One of the most important things you can do as a pet parent is train your pet.
Doing so helps teach boundaries, keep your house cleaner (on the whole), and protects the health of your pets.
While dogs take to training fairly well, some pet owners worry that cats are too independent for training. That could not be farther from the truth.
Cats are highly intelligent, and with the right cat treats, you can train your cats to behave indoors – and even learn some fun tricks!
Why is Training Your Cat so Important?
Training a cat can make living with one so much easier. You can train them to:
- Use a litter box or otherwise housetrain them
- Come when you call them
- Stay calm while traveling
- Stay calm when getting groomed or visiting the vet
- Have positive interactions with each person in your family, as well as visitors
- Behave well around other pets
- Reduce predation of wild animals
If your cat is well-mannered, it will contribute to the wellbeing of everyone in your household. Training can help your cat to become more social and calmer around others, while reducing anxiety for both you and them. Finally, when your cat is well-behaved, it helps you both to have a healthy, loving, enjoyable relationship.
Training absolutely takes time and patience. The benefits are worth it, though, and can last a lifetime.
How to Use Cat Treats (and Other Techniques) to Train Your Cat
Now that you are ready to train your furry bundle of joy, here are some tips that will help make the process easier.
1. Manage Their Food Bowl
If your cat can eat whenever they want, using food as motivation might not be as effective.
First, you should determine how much to feed your cat, we recommend visiting your veterinarian to ensure you are not feeding too much or too little. Once you have that information, If you are gone for most of the day (work, running errands, etc.), use a scheduled feeder that can dispense food automatically.
Then, when you offer your cat a treat for doing something you want, they will be more inclined to perform for their tasty cat treats.
2. Start Small
It is easy to get carried away with training because you think of all the fun things you can teach your cat. However, if you try to teach your cat too many things at once, it will overwhelm them.
Practice one lesson at a time. For example, if you have a kitten, litter training is likely the highest priority on your training list. Focus on that. After your cat has mastered that particular exercise, move onto the next one, such as calm grooming or interacting with other animals.
3. Involve Others
You want your cat to learn to be social, not territorial. Therefore, involving other people in the training process can prove helpful.
Those living in your household can help or ask your friends and family to occasionally help out. Your cat may have some trust issues at first, but once someone gives them a tasty cat treat, your cat will be more likely to comply.
4. Stick to Positive Reinforcement
While a dog might respond to a belly rub, pat on the head, or a “good girl” from their pet parent, a cat’s motivations are a bit different. For the most part, they respond to food.
What, though, should you do if they are not responding to treats? Consider the following:
- Try a different flavored cat treat: Some cats are quite particular about what they are willing to eat. If they do not like the first treat you provide, try another flavor.
- Reward their effort immediately: Cats have short attention spans. They need to receive the reward right away, or they will not know what it is for.
- Make sure you are consistent: Give your cat the same type of reward every time they behave the way you want. Make sure your friends and family members, or whoever else is helping train your cat, is doing the same thing.
- Find the best time to train: Since food is the reward, think about training the cat right before mealtime. They will be more invested in the training exercise since they are looking forward to a treat, and then their meal.
5. Phase Out the Treats
Eventually, you will want to phase out the treats. Do not go cold turkey, though. Do so gradually. As you wean your cat off the physical rewards (cat treats), replace it with emotional rewards. A pat on the head, a scratch under the chin, their favorite toy – whatever it is you think they will enjoy.
6. Incorporate Cat CBD Oil
Feeding Your Cat the Very Best
You want your cat to live a long, happy, healthy life, so you take the time to research which brands of food have best ingredients.
The quality of your cat’s treats is just as important as that of their regular meals.
Choose the brand that is dedicated to the health of pets, one that is so committed to providing pets with the best ingredients that they do what it takes to earn multiple certifications. As an added bonus, look for a company that has won multiple awards for excellence.
When you feed your pet healthy, tasty cat treats, you are taking one more step to investing in your cat’s health and wellness.