Is it achievable to train a cat so it would walk on a leash, perform tricks and approach its owner on command? In fact, it is possible to help them learn these simple commands and many others. They are smart animals that easily understand the “rules of the game” if you know its habits and have a correct approach.
Never punish your pet
The concept of discipline is available only to humans. An untrained cat can’t know what they are and aren’t allowed to do in their living area. This is quite difficult to explain, besides, many people give conflicting signals to their pets by their behavior, further making the situation confusing.
Important! If a cat is unteachable, aggressive, or overly melancholic, it may have physical or mental health problems. Show your cat to a veterinarian and continue exercising when the treatment is over, after consulting with the doctor in advance.
Punishment might result in behavioral issues (which are quite dangerous if it’s a big breed, such as the maine coon cats’ size) and even to serious health complications for the pet. At the same time, the animal will not begin to do what you require of it. Try to keep in mind that diligence and good associations are very important when training any cat.
Opt for clickers + treats
Clickers are an inexpensive thing that are useful when training quite different types of animals. It will help develop a clear positive association in your pet. If you’ve got a clickable pen or other device that makes such specific noises, you do not have to buy a special device.
It is better to pair clickers with tasty food, like usual cat treats. If the pet correctly executes the command followed by the clicking sound, only then receiving the food, positive associations will form much faster. Many love to spoil their pets and give them delicious treats for no reason. In such situations, the pet will not understand the reason behind the praise.
Teach the pet to come to you on command
Cats can understand how to respond to vocal commands, such as approaching when one calls them. This is quite convenient – if the pet evades from the flat or your yard, it’ll be quite easy to make it come back.
You need to start by forming a positive association. Speak the command clearly when opening a bag of cat food. Gradually, the animal will understand that the command and the food are related. When the pet approaches you on command in order to eat, you can proceed to the second step.
Repeat the words loudly and clearly during the time you’d normally not feed your pet. If the pet approaches you, continue to strengthen the association by clicking and giving it something tasty. In time, increase the distance from which you say those words to the cat.
The training sessions must take place once or twice a day, and take around 5 minutes. While doing this, the cat must execute (or try to execute) the trick 20 times.
Teach the pet to do his business in the WC
Teaching your pet to use a normal, human WC will require more time. Still, we believe it is worth it. Your place will be cleaner, and cleaning the cat litter will no longer be an issue, you’d simply have to press the flush on the WC. In addition, you won’t have to spend money on cat litter and store it at home.
Teach the cat to shake hands
This is an easy trick that one can teach their cat. Prepare some food and place the cat in front of you, at your level. You could also place yourself on the floor or put the animal on the sofa. Touch the cat’s paw, say the words. If the pet moves the paw correctly, reinforce the association with a clicking sound and offer her food. Do the same procedure until the pet responds to your voice with no click or food. Animals usually learn such tricks after 1-2 days. You’ll have to do it frequently during the day, no longer than 5 minutes.
Teach you pet to plea
Another easy trick is that a cat can easily master. Talking about teaching methods, this trick looks a lot like the handshake one. Place some food into your hand and hold it directly over the cat’s head. Say the words. The pet must try to stand on its hind paws and stretch its front paws towards the hand. Click the pen and offer the pet a treat if it does everything correctly. Stop using the sound effect and the treat when the cat learns to plea only on command.
Teaching a cat to walk on a leash
The leash must be attached not to the collar, but to a harness, a special ammunition for cats. The pet has to feel comfortable near these items in advance. First, leave these items where your pet spends most of their time, such as by the bedside or the food and water bowls. After some time, the pet will be okay with these things and their smell.
After that, let the pet get comfortable while having the harness on it. To do this, carefully place it on its back (do not put it on), while offering some tasty food. After the pet gets used to it, repeat the exercise with the harness on, but not fastened, and after that with it buttoned up. At the beginning, the pet should spend little time in the harness, then this time should be gradually increased.
After the pet gets used to the harness, you can add the leash to the composition. Do not pick it up, simply let the pet walk with it. Some days later, try picking it up. Practice using the leash at home, then opt for a calm environment outside and start your walk with her.
How long do cats need in order to learn tricks?
It all depends on the specific characteristics of a pet. Exactly as people, cats learn at different speeds, they understand some things better, and some things worse than others. Age does not greatly affect learning if you are patient enough and gently insist on your own. Put in a little effort, and your domestic cat will follow commands just as well as a trained dog!