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Who Knew?

Who knew a cat could be trained almost as easily as a dog.  Not until I saw a chicken jumping through hoops and a bunny jumping over obstacles did I realize that a feline could be trained. Those I had been raised with always had a superior and independent air about them and really only came when they wanted something.  It is however possible to train your cat, but it does take effort and patience.

Training your Feline Friend

Obviously training a young mind is far easier than trying to teach an old cat a new trick.  It is therefore advisable to start training when your kitty is still small. Discover what your cat’s favorite treats are first. This will motivate the behavior you desire. Remember too that an animal responds far more positively to kindness and patience rather than punishment.  Positive reinforcement will also encourage your pet to do what you want as well as provide it with mental stimulation. These methods combined will encourage your feline to stay at home when you are not there.

Begin your training with something simple like getting your cat to come when called. Use his or her name often and a specific sound when calling your cat. This will be an indication to him to obey you. Providing a treat when he does come will let him know that his effort has been worthwhile. Repeat this behavior for about five minutes and twice a day. You may then progress to repeating these actions in various rooms in your home followed by doing this outside. In a few days or weeks, he will know to come when called.

Remember that food treats and playtime are excellent rewards to encourage the type of behavior you seek. Your cat can be trained in a similar way to offer his paw or fetch an item for you if it is a favorite toy.

The Dreaded Travelling Companion

At some point you will need to take your cat on a road trip. This is usually to the vet and this visit will often be unpleasant for both of you. To prevent this it is essential that you train your cat beforehand to become used to its carrier so that it sees this confined space as a friendly place to be, rather than terrifying.  Place the carrier in a comfortable spot at home and fill it with his favorite toys. Make sure that there is food and water nearby so that he knows this is a good space to be. 

Take your cat on regular but short trips in your car fairly frequently so that he becomes accustomed to being in a confined space and familiar with the motion of the car. Be sure to reward him as soon as you arrive at your destination so that he knows too that traveling in a carrier is a positive experience.  Be patient with your training so that you can both reap the benefits in the future.

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