Learned Cat Behaviour
Intelligent cats can easily learn to manipulate their owners. Cats can also be trained to produce predictable
repeatable behaviour. The training depends on how much time the owner has to
spend with the cat. A kittens play is its way of learning
and survival skills.
actions are instinctive, they are also learned from other cats.
Hand-reared kittens do not learn to hunt.
Each kitten has a unique
temperament and balance of skills. In encouraging a kittens play you can
observe its strengths, weaknesses and overall temperament. Observing and
enhancing natural behaviour is the secret behind successful trainers. All
cats show spatial awareness, but some are much better than others. A kitten
may pick up a piece of paper you have thrown and bring it back so you can
throw it again. You can encourage repetition with a snack and you cat will
soon learn what to do in order to get that treat.
You can also train your
cat to respond to spoken commands for behaviour around the house.
To start training you must first
establish communication with your cat, a kitten should be given a name as
soon as possible. If an adult cat joins the house, its a good idea to keep
its previous name. If you use the cat's name to attract its attention it
will soon learn to respond. From there it will be easy for your cat to learn
command words. The verbal message should be spoken firmly in a low voice and
never shouted. Avoid shouting at your cat as this can traumatize it.
A cat will want to sharpen its claws,
this is normally done on a tree - or your furniture. If you want to save
your furniture you should provide your cat with a
scratching post, to
encourage your cat to use it, you can rub some catnip on it. It the
cat begins to assault the curtains or the sofa, say no, gently but firmly and
take it to the scratching post and place its paws on the post. If the cat
uses the post, give it some praise and a stroke.
If you want to use a
practice and encouragement are also the key. Make sure the door is at a nice
height for your cat and that it swings easily. Place some tempting
the far side of the door and gently push the cat through it. Then open the
flap slightly and call the cat back. Repeat this a few times and the cat
should figure out how to operate it itself.