Here at Rooke’s we talk a lot about training puppies and dogs, equally important however is training for your kitty!
Cats are often marked down as ‘too smart’ for training, i.e. they’ll do as they please regardless of your training efforts but there are definitely some major milestones you’ll want to achieve with your cat and perhaps a few fun tricks too.
Here’s how you can begin;
Get started as early as possible
Even better if the cats breeder has introduced the basics like manners, social skills and some toilet training as kittens tend to be more open to new experiences between 3 and 8 weeks old.
Of course, the training doesn’t stop there and once your new addition comes home you’ll need to familiarise the cat with your own house rules and introduce them to all kinds of people, including children, and experiences; like travelling in a cat carrier and by car to make future vet visits less stressful for the whole family.
Treats are king
Most cats will likely give you a look that says ‘you must be joking’ if you try any training without treats in hand so make sure you’ve got something that really motivates your cat and training is best done before mealtimes.
A full bellied cat probably won’t be so driven by treats.
One at a time please!
Unlike dogs, cats aren’t fantastic at trick combinations so work on mastering one trick at a time. Plus, keep training sessions consistent, a few minutes everyday will be much more effective than sporadic sessions.
What’s my name again?
To teach your cat their name, they must associate the sound of their name with positive memories (namely, food related ones) so be sure not to use their name if they’ve been naughty if you want your cat to come when he’s called!
Scratching post vs the sofa
Once a cat has left his scent on something having scratched at it, it’s attracted back to that spot which is why you’ll often see one particular area of carpet or one corner of the sofa repeatedly scratched.
You want to encourage kitty to scratch at a designated post and not at your precious furnishings so you can try dangling a toy or string at the scratching post to encourage play (followed by a reward or treat ideally) or add a little catnip to the post to make it more tempting!
To stop any scratching in unwanted places, give the furnishing a thorough clean, use scented sprays or plug-in scents in the area and ideally, cover/block the area. Make sure though, that your cat has a new designated scratching place as suggested above, otherwise you might simply lose the other sofa arm…