How to Train Cats – Learn Cat Training Tips

Yes you really can train cats. Of course cat training isn’t easy. If you envision your cat meowing out “The Star Spangled Banner” using the toilet and flushing after himself or doing chores around the house you might need to lower your expectations.

Like dogs, cats are intelligent and trainable animals. They enjoy praise and many of them will work for tasty treats. The reason most people don’t think of training cats is that unlike dogs cats are not wired to be pack animals. They are less ready to learn things like coming when called, sitting, staying and other tricks.

Cats, however, can be trained not to claw furniture, wake you up at dawn, have fun with your cat and do tricks, to use a litter box or toilet train your cat, tolerate a cat carrier, enjoy a walk on a leash, scratch at posts instead of the furniture and allow you to clip their claws. With this training course, you will learn the ways in which you have already trained your cat, the secret to understanding the world from your cat’s point of view and how to train the cat to act in new ways that make your life easier.

Cat Training

Learn How to Train Your Cat

It may surprise you to learn that your cat is already trained. He just may not be trained to act in ways that you consider desirable. For example, many owners report that when they shake a treat bag or open a can of food, their cats come running. Most of us wouldn’t consider this a trained action, but it is. There is nothing in a newborn cat’s brain to tell him that the sound of a can or the rustle of cellophane means food is coming. The cat has learned to associate these sounds with food and to respond accordingly.

The same type of process occurs in the brains of cats that meow or pounce on their owners in the morning. This is usually undesirable behavior from a human point of view, but when faced with a persistent feline, most owners feed or play with the cat in order to placate him. Because the behavior is rewarded, the cat continues it. The cat has, in effect, been trained to meow at dawn. By understanding how you have already trained your cat, you will be able to steer further training in a more desirable direction.

Cat training, at its most basic, involves providing positive and negative consequences in order to shape behavior. Many people fail at training cats because they cannot understand how a cat sees the world. For example, if a cat pees on the floor, many owners will rub his nose in the soiled carpet. This does nothing except confuse and frighten the cat. The animal cannot associate the puddle of urine with the act of peeing outside the litter box. To train cats, you must assure that their behavior has immediate consequences. This is, of course, easier when you witness the original behavior. Cats like praise and treats, so you can provide these when the cat pees in the appropriate place, scratches his scratching post or goes into his carrier.

It is possible, however, to also provide consequences when you are away. For example, you can provide toys and treats in places you want your cat to relax and use things unpleasant to cats, such as cellophane or aluminum foil, in forbidden areas like counter tops. Yes, cats can be trained, but you need to make sure the consequences are a direct result of the behavior you are trying to train.

While you are never going to train a solitary hunter, like a cat, in the same way you train a pack animal like a dog, training cats is absolutely something you can do. As long as you have realistic expectations and are patient and consistent, you can train your cat. This cat training course will show you how to do it.

22 thoughts on “How to Train Cats – Learn Cat Training Tips

  1. My cat is always meowing, non-stop all the time. he is a siamese breed making him prone to this sort of behaviour, but its coming to the point when we have to let him outside. He loves the outdoors, but recently he’s been killing mice. Everyday theres a new little present on our patio. Theres a worry that he could be carrying disease and disrupting the neighbour hood. We live in a very urban place and with lots of children around. We would keep him indoors but the meowing is UNBEARABLE. Please were on the verge of give him up. We need advice! We love him but he needs help.

  2. To the person who left that comment. What the fuck? 1. Urban? You live in the ghetto? Or did you mean suburban? 2.neighbour hood? Really? You need to have parental supervision when you’re on the internet, its no place for a 5 year old. 3. On the verge of give him up? English must not be your first language, just stick to whatever language you can speak and quit butchering mine. My advice is to shoot the damn cat as siamese are a horrible and aggressive breed and get a grammar tutor.

  3. My cat always bites our feet and legs when she plays… i want him to change his bad habbit… Plz help..

  4. Me me, you are really mean and should just learn to reserve comment on things you don’t like. Abby.d’s English is no worse than yours, at least she didn’t use the f-word. Go to church or get counseling or something so you can stop being so mean.

    Abby.d, don’t give up! Maybe you can close the cat in a room away from you and give it a nice bed to help it relax and sleep, or some good toys to play with.

  5. Abby.D – Meowing + Wanting to go outside is usually a cat’s mating urges if they’re not spayed/neutered. Is your cat fixed? If not, theres your problem. If not, then I think hes just utterly bored and you should take the time to play with him, get a leash, and walk him once in a while. Cats are people too, they have favorite things. The rat thing is a good thing – it means he likes you and doing his natural thing. I doubt he’s disturbing the hood, sounds like he’s cleaning it up. But the disease is a serious concern. Talk to a vet regarding that.

    me me – dude… if you’re gonna nitpick at the mistakes you PERCIEVE in others, at least make it constructive. You know what she meant, douche. Some people aren’t as smart as you, and that’s great. But lots of people are more respectful than you, and they make the world better. Not you. (i used to be a douchebag geinius too until i relized it dont help nubudy) – and those last mistakes were just to piss your pragmatic nerd face off. lol. are you an it guy…? :D

    Hamza – your cat is playing with you, but they think it doesnt bother you. Every time they bite, yell out a loud noise like OUCH!!! or NOO!!! and they will quickly start either biting less or just tapping you. Also, if just going ouch doesnt help, try giving the cat the could shoulder immediately after that. Don’t reinforce the behavior with anything positive such as playing or even “biting back” because that can be perceived as playing.

  6. sorry to add to my answer to Hamza – when the cat DOES tap you with the paws and does NOT bite you (ie correct behavior), you MUST reinforce it by playing with him.

    The only thing a bite means is “lets play!” so if you teach him to ask nicely, make sure you reward him. If he says “lets play” nicely, and you ignore him, hell nip you harder.

  7. I have a very small kitchen, I’m trying to train my 5 mo. old kitty not to go on the counter because she may accidently step on the “hot” glass top stove! & I don’t want her in the food prep area. Any suggestions. Have been trying to reinforce good behavior when she doesn’t do this with praise, love and a treat. When she does it, all I do is say no and place her on the floor. Help
    Marg…

  8. How do I train my cats to stop knocking my plants over!!?
    I’ve hung some up and it doesn’t seem to work.
    I’ve tried the water bottle method but it doesn’t phase them not one little bit. Please help!! I’ve had my house plants for a long long time and I don’t want to get rid of them. PS they only do it when I’m not around.
    Thank You

  9. I rescued 2 cats approx. 3-4 wks old. I have provided them with love, affection, attention, toys, diversion but for some reason they (esp.Mister) have no sense of boundries, they will place themselves in situations that cause damage to my property and may hurt them. I have lost many glass items from them pushing them off from where it is, they have chewed a hole in my straw hat, etc. they do use litter box, don’t scratch furniture and have been spayed but I don’t get sleep any more because their behavior seems to get worse when I’m trying to sleep. I have had cats all my life 50+ and have never come across a cat that I didn’t love, I’m at my wits end and am considering giving them away, and I really don’t want to do that. Also they are indoor cats., thanks

  10. How do I train my cats to NOT get on my dinner table?? I’m really not into eating my food with fur in it..

  11. My cat is a purebred Bangle, and I would like to teach him to walk on the lead, but every time I put the lead and harness on him he walks for a few steps, I praise him, then he lays down and won’t get up. I also want to teach him to jump up on chest to give me a hug, is that possible??
    Please help :)
    -Hannah

  12. I taught my cat to jump up on me by hanging something dangly around my neck and moving it back and forth with two fingers then eventually I took the danglies off and just made the motion with my two fingers and it works.

    Now if I could just get her to stay out of my two bedroom windows she would be the perfect pet. I’ve tried the water bottle and it seems like she laughs at me when I squirt her.

  13. I have tried everything with my cat,he just don’t want to be a good boy and go on walks I have been trying for about 5-9months now and he is just getting too old, he only wants to lounge around and relax,I just want to get him out the house on a leash, Any Advice?

  14. my cat is always getting on the printer at my house,and it is causing me real trouble because he will step on buttons and press things and mess up my computer.how do i get him to stop ?!?

  15. I have a Siamese and he meows all the time! But I love him he is soo funny! Also he knows when my alarm goes off that means I’m getting up, when he hears it hejumps on my touches my nose with his. If I don’t respond to him he lightly bites my cheek.

  16. My cat always eats plants and papers also he wont stay off the counters or tables no matter what he likes water and fruit and if there are tacks on the counter he walks around them…. I dont get it

  17. Loyda – It sounds like your cat must be bored, and they need something better to do. Try getting some cat toys. If you want something home-made,get some aluminum foil and crunch it up into a small ball. Then roll it in front of your cat and see if it runs after it. And you may just have to place your plants higher.

    Carolyn – Try putting the glasses out of reach and put things where the cat cannot reach it. And give it some cat toys that have Cat nip in it and give it to your cat.

    Jamie – Every time your cat goes on the table or any other area not permitted, jerk your hand in front of the cat (Not touching it) and go “SPPPT!” it scares them and discourages them from that behavior.

    Danielle – Cats normally perfer having humans doing things for them, they don’t like humans making them do something. Try to just let him/her have a break. If you really want it to go on a walk, look up something.

    David – Go “SPPT!” and make a jerking hand motion to get the cat off, or just pick it up and go “No!” or some loud disturbing voice.

    Hope this helps, I’ve been dealing with cats my entire life of 13 years :P

  18. Hi people
    To keeps cats, dogs etc off counters and couches etc. Get a balloon and place it on the counter or under a couch pillow and put a pin just beside it so that the balloon touches the pin and explodes when the cat presses against it. Use your imagination as to how to set up on counters and other places. Also make sure there are no dangerous objects around as the cat will fly into the air when the balloon explodes. Also you can get those long shaped balloons that cover the length of a counter. This may sound a bit rough to people but it usually works first time. Or just place cat on counter and explode balloon your self. Then try picking up your cat a 2nd time and see if you can get it any near that counter again, ha. Repeat next day if necessary.

  19. Hello there humans.
    I am a cat. I really think you should stop pestering us cats about our behaviour. You should just learn to deal with it. When life gives you a naughty cat, you give the cat food and stuff. Jim you are an evil little boy. Popping balloons is the dumbest idea i have ever heard. If any one pops a balloon beside a cat i will eat their children.
    Gotta go now, i think the boss wants his laptop back.

  20. Hi I just got 2 cats a few months ago and they turned 1 last month, little boy and girl.
    I don’t know how to teach them their names, I can only call one of them over by noises. Other than that they don’t know their names. Also what about meowing at the door constantly?
    We’re also trying to teach them to sit, not jump on chairs, windows and such because they live to look outside.
    Never tried them with a lease yet but I’m sure they’re young enough to start walking a little soon.
    I’ve never raised a cat before, only dogs. Someone help :S

  21. I have taught my cat to obey 2 words, “up” and “down” and I use these commands for practically everything I want her to do.

    I taught her this when she was very young using her 2 level cat condo using treats. I started with saying the word “up” whenever I placed a treat on the top level and the word “down” when ever I placed a treat on the lower level, eventually she would jump onto the top level just with the word “up” without me having to placing the treat there. From there it evolved into calling her by saying “up” and where ever she was she would come running to me for a treat. And if she was on a counter and I say down she would get off and run to the lower level of her scratch post. She does this almost ever time even though I hardly give her treats for it anymore. When she is outside sometime it takes shaking the treat box to get her attention but I find I am having to do that less and less.

    She used to wake me up at night by pouncing on my head but I went a little extreme (because I love my sleep) to get that behavior out of her by trapping her under the blankets for a few seconds just until she starts to feel uncomfortable and she leaves me alone for the rest of the night, she is starting to wake me up less and less now.

    As for knocking over pot plants, I place my deodorant can next to my plants, she is terrified of it because she accidently came info spray range while I was spraying myself once.

    The better you know your cat the easier it is to use her experiences, likes and dislikes to getting her to do what you want.

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