Cat training: why train your cat?
Even trained, cats are not able to perform the same exercises as dogs (forget the idea of frisbee games with kitty!). They can, however, learn simple tricks, such as rolling over, kicking, jumping through a hoop or standing on their hind legs. But the point of training shouldn’t be to turn your cat into a circus beast.
Training is especially useful for a more harmonious relationship between you and your animal. It will thus be able to improve the behavior of your feline (if it is very shy or anxious for example) or allow it to better tolerate situations which are sometimes painful to it (entering its basket to go to the veterinarian, letting itself be examined or cleaned , Take medication…). The icing on the cake: these exercises carried out together are also a very good way to strengthen the relationship between you and your cat!
How to train a cat: which method to use?
The training of the cat is a little more difficult than with its canine colleagues, and it obeys a little different principles. This is especially the case for the motivation to learn: where a dog will accept the orders of his master just to please him, a cat will need a reward, let’s say… more substantial. Thus, if kitty agrees to play the game, it will mainly be in exchange for food!
However, the methods to be used are identical. In particular, positive reinforcement will be used. Because with cats even more than with dogs, using punishment is particularly counterproductive. Clicker training has also proven itself with felines. It is a question of clearly indicating to your animal the behavior which has deserved a reward by a distinctive sound (which can be a “click”, but also the tinkling of a bell, a sound of mouth…).
Cat training: a school of patience
Are you ready to start training your cat? First, equip yourself with the absolute weapon: the super reward! It will be a treat that your cat loves and that you will have to reserve for your training sessions from now on. If it depends on your cat’s tastes, we still advise you to favor 100% protein (dried meat, chicken pieces, tuna crumbs, etc.).
The training itself will then require patience, because for more efficiency it is better not to exceed one session per day lasting 5 to 10 minutes. When you feel your cat is in a cooperative mood and a bit hungry, you can start training. Start by getting his attention, then give him a simple command (to sit down, for example, by placing your hand above his head). Reward him with a treat when he succeeds, then gradually complicate the exercise. If all goes well, you should be able to see results in just a few days!
Finally, we let you see in this video the results obtained by Dr. Franck of the NGO “Best Friends” thanks to the “clicker training” method. He explains (in English) that these exercises are particularly useful for improving the behavior of cats that are too shy or too restless so that they can be more easily adopted.