Cats are just the descendants of lions and tigers, though they have lost many carnivores’ skills, cats still believe in their powers and complete independence. Planting the seeds of obedience in a hunter can be challenging but never impossible! The secret to training any pet is by understanding how they think, cats don’t tend to follow orders just to please their owner but to get something in return like tasty treats. Pet Barn got all the tricks and methods to train your cat to come to you so, stay tuned!
What Is the Secret of Gaining a Cat’s Respect?
Some cats are predisposed to anxiety which makes it hard to build a communication portal so, before considering training your cat ensure its mental health is at its best. The first rule is to give your feline friend enough space to express what’s inside. Kittens learn faster than adult cats so, it’s preferable to start your short training sessions at a young age. Also, being supportive and organized is a guaranteed way to get closer to your cat.
Pets have great adapting abilities which means they can be trained. With patience and tricks of course!
Remember it’s all about positive reinforcement. Choose a specific reward your cat loves and we don’t recommend using everyday food as a reward. Instead, choose something special like a tuna-flavored treat. Treatsb are not the only optional rewards as playful cats respond better to toys. Once you feel you have enough time to keep up a training routine with a unique reward, you can move to the next step!
Pick a Special Call
The concept is simple, cats memorize the sound of the treat bag and food bowels by heart which means they can memorize frequently repeated sounds. “Hello, kitty, kitty” is what most people use. Also, your cat surely knows its name but the name alone is not enough, you need to add a special call to it like “treats” or “tuna”. On the first days of training, we recommend using a pitched voice when you call your cat.
Starting a Positive Connection between the Sound and the Result
Your precious feline might take time to make a lasting connection between the sound and the positive reinforcement so, don’t give up too soon! It’s important to associate the calling with something positive to encourage this habit. For example, if you call your cat to take a shower or go to the vet that would establish a negative connection making it harder for your cat to obey. Failure is just a part of the process, be nice and pet your cat even if it didn’t respond quickly to your calls.
Turn the Situation into a Habit
After establishing the positive connection and settling on a reward, you can begin the real training!
At the start, we recommend letting your cat see you holding the treats bag or a toy when you make the call from a few meters away to encourage her to come.
Once your cat comes to you, gently pet her and provide the reward but don’t be pushy, give your cat the time she needs to figure that the right thing to do is come when you call her name.
Increasing the distance and changing the training rooms is important to develop the habit. For example, if you let your cat associate the sound with the treat in the kitchen where food is, it would be hard to encourage a response in other places.
If the reward you choose was treating, we recommend training your cat to answer your call right before food time when she is hungry the most. Also, remember that cats are stubborn and they get bored easily so training them all day won’t do you any good so, keep the training sessions short.
Give Treats Either Ways
A common mistake among pet owners is training cats as if they were dogs and that is basically a waste of time because if you were thinking about testing a cat’s dignity, hands down you’re losing! Even if your cat didn’t respond and gave a cold look despite you’re insisting, reward her either way to keep the positive vibe.
Punishment Is Not a Choice
If you were lucky enough to win a cat’s trust that doesn’t mean you can win it back easily! Cats might get insecure about the smallest things so, just imagine the outcomes of punishing your feline friend right after calling their name!
Cats are special creatures, they would never think they’re being punished for their bad behavior, instead, they would start thinking of escaping because they’re being mistreated! Poor cats!
I promise all your hard work will eventually payback! There’s no golden rule here, every cat has its own preferences and response to different training methods but the mutual thing is that punishment should never be your choice.
The Last Step Is To Stop Using the Reward
Once your cat starts to respond more often when you call her name, you can start by decreasing the treats until you eventually stop giving treats and start giving cuddles instead!
As a cat owner, you probably hate it when you come home and spend half an hour looking for your cat because she is simply not responding when you call her name! Remember that cats are creatures of habit and they learn fast but with love and patience! Pet Barn knows you have your own secret ways to train a cat and would love to hear about them all in the comments.