Cat Training Basics

August 11, 2016

Training a cat is very different from training a dog. While cats can be trained, they react to commands differently. Dogs respond to commands in order to please their owners while cats do it for a very different reason. They choose to do it because they like it. It is as simple as that.

Cats only listen to your commands as long as there is something in for them such little treats. Knowing this, you should only use positive training methods with the use of enticements such as a lot of affection and love, little treats and toys to achieve better training results.

Combined with positive reinforcements, patience and persistence, you can teach your cat to obey your commands and perform tricks. However, most owners will just want their cats to stay off their furniture, countertops or other expensive furnishings and of course do their business in the proper places.

The information below contains some basic cat training basics that every cat owner should be aware of. Otherwise, you will run into problems when training your cat. Without further ado, here we go.

Cat Training Basics

A cute looking kitten getting ready for some training.

Start Them Young
The best age to train a cat is when it is still a kitten. The earlier and younger you start training your cat, the easier it is to correct their behavior. Older cats may take longer time to train them and get rid of their bad behaviors and habits.

Positive Training Methods
Positive reinforcement is the right way to go. Instead of shouting and/or using force, use lots of love and rewards to deter your cat from committing the mistakes. Shouting and/or using force will only cause your cat to be fearful of you, making the situation worse than before.

Another method which I favor is the use of water to spray your cat whenever it commits any mistakes. Work really well as most cats dislikes water.

Use Your Voice Correctly
No shouting or loud and forceful tone for me. Rather, I will recommend you to use a stern sounding voice to prevent your cat from misbehaving. Use words such as “No” or Bad” consistently in a firm and stern sounding voice to get maximum results in time to come. Your cat will come to acknowledge these words with bad behavior.

Another method is to clap your hands sharply whenever your cat is misbehaving. You can use this method to prevent your cat from misbehaving as well.

One important point you have to take note is that you need to avoid associating your cat’s name with bad behavior. A lot of times, cat owners make this mistake. For example, if your cat’s name is “Baby” don’t include it in“Bad Baby” or “No, Baby”. Over time, it will have a reverse effect on your pet. Your cat should develop a positive and pleasant association with its name rather than unpleasant stuff.

Be Consistent
Always correct your pet’s mistakes. If it is committing the same mistake each and every time, you should use the same type of punishment. Otherwise, your cat may get confused on what is happening. Only change the punishment if you find it is not working after a period of time.

Timing Is Key
Correct your cat’s mistake immediately and not minutes or hours after the incident. Your pet will not be able to connect your reprimand with the earlier mistake it has committed.

Anticipate Your Cat’s Misbehavior
Sometimes, you will know what and when your cat is going to misbehave. It will be good if you can foresee and put a stop to it before your cat misbehaves. In the long run, the end results will be so much better. Prevention is better than cure.

At the end of the day, you should use only positive training methods with lots of love, patience and persistence. Praise and pats your cat generously and often and whenever it behaves appropriately. Never use force on your cat. When a correction is required, be immediate, quick, stern with your actions and communicate your displeasure clearly. Only then will you be able to succeed in training your cat to achieve long term positive results.

Image Credit

Photos by Joseph SARDIN - CC BY 2.0

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More information here. does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help cat owners better understand their pet cats. However, the content on this site is not substitute for veterinary guidance.

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