Cat Training and Behavior

Cat training and behavior. Solutions from boundary enforcement and helping your cat stay calm to redirecting scratching behavior.

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Cat Training & Behavior

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Cat Training

Despite what they may want you to believe, cats are trainable. In fact, pet parents can use positive reinforcements, like treats, to help teach their cats good behavior. They can also use cat deterrents to humanely dissuade their felines from continuing negative behaviors.

FAQs About Cat Training

Cats are known for their strong-willed—sometimes stubborn—personalities, but they can be trained. Of course, training a cat is different than training a dog. Dogs will often be happy to do tricks or follow commands in exchange for praise. Cats demand a little more, often in the form of treats. Cats also respond best to positive reinforcement and incentives. With patience and consistency, pet parents can train cats to do tricks or even complete agility courses. For those with less lofty ambitions, cat litter box training and cat toilet training are possible with the right mix of treats, tools and repellents.

Cats respond best to positive, reward-based training. The ideal reward is a treat, the yummier and gooier, the better. Pet parents can reinforce positive behaviors by giving their felines treats after their cat performs the behavior. The key is practice, practice, practice. Focus on teaching your pet one command or trick at a time and keep lessons around 10 to 15 minutes so as not to cause boredom. Once your cat masters a command, you can start on a new one.

Using this process, you can train your cat to perform a variety of commands and tricks. To take your training to the next level, consider adding a clicker into the equation. Start by giving your cat treats when you click the clicker, so they equate it with a positive experience. Then use the clicker to help your cat connect certain behaviors with treats. Over time, you may be able to use fewer treats as the click from the clicker turns into the reward.

Thinking about training a new kitty in your household? Take a look at Petco’s New Cat Guide for more information on how to give your cat a wonderful and happy home

Cats have a personality all their own and sometimes do things we wish they wouldn’t. They may jump on countertops, scratch furniture or do their business on the carpet instead of in the litter box. Cat repellents, including cat deterrent spray, can be a humane way to discourage negative behaviors in felines.

Pet parents can use the spray manually when they see their cat perform a negative behavior. Alternatively, some cat repellent sprays are motion activated and will spray when the cat gets close. Consider placing a motion-detection spray device on surfaces you want your cats to avoid or putting it in doorways of rooms that are off-limits.

Cat deterrent sprays typically include non-toxic scents that cats find distasteful, such as citrus fruit, garlic, lavender, peppermint, rosemary and others.