Cats are independent and intelligent beings. Although it has been previously thought that cats are untrainable creatures, many anecdotes and videos of cats performing adorable trick prove otherwise.
Cats are not difficult to teach. Their natural hunter’s brain enables them to grasp that certain actions bring them. In a way, they are very eager to earn their food. Their instinct and their innate resourcefulness make them smart learners.
It is safe to say that cats are easy to teach. So here are a few important things to remember in teaching your cat tricks to make the teaching experience easier and even more enjoyable:
Like all the members of the animal kingdom, cats are highly motivated by food. It is after all a survival instinct. Any action that results in food will be repeated. The brain will associate that action with a positive reaction and thus drive the movement to be performed again.
Just make sure that the food you give is special for the cat by getting treats that are yummy and not usually given to them. This will make them want the reward even more which, effectively maximizes their motivation!
In a few words, give them yummy treats and they will happily perform the trick for you!
The cricket-like sound easily sticks to the cat’s minds. It basically uses another one of the cat’s senses to the teaching of tricks. Giving treats and praise after the sound of the clicker creates a strong link in the cat’s brain. The same principle applies for verbal cues like, “sit”, “stay” and “jump”. In fact, the clicker sounds and verbal cues work best when used together.
Always find a way to encourage your cat positively. Never use pain or other negative sensations like hunger to elicit a response. This will only create negative associations in your cat’s brain and will cause your cat to distrust you or avoid you altogether. A strong and authoritative voice may be used to signal that action is discouraged.
Instead, reward positive actions to encourage repetition. For instance, if you dislike when your cat scratches furniture, but it a scratching post and praise and reward him with food when he uses it.
Sometimes, it feels easier to just punish your cat. But, it is always better to think of creative and positive ways to encourage positive behavior.
The statement, “practice makes perfect,” still holds water even the in eyes of kittens and cats. The same is true with the statement, “consistency is key.” The consistent training of your cats, preferably daily, will let the cat learn faster. Make sure the clicker, verbal cues, and treats are also consistently and timely given.
Keep it Short and Fun!
Keep the training from feeling like a chore by keeping it short. About 5 minutes of training once or twice per day keeps the cats entertained and stimulated. Anything longer than that might bore your cat. Sometimes, it will also annoy them. It is important to pay attention to the cues your cat is giving you. If your cat seems uninterested or uneasy or slightly agitated, it is time to rest.
Training is important for you to have a healthy relationship with your cat. It will also be another avenue to bond. It might also get your cat out of dangerous situations. Indeed, training has a lot of merits. So invest time and thought in training your cat. And, do it well.
Cats are mysterious creatures – they can be really cuddly and romantic one day and the next day they ignore you the whole day. But cats aren’t as mysterious as you think, they have their special body language that they share with people and other cats they care about. Their actions aren’t as random as you assume, it’s always systemised and it reflects their mood and personality.
Looking for ways to understand what your cat is trying to portray? Give meaning to your cat’s random actions and meows with these helpful tips.
Meaning of Cat’s Movements:
Steady Soft Gaze – Your cat trusts you and it’s relaxed and feels safe around you. It considers you as family and a friend – someone to protect and rely on.
Ears Forward – The cat is quite happy to see you home and was either waiting for you or expecting your arrival. Expect it to wind around your leg or maybe a passionate head bump.
Tail Raised and Curved Tip – Your cat is very happy with you. This is a sign of contentment and trust.
Ears Shot Up – This cat behaviour means it assesses its environment and is keenly listening to any sudden sounds and movements. Try not to spook your cat as it might attack you.
Tail is Held Straight with Low Incline – Your cat is anxious and is ready to pounce on any sudden movement. This means slight fear or aggression.
Slow Blinking – This is how cats say I love you to their closest humans, and they mean it. It also shows trust and affection, the cat loves you and will protect you when it can.
Squinting – The cat is smiling at you – this is how they show their appreciation to their humans or other feline friends. It’s such an adorable sight, no wonder it’s such a warming look on cats!
Big Pupils and Happy Tail – The cat is willing to play for you and they are very relaxed with your presence. They might pounce, but that only means they’re playful and crave for your attention.
Ears Rotated Back – They’re scared or anxious, carefully assessing their surroundings. This usually happens when they’re in a new environment and aren’t familiar with the place yet.
Crouched – When the tail is low and twitching slightly, the cat is probably excited or worried. If your cat is showing these signs, keep your distance for now and let it approach you.
Ears Flat – Your cat is likely very scared – stay away from them for now and make sure you retreat slowly.
Tail Straight Up – If the hair sticks up in different directions and the tail is straight up, it means the cat is agitated or overstimulated – your cat needs space!
Dilated Pupils – They are either aroused, anxious, playful, or are about to pounce!
Choosing a cat dish seems to be a very simple and straight forward task. However, in this world today, we can never be too careful. With reports of manufacturers using questionable materials and adding in mysterious and possibly harmful chemicals, it is important for cat owners to do their due diligence is the things we offer our cats. Here are things to look out for in purchasing your cat’s dish:
For your convenience and for the environment, it is best to look for cat bowls that are durable. Stainless steel is practically unbreakable; hence it is a good option. Glassware and china, although breakable, stay aesthetically beautiful for a longer time. Investing in quality cat dish will save you time and money in the long run.
Washing cat bowls is an everyday task to prevent bacteria build-up. This is why taking the time to find cat bowls that are dishwasher safe is the best, less tiring option. Having a microwave-safe cat dish also is very nifty when you need to reheat your cat’s food.
Ensure the health and wellness of your pet by making sure that dangerous chemicals are away from your kitty. Always purchase wares that touch food from reputable companies. There are reports saying that cheap and questionable products contain harmful chemicals like radon and lead. It is always best to stay safe when it comes to the health of our cats.
Glass, ceramic, stoneware, stainless steel and china are good options for cat bowls. Stay away from plastic dishes because they have the tendency to peel or be impressed with crevices that will be difficult to clean. These might be a breeding ground for bacteria. Plastic might also contain BPA which is harmful to living things.
Size and Shape
Choose wide and shallow cat dishes. Cats have very sensitive whiskers. A narrow dish is going to disturb them. Acne or irritation might also be developed when the dish is too narrow and deep.
For kittens, a dish too deep might prove to be a drowning hazard.
Narrow and shallow dishes will not be tall enough for cats to maintain proper posture while eating or drinking so it is a great idea to elevate the dish. If you can find a mat against skid and mess, that’ll be even better.
Love really is in the details. As cat lovers, showing we care can be done through the meticulous choosing of the cat dish. Who knew that we could keep our cat safe, healthy and happy through their bowl?
Nowadays, there’s a wide array of choices when it comes to the food we serve our feline pets. And, since diet is a very important component of a healthy life, choosing the right cat food might be a daunting experience.
The best thing one can do as a loving pet owner is to make informed food choices. Do your research, consult your veterinarian and check the label of the food you serve.
Here are the important things to review about your cat’s food:
Find cat food with a reasonable amount of calories per serving. Otherwise, you are setting your cat up for weight gain and the many health problems that obesity ensues. About 300 calories per cup of dry food and 250 calories per cup of wet food. So if you are feeding your cat 2 times a day, ⅖ of a cup per feeding should suffice.
Fiber helps with satiety, the propagation of good bacteria in the gut and the decrease of bad bacteria. Thus it is great for maintaining weight. Fiber also has anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties.
Amino acids are important for cats. To illustrate, a deficiency in the amino acid, Taurine, will lead to problems with digestion, muscle function and development, and even vision. Amino acids also aid the immune system. Taurine is also especially important for gestating cats.
Cats need this macronutrient to maintain their lean and agile physique. Protein is also a source of energy for cats. As the obligate carnivores that they are, cats need a protein-based diet although little amounts of carbohydrates are tolerated.
Vitamins are important for proper bodily functions. Vitamin A and E are needed for skin rejuvenation and repair. Vitamin B2 is important for protein metabolism. Its vision, growth, and health need vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamins are also imperative to fight off common diseases and viruses by boosting the immune system.
99 percent of the calcium that your cat consumes goes to its teeth and bones. Hence, strong cats and bones are dependent on the amount of this mineral on its diet.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 are usually found in animal fat like fish oil and lard. Vegetable oil is also a good source. These fatty acids are important for a healthy and beautiful coat and skin which translates to shine and minimize shedding. Further, the cat’s metabolism and reproductive well being are also dependent on these essential fatty acids. In addition, the transportation of vitamins D, K, E and A are also assisted by essential fatty acids.
Important bodily functions like muscle contraction, nutrient absorption, oxygen transportation and many more are assisted by essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, sodium, copper and many more. Do your research and consult your veterinarian to be able to provide the complete range of minerals your feline friend needs.
Aside from making their food more palatable, fat can also be a source of energy for cats. Fats are not readily converted to energy however, so moderate amount is best to avoid weight gain.
Your cat can definitely eat its way to a healthy and happy life. We, as cat owners, just need to take the first step— an informed choice on cat food. So do your due diligence and express your love for your cat one serving at a time.
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