Train your cat

When you think of cats, obedience isn’t usually one of the automatic words which spring to mind.  It's not most cats' strong point - they tend to be very independent and appear to be laid back.  They set the agenda for the day and the moment and we, the human race, undertake tasks such as getting their dinner ready on demand. 


So it may surprise you to know that more and more cat owners are deriving considerable enjoyment and satisfaction from training their feline friends to undertake a variety of tasks, such as the sit, stay, jumping through hoops, and twirling.

We know from experience that Trouble is very affectionate and loving; he always knows when we’re feeling down and he comes with a rub against our knees, a gentle loving purr and quiet meow.   But cats are deemed outside of the training zone you’d assume a dog to have, so few owners are aware that their cat has amazing capabilities.  They don’t think to train their beloved cat.

Did you know...
that it's better to play with your cat for a few short bursts, rather than one long one? Why? Because this is what cats do - play in short, sharp stints.
How can I find info on training my human?
Training your feline friend can have many benefits:
  •  It enhances the relationship and rapport between you
  • It curbs dominant behaviour
  • Your cat’s mind is stimulated and kept active – lose it or use it!
  • It gives him – and you – the chance to play
  • Stressed out cats may be soothed by the routine of training
There are two main methods to train your cat
Target training
Attract your cat’s attention and obtain the wanted behaviour by using a tool.   For instance, if you want to teach your cat to beg, you can use a training wand as a tool to attract your cat’s attention upwards, to rise on his haunches and beg.


Clicker training
This teaches the cat to form a conscious association between a particular behaviour and a result.  A clicker creates a short, distinct noise at the exact moment the cat performs a certain action – such as at the moment the cat’s bottom touches the ground, if you’re teaching him to sit.  And after the click, you feed your puss a lovely treat, so that the cat gradually associates the “click” noise with food.  He knows that he will earn treats by performing a wanted action on command.
Starter tips for training your cat:
  • Be patient; he’s an individual and, just like us at school, he’ll struggle with some tasks and pick others up quickly, so give him time.
  • If you cat normally can eat when he likes, as you leave food out all the time for him, stop doing this; it will increase the reward-value of treats as training devices and put some routine into his life
  • If you decide to train using food treats, do it just before mealtimes, when your cat’s focus will be greater and he’ll want to get that treat!
  • Go slowly – build on the basics before going further.
  • Keep lessons short and interesting and end on a high.

You could start by training your cat to sit

1. Smear the tip of your training wand in a little tuna oil and attract your cat’s attention with it – wave it about past his face

2. Put the want just behind the crown of his head when he’s in front of you. He’ll have to tilt his head back to watch it and so he’ll naturally have to sit down.

3. As he sits, say “Sit” and as his bottom touches the ground, click your clicker. Immediately after that, give him a tiny treat he can eat quickly. If it’s a large treat, he’ll have forgotten what it was for by the time he’s swallowed it.

4. Do this a few more times and keep repeating until he’s got the hang of it. Gradually reduce your use of the treats.