Ideas for Training Your Cat

While training a dog can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, cat training is considerably more difficult. We’re not talking about training your cat to roll over or sit—we’re talking simple things like teaching your cat to use the litter box or a scratching post. It’s important that your goals are realistic so you don’t spend a great deal of time and frustration trying to teach your cat something he simply can’t learn to do.

It’s important that you understand the difference between a cat’s psychological attitude and a dog’s. Dogs are happy if they do something that pleases their owner. They are family-oriented and love to be included. Cat’s are quite the opposite in that they usually won’t do anything that doesn’t bring them personal satisfaction. They usually pick one “master” and aren’t too concerned whether they please anyone but themselves. You have to learn to play this attitude to benefit your training.

If you want to train your cat to use the litter box, the first thing you’re going to want to do is make it accessible (but not so much that it becomes a nuisance to family members or guests in your home). You also want to keep it clean, but leave just a little soiled litter in the tray—not so much that it reeks, but just enough that your cat can learn to associate the litter box with going to the bathroom. If you catch your kitty going anywhere he isn’t supposed to, pick him up and move him to the litter box. Eventually he will catch on that this is where he should go. When he uses the litter box successfully, give him a nice scratch behind the ears or a pat. Cats are affectionate through touch rather than verbal praise, so you’ll get the best response through this method.

Some pet stairs have hollow areas meant to store your litter box. This helps to keep your little box smell contained as well as to give your cat a quiet place to do his business. If your cat is comfortable in the space his litter box is placed, he will be more likely to use it.

You may be struggling with a cat that is too liberal with scratching your sofa or carpet. Scratching is normal behaviour for a cat, as it helps keep their claws in shape and gives them a bit of exercise. It can also be a form of marking their territory. To encourage your cat to stop this, you’ll need to invest in a scratching post. There are many different types to choose from, and your cat will likely have his personal preference. If he doesn’t take well to the first scratching post you buy, try rubbing it with catnip. This is an herb that entices cats into a playful state where he is more likely to use the scratching post. You might even attach a toy to the post to help him get rid of excess energy. Placing the post in the room that your cat frequents most is another way to encourage him to use it.

For more great tips on raising your cat or to purchase pet stairs with litter box storage, visit Help Your Pets.

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