Training Kittens and Cats
Kitten training is important to having a well behaved cat.
The key to kitten training is to make sure that whatever you want your cat to do is both rewarding and pleasurable to your cat. Whatever you don't want your cat to indulge in must never be rewarding or fun, in fact, it should be unpleasant. Training cats proves to be much more difficult in the long run versus dog training. Cats seem to only respond well to very rewarding activities. Some of the things that people try to teach a cat are much different than what they are trying to teach their dogs. Stopping the scratching and spraying are a couple of things but there are fun things to teach your cat also. Did you know that cats are able to fetch sometimes better than dogs?
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Cat training can be very rewarding.
Cats have a few instinctual types of behaviors that are sometimes very bothersome and can upset your home and family. The first is the scratching of furniture and people. There are many ways to stop this from happening and which one you choose is up to you. Spray bottles work when you are at home to see the cat or kitten do the deed but if you aren’t home then you need a safety net. Some people have had cats that scratch one table leg on the far end of a table and didn’t even know that the cat had scratched at all. This is a problem for cats as they seem to get anxiety when their owners are away. One alternative to consider would be spraying pheromones or an organic extract on the area that the cat or kitten scratches. Something that smells awful to the cat is best. Don’t use anything that smells bad to you however as it is going to be in your home and you will be smelling it. Cat training is a process, and you have to learn what's best for your individual animal.
If you have a declawed cat another concern is the biting. Yes cats and kittens bite too! I used to have a kitten as a child that only bit my mom. Every time my mother would walk by, the kitten would attack her leg and bite real hard. This is a problem usually with kittens but if not stopped right away, can be a problem far into adulthood for your cat. Yelling at the kitten or cat seems to have no effect and can cause aggression and or fear of people. If your cat can develops aggression, this can take a long time to overcome through training. Saying no once and removing the cat from the situation is the best way to overcome this biting problem. Also, always have a squirt bottle ready in every room.
Proper kitten training could save your furniture from scratching and save you from headaches!
The eating of plants and other things in the home can be another problem area for most cats. My cat used to like to wait for me to go to bed and climb on the mantle of the fireplace and eat my plants that I have up there. He would also knock every knick-knack I had up there off as well. This was a hard one to break. I had to catch him in the act and squirt him with water. Another thing to try is to use an organic substance like lemon juice. You can apply lemon juice to anything that the cat is trying to eat. Cats hate lemon juice. I rubbed lemon juice on my plants leaves and he hasn’t touched them since. Because cats are a little more independent they do take longer to train. Do not get discouraged if you don’t see results right away! Kitten training will take some time, but if you keep at it, you will get results.
Another problem that cats and kittens have that they share in common with dogs is that they are easily excitable and it’s hard for them to settle down. Kittens mainly have this problem but some adult cats suffer from this also. If the cat has not been spayed or neutered this is a little more of a problem because of instincts and hormones. Overexcited cats have a tendency to want to attack like they are hunting in the wild. This means that they may hide and stalk you and then attack. Calling the cat before you enter a room can sometimes distract them. Another good way to keep the cat from hunting you is to make sure that when you play with them it’s never in a roughhouse way. Always use a dangle toy for your cat and they will hopefully hunt that and not your feet.
When it comes to cat training around children, remember that cats are more fragile than dogs.
Cats are sometimes very agitated by children for many reasons. The first reason is that children make fast movements that scare the cat or that the children are too rough and pull tails. The best way to deal with cats and children is to explain to the children not to grab or pull on a cat. Show the child how to play using a string with the kitten. If the cat or kitten is afraid of the children they may go and hide. The worst thing to do if this happens is to try to find the cat and make them play with the child. This is just asking for the cat or kitten to scratch or bite. The cat that hides away is most likely hiding for a reason. This reason is usually that the cat is scared. Cats are sometimes a little more fragile than dogs and other pets so be careful to explain this to children. If the child doesn’t understand this you may want to put the cat in a safe area of the home or to not let the cat and child play altogether.
These are just a few of the many training basics for cats and kittens. Most kittens, if shown the litter box, just know to use it from instinct. Potty training is usually a small part of the training for cats and kittens. Cats and kittens are a great pet if you train them right from the beginning. Good luck with training your new kitten!
Cats have a special scent organ located in the roof of their mouth, called the Jacobson's organ.