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How to Train a Kitty

Want to understand a little more about cat training? Here are some things you should keep in mind!

Is This Even Necessary?

Yes! Do you want your cat destroying your furniture or eating from your dog's food bowl? Cats are very curious animals can be very active. How much damage can a cat cause if given the chance? Do you really want to find out?

When To Train A Cat?

As soon as possible. When you introduce your cat to his new home you will want him or her to learn the rules. You need to be very patient however. A dog naturally wants to please his master but a cat has a more independent spirit. Training a kitten is also easier if just because they have not had to the time to develop certain bad habits. An adult however can be just as trainable and understanding and love will get your cat where you need him to be.

Where To Train?

When teaching tricks choose an interior space free of distractions. The fewer "other things" to do there are in the space the more your kitty will give you his attention. If possible, don't let the cat have a view of the outside. If a bird flies by your cat may forget all about you!

For How Long?

Keep in mind cats have a short attention span. Keep it short and to the point. Usually 10 minutes is considered about right. After that you will probably get greatly diminishing returns.

What Is The Basic Strategy?

Positive Reinforcement. When your cat does something desirable, give the kitty treats. Negative reinforcement is usually not advisable. However, spraying water on them immediately after an undesired behavior will get their attention. Do your best to be consistent. Sending mixed messages will only confuse them.

Also, cats can be very much like children. They like to test their limits. If you let them beg at the table, don't be surprised if next thing you know your kitty is jumping up on the table. Set a limit and stick to it.

Is This A Team Effort?

Yes! Everyone residing in the same house should know the training plan and how to react to both desired and undesired behavior. It doesn't help if your cat knows not to jump on the dinner table when you are around but any other time its "anything goes". The more you present a united front, the faster your furry friend will learn.

Should We Keep A Routine?

Try to keep a set schedule. Your felines will feel much more at home when they can predict their daily life. It makes them feel more secure in their environment. This is also true of most if not all other house pets. Give them food at the same times every day. Play and training times can also be easily scheduled.

Potty Training

This one isn't too hard. Cats naturally like to bury their droppings and you are just providing them a convenient way to do so. Keep in mind they are very clean animals and will not like it if the litter box isn't cleaned regularly. If you ignore this basic maintenance, you will quickly find that your cat will refuse to use the box. Remember it is not necessary to throw away the uncontaminated litter.

You should also keep the litter box away from the cat's eating area. Cats like to keep their food away from their bodily waste. Just like we do!

Bernard Williams writes about pet related issues. You can learn more by visiting my blog at

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