I think it’s pretty funny when people ask about training their cat, as if it isn’t already happening! Your cat is trained to let you know when it’s breakfast and dinner. She’s figured out to walk on the kitchen counters only when you’re not around. She knows knocking things over gets your attention. Yep, that’s all learned behavior, i.e., training.
Every interaction you have with your cat is a form of training. So instead of developing behavior unconsciously, why not turn it into an organized form of play? That’s what my human does with me.
Unless your cat is semi-feral and extremely shy, she wants a relationship with you. And short training sessions are a great way to spend quality time with your cat.
Here are some of the benefits:
- They are fun! Cats love routine, and regular 10 minute training sessions will become a nice routine yours looks forward to.
- They deepen the relationship between you and your cat. The same way going for a walk, or playing ball with a dog is a way of strengthening the canine bond, a cat’s training sessions build trust and affection with her human.
- It’s mentally stimulating. Often the cats that create the most trouble are the most intelligent. Giving them something to do and think about is always a good idea. And often their acting out is a manipulative way of asking for attention. Training sessions give them attention, and positive reinforcement.
- It’s useful and practical. Teaching your cat to come when called, or to go into his carrier on cue can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. Even something simple like sitting in place and staying for a treat can help keep your cat from getting underfoot in the kitchen.
- Oh yeah, and it’s a fun parlor trick for when friends come over. Who doesn’t enjoy trading high fives with a cat?
Training your cat is fun, doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, and can make your cat happy and more well behaved. So what are your waiting for? Pull out your cat’s favorite treat or other awesome reward and get started!
By the way, I still get on the kitchen counter when my human’s not looking. But don’t tell her that.
The Swiss Cats says
We wonder if we’re not more training our humans than them training us… Purrs
I think the benefits of training are felt not just by the “trainee” but the “trainer”……it’s rewarding to know that you have the touch when it comes to getting a stubborn animal (who shall remain nameless…haha) to do something!
Timmy Tomcat says
I am the smart kitty in our house so I have two tricks. I open a special cabinet and Dad always puts two treats in there for me. I do it every day after dinner for dessert. Then at night we have treat time. Dad holds a treat and I will grab his hand and pull it over to get my treat. I can give a strong pull if I am hungry. Miss Fitz has learned to whap treats in the air. Dad tosses one and she will whap it. Some go really far. Then he will throw it again and she will knock it to the bed to enjoy. He is working to teach Toby to catch them in his mouth but that may be too tough. Rumpy and Einstein just play mad hockey on the floor. Purrs
Simba, and Toki and Minko were taught several tricks, but Pipo has not shown interest, even though he and Minko grew up here at the same time. Almost like it was beneath him.MOL!
He does come when I call him, though…mostly! Just wish he would look at the camera lens more often…MOL!
It’s true. Every interaction is a form of training — for us and our humans! 🙂
Cathy Keisha says
Yes, I am most intelligent. Thanks for noticing. I like to think I’ve trained TW when to have my breakfast, lunch and dinner ready. As soon as I jump out of bed in the a.m. she follows along. Just the way it should be.
I hope to get the time to help my kittys do more fun stuff
Spitty the Kitty says
Well, we want to believe it is never too late. But I’m afraid the training in this house went in the other direction, MOL. For example, when I sit in the front hall and wail and howl, she knows it is time to take me out in the hallway and let me run up and down the stairs. If she does it quickly enough, she gets her reward: She doesn’t get bitten or scratched (much).
She probably should have taken control sooner. But to be fair, I *was* a handful.
Spike William says
When my Cat Mom holds up a treat and says “up” I sit up to get my treat! She always tells me what a good boy I am!
Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs, Spike William
Melissa & Mudpie says
You’re so right, Summer! Pawsome post.
Sandra Toney says
Cats train us but we think we train them. Nice article!!!
Lola The Rescued cat says
Great tips, Summer. Our mom “trained” Lexy to do a high five. The truth is, Lexy would always tap her with her paw or reach her paw out when she wanted to be petted, so our mom just took it from there. Me, I won’t do anything! MOL I could care less about treats.
LESLEY CASTLE says
Humans need training MOL!
The Poupounette Gang says
We have approached things from a different perspective and have our #1 very well trained!
Tama and Genji
The Florida Furkids says
Mom says we have already trained HER.
The Florida Furkids
Ellen Pilch says
I really need to work on the bell with Rosie instead of just having her watch cats on youtube ringing a bell.
Pat K says
Oh Summer, I thought you were a cat that didn’t
do the countertop walk. Say it isn’t true.
Anyway, good info on training. Thank you.
Together time with our humans is always a plus for all of us!
Eastside Cats says
What a minute…’friends come over’…?!?
What is that?
The only humans who’ve been anywhere near The Eastside Cats have only stayed outdoors, and The PO’M did his own tricks, which included purring, drooling, head- and butt-rubbing.
the ISland Cats says
We’d like to think we’re training our human to do what we want. 🙂
Katie Isabella says
I wish I had know that when I first got Katie and Bianca, aka, the Admiral. I would have made the effort.
Memories of Eric and Flynn says
I never tried to train Flynn, but really he trained himself on our walks around the fields so I think he would have been easy to train. He would come back when I called him, or sit in the middle of the field and wait for me to come back if I had to go after Eric. He wouldn’t move from the spot until I called him. He always knew what I wanted of him.
Try telling Eric anything and his head would go down and his shoulders forward and he would march on totally ignoring me.
Katie Isabella says
What smart boys they were! Loved reading about them. They and Summer would have got on wonderfully together.
Mickey's Musings says
Yup, cats are smart!
I do a pretty fair job of training my human 😉
LESLEY CASTLE says
Great info! <3