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Many of you probably read the headline and scoffed at the idea of actually training your cat. It is common knowledge that the family feline is king (or queen) of the house. The same is certainly true for my cat — he does what he wants and I am but a humble observer.
Just like dogs, however, cats can be trained. The problem is that they do not respond well to discipline. You always need to take a positive approach when training your cat!
Here are a few tips to follow:
The Cat Clicker is Key
It may seem weird to use a training clicker for your cat — but it works. According to Reader’s Digest, using a clicker or pen with a clicky button paired with treats is a great way to reinforce good behavior.
Using the clicker-treat method is useful when trying to train a cat to do a certain trick or pick up a certain behavior. For those out there who want to train your kitty to use a toilet (though the reasoning is beyond me) using a clicker throughout their transition from litter to porcelain will help to speed up the process.
Cause for the Claws
Get a Scratch Post!
Cats are going to scratch things. It is in their nature. And most of the time, those things are our furniture.
Most people just scold their cats when they scratch up the furniture. The problem with that is that cats simply don’t understand why they are being punished. They have a need to scratch things, and they are just doing their duty. By scolding them, you’re just making yourself look mean.
To stop your cat from tormenting your favorite sofa, you’re gonna have to invest in a scratching post. The biggest fear for most with that, however, is that the cat will ignore the post and continue scratching at the sofa.
They do this because they are used to the furniture, and according to LoveThatPet, this can be trained out by giving your cat a treat every time they use the scratch post, or by leaving treats on the post.
By using treats, your cat will associate the scratching post with tasty snacks, and your furniture will finally be safe!
When Playtime Gets Dangerous
There is something so satisfying about playing with cats. Watching them hone in on a target and then hop, skip and flail after it in a mock-hunting sequence is not only impressive but also hilarious.
However, some cats take playtime a little too far and can begin to bite and scratch as they get excited. There is a relatively simple way to avoid being accidentally maimed by your cat, but it requires some self-control on your part.
When playing with your cat, the moment they start to bite and scratch you need to make a loud noise, like a clap or a short shout. This will startle your cat out of its behavior. Then you need to stand up and walk away. This will let your cat know that getting violent will have consequences — being they no longer get to play with you.
The DIY Approach to Behavioral Problems
Dealing with feline behavioral problems can be stressful. You cannot discipline them the way you would a dog, for that will usually cause your cat more stress and the behavior will just get worse. However, with problems such as out-of-the-litter-box urinating and furniture scratching, there are simple solutions that don’t require expensive pet store solutions.
If you want a cat to stop walking on a certain surface such as a kitchen counter, place sticky paper or tin foil across it to dissuade your feline from stepping there. Cats don’t like to walk on these surfaces, so they will quickly learn to avoid those places.
Sniff Em’ Out
Another way to keep cats away from problem areas (that doesn’t require a large amount of tin foil) is to soak a cotton ball or small cloth with a very strong scent. WikiHow recommends using citrus, perfume or air freshener, all scents that cats don’t like in concentrated amounts. This way you can freshen up key parts of your house while simultaneously keeping your cat from scratching, peeing or walking on those areas.
Remember, there are always ways to address and adjust a cat’s behavior. You just need to have patience because cats are finicky, but we love them anyway!