Can Cats Be Trained?

By May 12 | See Comments

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Can Cats Be Trained?
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Cats have been domesticated for centuries now, however, they are only semi-domesticated. The idea of training a cat like a dog is looked at as something ridiculous by most people, and understandably so, as the two animals have different dispositions. However, that does not mean that cats cannot be trained. It’s just that they have to be trained differently than dogs.

How is training cats different from training dogs?

Training can be a good way to get your cat to learn basic commands. It can help them exert pent up energy, which may otherwise make them restless. It can also save them from potentially hazardous situations; say, your cat has a tendency to escape out when the gate is open, then you can train him to pick up the ‘come’ command, to prevent him from running into the traffic outdoors. All said and done, training also gives you and your feline friend some extra bonding time.There are many differences between

training

cats and dogs. For starters, cats do not work for appreciation like dogs. So if you are looking to train your cat, you want to make your cat work for treats or other rewards. Of course, you don’t want your cat to become dependent on treats; with techniques like clicker training you can gradually get your cat off its dependency on treats. Also, cats are not predisposed to work with humans, due to which getting them to co-operate on training sessions is not as easy. You want to break their training sessions into short ten minute periods, so you have your cat’s attention. You do not want to use scolding or punishment at any point of time, while training your cat.

Clicker training your cat

Clicker training is where you get your cat to associate the clicker noise with something positive. How you do this is follow up the clicker noise with a treat, so your cat can expect something positive every time he hears the clicker noise. You want to sound the clicker when your cat obeys or exhibits the expected behavior. It may take time before your cat is able to make the association between the clicker noise, the action and the reward. For instance, if you want your cat to come to a certain location in the house, simply say ‘come’ and sound the clicker noise. If your cat has drawn the link between the clicker noise and treat he will try to see where the noise is coming from, and walk up to the location. Repeat the same, in a different location. Keep the training sessions right before your cat’s meal times, so he is more likely to work for treats. Do not use multiple clicks in a short span or your cat will get confused.

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