Cat Behavior and Training Your Cat

Cat Behavior. No problem. We’ve all become accustomed to the many wonderful eccentricities of cat behavior. But training your cat? Yes, I said it. Training your cat. Once you’ve stopped laughing at the very idea, (and who could blame you?) we’ll get started.

First, let me ‘fess up. I have not really formally trained my cat. My beloved Sir Spooksalot of Samhaintime, however, has very thoroughly trained his humans!

See, the thing is, he adopted us so quickly, we had no time to plan or even think of such things as training him, whereas he began our training immediately!

Before we knew what hit us, he had his own fluffy pillow, we were stocking in the best cat foods both wet and dry, and buying cute little single serving containers of Alaskan salmon.

Only when he hit puberty did we realize that we had to either spay him or develop better aim when lobbing stuffed animals at him to get him to stop leaping onto our bed and yowling at top volume all night, every night!

Now, before you write the ASPCA, I’m kidding about the toys, but only just! Any of you who have heard the supersonic sounds of a cat in need of spaying or neutering will understand. So we bundled up our sweet little yowler, and off to the vet we went. He got the whole enchilada that day, including all his shots, and micro chipping.

Unfortunately, during his pre-neutering days, he had begun to develop some unacceptable habits. That was pretty much when we realized that we were going to have to return the favor of training him, at least a little bit, so we could all live together harmoniously. We had to address some common training issues, so I thought I’d share a bit of the training techniques we used and more, as taught by the experts.

There are several areas of cat behavior that are generally considered critical issues, because if these cat behaviors cannot be resolved, they often can lead to the cat being sent to a shelter or worse, turned out into the wild. Not acceptable. Addressing the “bad” cat behavior as early as possible and very consistently is the key to a successful and happy long term relationship with you and your favorite feline.

One thing more, if your cat is allowed to roam outside, not only is is a very high risk to the cat's health, it makes training very difficult because it's hard to be consistent. Learn how to transition your outdoor cats into being indoor cats and you can more than double their lifespans!

Before we begin to look at the behaviors, please consider the following fair play rules –

*Whenever possible, use incentives instead of deterrents. Accentuate the positive rewards of good behavior first and use your cat’s natural likes and desires to encourage him to do what you need him to do.

*Don’t let training injure the bond of trust you and your cat have developed. Try to treat it as more of a partnership between you two and remember that cat behavior does not change overnight, any more than human behavior does.

* When encountering cat behavior problems, please, please consult your vet before doing anything else. Frequently, unwanted behavior in cats is the result of an all too physical cause, and is the only way Kitty has of dealing with pain, or discomfort. Your vet can recognize and treat your cat if this is the case, and both your troubles will diminish greatly!

Learn More About Cat Behavior Problems

Later, we will move into the area of general cat training, cat litter box training (or re-training if need be) and even cat toilet training!

Learn More About Cat Litter Box Training

For further reading on cat training, I highly recommend the following website:

Cat Training and Behavior The best resource for cat training, toilet training, cat health and more with Sammi and Isla.

I hope this is helpful to you, and as always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to write me, and I will address questions in order of frequency and importance to the health of cats. While time restrictions may limit the number of personal replies I can send, please be assured I will read each and every one and respond as best I can.

Always though, if time is of the essence or your cat is at risk in any way, please speak to your vet’s office ASAP.

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