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Home Pet Q&A Cat Questions Are Cats Hard To Train?

Are Cats Hard To Train?

Cats are not hard to train if you are trying to teach simple actions such as using a litter box. Training them to stop scratching, walk on a leash, or sleep on a schedule may be more challenging and require more time and commitment. Additionally, your cat's personality and your training methods play a big role in how easy or hard it is to train your cat. With patience and consistency, most cat owners are able to get the desired results.

They CAN Be Taught 

Don't buy into the myth that cats can't be trained. While cats are not as eager to please as dogs, they can be taught. In fact, some of the methods used to train a dog can also be used for cats—although it may take a little longer for a cat to get on board. Some things to keep in mind when training a cat include:

  • Punishment Doesn't Work: Yelling, hitting, and other behaviors that will frighten or hurt your cat will do nothing in the way of training. Such actions instill fear in your cat, which will diminish your ability to train him.
  • Bribe Him: As is the case when training any animal, finding a reward they like helps to speed things along. Get some delicious treats that are only given as part of training and dole them out for good behavior. You can even use clicker training with your cat in unison with the treats. 
  • Don't Force It: Let your cat set the time limit on a training session. When your cat gets distracted by a shadow or a piece of fuzz, let him go. If you try to force it to continue, your cat will be less interested.
  • The Old Switcheroo: If you're trying to eliminate bad behavior, such as scratching furniture or biting at your hands, redirect the behavior by moving him away from your furniture to a scratching post or by tossing a toy to distract him from biting at your hands. 

Make it fun, work at your cat's pace, and be consistent. You just might be surprised at how many things your cats can learn.

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