15 Reasons Why You Might Be Training Your Cat Wrong

Although they’re much more independent than dogs, cats can also be taught certain tricks and behaviors. But they certainly can’t be taught the same way dogs are. Today, we’re looking at the most common cat-training methods that actually don’t help training them.

#15. They Aren’t as Independent as You Think

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According to Sarah Ellis, co-author of The Trainable Cat, “People don’t traditionally train cats because they think of cats as independent and full of free will. What they don’t realize, though, is that they are subconsciously training their cats on a daily basis.” However, we send mixed signals that actually make them behave worse.

Click on the next page to see the most common mistake we make.

#14. Herding Cats

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Believe it or not, we are usually training out cats do do exactly what we don’t want them to do. When you yell “No!” at your cat when they’re touching something they’re not supposed to touch, you’re giving the cat attention.

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#13. Ignore their Bad Behavior

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In the cat’s mind, that attention is rewarding, so they might continue to do it just to get your attention. Experts believe we should reward what we like, and ignore what we don’t like.

Click the next slide to see how you can actually communicate a positive message to your cat.

#12. Positive Communication

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Following up on the previous point, the road to ignoring your cat’s bad behavior might be a tough one. That is because your feline friend is going to try to get your attention even harder.

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#11. Stay Strong

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Even though your cat will probably insist on getting your attention through bad behavior, you must remain consistent and not respond to its attempts. Eventually, it will give up.

Next, we discuss how to reward your furry friend when it behaves well.

#10. Rewarding

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To effectively train your kitty, experts recommend rewarding positive behavior with a treat, just like we do with dogs.

Check out the next page to see how to train your cat to come to you when called.

#9. Calling your Kitty’s name

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It is recommended to first teach  your cat to come when called before teaching it other things. Call its name to get its attention, then hold out a treat. Repeat the process until the cat starts to respond consistently. Then, progressively, stand farther and farther away, until the cat responds from another room in the house.

On the next page, we’ll discuss how to train your cat to do more challenging behaviors.

#8. Take it Slow

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In order to teach your furry friend to cooperate with you when doing unpleasant activities, such as going to the vet, or tolerating nail trims, you should break the process down into tiny stages. Start out slowly, and reward it repeatedly after taking the same step in the process.

Up next, how to teach your cat to let you trim its claws.

#7. Clipping your Cat’s Claws

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When trimming its nails, reward your kitty for allowing a paw to be touched, and then move on to giving it a treat after letting you press its paw to extend a claw. Then give it a treat for every claw it lets you clip.

Click on the next slide for more advice.

#6. Be Positive

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Another key is not to pressure your cat into it. You might have to do it one claw at a time over a whole week, depending on how scared your cat gets. Although the process seems long and tiring, eventually, your cat will be more than happy when you’re trimming its nails.

Click on the next slide to see what kind of treats you should be giving your cat.

#5. Food Rewards

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You must make sure to give your cat food rewards that it actually enjoys. Try different types to see which one makes it more enthusiastic, then stick to its favorite.

However, you must do it carefully. (Continues on the next page)

#4. Watch its Weight

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If you’re constantly giving your cat treats, you might end up compromising its health. Make sure to always give them small portions, as it may start gaining weight. If you want to train it every day, put less food in its bowl.

Next, we discuss how often you should train your cat.

#3. Be Patient

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If you’re trying to train it too quickly, you might be making it gain weight, which can lead to many health risks. You can’t force a cat to change its behavior overnight, so you’d probably end up upsetting it. Each cat is different, and some may take longer than others to learn, so patience is key.

Click on the next slide for advice on how to get your cat into a carrier willingly.

#2. Going Willingly into a Carrier

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Whether your furry pal is scared or simply gets angry when going to the vet, getting it into a carrier or a cage may be a real hassle. Start by leaving some treats inside the carrier while he’s watching you. (Continues on the next page)

#1. Encouragement

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Slowly, encourage your cat to walk into the carrier by laying a small trail of treats on the floor. Once it gets in, reward it. Trying this a few times over the course of one or two weeks will probably do the trick.

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