Cats are independent animals, and as pets are much harder to train than dogs. However, if they are going to live in your home, then they need to learn a few house rules. Instilling rules when they’re still a kitten is the best way to ensure you have a well-behaved cat, but even older cats can be taught right from wrong. We share a few simple tips and tricks to help you teach your cat good manners, ensuring you can both live together in harmony.
Cats like to scratch things, and furniture is often a firm favourite for your feline friend to get their claws into. It can be very frustrating when a cat continuously scratches your furniture, so make sure you give them a scratching post as soon as possible. Get a scratching post that is fairly tall; this will give your cat the height they need to stretch and scratch at the same time. When you first get your cat or kitten, try putting them on the scratching post. Whenever they start scratching the furniture, move them back to the scratching post – they will soon learn that using the scratching post means they won’t get told off!
Cats and kittens can be very inquisitive and will often end up doing things that drive you potty. Climbing up on shelves and knocking things off, chewing houseplants and digging up the earth, or jumping up on the table and eating your food. Unlike dogs, raising your voice doesn’t tend to work with cats. It can be very frustrating when a cat has done wrong because telling them off doesn’t seem to work. A great trick is to buy a small spray bottle and fill it with water. If the cat starts misbehaving, simply spray the water bottle and the cat will soon run away! It won’t harm them in any way, but they certainly won’t like it. After a few times, you’ll no longer need to squirt the water bottle. Picking up the bottle alone will be enough to deter the cat and make them realise they are in trouble.
Housetraining cats should be a fairly easy task. Cats are naturally very clean animals and in most cases you’ll be surprised how even a young kitten will quickly pick up how to use a litter tray. When you first get your cat or kitten, show them where the litter tray is by picking them up and putting them in it. Make sure you keep the litter tray in one place so your cat knows where it is. Cats like privacy when they go to the toilet, so try and place the litter tray in a quiet spot of your house.
Kittens and cats love to play but it can sometimes lead to your cat biting or scratching you. Usually this is harmless and the cat has simply got carried away, but you should discourage your cat from biting you as soon as possible. If your cat starts clawing, scratching or biting you out of the blue, it is likely they are restless and want to play. Try playing with your cat for 10 or 15 minutes twice a day. This should be enough to help them burn off their energy.
There are many great cat resources to help you ensure your kitty is a well-behaved, happy cat.