Do you think training cats is difficult? You're not alone. It's not impossible, though, and by following some rules, you can increase your chances of having a successful outcome.
The cat training rules outlined here were lifted with nimble paws from Arden Moore's excellent book, aptly titled, The Cat Behavior Answer Book.
It's an excellent book overflowing with so much feline information you can smell the litter box from where you are. OK, maybe that's not the right olfactory image to conjure up. How about the tuna? Or, better yet, the salmon if you're that kind of kitty?
Here's a (not so good) picture of my copy:
Much of the information in the book is delivered in a problem/solution question/answer type format with a real life story to accompany it.
So, you get to read an entertaining story and see how the information could apply to someone's real life situation.
Along the way, you'll learn a heck of a lot (or maybe not so much if you're a "know it all") about cat behavior and solving problems.
There are also a bunch of straight forward facts and tidbits of info that are very helpful.
This list of cat training rules is one such tidbit. I highly recommend you get the book.
1. Always say your cat's name to get his attention before giving any command.
2. Be consistent with your verbal and hand signals (and your reinforcement as well).
3. Pay attention to your cat's mood. Train him when he is receptive to learning, not when the lessons fit your schedule.
4. Select a quiet time and room where you can be one-on-one with your cat.
5. Be positive, patient, and encouraging.
6. Provide small food rewards and enthusiastic praise immediately after each success, no matter how small.
7. Start with the basic commands of come, sit, and stay.
8. Break things down into smaller steps and build on each one.
9. Teach your cat only one new trick or behavior at a time. Cats are not multitasking masters.
10. Keep training sessions simple and short -- no more than five to ten minutes at a time.
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