You can’t train a cat, like you can a dog. If you try to, you’ll probably cause behavioural problems later on. But you can teach it not to perform bad habits. But most times the owner will have to change to fit in with the cat.
Every one in your house, should agree with what you are going to allow the cat to do. Do not change the rules when you’ve decided them, as this can cause difficulties.
• If your cat trusts you, it will probably do what you want, so speak in a calm tone.
• Your cat can tell if you are anxious, so don’t worry if things go wrong. Keep calm and start again.
• Don’t force training on your cat, only attempt it when it seems happy to do so.
• Don’t move too quickly, or the cat might misunderstand.
• When teaching a kitten only do it for ½ hour a day and only repeat a few times. As an annoyed kitten will not learn anything.
• If you are forbidding something, be consistent. Don’t change your mind, and stick to the same command.
• If you’ve caught your cat doing something bad, give it a quick squirt of water from a plant sprayer. This will soon curb the behaviour.
• Never hurt or shout at your cat, or it will associate you with the unpleasantness. Instead put some dry beans in a tin and shake it briefly if you cat is being bad.
• When the cat obeys, praise and stroke it.
• Treat your cat with food when it does well, it will learn to associate a good behaviour with food. But don’t over do it, it will soon so it without help.
• Do not ignore your cat when you are mad at it, cats do not understand this behaviour and will feel insecure.
Your cat will not know from the start that it has to use a scratch post to sharpen its claws. You need to teach it to do so.
If your cat beings to attack the furniture, clearly say ‘NO’. Then take the cat to the scratching post and put its paws on it. You can scratch with your own nails too, as the noise will make the cat curious.
If your cat refuses to use the scratch post, then it may not like the fabric that covers it. Try putting an old piece of clothing that smells like you over the board; put some hemp rope around the scratching tree, or put down some straw mats, cats often like these better.
Make sure where your cat sleeps is quiet and comfortable. Provide your cat with a covered basket, with a soft filling such as a blanket or towel. You cat can get away in here and feel safe, but still be able to see things going on.
Don’t let your cat beg, once it has formed this habit, you won’t be able to break it. Don’t give in to a meowing cat! Keep your cat away from the dining table!
• Don’t offer your cat food from the table.
• Don’t give treats outside of feeding time, just because it wants them.
• Don’t put your cat on your lap when eating dinner at the table.
• Set your cat certain feeding times.
• Feed your cat when you eat, so it will be occupied.
• If you cat jumps on your lap or the chair next door while you are eating say ‘NO’ and place it far from the table.