If you’re to enjoy a rewarding relationship with your cat, you will need to find healthy ways to direct their behaviour. Contrary to popular opinion, cats can be trained.

It’s just that the training process can be quite tricky. One thing you need to bear in mind about cats is that they do not understand punishment, so encouraging good behaviour would be a more effective approach to training them. That being said, we have compiled a list of some helpful tips and tricks to make cat training easier and more effective.

If your cat is already trained, you can visit Mellowed Cats for more general advice on raising your cat and keeping them healthy.

Know What You Are Training For

The first thing you need to do when cat training is to have a goal of what exactly you want your cat to learn, then proceed to move toward that goal in small ways each day. Think about the type of commands you intend to use and what behavioural actions you want to teach. Some of the common objectives cat owners consider during cat training include; responding to gestures, playing with toys, litter box training, house training, staying calm for grooming, travelling and veterinary visits and interaction with people and other animals.

Make Each Training Session Short, Fun and Interactive

training your catCats generally have a short attention span so the duration and time of each training session should be adapted to their interest and mood. The most effective training session is one that is short but natural and frequent. Cats are independent and strong-willed, so you will need to be patient and persistent. Don’t try to force the session if your cat isn’t interested. The only way the training session can be fun for both of you is if you keep things relaxed and positive.

Focus On One Behaviour At A Time

Although it is possible for your cat to learn a number of things simultaneously, you will achieve more success by allowing them to master one objective before moving to the next one.

Clicker Training

Like dogs, cats can also benefit from clicker training. This clicker method can be used to train behaviours like coming when called, sitting, rolling over and shaking hands. Each time your cat performs the desired behaviour, click the clicker and offer rewards like the tasty treat they like. This will make your cat associate the clicker sound with something positive. Over time, you can reduce the number of treats you give but ensure to still give them on occasion so that your cat continues to respond to the clicker sound.

Redirect Bad Behaviour

Instead of punishment, you can stop unwanted behaviour in your cat by redirecting the unwanted behaviour into a desired one. For example, if they try to attack your feet during playtime, you can throw their favourite toy off for them to chase it. To prevent them from scratching your furniture, have many scratch pads nearby for them when they are in a scratching mood.

Remember The Three ‘R’s

training your catWhen cat training, it is important that you remember the three ‘R’s (respect, reinforcement, and reward). Respect, in this case, involves behaving in a cat-friendly manner. Avoid sudden noises or movements while training and if your cats run off during a training session, let them be and try again later.

The second ‘R’, which is reinforcement, involves repetition and staying consistent. If your cat does something undesirable, always say no in a gentle but firm manner. Be sure to always make a big fuss when they also do things you want to encourage.

The final ‘R’ stands for rewards. This can either be in the form of a tasty treat or praises from you.


Cat training is a gradual process that requires a lot of patience and consistency. The changes won’t happen overnight, which means that your cat will still make mistakes sometimes. Bear in mind that punishment won’t work; if anything, it will make your cat become reclusive, so it is better to come up with a plan for correcting and guiding them when they seem reluctant to catch on. Hopefully, the tips above help make cat training easier for both you and your cat.


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