Teaching Your Cat New Tricks
Helping your family cat adjust to his or her surroundings will make life simpler for both you and your cat. An important part of feline behavior training is being realistic in your expectations for your cat. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats most likely will not sit, come, or lie down on command. They can, however, be trained to use the litter box instead of your favorite pair of shoes, use scratching posts in place of your couch, and minimize hyper and aggressive behaviors.
The most important thing to remember during feline behavior training is to make desired behaviors rewarding and pleasurable. Too many times, owners inadvertently reward negative behaviors with attention and confuse their pets with delayed consequences. Forgive them of past misdeeds and give them a fresh start towards success with a few simple steps:
- Stop reprimanding and punishing—Cats rarely associate them with the misbehavior and instead can become resistant to being handled or held by owners.
- Set them up for success—While cats rarely change behaviors due to scolding, they do seem to repeat behaviors when rewarded.
Most importantly, don't give up. Remember that your kitten is young, still learning, and will inevitably make mistakes.
The staff at The Cat Clinic of Cary is more than happy to help with any of your behavioral questions. Take time to talk with your veterinarian during your next visit about techniques or online resources that might be helpful.
Contact us today to learn more about behavioral training for your family cat.