Cats have such a reputation for independence that the idea that you can train them may give rise to more amusement than belief. When you embark on the long journey of how to teach your cat to play nice, there’s one single most important thing to bear in mind – take your time. Don’t go over the line with your feline buddy and don’t expect he will completely change to your fashion. The glue that binds together all the ingredients of the perfect calm cat formula is patience.
How to Teach a Cat Not to Bite
While kittens are still together with their litter-mates, one of the first lessons they get is how to safely engage in their little plays. Felines learn how to constrain their bites and avoid injuries – if one individual overdoes it, he gets quite the negative response from their mates. The question is, how to replicate those reactions with a kitty that just starts building its habits?
The best way to teach your cat not to bite, as it always has been, is to replicate similar play sessions as if the kitty still has his litter-mates. Never teach him to bite you or make him too fierce. The right way to stop a kitty fight is when the cat becomes too excited and begins to show its teeth and use its claws. Your move here is to give the game a notch down or completely ignore your cat until it calms down. Deal with bites and scratches even harsher – stop immediately the play and don’t resume it at all. Cats are highly intelligent creatures and soon he will figure it out its their own misdoings that led you to end their most beloved activity.
There’s another thing to bear in mind – you are not able to mess with nature. Cats have been and will always remain predators. Hunting is in his blood, therefore, if you don’t want your cat to sharpen its pray-catching skills on you, you have to think of a way to direct his focus on something else. Toys are a perfect aim, but make sure that they will keep his attention at all times. Scattered around the floor they do not represent much of a challenge – take the play to the next level with a long cord, the toy being tied on it, and drag it around the whole house. A pouncing chase is what your cat needs to get his interest stimulated at all times
How to Teach a Cat No
Habits are a pain in the butt to knock off. Therefore, make sure to discourage your cat habits before they get too serious. A sharp and easy to remember sound is the word “NO”. However, your kitty should first learn that it carries a negative signal and associate it with forbidden actions. Simply shooting hundreds of “no”s all over the house won’t budge your cat’s feelings. Show him a clear sign to understand what “no” means. A sure-fire way to be an awesome pet owner.
Let’s imagine the very likely situation in which your kitten is up to no good on the fragile sofa textile. Say “No” out loud clearly, pick the cat up at the back of his neck, as if you were his mother and carefully shake him and repeat “no”. Off then to something else – you can redirect your kitty towards a scratch post. If you don’t have one – you’d better buy one, since scratching is a natural activity for a cat and he’s not going to stop at any time. Make sure that you stop as gently as possible every unwanted behaviour – don’t give up – you can win the battle.
How to Teach a Cat not to Attack Feet
As mentioned before, anything moving in the house is a potential prey for your cat, whereas your ankles are the easiest target. In order to distract him, you need to put into the field something more interesting – a cool rope-toy will do a great job. With two sessions per day, you’ll appease your little predator’s desires. For further ideas, check out this list of interactive cat toys you can DIY at home.
What if the kitty already got you in his clutches? No, don’t try to run, that’s what a real prey will do. Instead, why not push towards the cat a teeny bit – that will perplex him, as prey doesn’t normally throw itself into the lion’s mouth. Once the little feline releases you, remain uninterested and do not pay him attention. Soon, he will realise that biting and scratching your ankles will undoubtedly lead to an abrupt end of the fun.
How to Protect Plants from Cats
You wouldn’t want to risk your favourite plant be mauled by your little beast, would you? When it comes to plants, cats become especially creative – you can’t deny some of those indeed look like a perfect place to scratch their claws or the most nutritious breakfast. Cats chew on plants often – it helps them release those nasty hairballs from time to time. Here are a few tricks you can pull out of your sleeve next time:
- Cayenne pepper is your number one material for a protective gear against home cats. Sprinkle a bit of that on the plants you don’t want your cat to be near to. You don’t want to risk him chew on a possibly pesticide-infused plant, too.
- Other objects your cat is terrified of smelling and/or getting near to: pine cones, aluminium foil, citrus fruits, bitter cooking sprays (there are a lot of dessert ones, apple-based, mostly).
- Even though a lot of people use spraying water to chase off cats from doing some unwanted activity, we at Balham Doggy Centre think it’s a harsh method that only should be used as a measure of last resort.
How to Teach a Cat to Walk on a Leash
Living in a city environment is practically making it almost impossible to take your cat outside for a walk… unless you manage to put him on a leash. It’s a rare sight, but it could happen – willingly. As it goes with everything else so far – take your time. Start by training your cat indoors at the beginning. Get a leash and let the cat get used to it with a simple play around the house. Having his body strapped will be uncomfortable and scary at first, so give your feline time to accustom.
Hurray, you set up the stage for your cat to appear in front of the world, but still – be careful. A loud city with hordes of people will only scare your cat too much. Start the outside experience with ease – go to a remote, quiet place. A park is a good idea. Get a crate to move your cat or go by car.
Also, make sure your cat won’t try to escape once out. The only appropriate way for him to go out is in his harness costume, otherwise, once tasting the freedom, those mischievous thoughts in his head won’t let go easily.
Now, the question comes to you, dear readers – what are your favourite ways to teach your cat to play nice? We’d love to do a round-up of your answers – just share them below in the comments! From Balham Doggy Centre with love – we wish you a pleasant month and fun times with your little feline puffy bundles of joy.