Many people think that obedience training is just for dogs. However, it has been proven that our feline friends can benefit just as much from being trained. They are highly intelligent creatures and can understand much more than we assume. They rely on mental stimulation just as much as dogs do, and by teaching her basic commands you can improve your bond with one another, as well as make your home a much more harmonious place for everyone concerned.
Benefits of obedience training your kitten
There are a number of advantages to investing time in obedience training with your kitten. These include:
- Improved bond between you
- Reduced undesirable behaviors such as furniture scratching and urine spraying
- Less aggression towards people and other animals
- Fewer compulsive behaviors such as over-grooming or excessive scratching
- Helps to prevent boredom
- Can help you to enjoy time with your kitty
If you have never undertaken any sort of training with a pet before, you may well be confused about the best way to go about it. To help you get started, here are our top 5 tips for obedience training for kittens.
1. Choose one command at a time
While there is no doubt that your feline is a smart cookie, she can only really learn one thing properly at once. A common rookie error in kitty training is trying to teach our cats too many different commands in a short space of time. This will overwhelm and confuse her. Instead, it is far better to let her successfully master one command before moving on to another.
2. Encourage good behavior using treats and rewards
Your cat may have the capability to learn, but as you probably know, felines can be stubborn creatures and are definitely not people pleasers. Unlike dogs, who will normally participate in whatever activity you have in store just to make you happy and receive your praise, cats and kittens need a more substantial reward to motivate them! Make sure you have plenty of treats to hand, as well as of course giving her lots of love and praise.
3. Keep training sessions short and sweet
Cats have extremely short attention spans and get bored quickly, particularly when you are doing something repetitive such as training. For this reason, experts recommend that you keep training sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes each time. However, don’t leave it too long between them. Ideally you should try and have a couple of training periods each day. If you go days between sessions, then your kitty is more likely to forget what she has learnt.
4. Don’t get cross or punish her
Inevitably there will be times during obedience training your kitten when you will become frustrated or even angry. It can be tempting to shout, or even to punish our cats when they don’t do as they are asked. However, punishment never goes down well with animals and it can even have the opposite effect, causing their behavior to become worse rather than better. Your kitty will also be able to read your emotional climate and reflect it.
5. Be consistent
Above all, consistency is key. Much like setting the rules for a toddler, you must be consistent in your approach otherwise you will simply confuse your kitten. She doesn’t understand why something is acceptable for her to sit on the table one day, but the next day you are unhappy with her for doing so. Decide what your boundaries are at the start of the training process and stick to them!
If you are struggling with kitten obedience training and you would like the support and advice of a professional, our team of expert veterinarians in Orlando FL would be delighted to help. Please contact our veterinary offices in Orlando FL at 407-603-3086 to schedule an appointment for you and your kitten.