Can you train a cat like a dog? Yes…and no. We all see those adorable YouTube videos of cats doing tricks, and obediently sitting and rolling over, and they’re too cute for words! Obviously, we want out pets to interact with us and perform too, but for some odd reason, they don’t have the Hollywood gene and would rather just eat and sleep all day.
Training a cat is actually very similar to training a dog in one way. What motivates dogs to do tricks?
Treats! Your cat can also learn simple tricks like sitting or laying down with the help of treats. Every animal reacts to positive reinforcement. However, unlike dogs, cats have shorter attention spans, you will want to keep your training sessions frequent, but short. Our dogs love the attention and will work with you for hours, cats on the other hand, will get annoyed or lose interest quickly, after about 10-15 minutes of training, the tricks you are teaching them are going in one ear and out the other. Plus, once they are no longer hungry, the treats will have little to no incentive.
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If you are trying to train your cat to learn tricks, then positive reinforcement and treats are the key, just like in dogs. However, if you are trying to train your cat NOT to do something, punishing them or negative reinforcement is not going to work. Your dogs adore you, you are their whole world, the last thing they want is for your owner to be upset with them.
Cats on the other hand, are considered “selfish pets.” To be frank, they really could care less about your feelings, they have two things on their mind – sleeping and eating. Punishing your cat is not going to teach them a lesson, and not going to ring a bell the next time they have an impulse to jump on the counter or sharpen their claws on the couch. If anything, swatting your cat or shouting at them actually only upsets them and makes them NOT want to listen to you. It can even damage your relationship with your pet.
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If you are trying to train your cat to NOT do something, the best route is to offer them another option. Do they love sharpening their claws on the corner of the couch? Buy them a scratching post and put it next to the couch. Do they love hopping on the counter? Buy them a cat tower for them to climb and put it near their favorite counter…once they start using the cat tower, slowly move it to the desired area where you want them climbing.So, I conclusion, yes you can train a cat like a dog. However, cats will learn for their own satisfaction, unlike dogs who will learn because they want to please you.
So, I conclusion, yes you can train a cat like a dog. However, cats will learn for their own satisfaction, unlike dogs who will learn because they want to please you.