How to Become an Expert at Cat Training

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Watch more How to Train Your Cat videos:

Train your cat to do something unusual and show your friends that your pet can do more than just eat and sleep.

Step 1: Have your cat examined
Schedule an examination for your cat with your veterinarian before you begin training. You want to make sure they don’t have any health problems that may be aggravated by training.

Step 2: Get their attention
Make sure you have your cat’s undivided attention. Eliminate distractions, such as music and television sounds. Cats are naturally curious, so you may need to show them a treat. Hold it in your fingertips and let them smell it, but don’t give it to them.

Step 3: Teach one trick at a time
Teach your cat one trick at a time. If you try to combine tricks or start new trick before the first is mastered, you’re likely to confuse them.

Spend 10 to 15 minutes a day on a single trick until they’ve mastered it.

Step 4: Reward the cat
Give the cat a reward each time they perform the desired behavior. You can use their favorite food, treats, or pet them as a reward. After they get the hang of the behavior, give the reward less often.

Step 5: Associate action with sound
Ring a bell or click a clicker when the cat performs the trick or behavior that you are teaching, and praise the cat for good behavior. Eventually, they will associate the sound and praise with the action and won’t need rewards.

Step 6: Discourage undesirable behavior
Discourage undesirable behavior with deterrents. If your cat scratches furniture, apply double-sided tape to where they scratch to deter them. If they go to the bathroom outside of their litter box, lay sheets of aluminum foil where they go. Cats are averse to those textures.

Thoroughly clean the area where the cat went with disinfectant and spray a repellent, available at pet supply stores.

Step 7: Appreciate the time together
Appreciate the time you share with your cat. The training process takes patience, but you may find that it’s a bonding experience, too.

Did You Know?
As of 2005, approximately 30 percent of American households had cats.