I often hear “Cat’s are not trainable” – this is a myth. True, cats like to do whatever they want and never seem to show remorse or feel guilt. Unlike dogs, they usually don’t respond well to treats. If you don’t want your kitty walking on the kitchen counters, scratching up the furniture, or other similar naughty activity here are some things that will help:
Be Consistent: No is no. If you don’t want kitty sitting on the paperwork on your desk, or the keyboard of your computer, these surfaces have to be off-limits all the time. Every time your cat jumps up to somewhere you don’t want them to be, take them off; tell them NO. Be firm and consistent because once they establish a place as theirs, changing the behavior will be even more difficult.
Make The Place Uninviting: Cats like accessible, comfortable, and inviting places and once they realize a place doesn’t meet this criteria they will go elsewhere. Does your cat continually jump on the kitchen counter? First, make sure the area is not easily accessible. Is there a chair or table nearby that gives them easy access? Eliminating the access point is the first step. Second, make the counter uninviting – some suggestions would be to wet the counter with enough water that will wet kitty’s paws when they jump up. Temporarily putting down double stick tape will also help since the sticky feel will quickly tell them that this is not a place they want to be.
Provide Places to Scratch: Cats need to scratch and will often choose furniture to do so. To prevent this, be sure to provide acceptable areas. There are many different types of scratchers available. Find the type your kitty likes best and be sure there is one available in multiple areas of the home. For more information about cat scratching issues please visit Cats Need to Scratch – How To Protect Your Home and Keep Kitty Happy.
Cats Need Toys: If acceptable toys are not provided cats, especially kittens, will find their own. My cat Violet loves to play with socks and will get to them any way she can. This has resulted in many missing socks. Now, besides doing my best to make my socks inaccessible to her, I always make sure there are some of her favorite toys (she also loves pompoms) spread around the house for her to find.
Cat’s definitely like to push the boundaries! I can often tell when Violet has been naughty even before I have seen what she did. This is Violet’s guilty look:
It’s often hard to get upset…