Training is something of a non-negotiable when it comes to dog ownership, but with cats, it is often overlooked. After all, cats don’t tend to jump all over us (or our guests) when we come through the door. They don’t pull on the leash during walks, or bark when the doorbell rings.
Basically, cats are pretty easy to get along with, even without training. But that doesn’t mean they can be trained. Of course, you can train a cat!
If you think about it, we actually do train our cat's on certain things all the time. We teach them how to use a litterbox, where their food is, how to play with toys, among many other things.
Many of us live completely peacefully with our cats regardless of never training them. However, training a cat has many benefits for both us and our cats.
Teaching your cat new tricks could improve your quality of life.
Have you ever wished your cat would come when you call? Or are you just dying to find a way to keep him off the countertop? Both of these outcomes can be accomplished through a training regimen.
Just like dogs, cats need mental stimulation to be happy and content. Fortunately, most cats are creative about accomplishing this for themselves, but some do resort to destructive behaviors. Training is a great way to stimulate your cat’s mind, thus keeping him happy and healthy.
Even though they are often quite independent, cats relish quality time with their people. Training is a wonderful way to reinforce your connection with your cat by spending quality time with him. Having him learn new tricks is just a bonus!
When it comes to deciding what to teach your cat, the sky is really the limit. Following are a few suggestions to get you started.
Sit - This is a great command to start with, as it’s quite easy to teach. Once you and your cat master sit, use the momentum of your success to attempt more challenging tricks.
Fetch - Cats can fetch too, they just may need some help learning how! Playing fetch with your cat is a wonderful way to work some quality time into your daily routine.
Walk on a leash - Teaching your cat to walk on a leash opens up a lot of doors for both of you, literally! Cats love to explore new sights, sounds and smells, and leash walks are a safe way to help your cat expand his horizons from beyond your home and garden.
Stay off the counters - Teaching your cat to keep off the table and counters helps keep your food prep areas hygienic. This won’t necessarily be easy, but it can be done!
When it comes to training your cat, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Cats aren’t necessarily as motivated as dogs are to please you, which can make training them more challenging. This means you need to make training as interesting as possible to capture and hold their attention.
In other words, use highly desirable treats. Your cat probably won’t be able to resist chunks of chicken or fish.
Cats respond well to positive reinforcement. Be sure to reward your kitty for a job well done, instead of punishing him when he makes mistakes.
Clicker training is a great way to keep your cat engaged in the learning process. With this training technique, a click is used to mark the moment when your cat performs the trick properly. The click is then followed with a treat to reward your cat for completing the trick.
There’s no question that training your cat is a wonderful way to build on your bond together. It can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you!
Looking for more ways to protect your kitty? Consider investing in a cat insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1 Our cat insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your kitties deserve. Get your free quote today.