Cat Training Made Easy

Can’t train cats? That’s a myth. Even stubborn cats are trainable. You can find out how parenting can even be fun here.

Cats are trainable and can even learn tricks. You can learn what you can and can’t do. However, their upbringing works differently than with dogs, which often simply want to please their owners. Cats are very clever and only do what is worthwhile for them. And that’s exactly what you have to use: the cat has to like what it’s doing.

Skillful, loving, and patient persuasion is required here. Drill or training has no place in cat education. Of course, it shouldn’t be humanized: the cat is and will remain an animal with its own mind and its own needs.

If you respect and fulfill the natural needs of your pet and also observe the following rules, you can train your cat successfully.

Never Punish!

If you want to teach your cat what it is allowed to do and what it is not allowed to do, you should avoid punishment. It doesn’t matter if you catch them in the act or discover the “crime scene” hours later, punishment is one of the seven deadly sins of cat training.

In the worst case, your cat will equate you with potential danger and will react to you in a fearful to aggressive manner. Mutual trust can then be disrupted for a long time.

No Violence!

Raising your cat non-violently should go without saying. Grabbing the cat by the scruff of the neck, loud scolding and threatening gestures as well as supposed “snarling” with the intention of imitating the mother cat are of no use in education.

No Compulsion!

This also includes taking your paws in your hands and running them over the scratching post to show the cat’s “correct” scratching behavior. That definitely won’t work. Cats hate such compulsive actions. So don’t do it.

Reinforce Positive!

Positive reinforcement is the be-all and end-all of cat training. Adapt your cat’s living environment to its natural needs and always reward it when it shows desired behavior (e.g. using the scratching post instead of the sofa).

Stay Consistent!

Successful cat training stands and falls with the consistency of the people. What is forbidden today may not be allowed “by way of exception” tomorrow – every cat would use that to its advantage. Make sure all family members are on the same page.

Practice Regularly!

Cats are creatures of habit and quickly integrate cherished routines into their daily routine. Regular repetitions (not too many in a row!) not only strengthen what has been learned but also the cat-human bond.

Create Harmony!

Stress and/or bullying can create problems and undo any effort. Therefore, underlying conflicts between cats or cats and humans should always be resolved. Pheromones can also have a supporting effect here.

Consider the Living Conditions of the Cat!

Cats become behavioral problems when they are unable to act on their instincts. It is therefore extremely important to meet their needs and eliminate any disruptive factor. Only then can educational measures bear fruit.

Have Patience!

Cats have episodic memory and are particularly good at remembering positive associations. Over time, learning will be successful, so you should stay on the ball and not throw in the towel prematurely – or fall back into old patterns.

Use Tools!

Aids such as a clicker can simplify positive reinforcement: if the cat has done something well, it is rewarded with a “click” and a treat each time. This way you can teach her specific tricks. Clicker training is also a great way to keep pets physically and mentally engaged.

With the right tricks and the right tools, every cat can be trained. Be patient and sensitive so your cat even enjoys training.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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