How to Make a Cat Behave

Do you think a cat cannot be taught to mind? If so, read on. You can easily train your cat to behave if you follow a few simple rules.

Some people think you can’t teach a cat to behave. Nonsense. You can teach a cat to do just about anything. Okay, so maybe not to take a walk on a leash or fetch the newspaper but that’s only because cats find these tasks to be very undignified behavior. Dogs do it because they don’t care if it’s dignified or not. Now don’t assume I don’t like dogs. I do, a lot, however this article is about cats.

Felines have earned a bad reputation for being aloof. Anyone who believes such an absurdity has not had any experience around cats or has not made a sincere effort to get to know a cat. They aren’t the least bit aloof. But if you don’t adore them and show them a great deal of love and affection, well, they are just going to ignore you (hence the aloof reputation.) Never never presume that a cat does not want as much attention as a dog. They do, but they are not going to beg for it. Well, some cats will but they don’t exactly beg, they pester until you give in and scratch them behind the ear or play bed mouse with them or get out the cat nip. But mostly, they don’t beg. Why? Same answer as paragraph one. It’s undignified. Cats are big on dignity. They have thousands of years of reputation to protect.

The key, the big secret to teaching a cat to mind starts with loving, absolutely adoring your cat and showing it as much affection as possible. A cat knows when it is loved. And when it is it will do just about anything you want.

But ignore the cat and you’re in trouble. The cat will reason (yes, cats do think) that you don’t particularly care about it so it won’t matter if it pees in places other than the box, scratches your dining table legs, shreds your favorite sweater or walks across the kitchen counters right after you sanitized them. The cat notices that he gets a reaction out of you when he misbehaves (much the same as children have learned). And even though your yelling and screaming is not an act of affection or a show of love at least it’s some kind of attention which is better than being ignored. So you see? You created that problem yourself.

Rule #1

Pay attention to your cat. Play with him. If he doesn’t have any, buy him cat toys, preferably ones that you play with too. The universal rule for cat toys is: The value to the cat is inversely proportional to the amount spent on the toy. The more you spend, the less they care. For example, cats love to play with simple string but they prefer to play string games with you. The easiest game is to tease a cat with a ribbon or shiny string. Toss one end at the cat and pull back. The cat will reach out and try to grab it. Pull it back and repeat. You can also do this when a cat is walking or sitting up. Suspend the string above its head but within reach. A cat can play string games for a very long time but he will let you know when he’s tired of it. And if he brings you the string, by all means, don’t ignore him. Play!

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Published in: Pets


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  1. well….my cat goes to the toilet like any other human being…..he’s sort of like my brother…..he’s my pet bro….he doesnt need a litter box….i trained him…..

  2. Yoganes, I’ve heard of other people who have been able to train their cats to use a toilet. It isn’t easy. Congratulations! That’s quite a feat. Wish mine would but it’s the one thing I’ve never been able to teach them to do.

  3. Well Jeffree….i trained him while he was a kitten… much simpler to do compared to a adult cat….

  4. Thank you. I enjoyed reading it so much. I looooove cats.

  5. This didnt help me AT ALL >=[

  6. my cat jumps on the counters no matter WHAT i do. i used the squirt bottle for nearly a YEAR. made no difference whatsoever. i wish, wish, WISH it would work, because the cat drives me nuts, and i’m on the brink of taking him back to the humane society.

  7. My cat loves a daily snuggle but only if you leave him alone all

  8. u made me realize something big and it makes sence thnx!!

  9. My biggest thing with my cat is that she KNOWS she’s not allowed on the countertops, yet she still does it. When she hears me coming, she jumps off and hides before I can reprimand her. The reason I know she’s been on the countertops is because I hear her jumping off and see her paw prints all over my stove. She knows she’s being bad, but won’t stop. I can’t even get ready for work in the morning upstairs because she’s downstairs knocking things over and walking all over everything. She’s 15 months old and I’m wondering when her bad behavior will stop. I need suggestions, please!!

  10. I actually disagree with some of this, I’ve had many cats over the years and most of my friends have had cats. Currently between my boyfriend and I we have 6. One of mine can’t stand t obe away from me and, if i allow it, will join me in the shower! Now that’s not normal cat behavior, but it proves a cat will go to water if there’s something they want (and some actually LOVE water) My three also have no problem walking on a leash, although I refrain from taking them out anymore do to dogs.

    As far as the counter/tabletops/etc. cats like hieghts. period. If you really want them to stop (including when you’re not there) give them a cat tree/cat ladder something decently high. You may need to put them on it or put toys or cat nip on it to let them now it’s there’s and they can climb it all day.

    I hope I’ve enlightened or helped out anyone reading.

  11. I stopped reading after I read this:
    \”…maybe not to take a walk on a leash or fetch the newspaper but that’s only because cats find these tasks to be very undignified behavior. Dogs do it because they don’t care if it’s dignified or not.\” There is nothing undignified about the nature of a dog and their tendency to be extremely loyal, supportive companions by learning to properly walk on a leash or to fetch a newspaper. I\’ve lived with cats and dogs, and I absolutely canNOT live without a dog. The cats I\’ve lived with in the past were adorable, and they were outdoor cats that came and went as they pleased. I\’m researching this topic because I am allowing my brother\’s indoor cat to temporarily stay with me and it is absolute torture. She has knocked over my jewelry box from on high several times, breaking some jewel stones! I sweep, vacuum, and mop all day. (I work from home). The litter, the fur, the stubborn nature…and, I could go on and on. I need this cat to stop knocking vases (w/fresh flowers and water) off of the mantle onto the floor below, to stop trekking litter everywhere, esp on countertops along with fur, and to not be so annoying. I know that I\’m sounding off here, but my point is: DOGS do not have an affinity or a lackadaisical attitude for \”undignified\” behaviors. Canines are called our \”best friend\” for a reason. …

  12. Kit Spi my cat does the same shower thing i pay attention to him all day, he has 1000 toys, he has his own cup cus he wont drink of his plastic plate -.- he cant sleep with out me being near AND STILL HE BEHAVIES SOOOO BAD!!!!
    RatTerrierLover I SOOO AGREE WITH YOU about the dog thing

  13. I have done all that and more, and still my cat is the Devil incarnate.
    He gets nothing but love and attention, we talk to him. We use the water bottle when he claws the couch, etc, etc, etc. Every method you have listed, we have been doing for the 2-1/2 years of his life.

    HE IS EVIL. He attacks the older cats (who are seniors and frail) and terrorizes them. I had them separated, but he literally broke the door down to get to them. Now I have no door to keep them apart. Funny thing is, is that he is kind and gentle to the cat younger than him! He dotes on her, like she is his little girlfriend. Its cute.

    Yes, he is neutered. always has been. All my cats are “fixed”.

    Every morning I wake up to some new kitty-tornado disaster in the house and him running back and forth like he is on a racetrack.

    I am starting to consider kitty Valium. =(

  14. For all those with countertop troubles, try putting aluminum foil down for a few days all over the spots they walk…they will HATE it and stop.

  15. My friend has two cats, which I look after from time to time. And they’re always fighting. One of them is a female and three years old, and she has been in his flat the longest. The most recent arrival, I think is slightly older, and he has been with him in the flat for 5 months.

    The three-year-old female is always growling and hissing at him, and not a day goes by where they don’t fight and have a cat scrap of some sort. It’s driving my friend nuts, and me when I get to look after them.

    I’ve tried to speaking to them, and reasoning with them. But the male has to eat her food, sit in her favourite spot and use her litter tray. They’ve been separated. The female is kept in a separate room for much of the day. Will they ever get on? And how can I make them get on.? Any suggestions would be gratefully received.


  16. it is a very useful paragraph but i need my cat to stop jumping on the counter and she gets loved all day. im fine with her jumping up there to say hi to me but a few weeks ago she jumped up there when i was cooking and burnt herself. i dont want it to happen again.

  17. My cat is simply the devil. I cannot get her do anything I want her to do other than to sit for a treat. I wanted her & when I got her I absolutely loved her. She adjusted to the house quickly…….soon after she was scratching everyone just because they walked by her, she gets on the baby’s high chair as he is eating food & steals it from him, she lets the baby sit on her, pull her hair out….everything but then scratches him when he’s not bothering her. She has ruined my brand new leather couch & she has a scratching post. She tracks dirty laundry throughout the house just to do it. She has tons of toys but never plays with them. She is just rotten. I can go on all day about her bad behavior. She doesn’t do a single good thing. It’s sad. I have tried everything. She is not fixed & I’m hoping that once she is that she will calm down & behave better but I’m kind of doubting it. Just don’t know what else to do. My sons love her even though she is rotten to them so I can’t her rid of her. Ugh.

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