A key difference between cats and dogs is that cats are less inclined to do things to please their owners. A common belief about cats is that they do their own thing, in their own time, on their own terms, with no regard for what their owners may want. As a result, many cat owners believe that their felines are untrainable. A key concept of any successful training plan is motivation. In the end, it’s all about ensuring the right behaviors pay off so that your cat is more likely to repeat them. With the right encouragement, there is no reason why your cannot persuade your kitten to adapt well to your routine and enjoy your company.
Motivation is the key to training. For most cats, it’s food. They care less about “good kitty” than about good kitty treats. So to motivate your cat, you’re going to reward them with a treat every time they use the scratching post, lets you brush them, or uses the litter-box appropriately. Scratch their head and tell them they’re a pretty cat at the same time, but make sure you give them that treat. Smart cats will soon link that behavior with getting treats.
- With a good selection of toys to choose from, a kitten will soon learn the rules of the game, weather pouncing on a pull toy or chasing after a ball. Cats are picky about what they play with, and all cats will have different ideas about what’s interesting to them. Having toys in your home isn’t enough. You have to have the right toys.
- Play is training for hunting. Kittens are not born with innate hunting skills, but you will soon notice that your pet’s coordination and skill will improve as he play imaginary hunting games. Use a wand toy or laser pointer to activate your cat’s natural prey instincts. Make sure to occasionally hide the toy or laser to encourage him to hunt, stalk, and search.
- Kitten have high energy levels, but generally they will only play in short, intensive bursts before falling asleep or looking for food. This is quite normal behaviour.
A study of cat’s enjoyment and motivation is in the act of chasing their prey, not necessarily in the catching of it. This might explain why cats are sometimes disinterested in her toys once she has successfully caused them to stop moving.