At Purina, we believe that cats are capable of a lot more than we might think. There are many preconceived notions about cats, like they aren't social or can't be trained. The truth is - cats are built for activity, and training can provide them with mental stimulation. That's why we're always looking for new ways to train cats to unlock their true potential.
Most cats will respond to food rewards, which are a type of positive reinforcement. If you use soft moist cat food or dry food as a treat, you will lessen the chance of disturbing a properly balanced diet. If your cat has performed a certain task you have asked of her, make sure you not only reward her with a food treat but with verbal praise as well. You will have more success if you work with one command at a time. As with any kind of training, you have to be consistent and let your cat work at her own speed. When you see even the slightest glimmer that your cat understands the behavior you are trying to teach, reward her enthusiastically.
Some veterinarians and behaviorists recommend clicker training for cats. With the aid of a small "clicker" device, which you click audibly when the cat performs the desired task, a cat can learn quite a few commands. The first step is to cause the cat to associate the clicker with something positive. Get your cat's attention, click the device, and then reward the cat with a small piece of food or a treat. (Make sure to account for these treats and food in your cat's normal nutritional allowance for the day.) When your cat associates the sound of the clicker with something positive, she's ready to start clicker training to learn commands. Any time a cat demonstrates the desired behavior, click the clicker while the behavior is occurring. Only click once for each time the cat is successful. Too much clicking is confusing for the cat. At the beginning you will have to use the clicker and the food rewards. Eventually, just the sound of the clicker will be enough to act as a reward.
Use your cat's name followed by the command "come." When she comes, praise her lavishly and give her a treat or use your clicker. Eventually, your cat will associate the food, treat, or clicker with the command, and she'll readily come when called.
Training a cat to walk on a leash is not only possible, but can open a window to a whole new world for your cat. Leash walking can strengthen the bond between you and your cat and allow her to explore the outdoors safely.
We hope these tips helped further the bond you share with your cat.
Learn how to properly socialize your cat, and discover fun ways to train her to do more.
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