Cats make great pets. They're cute, they're clean, they're smart, and they have an independent streak that you just won't find in a dog. Unfortunately, cats can also exhibit notoriously difficult behavior. They may destroy furniture, constantly meow and whine, and even claim territory all over your house. If one or more of these things start happening, it might be in your best interest to start cat behavior training.
Contrary to popular belief - and what you yourself may have been told - cat behavior training is possible. Cats aren't so independent that they'll refuse any and all efforts to train them. In fact, they can be quite responsive, so long as you use the right techniques.
Keep in mind that cats aren't quite like any other animal, and they're certainly not the same as dogs. Some methods of behavior training that will work with other household pets will utterly fail with your cat.
What's the most important thing to keep in mind when training your cat? You absolutely need to know and accept that reacting physically won't help a thing. Cats don't respond to being swatted with a newspaper or having their noses rubbed in their own urine - on the contrary, they'll only resent you for it. They won't understand why you've done what you have, they'll only be frustrated and upset with you.
In fact, trying to train your cat through physical punishment can completely ruin your relationship with him. He won't trust you, he won't understand why you're punishing him, and his behavior certainly won't improve.
Training your cat requires you to talk to him, using positive words and tones combined with rewards of food or new toys when he's done something good, and the opposite when he's done something wrong.
You also need to maintain a stable environment, as cats are very sensitive to any and all changes going on around them. Have you moved recently? Have you introduced a new pet into your home? Have you moved your cat's litter box? Any of these things have the potential to negatively influence your cat's behavior.
Perhaps above all, you need patience. Cat behavior training is not exactly a walk in the park. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes dedication. With some perseverance on your part, however, and the right techniques, there's no doubting the fact that you will be able to improve your cat's behavior, which makes for a better relationship between you and your pet.
Gillian Aitken is a proud cat-lover who isn't afraid to admit that they can sometimes make for fickle pets. Are you interested in uncovering more tips and tricks on how to raise a healthy, happy cat? Visit Gill's site at http://gill-careforcats.blogspot.com