Teaching Cat Obedience
Most people who have ever owned a cat likely got a little chuckle out of the title of this article: Cat Obedience. Why? Because they know that most cats have a mind of their own. Unlike dogs, their goal in life is not to please their master. In fact, it seems that some think YOUR goal should be to please them!
While not as easily won over by a treat and a pat on the head as dogs, there is hope. Many cats can be successfully taught cat obedience, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.
For example, you don’t expect a dog to obey to the same level as you would a child. The same thinking should be applied in reference to cat obedience. You should not expect a cat to obey to the same level as a dog.
You Can’t Train a Cat to Not Be a Cat
Yes, that sentence is full of grammatical mistakes, but the point is true. A cat is cat, and no amount of training will change that. What does that mean? It means, for example, that you cannot teach a cat to abstain from scratching. That is what cats do. You cannot teach a cat not to chase small critters. That, again, is what cats do.
You can, however, direct those behaviors. Let’s take scratching for an example. Cats need to scratch, so your goal should not be to make them stop entirely.
Instead, your goal should be to get them to stop scratching your sofa by directing the scratching to an appropriate place, such as a scratching post.
Take a Class
Believe it or not, there are classes to teach cat obedience. Some of these classes do not require you to bring the cat. Instead, the instructor will work with you and the other owners to teach effective methods for training your cat.
What NOT To Do (Ever)
You should never hit or yell at a cat. First of all, it is cruel and abusive behavior. Secondly, it will do nothing to forward your goal of training your cat. It will only make your cat afraid. Don’t do it.
The most effective methods for teaching cat obedience are going to depend on the specific behavior you are trying to stop or elicit. For example, squirting with a water gun is a good way to get a cat to stop jumping on the counters. He will not enjoyed being squirted, so he will associate jumping on the counter with that result.
For scratching, the best thing to do is place scratching posts in every room where your cat spends time. This will give him an appropriate place to scratch no matter what room he happens to be in.
While your cat may not be as easily trained as a dog, with a little persistence and proper methods, you will be able to put a stop the most annoying behaviors.
Take a class to help you learn how to effectively inspire cat obedience. And don’t expect perfection. Remember, your cat is related to the king of the jungle. He very likely thinks he rules the world!