Learn about the basic principles of cat training at home. Text and video explanations on how to teach a cat to kiss or stand on its hind legs.
Dogs are trained in a huge number of nurseries and special schools, cats are less fortunate - they are mainly trained at home. Let's look at the basic principles of cat training and the most common commands that you can teach your pet yourself at home.
You can train a kitten when he turns 7-8 months old. It was at this age that the animal matured enough to adequately perceive the instructions of the owner and try to follow them.
Cat training - an activity that requires patience from the owner of the cat. Before starting training, you must carefully observe the cat and study all its habits, favorite activities and games, character traits. Such observation will help to competently draw up a training program, organize training in stages and get the most out of your pet.
Training cats at home - basic principles
- You can teach a cat to commands, but you need to show all your love, attention and patience. The cat can not be forced to do something, she must herself want to perform one or another action.
- Ideally, it is necessary to ensure that the animal thinks that it is it that trains the owner. Let the cat think that the owner of the team gives her sweets, and she extends the paw on her own initiative.
- The main rule of training is to never fool an animal. For each correctly performed trick, the cat should be rewarded. This rule must be strictly observed. Even if the cat has learned the team and makes it for the hundredth time.
- The second important principle is praise must always be expressed with the same word. This word can only be used during training. In everyday life, this word is prohibited. If you do not adhere to this rule, the cat will get confused and will not understand why to execute the command, if they praise it even so.
- Training should be carried out constantly, but they should not be long. The animal will get tired and lose interest in the classes.
- The best time for training is morning. At this time, the cat was rested, hungry, and had not yet managed to get her cat's head clogged with important animal affairs. Believe me, for a cat, her business is much more important than master training.
- Another principle of training is to teach teams gradually. Learning a new trick is only started when the previous team is clearly learned. Do not try to teach a cat everything at once - she will get confused and resentful of you.
The sooner you start training, the higher your results will be. Kittens are easy to learn during the game. An adult cat is harder to train. She has already formed character, habits and her own preferences. At any age, so that the cat understands better, all commands are pronounced with the addition of the name of the animal.
Let's consider in more detail how to train a cat, using the example of the main commands.
The most common and simple command is “To me!” If the kitten responds to its name, it is already ready to execute this command. Each time you call him, add the command “to me” after the name of the animal.
After successfully completing this command, reward your pet with a slice of your favorite treat. Cats quickly remember that a treat is followed by a treat. After a while, the kitten will joyfully run to your feet, hearing the words "to me."
The “Bring!” Command is more complicated than the “Come to me!” Command. For its successful completion, you need to know which toy the kitten has most loved. Having found such a thing, throw it during the game. When the cat drags it loudly and clearly pronounce the command “Bring it!”. And here you can’t do without goodies.
If the cat brought the toy to you, be sure to encourage it with a treat. The cat will remember this and will each time bring a ball or other toy to get a reward.
Dogs quickly learn this trick. Cats are getting harder. Some cats show remarkable obstinacy in the development of this team. To teach the cat to sit, you must pronounce the command, gently pressing on the back of the animal.
When the cat sits down, it needs to be praised, once again pronounce the words "sit", give a treat. Repeatedly repeating this sequence of actions will surely give a result.
The “Lie!” Command is not just an amazing trick. This is a very useful skill that will come in handy at a vet appointment. To teach this team a cat, hold the sitting animal in the croup and lower the treat from the cat’s nose to the floor. Maintain a tangible distance from the muzzle to the treats and tease the cat with delicious food. Try to make the cat have to lie down.
As soon as the animal takes a lying position, clearly pronounce the command “Lie!” And give it a well-deserved treat.
The cat executing this command should freeze in place as soon as it hears the words “Stand!” This skill can save the animal’s life if it is in a dangerous situation. Or help prevent property damage.
You need to start training when the cat, on his own initiative, comes to you. At this moment, you must block his path with your arm bent at the elbow and say the command “Stand!”, Adding the name of the animal after the words of the command. If the cat stopped right away, praise him and give him a treat. If he jumped over his hand and went on, start all over again.
Cats are quite difficult to learn this trick. Be patient and persistent. When a cat learns to stop in front of an obstacle from his hands, try stopping it without using a barrier, only in words. When this stage of training is completed, try to stop it at a command at a great distance. Make sure your voice is loud, but even and calm.
Many pets love to sniff the owner’s face. This feature is a great opportunity to teach them the “Kiss” trick. Before training, you need to smear your cheek with something tasty. Then let the cat smell this cheek. It is necessary to ensure that the animal could not lick the plastered place. After this, you need to move away from the cat a certain distance. When the cat comes running and licks the treat, the command "Kiss" is clearly pronounced.
A team of dog handlers can be used on cats. We will tell you how to train a cat so that she learns to give a paw no worse than a dog. This team is only transferred to training when the cat is confidently performing the "Sit" trick.
As soon as the cat has sat down on command, the command “Give a paw!” Is pronounced and one front paw rises with the help of a human hand. After that, the animal gets its treat. This sequence of actions should be repeated several times until the cat realizes what is being sought from her. For patient owners, cats can “give 5” on demand.
Jumping through the hoop is a spectacular trick from the repertoire of cats of the Kuklachev Theater, which you can train a cat at home. The easiest way to teach this trick is cats who like to jump.
To teach the animal to fulfill this command, you need to put a hoop between him and the owner and call a pet. When the cat goes through the hoop, they say the command "Up!". This word will be a signal to action. Of course, the cat can cheat and go around the hoop. In this case, it is necessary to move the hoop so that the animal has no choice. A little patience and affection, and soon your ward will be able to jump over the hoop, like a real circus cat.
The content of the article
You can teach your pet how to complete certain tasks at home. It is important to understand that for a cat, training should not be a burden. If he does not like to do certain things, it will be practically impossible to force him. Neither persuasion nor bribery in the form of your favorite food will help here.
In addition, if the cat will not trust you, then the possibility of training should also be forgotten.
The optimal age for starting training is considered to be 7-8 months. At this stage of development, cats are considered old enough to understand the requirements and desires of their owners.
Stand on hind legs
All circus cats are able to perform this trick. Why not play it at home? Cats are taught to stand on their hind legs with pieces of meat or other food that the pet loves.
The cat must be hungry at the time of training. The owner reaches out and shows the cat a treat. The hand should be at such a height that the cat could reach food only while standing on its hind legs. When the cat stands in such a position, the hand with the treat is taken aside, prompting the animal to take several steps. As soon as the cat has this action, they praise it and give it a treat.
This is important: never scold a cat if she refuses to perform learned tricks.
Cats, like humans, may not be in the mood to execute your commands. In this case, you should leave the pet alone, and return to continued training when the cat has a desire.
How to train a cat
Training is a set of measures for developing conditioned reflexes in an animal, which can be considered as teaching primitive teams so that the pet is more obedient and manageable. Often it is necessary, otherwise the cat becomes malicious, exhibits inappropriate behavior, spoils the interior.
There are two important concepts in training:
- Control signals. These include commands or conditions under which the animal must perform an action. The control signal is always a complex of sounds, images and sensations. That is, not only the word is important, but also the intonation, location, time.
- Reinforcement. They are negative and positive. The first are punishments, pain, angry shouts. The second includes giving goodies, praise, ear scratching, or stroking. Positive reinforcement is always more effective than negative.
For training a person, 2 to 20 reinforcements are needed, and for animals, from 20 to 200. At the same time, dogs learn much faster than cats. The former require from 20 to 50 trainings, while the latter require from 50 to 100. Of course, these are approximate numbers, since everything is very individual and depends on the nature of the pet.
Training is based on conditioned reflexes, which were discovered and described by the Russian scientist I.P. Pavlov.
All reflexes are divided into 2 groups:
- Unconditional. Their animal receives from birth. For example, when food enters the mouth and stomach, saliva and gastric juice, respectively, begin to stand out in them.
- Conditional. They are created at the pet during training. For example, if the owner begins to cook, then the animal immediately runs to the bowl, as it knows that they will give him food now.
It is important to know that conditioned reflexes can cause unconditioned reflexes. That is, with regular feeding, the gastric juice in the animal begins to be produced not at the time of eating, but at the time of its preparation or when the owner makes a noise with a package of dry food.
There are several methods for creating a conditioned reflex:
- Negative reinforcement. These include pain, punishment (in the corner, leave without food), angry intonation. It is not necessary to scold the animal with obscene words; it still does not parse reinforcement words. Quite a cruel and inhumane method, which also has an extremely low efficiency, so it is better to refuse this method. However, you cannot do without it if you need to teach the animal not so that it does something, but that it does not do something. For example, ceased to sharpen claws on a carpet.
- Positive reinforcement. The cat can be caressed, stroked, scratched behind the ear, give her a treat. This method is highly dependent on the sociality of the animal and the development of its higher nervous activity. Therefore, in cats, the speed of development of the skill is on average lower than in dogs, although sometimes there are striking exceptions.
- Adult animal example. Cats teach kittens hunting, communicating with other animals, and many other useful skills. It is known that if a female does not catch mice, then her offspring will not do this. That is why it is useful to leave kittens next to their mother for 4-5 months, so that they adopt useful skills from her. For example, learned to walk in a pot.
- Complex method. Usually includes positive and negative reinforcement, sometimes an example of a mom cat is added to it. Often, such training is the fastest and least costly labor.
Where to start
The optimal age is 3-4 months. At this point, the animal is already smart enough to realize what is required of it. But at the same time, there are still no personal habits that often slow down the learning process.
First you need to pay attention to what a treat for a pet is the most delicious. Usually it becomes some kind of meat or dry food. In addition, you should decide on the time of training. It is necessary to focus on when the animal is most active (morning, afternoon, evening) and how much time it is able to play (hour, two).
You also need to find those actions that the animal performs independently and without training. For example, if a pet likes to drag objects in his teeth, then he can develop a reflex to “aport”. It’s better to start with these simple and natural commands and actions, then the pet will begin to relate to training better.
What is required
For a quality workout, you need some aspects:
- Patience and time. First, remember that the reflex appears when you remember, and not at the time of memorization. This is the same as cramming in a person; reading a text 10 times is not as effective as reading 3 times and then trying to repeat. Secondly, it is better to spend 5 minutes daily than to torment an animal for 2 hours once a week.
- The trust. Due to a lack of trust, trainers refuse negative reinforcements. With a bad relationship between man and animal, there can be no talk of productive training, and the pet will behave aggressively and often inappropriately. Therefore, be sure to caress the cat and punish as little as possible.
- Delicacy. To him put forward a lot of requirements. To begin with, it should always be available and always tasty what the pet likes (meat, cheese). For the performance of a specific exercise, you must always give the same type of goodies. But be sure to feed a little so that the pet does not eat.
The delicacy must be soft so that the cat can immediately eat it, and that positive reinforcement goes immediately after the execution of the command. He must be fed by hand, so that the pet understands that he was awarded, and not the owner accidentally dropped the dessert.
What teams to learn
Jump - “Up”
We teach in 3 steps:
- First, on a chair (bedside table, table ...) put a treat, but so that the animal must see it. The cat jumps to the surface, at this moment we say "up". When she eats a treat, praise her.
- We pretend that we put a treat on the chair, and immediately say “up”. The cat is jumping, but we already give the dessert from the hand. Do not forget to praise.
- We say “up” and point to a chair (at the same time). The cat jumps, we give a treat and praise.
It is carried out in 2 receptions:
- We take the cat by the paw, slightly shake it and say "give a paw." After that we give a treat.
- First we say the command, wait a second, if the pet does not give a paw, then we take it ourselves and shake it. After that we give a treat.
Repeat until the animal begins to give a paw.
Training goes in 2 stages:
1. We call the animal. If it is, then we press it on the pelvis (from bottom to top) and at the same time we say the command. When the cat sits down, we praise it and give a treat. Repeat the exercise, each time easing the pressure.
2. We say the command, if the animal does not respond, then lightly press it on the pelvis. After the cat has sat down, we give it a treat and praise. Repeat until the pet starts to sit on its own.
First you need to train the animal team "Sit". Training for the “Lie” team goes in 2 stages:
1. First you need to plant a cat. We push her at the withers so that she lies down, while at the same time we say the command. Then we give the pet a treat and praise. Repeat the exercise, each time easing the pressure.
2. We say the command, if the animal does not respond, then slightly press on the withers. After the cat lies down, give her a treat and praise. Repeat until the pet starts to go to bed on its own.
At the training stage, it is better to deal with the animal daily, if it does not work out, then you need to train at least every other day or every 2-3 days. If the trick has already been learned, then it is enough to repeat it once a week.
For efficiency, follow some guidelines:
1. Do not cheat the animal. After each execution, a treat is always given. This rule must be observed even after mastering the team.
2. Praise the pet with the same words. Moreover, phrases should not be repeated in everyday life so that the cat does not get confused.
3. You cannot force training through force. If the pet is naughty, then it is better to cancel the exercises. If the cat does not want to master a specific command, then think about whether to teach this trick at all.
4. You need to train on an empty stomach, so the animal will better respond to a treat. It is advisable to do this in the morning.
5. We start with simple commands, and only then we learn more complex tricks.
How are the workouts
In order for the cat to learn the necessary command, for example, "sit", you need to take a treat and show it to the pet. When he is interested, calmly, but persistently pronounce the command. Repeat again and lightly press on the hind legs of the cat, so that the animal better understands what they want from it. The main thing you need to have in class is patience. Over time, the cat will remember and sit down. When this happens, command a few more times and only then reward the pet.
After resting for a few minutes, secure the team. Continue training until the cat begins to squat without treats or your help.
Teaching the “Give a Paw” command should be done after learning the previous action. When the cat is sitting, take one of its legs, say a command and give a treat. As in the past case, it should be followed until the pet begins to give you a paw.
The Lying command is executed on the same principle. It is only necessary to put pressure on the front of the seated cat so that it lies down, after which reward it with a treat.
However, do not overdo it. Cats differ from other animals in that they will not do what they do not want. Each training should be a kind of game for them.
It is important for the pet to understand that if the owner fulfills the conditions, he will receive a reward. And if not, then there will be nothing for him. This method of training is called "positive reinforcement."
Such training will once again show who is in charge of the house, as well as increase the cat’s quick wits.