How to get your cat to do what you want her to do

Cats are known for their unique personalities and for doing what they want, when they want to, but it is possible to train your cat to do certain things for you. The use of a clicker will help with what you are trying to achieve with your cat. The click is used to mark the behaviour and then the reward (treat) is given. If you have never used a clicker, it would be advisable to go for some training to learn to use it correctly, and not just click randomly.

Responding to your call

The first thing to do is to get your cat used to her name. From the time you get your kitten or cat, talk to her using her name. When she is right next to you, or on your lap, and you are stroking her, say her name and give her a treat. Then, when your cat is further away, call her name and, if she comes to you, give her a treat.

If you are using a clicker, say her name, click and then give her the treat. She will start to recognise that her name means a treat. Once your cat realises that answering to her name is rewarding, you can start calling her from further distances, click, verbally reward and then treat her.

Keep increasing the distance and, when your cat comes, reward her for doing so. Then, it is time to try calling when your cat can’t see you – like going into another room – and, as soon as she comes, click, verbally reward, and then give a treat.

If you don’t have a clicker, the principle is still the same: call her name; when she responds, give her verbal praise, and then treat her.

Ensure that the treats you are using are high-value and that she really wants to eat them, then she will come quickly to get her treats.

Would you like to read about the other five things you can get your cat to do? Get the November 2021 copy of Animaltalk magazine from retail stores, or order a printed or digital issue from www.coolmags.co.za.

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