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.