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.
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!
Published in: Pets