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Three Bad Ideas When Training Your Cat

I have spent my entire life living with multiple cats. Due to my life experience, I have considered myself a "cat person" ever since I was a little kid growing up in farm country. Teaching cats to be well behaved and affectionate is the norm in my family, and for years I would be shocked when others would talk of their cat as aloof and unaffectionate or just downright bad tempered. It wasn't until I saw how they interacted with their cat that the reasons for this troubled behavior became clear.

Before we delve into ways to deal with more specific problems, I want to cover three training techniques that are a BAD IDEA for training your cat.

1. Forcing Your Cat To Do Something

Cats are by nature, strong-willed and self-motivated. Trying to force your cat to do something usually ends in frustration for both you and your pet. It is funny watching people chase their cat around in an attempt to get it in a car carrier or to take medicine. Naturally, the smart way to get your cat to do something is through attraction. For instance, place cat treats inside your car carrier on a regular basis to get your cat used to a reward for going in. After that, it is a snap. This concept can be applied to any number of actions you want to entice your cat to take.

2. Punishing Your Cat Too Late After The Crime

We've all had those moments where we come home and the cat has "decorated" the carpet, sofa, etc. Many people make the mistake of trying to rub the cat's nose in it so to speak. Another example is spraying your cat with water even just a few seconds after they commit their little crime whatever it might be. Your reaction must happen right away. If you don't want your cat climbing up a screen door, you must spray them (preferably on the belly) while they are in the act.

3. Using Fear Or Depravation Techniques

Besides bordering on the inhumane, these tactics almost never work. Cats respond to a reward system, and won't connect the dots between failure to do the right thing and no food in the bowl. Again, food is a fantastic motivator (even for us humans,) so use it in the promotional sense. For instance, a special treat every time you walk in the door from work will make your cat LOVE you.

Now that we've covered some basics, visit for the comprehensive cat training guide.

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