Cat with abacus

Can cats be trained? The short answer is yes and no.


Well, if you understand that cats do more of what is rewarded, you will be very successful with training. The fact is, cats can be trained the same way as dogs. Dogs love human interaction and thrive on it. Cats, on the other hand, are a bit more independent but will work for things that motivate them just as dogs will. They may appear a little uninterested or aloof in following cues but they are really paying attention.

This means that training them is  very possible. You can influence their behavior with patience and consistency.

Training Your Cat

The first rule is to never yell at them. Showing your displeasure by making loud noises, squirting them with water or vingar or trying to physically manipulate them won’t work either because you will lose their trust. This is where force-free cat training comes in.

So, how does this training technique work?

Well, instead of reprimanding them for behavior you don’t want, why not show them the right way to do it? For example, if your cat starts to scratch your couch, train them to do this at the scratching post. Put a little catnip on the scratching post to encourage your cat to go there and scratch.Whenever you see them using the scratching post, give them a reward. The consistent act of rewarding them with a treat will tell them that this is good behavior. 

The Three R’s of Training

Respect, Reward and Reinforcement

Always be gentle with your cat. If you are not you will lose their trust and they will become fearful of you. Have respect for your cat’s feelings. Loud noises will startle your cat, so no yelling or banging on things to get them to move. If they are doing something you don’t like redirect them to something more appropriate and reward them for their good behavior. If you are consistent with positive reinforcement, you will be able to train your cat.

Tips on Training

Following are a few tips on force-free training that will help you with your cat:

  • Do you use a carrier to take your cat to the vet? If so, do you have trouble getting them inside it? Use behavior modification to make it happen. Make the carrier a normal part of the house, don’t stick it in a closet until you are ready to use it. Leave a towel in the carrier with some catnip and some Feliway. The carrier may come a safe haven for your cat instead of a thing to fear. Your cat will most likely enter the carrier of its own violation
  • You can use a clicker to train your cat, just like you can use a clicker to train other animals. Clicker training can be used to teach cats to stay off counters, walk on a leash, stop biting, and can be used to teach fun tricks.

If you are having trouble with training your newly adopted kitten or the resident cat, then hire a force-free trainer.  

Dances with Dogs provides cat training in Miami for pet owners who are looking for a gentle way to train. They also conduct one-one-one online training classes. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.