Cat Training

My cat training blog is dedicated to all the people who are interested in training their cat.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cat Training

If you have any cat training questions, solutions, or tips, please leave them here.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Cat Training Aids on The Market

By: Ken Snow

There are many types of cat-training aids on the market. Some of the most helpful training tools are leashes, a scat mat, catnip, toys, and food treats. Having a simply and lightweight cat leash lets you train your cat to go for a walk or ride in the car. Cats require exercise, and using a leash while taking a walk with your cat outside will provide protection and keep the cat from running off. You want the cat to walk with you, not ahead of you, so train the cat to expect that you will be the leader. Both of you will enjoy your walks much more if this approach is taken.

The scat mat is good for showing cats that certain areas are not open to them. These devices send out pulses of static electricity when a cat enters the forbidden area. There are many sizes and colors of scat mats. Some even come in transparent versions so the cat cannot see that they are on the area. Additionally, scat mats are safe to use. They can be connected if you have especially large areas where you do not want your cat to go. Dummy scat mats do not include the electric pulse and may be used after the cat is trained to provide reminders of appropriate behavior.

Catnip can be used on cat litter to attract the cat to the litter box. Male cats tend to respond more to catnip, which has a scent similar to the urine of a female cat. Catnip comes in different forms for training. Toys that are filled with catnip can help a cat to learn a specific behavior. For fun, catnip in bubble form is available. It is similar to the kind of soap-bubble toy that children play with, but it has an added scent of catnip. The product is safe for your cat and will not harm him or her. Catnip is also available in a powered form that you can rub on your hand. You can even buy catnip seed and plant it inside or outside your home to give the cat a real treat.

If your cat is pouncing on things like it would pounce on a mouse, it may be useful to give the cat a toy mouse. Cats, by nature, will pounce as if they are killing something. Having a toy mouse lets the cat act in a normal way. Some toy mice on the market can be wound up so the cat can chase them. Others may be stuffed with catnip. Training a cat has a lot to do with letting it
fulfill its natural instincts. A cat that can perform its normal activities will be a happier and healthier companion.

Offering healthy food rewards is another good tool for training a cat. Many cat treats include vitamins so you will know that the cat is getting what it needs nutritionally. If you are a baker, you might want to try to make your own cat treats. There are even prepackaged mixes available. Remember to be patient with your cat while it is learning.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Get Your Outside Cat Ready for Winter

Cat Training

With cold weather setting in for the winter, it's time we prepare our cats that are relegated to being outside.

Cats, like dogs, are sometimes for one reason or another, kept outdoors. No matter what the reason, they should be prepared for the experiance. For example, a cat that is used to staying indoors shouldn't suddenly be thrust out in cold weather. You first must acclimate the cat/kitten to weather change.

If you purchase a cat/kitten in winter, you should start by putting them out in increments. Start out by letting them out for no more than 1 1/2 hours at a time 3 or 4 times a day, then increasing the time over a period of one to two weeks, depending on the outside temperature. Don't leave them out overnight until they are staying out on their own at least 12 hours during the day.

You will find that once they start spending more time outdoors, they will find more things to keep them occupied, hence, they are more willing to stay out.

Now that your cat is staying outside, you will have to keep food and water for them. In cold weather this can be a chore. I have found to save time from thawing water out constantly, keep two metal coffee cans. (plastic splits when it freezes) Keep one with water outside for your cat, one inside handy (or already filled), and replace as needed. Take one out, bring frozen one in to thaw.
Cat Training

Now that your cat is acclimated to the cold weather and has fresh water to drink, he also has to eat. By all means, do not give your cat dry food and then put warm water on it. This causes more problems when the water freezes. Choose a good quality dry cat food, and keep it dry. This way you do not have to worry about the food freezing. We like to use a styrofoam plate placed on the front porch out of the weather, held down by a thumbtack to keep the wind from blowing it away.

Now your cat must have a place to call home when he needs some warmth on those cold days and nights. Heres what I do! Take a cardboard box, preferably not much bigger than your cat (this keeps the heat in better), Open one end, put some straw or other bedding inside (this may have to be changed occasionally if it gets damp). You can also use old towels or other throwaways for the bedding. I like to place the opening to the box facing a wall or something similiar to keep it out of the wind.

I hope now you and your cat are ready to face the winter!

Complete Cat Training



Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cat Training

Stay tuned for all the cat taining tips and tricks. Hope everyone who is interested in cat taining will make this blog a frequent stop. Meanwhile you can also visit Cat Behavior Help and Cat Care for more information on cat training


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cat Training Help

Hi Everyone

Please don't hesitate to leave your cat training help questions and tips! Stay tuned for future posts by me with tips for training your cat. You can also find help at the following blogs:

Cat Behavior Help
Cat Care


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cat Training

Cat Training

When most people think about animal obedience work, cats aren’t usually the first candidates to spring to mind.

We tend to associate cats with words like aloof, independent, and laid back – they seem to focus on doing what they want, pretty much as and when they feel like it.

You might be excused for thinking that this isn’t really ideal training material!

However – there’s an ever-increasing number of people who are deriving a great deal of pleasure from training their cats in basic and advanced obedience work and tricks (from sit, stay, come to jumping through hoops, twirling, and high-fiving) - and what’s more, they’re convinced that their cats enjoy it, too!

Complete Cat Training

The benefits of training your cat

Just because cats typically lead solitary, individual lives doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to do so.

In fact, many cats are incredibly affectionate and loving by nature – they just need you to demonstrate your leadership and initiate the rapport-building process.

Cats are often underestimated when it comes to the training process, simply because the average owner has very little need to attempt any sort of training at all. Unlike with dogs (whose ability to learn is very well documented) there’s no need to train cats in the basics of pet protocol like house training and bathing.

Consequently, relatively few people are aware of their cat’s abilities in this area.
Training your cat is a fantastic way to enrich your cat’s life:

- It builds a strong rapport between you and your cat- Because training underlines your authority (your cat has to do what you want to get what he wants), it helps to curb dominant behavior- It keeps your cat’s mind active and stimulated- It’s great interactive play, and teaches good social skills- Anxious and highly-strung cats are reassured and soothed by the repetition and routine of training

So how do I train my cat?

Complete Cat Training

There are two popular methods of training a cat: target training and clicker training. A brief rundown of each:

- Target training is where you attract your cat’s attention and then obtain desired behaviors through the use of a designated tool. For example, during the ‘beg’ command, a particular target training tool called a training wand is used to attract the cat’s attention upwards, and to encourage the cat to rise up on his haunches and ‘beg’.

- Clicker training is a form of operant conditioning (which is where the animal is taught to form a conscious association between a specific behavior and a result.) A small mechanical noise-maker (the ‘clicker’) is used by the trainer to create a short, distinct noise. The clicker is clicked at the precise moment that the cat performs a desired behavior – for example, during ‘sit’, the clicker is clicked at the very instant that the cat’s bottom touches the ground. Directly after the click, the cat is fed a small and tasty treat. With repetition, the cat grows to associate the click with the food, and recognizes his own ability to earn treats by performing the desired action on command. The clicker is a particularly valued training tool because it allows the trainer to pinpoint the exact behavior that’s being rewarded: without the clicker, it’s too easy for the cat to form associations between the treat and a completely unrelated behavior (since it’s impossible to feed the cat a treat at the precise moment that he’s performing a trick.)

Practical tips for training your cat

Complete Cat Training

- Remember to be patient. Your cat is an individual, with his own abilities and preferences. He will pick up some tricks quickly, but may struggle with others. Make allowances for his personality, and don’t lose your temper if it doesn’t go exactly according to schedule.

- If you’re free-feeding your cat (leaving food out at all times for him to eat as and when he feels like it), stop doing this. Enforcing a feeding schedule has two main benefits: it increases the reward-value of food treats as training devices, and also introduces a semblance of routine into your cat’s life (which, believe it or not, most cats actually prefer.)

- Train smart. If you’re using food treats (which is highly recommended to achieve the desired results) then schedule training sessions for just before mealtimes: your cat’s natural desire for food at his regular mealtime will sharpen his focus and increase his desire to obey you (so he can get a treat.)- Take baby steps. When training your cat, it’s best to build up a solid foundation of the basics before attempting to expand his repertoire.

- Cats have pretty short attention spans, and low boredom thresholds. Keep lessons short and interesting – and always try to end on a positive note.

An example of successful cat training in action

Training your cat to ‘sit’ on command

Complete Cat Training

‘Sit’ is a great basic command for your cat to know, because it serves as the foundation for a number of other, more advanced tricks and commands (for example, ‘stay’, ‘beg’, and ‘high five’.)

- Make your training wand extra-effective by smearing the tip in a little tuna oil, and use it to attract your cat’s attention (wave it around, trail it past his face, etc.)

- Once he’s come over to you, place the wand just over his head, so that it’s slightly behind the crown of his head.

- He will tilt his head back to keep his eyes on it. When he does this, he will naturally sit down (since otherwise, his neck can’t bend back far enough to allow him to keep watching the training wand.)

- As he sits down, say the word ‘Sit’, which will be the verbal cue for this command (your cat will grow to associate the command with the act of sitting, and eventually will learn to sit down whenever you ask him to.)

- As soon as his bottom touches the ground, click the clicker. It’s important that you time this precisely.

- Directly after clicking, give him a small food treat. Make sure it’s cut up very small – if it takes him more than two seconds to eat it, he’ll forget why you gave it to him.

- Repeat this process a few more times, and over the next few weeks, keep doing so until he’s comfortable with what’s expected of him. When he’s able to sit down on command, you can phase the clicker out – but still give treats sporadically (interestingly, if you treat every single time that he performs a command, he’s actually less likely to reliably obey that command. Keeping him on his toes seems to increase the likelihood of obedience!)

Further training

For step-by-step advice on how to train your cat in a huge variety of other obedience commands and tricks (from ‘stay’ to ‘play dead’ to ‘fetch’), check out the Complete Cat Training book – it’s full of training how-to’s, as well as a huge amount of detailed information on solving problem behaviors, cat psychology, and how to develop a more rewarding relationship with your cat.

To visit the Complete Cat Training website, click the link below:
Complete Cat Training


Cat Training

Welcome to my cat training blog! Contrary to what a lot of people think, more and more cat owners are learning the tricks to cat training. Really, you can train your cat to do most of the same things you train a dog to do. I'll be posting more information on cat training over time.
You can find out more by going here:
Complete Cat Training

Also more information here:
Cat Care
Cat Behavior Training