Did you know that dogs can learn up to 165 words, and dozens of commands? What about cats? You may have noticed that usually Fluffy trains her humans, rather than it being the other way around. However, our feline buddies can actually learn quite a few things. Here, a Los Gatos, CA vet offers tips on training your kitty.
Fluffy doesn’t have quite the repertoire that Fido does, but she does have a pretty impressive bag of tricks. For example, you can teach your cute pet to come when called. Cats can also learn to Shake Paw or Beg on command. You may even be able to teach your kitty to Fetch. Some breeds, like Bengals, love playing this little game! Another option is to teach your cat to walk on a leash. This can be a safe way to let Fluffy enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, without exposing her to dangers such as cars, predators, and other hazards. Your feline overlord can also learn to ring a small bell with her paw when she wants to go in or out. (Just be warned: your kitty may ring the bell constantly.) Cats can even be trained to use a toilet instead of a litterbox!
Cats can spend hours doing nothing, but they actually have pretty short attention spans. Work with Fluffy about twice a day, for a few minutes at a time. While the exact training methods will depend on what you’re teaching your kitty, there are some common rules of thumb. Repetition, patience, consistency, and rewards are all important!
Does your furball have some bad habits, like jumping on counters or scratching your furniture? You’ll need to be patient, consistent, and a bit sneaky, but you can teach Fluffy better petiquette. Keep in mind that you should never punish your cat for misbehaving. That may just scare her, and could even make her afraid of you! Instead, you want to annoy her. Squirt her with water, make a loud noise, or stamp your foot. The point is to make her form a negative association with the undesired behavior. It’s also important to reward your feline pal with treats, praise, and attention when she behaves properly.
Please contact us, your Los Gatos, CA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!