Cats are very mysterious creatures. They have ways and unique characteristics that seem unfathomable to us. This “mysteriousness” of a cat’s character is compounded by a cat’s fiercely independent nature. Simply put, cats just do what they do for reasons they alone know.
So does this mean that you really can’t do anything about cat training? Do all cat owners, like yourself, have to resign themselves to the sad fact that their cats will never learn to follow the house rules? Will you have to be picking up cat litter from now on since the cat doesn’t seem to like using the litter box?
Okay, before you sink onto the pathos of despair, bear in mind that cats are intelligent creatures. They have to be; they are born hunters. No creature can be an effective hunter without having some measure of intelligence. At the very least, a hunter has to be smarter than its prey, if it wants to survive.
Thus, your cat is intelligent. And because cats are intelligent, training cats is therefore very possible and not unheard of.
How To Train A Cat
So just how do you train a cat?
First of all, most cat owners do not let their cats go through cat training because they want Snowball or Ginger to play tricks like “sit” or “rollover.” Neither do they want their cats to play fetch. No, cats have more dignity than that.
Rather, owners want cat training for their pets because they want to instill in their furry companions manners that are acceptable within the household, the most important being proper toilet manners.
Understand Your Cat
Before you start cat litter training for your new cat or kitten, it is important that you understand cats first. As said earlier, cats are mysterious creatures, but this does not mean that the mystery cannot be pierced with a well-sharpened knife of knowledge.
The most important thing you need to understand for a successful cat training session is that your cat learns by experience. For instance, your cat caught a mice and to reward its efforts, you gave it some sort of treat.
This kind of good experience fosters repetitive behavior in your cat in an attempt to duplicate that “good” experience. In cat training, this is called positive reinforcement, and it is a very effective method of getting your cat to learn very quickly.
Applying this to cat litter training, if your cat uses the litter box, you can reinforce that behavior by giving him or her treats. That way, your cat will learn that using the litter box equals a good experience. He or she will therefore use the litter box from now on.
On the other hand, if your cat does something that you don’t want him or her to do, don’t reward it. Instead, make the experience as unpleasant as possible so that your cat will learn that this behavior is unacceptable and will deter him or her from repeating it.
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Using Force And Yelling
You should never use force against your pet because it is counter-productive. Not only will your cat never learn the right thing to do, he or she might even develop some more unpleasant behavior as a reaction to the use of force.
The same thing goes with yelling. Although cats are intelligent enough to realize that you are displeased or angry about something, they may not be able to associate your anger with something that they did. It is like knowing that someone is mad at you but you don’t know the reason why. It can be very frustrating for your cat and may lead to a feeling of alienation in your pet. As a result, your cat might become even more unresponsive to cat toilet training.
If you keep the above things in mind, then you should have no trouble training cats. As already mentioned, cats are intelligent creatures. They are quick to understand when they are not supposed to do something.