There's no doubt that cats can be a handful. Unlike dogs, they retain an enormous amount of independence, they don't often aim to please, and they're not always the loving, cuddly balls of fur you might want them to be. If you're a new pet owner - or even an experienced one - you may well be wondering how to train your cat.
Make no mistake, it is possible to train your cat, but it takes a commitment on your part. You need patience, and you need to accept that training a cat is different from training most other household pets.
Whether you're just starting out with a new kitten or you've had an unruly cat for years, there are three key things that you should keep in mind when trying to figure out how to train your cat.
First of all, cats learn through experience. For instance, if you feed your cat every time he starts yowling and complaining, it becomes a learned behavior - he'll continue his yowling, thinking that it's the proper way to signal hunger. With this in mind, it's important to always punish the bad behavior and reward the good.
Second, always talk to your cat. You may feel a little silly at first, but there's no doubt that cats can recognize and register the sound of your voice, the emphasis, and even certain words. When you want to discourage bad behavior, pick a word or a sentence and keep repeating it to your cat. Your cat will eventually realize that he's done something wrong. Conversely, when you want to reward good behavior, pick another word and repeat it in the same manner.
Third, remember that cats can become agitated and aggressive in response to serious stress or changes in their environment. If your cat has suddenly become irritable when before he was agreeable and good-natured, it may be due to recent upheaval. This can be brought on by something as obvious as the introduction of a new pet or as simple as moving your cat's litter box.
It's true that cats can be extremely fickle. One minute they'll be lounging peacefully in your lap and the next they might be clawing at the furniture, meowing uncontrollably, or just causing havoc in general. But it's that same streak of independence that makes a cat-lover out of all cat-owners. If you begin with the three basic tips in this article, you'll be able to work through the ins-and-outs of how to train your cat faster than you may think.
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