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The Possibilities of Cat Training

Aug 17, 2007
Due to constant comparison with their canine counterparts, people have said that cats cannot be trained. True, they may not be trained like a soldier but cats are incredibly intelligent animals that can be trained towards developing good habits if effort is put into work and understanding them.

Most cats that are adopted from a shelter, bought from a breeder or even just rescued from the streets don"t require a lot of instruction or guidance. Cats are quite self-sufficient but can still benefit from some training. Cat training is well worth doing because it will do good for the health and safety of both cat and owner.

There is no standard procedure to follow for cat training but there are a few cardinal rules in doing so. The first is that owners need to favor incentives over deterrents when possible. Cats also have self-interests so owners and trainers would want to leverage those. Using the cat's natural preferences to induce the cat to the desired goal will prove to be helpful. Second rule is to not let training damage the important bond of trust between owner and cat. Cat training would ideally strengthen the bond between pet and owner during training sessions. The third rule is that owners need to consult with a veterinarian to investigate any possible medical issues for any observed behavior problems. Some cats that exhibit aggression with no previous incident of violence may be showing pain aggression due to an illness or injury. Training the cat during this case is not advisable.

Before starting cat training, it is advisable that a bond be established with the cat. Cats value and look forward to attention and affection that can be gained from training. But cats would only participate when they can determine that they would not be put in any harm by the handler. It would seem that the cat is more dependent due to that aspect of their training. Although cats in the wild tend to work alone, domesticated cats are quite social.

Cats may not be pack animals that carry the instincts to please a leader but due to their curious nature, they respond to learning, playing, eating and relaxing with their human owners. Although the relationship between cat and owner would aid in training, cats still have that independent streak. Any cat owner who opts for cat training must keep their expectations realistic to avoid working under false pretenses while going through the training sessions.
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