Can You Train a Cat?
When folks think about training a pet, dogs typically come to mind first. Rarely is cat obedience training discussed, leaving many cat owners wondering, "Can you train a cat?"
Although cats are less instinctively driven to do what their humans tell them, they are still trainable. From helpful behaviors to entertaining tricks, cats can be taught to do a variety of activities if you invest the necessary time to train them.
Most Obedient Cat Breeds
Although most cats are trainable, some breeds are easier to teach than others. If you're wondering how easy it will be to train your cat or are interested in adopting a teachable feline, the following breeds are the quickest learners.
- Abyssinian. Many consider Abyssinians the oldest cat breed. Athletic, playful, and intelligent, these cats are easy to train and love human attention.
- American Short Hair. Bred for pest control, American Short Hairs are smart and eager to learn. Some American Shorthair owners can even train their cats to walk on a leash!
- Bengal. Considered the most doglike cat breed, Bengals are quick learners and naturally affectionate. Since this kitty is inquisitive, it needs lots of cat toys to keep it entertained.
- Siamese. Considered one of the most loyal cat breeds, Siamese cats are excited to learn. These mischievous creatures are even known to open doors and turn on facets!
Although these breeds are the easiest to train, each cat is unique and has the ability to learn commands with time and patience. Below are a few skills to teach your furry friend.
Litter Box Training
One of the first behaviors kitten owners teach their new pet is how to use the litter box. With the proper encouragement, kittens are naturally drawn to their litter box, making it easy to learn. As soon as you get home with your new cat, show them where the litter box is so they know where to go when nature calls.
Place your kitten in the box after meals and naps since those are the most common times it will need to use the restroom. Lastly, when your kitten uses the litter box, reward them with a treat or a toy to encourage the behavior.
Many dog owners are familiar with crate training, but can you crate train a cat? Yes! Whether you're traveling with your cat or need a safe way to bring it to vet visits, crate training can be a useful skill.
Start by slowly introducing your cat to the crate, placing it near its food bowl or scratching post. Once the newness of the crate has worn off, begin feeding your cat in the crate and rewarding it with treats when it ventures inside. Over time, your cat will learn to enjoy its carrier, making it easier to bring them with you when you leave the house.
Cats need exercise to be happy and healthy. Typically, this looks like climbing up your fridge and running around your house, but with patience, you can teach them to walk on a leash.
Before you start leash training your kitty, it's a good idea to get them familiar with the harness. Once they are comfortable wearing the harness, introduce them to the leash. Finally, take your furry friend outside and let them explore! When you first begin your outdoor adventures, start slow and in a quiet dog-free area.
Like dogs, cats can also learn fun tricks like "sit" and "shake." These tricks can help your feline friend stay mentally and physically active. An easy trick to start with is "come."
To teach your cat to come when they're called, fill a small container with cat treats. Shake the container while saying "come," then give your cat a treat. After a little training, your cat will associate the word with a treat and come on command.
Although training a cat requires a little perseverance, it's also a whole lot of fun. With a little work each day, you'll be shocked at how much they can learn! Schedule an appointment today to learn more about caring for your cat.