This Information Quickly
Having your pet’s emergency information quickly available, could be the difference between life and death because the sad truth is that your pet could die if you don’t have this information quickly.
My cats are family, they are my little loved ones, and just like children they need looking after, sometimes in an emergency. Whether it’s getting into mischief, hurting themselves or falling ill, it’s important that we have access to their health care information in an emergency….and quickly.
We often have all the information in our heads, spread around in papers and folders, or on phones which is great, but… if you need it in a hurry and you’re not available when your cat needs medical help in an emergency it can take too long to access this information precious time that could save their life.
It could be the difference between life and death
It’s important to have this emergency information available to anyone and everyone quickly and easily.
If you’re like me the fridge is a great place to keep all the important stuff you need to access on short notice and often a place where people will look first if you’re not available. Quick and easy is the key, something you can grab off the fridge as you’re heading out the door. Lets hope you never need it but better to be safe than sorry.
Here at SoPurrfect I have put together a cat emergency contact template you can download, fill in, print and place in an obvious and easily accessed place.
I recommend keeping a copy on your computer and updating it regularly. You never know when you may need it. At my house this important document is kept in the cloud as well as on the fridge, this allows me to access it anywhere, anytime just incase I need to email or send it to someone in an emergency.
It’s also important if you are going away on a holiday or someone is pet sitting for you to have this information available: quickly and easily.
Meow for now… Kristian Taylor