Can a cat learn to do tricks (or become more obedient)?

Cats are seen by many as fiercely independent animals.

But that’s not the full story. 

While they‘re certainly not afraid to go off exploring on their own from time to time, felines do actually enjoy healthy pet parent communication. 

They love to learn new tricks, and can be trained to observe a whole host of commands. 

While teaching them to fetch or stay is undoubtedly a lot of fun, there are a large number of benefits to putting your feline through a bit of a training regime. 

One of those is the way it helps strengthen that pet parent bond. 

It will also keep them, not only physically active, but mentally enriched; vital for their overall health and well-being. 

Training a cat will also help eliminate any unwanted behaviours, while the ability to be able to call them over to you could potentially keep them out of harm’s way. 

Can a cat actually be trained?

We often hear how dogs are easy animals to train, and yet cats rarely come up in similar conversations.

Felines are extremely receptive to training. They can be taught to do tricks, and they can be trained to become more obedient. 

This may include getting them to come to you on command, teaching them how to use a litter box properly, or helping them feel more comfortable when getting into a cat carrier. 

You can train them to do plenty of fun stuff too, like sitting, rolling over and passing you a paw, jumping through hoops or playing fetch with their favourite toy. 

While we now know cats and dogs can both be trained, it’s important to note there are differing methods involved.

One of the most effective ways to train a cat is through positive reinforcement, rewarding their good behaviour with treats. 

Always use healthy snacks and don’t get into the habit of overfeeding your cat, even if they are the teacher’s pet. 

Dogs are pack animals and will happily follow their pet parent’s orders. Cats tend to do things in their own time, so you will need to show patience and understanding. Never get mad at them or raise your voice. 

Dogs can also endure longer training sessions due to cats’ shorter attention spans, so it’s best to keep sessions short, between two to five minutes ideally. 

Put in the time and effort, and you will soon find that cats can be just as easy to train as any other pet.

Can bad behaviour be trained out of a cat?

Bad behaviour can be trained out of cats, but it may take time and it will most likely be frustrating. 

First thing’s first; never physically discipline your cat, this will only make matters worse. 

All cats are different so you will need to gear training sessions around your feline friend. 

A good starting point is rewarding good behaviour. Are they using the scratching post instead of your sofa? Have they just used the litter box correctly? Have they listened when you’ve told them not to jump on the table?

Use a training clicker, give them vocal praise before delivering a healthy treat. This will help them learn the difference between good and bad behaviour. Make sure you use snacks they enjoy. 

Try our Chicken Fillet with Rosemary treats; tasty, completely natural and filled with nutrients.  

If you’re worried about feeding your cat too many treats, our handy guide “Cat Treats – How Many To Give And Why They’re Important” is an invaluable read. 

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