Although dogs are easier to train, a cat can also be trained to a certain extend. There are many ways how to train a cat.
First of all you have to determine what type of behaviour you are trying to train your cat towards. Is it bad behaviour you are trying to avoid? Or is it things that you want your cat to do for you?
Anti Bad Behaviour Training
If its training away bad behaviour, the methods are a little different from the latter. Bad behaviour usually means things like:
- a cat urinating in or on unappropriate places
- a cat scratching sofa’s, chairs and walls
- a cat doing stuff next to the litter box instead of inside it
Training away bad behaviour comes down to making the cat understand that it is wrong or at the wrong location. It is here about association training. A great tool in making stressed cats feel more peacefully at home is by using a pheromone diffuser.
No Stress Making Punishment
Do not get tempted to use verbal or physical punishment for your cats bad behaviour. Note that the behaviour that you call bad, is just a natural behaviour for your cat. They don’t see the wrong in things.
Verbally telling them off a moment or longer after they did the bad behaviour, doesn’t make them associate the verbal punishment with the actual act. The same goes for physical punishment. There is a higher chance for your cat to pick up on a stressfull association with between the behaviour and the punishment.
Texture, Smell And Noise
For example, one can use aluminium foil on area’s where you don’t want your cat to be. Cats generally do not like aluminium foil as ground to sit upon, because it makes a lot of noise and has the wrong texture.
Cats don’t like Citrus type of scents, so the citrus or citrus extract can be used on places you don’t want your cat to go or be at.
Some would say perfumes, but perfumes are not good for cats, so I wouldn’t do that. Also some say loud and sharp noises, such as a whistle or a can with coins. Another solution would be to clap your hands.
The only problem I have with loud noises, is that it is painful for their ears. Cats hear sounds way stronger than we can. But moderate noises can be used. Clapping hands is definitely a solution.
New Behaviour Training
To train your cat for various things, you could try clicker training. Clicker training is something that has been very populair as of late. Even Jackson Galaxy has used it within his training program and adoption program.
The idea behind it all is that the clicking sound of the clicker has to be associated with food or a treat. After that bond is made, you can start with some simple training, such as making your cat go around in circles or following a toy.
When a training ability is achieved, you can go for the bigger stuff. You can use the clicker training for letting your cat come to you, even when he/she is outside – very handy for those that like to travel abroad with their cat and have their cat come to them even when they are not home.
Another option is to teach them to go into their box, extremely useful when you need to travel or have to take them to the vet.
To be honest, I have never put my time into clicker training. Through the research today for this article, I have gotten curious and might want to try some of it just for fun. Note that things might be easier when you teach this from kitten age onwards, but it should also work for adult cats. Luckily we have 2 kittens at the moment.
Here’s a video about Clicker Training: