Many people think that only dogs can be trained, but this is not the truth. In fact, you can also teach your cat to have some behaviours. Some things are important when we think about training cats. You must reward your cat, respect his time to learn and be patient. You must also understand your cat and his needs and personality. Dogs obey to us more easily and are more predisposed to be trained than cats, which are independent animals. But don’t give up on training your cat.
Training Your Cat to Sit
Why would you train a cat? Well, there are several reasons. It is good to have a way to predict their behaviour in certain situations, and for that reason training is an advantage. And training is also good for the cat because it allows him to learn and stay healthier. When you spend time with your cat to teach him, you are nourishing the friendship between both of you.
A good way to teach your cat and reinforce good behaviours is to reward him. You cabn do it giving to him his favourite treat every time he perform a good behaviour. If he sits when you tell him to do so, give him his favourite treat and he will understand that he did the right thing.
How can you use a treat to teach your cat?
Show him his favourite treat and make sure he is looking at it. When your cat sniffs the treat, you may pretend that you are going to take it away from him while he tries to follow the treat. You can move the treat in such a way that your cat ends up sitting on the floor. When your cat finally seats, praise him and, to show him that he did right, give the treat to him. You can repeat the exercise several times and every time your cat sits on the floor give him a treat.
Good behaviour deserves a treat, but never punish your cat if he doesn’t do what you want. Cats don’t respond in a good way to punishment. It is important to have patience and accept that your cat won’t learn at the first time. If you punish your cat he may get anxious and scared and anxiety may lead to behavioural problems and hamper your cat’s learning. Stress is very bad to cats and it can develop several diseases.
To teach your cat to sit, try to stimulate him to do it offering treats and praising him and not punishing him. Positive reinforcement is the key to promote good behaviours.
You may use as a treat several things: canned cat food, tuna, cheese, baby food (without onion or garlic). You may talk to your Veterinarian to know more about what your dog may eat.
You may reinforce the route that you do with the treat on your hand with a clicker or anything that makes a click sound. You may repeat this several times until your cat sits only because he heard the click and not because you have a treat on your hands.
You may also say “sit! while you show the treat to your cat. After some training sessions, your cat will predict that after a “sit” there is a treat and this will probably make him obey to the sit command.
You must training your cat while he is feeling comfortable and in a place that he knows well. This must be a natural behaviour to him. Places like a windowsill, the couch or the kitchen table seem to be good choices. It is import to establish a connection between the sit command, the click and the reward and consequently your cat will have the correct behaviour.
Later, you may try to simply say “sit” and see if your cats sits without any other incentive. If he does, reward him to reinforce his good behaviour. Your cat will probably learn that when you say “sit” there is a reward coming.
At the beginning, trey to maintain your cat attentive while you are training him. Make sure he links the treat to the behaviour of sitting down. When your cat is very well trained you may try to do this exercise in other places of the house and introduce some variations on it.
Training a cat to sit may not be easy, but with a lot of patience and a good method you will get great results. Training your pet is good for him and for you and later you may try to teach him other things. Don’t do very long training sessions to keep your kitty motivated and don’t insist when he doesn’t want to sit. And keep in mind: never punish him.
Cats are wonderful and intelligent animals and it is perfectly possible to teach them how to sit. It is much more common to teach dogs, but cats can also learn, since the teaching method is adjusted to them.
Give it a try and you will be surprised.