How to teach your cat her name

Teaching your cat her name, or a new name when she’s been adopted, is easier than what you may think.

Find out what your cat’s yummiest treat is and keep a stock of it. You want your cat to be successful. So, start off when she is hungry and waiting for her dinner. Instead of putting the whole bowl of food down, put a little down to get her interested and as soon as she has finished that, call her name softly. If she looks up at you – wonderful! Put some more food in her bowl, so you are rewarding her for taking notice when you call her name. Carry on doing this until she has received her full meal. Do this every mealtime for a few days.

Once she is reliably looking at you for more food when you call her name, you can start to cut down on adding food every time she responds and start replacing that with a chin tickle. That is, if she likes to be tickled. It is very important to be sure that she likes whatever you start to swap food for, because if she doesn’t, you are undoing all the work you have done to date. Then you can start calling her at around dinnertime – you may have to rattle the food box the first few times, but she will begin to associate her name with pleasant things.

The one thing to remember is never to use her name if you are about to do something that she would feel unhappy about, like giving her medication or putting her in her pet carrier. Her name must always be linked with good things – that way she should always come when you call her.

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