Because cats aren’t as social as dogs, many people believe that they are less trainable compared to the latter. But that isn’t the case. They do respond to training—just in a different way.
So how do you go about training your cat?
- Start him young.
This is the best stage to start training them as they don’t have that many “life experiences” yet. This is also a great time to begin training as they are not as hard-set when it comes to their habits. For this reason, it’s safe to say that this is the stage when you should introduce them to new situations. When doing so, act in a matter-of-fact manner as this will encourage them to be fearless when facing similar situations in the future.
- Make an effort to understand him.
When training your kitten, the first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of who and what he is. Unlike dogs, cats are more independent; thus, they aren’t inclined to be as needy for attention and praise as dogs. However, they might not be that easy to motivate. For this reason, you need to have a lot of patience and creativity in training them. Rewarding your kitten with a lot of special treats that he is sure to appreciate is a good tactic you might want to employ.
- Say his name.
Get him familiar with his own name as early as possible. For instance, when you’re feeding or lovingly petting him, you could call his name in a gentle manner. However, you should never yell out your pet’s name when you are angry with them. This way, he learns to associate his name with positive things and will come running to you whenever you call his name.
- Let him scratch!
Cats in general feel a natural urge to scratch, so you shouldn’t suppress what comes ingrained to them. But so that they don’t destroy your precious furniture, it might be a good idea to provide your kitten with his own personal scratching post. Guide his paws along the post (you might even put catnip on it to encourage him) and in time he will learn to do this on his own.
- Clean his litter box regularly.
One common complaint many cat owners have is that their pets don’t use their litter boxes. But as a pet owner yourself, you might want to consider your cat’s point of view as to why he doesn’t like using his box. For instance, it might be unclean or be in an inconvenient location. Make it a habit to remove dirty litter at least once a day and keep his box in an area of the house that is free from dirt, noise, and human traffic. If you give your cat more reasons to use his litter box, you will have an easier time training him to use it regularly.
There’s another reason why you must train your cats while they’re still young: this is one of the best ways to build up the bond between you and your pet while the latter is growing up. So make sure to dedicate time and energy to do all the above as necessary!