Cats are very rewarding pets. They are intelligent, relatively easy to care for and can be trained if you know how to do it correctly. The first thing to teach a cat is its name. You will want it to come to you when you call its name, so repeat this exercise a few times.
Cats have needs, such as food, water, somewhere to strop their claws and toys or items to capture their interest. If you fail to provide an adequate scratching post, for example, a cat will use your couch or stereo speakers to strop its claws. Your pet cat is not doing this “to be naughty” but it does not have an alternative. If the cat begins to scratch the furniture, you can remove the animal and place it at the scratching post. You might need to do this a few times, but it will eventually realize what the scratching post is for.
Cats naturally chew and play with things. Providing your pet cat with an assortment of interesting cat toys means he or she is far less likely to chew up your slippers or cushions instead.
It is always a bad idea to hit a cat. Hitting an animal just makes it afraid of you and it does not understand the relationship of being hit with behaving in an inappropriate way. Often a firm “no” or clapping your hands will let your pet cat know you disapprove of whatever it is doing wrong. It’s not that the cat understands your spoken word, but the harsh sound and tone of your voice is enough to make it realize something is wrong. Some people use a water sprayer to spray the cat’s face if it does something wrong. This is also perfectly acceptable and can be used if you are training your pet cat. Some cats like being sprayed (not many though!) so, for them, a loud noise such as a clap can be used instead.
If your kitty does something good, it is fine to reward it with a cat treat or a few minutes of playtime between you both. It will then associate its good behavior with receiving a treat or some kind of bonus.
Cats are naturally nocturnal but can be trained to sleep at night. A cat pouncing on you at five in the morning expecting food can be inconvenient! If you get up and feed your pet cat, you are encouraging this behavior. Having a set feeding time and sticking to it will let the cat know it is pointless to wake you in the middle of the night because it is not going to get fed. Make sure you play with your pet cat in the daytime and provide it with toys so it is tired enough to want to sleep at night.
Different breeds need slightly different types of training. Some breeds can be quiet and shy and others might be more rambunctious. The important thing is to get to know your particular pet cat and see how it responds best to the training. The Japanese Bobtail, for example, is highly strung and resilient. This means it will keep stropping the couch even though you are shouting at it to stop because it is less intimidated by you than, for example, a Persian or Ragdoll cat. You can still train it – just alter your approach slightly.
Cat training is mostly about using common sense and making sure your pet cat has everything it needs for a happy life. Correct training and a lot of love and care will make sure the two of you have a happy relationship and a lot of fun together!