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How to Shape Your Cat’s Behavior

Lori Arnold PictureYour cat is very independent on its own and that means that it is a little more difficult to train a cat than it is to train a dog. Depending on who you ask, they will tell you that this is the best or the worst thing about training a cat. Cats do not require as much attention as dogs, and they do not care for or want your approval. However, they will wait for you to come to them rather than trying to get your attention.

What this means is that a cat is very relaxed and they are also very concerned with their own needs. That makes it a bit more complicated to train a cat, but you will not have an impossible time, it just takes more effort than with a dog.

How to Get a Cat to Change

A cat can be trained and that means that you have to do it on cat terms. All you need to do is to understand that anything can be accomplished but it will have to be from your cat’s acceptance level and that is also the most important thing for you to understand. You can get your cat to do almost anything that you want with a command. However you want to teach the cat most of all to stay within the boundaries that you set for him of acceptable behavior.

What is Your Goal?

Your goal is relatively simple. You want to help your cat be able to have great manners as a cat that means that he needs to do the right behaviors in the right place. You want to make sure that you are able to get him to do what he is supposed to do in the place he is supposed to do it.

How to Avoid Bad Habits

When it comes to having a cat, you first need to realize that you have to think in terms of prevention and that means that you need to teach your kitten what to do so that he or she does not become a bad cat. The best thing to remember is that you do not want to teach your cat to do anything that you would not want to encourage as it grows up.

How to Shape Your Cat’s Behavior

Keep in mind that you need to make sure that you are able to shape the behaviors that are OK in your household. That means that you want to make sure that if there is something that is not OK that you put a stop to it as quickly as possible because otherwise it becomes a behavior modification.

A perfect example of this kind of behavior is scratching, there are many cats that are declawed but, you can also instead teach your cat to scratch only on an acceptable object. This may mean that your cat is taught that it is OK to use a scratching post and that there is nothing wrong with this behavior. When you are able to do this you will be able to work with your cat to make sure that he or she is showing all of the behaviors that are best for him or her. In addition to this you also want to make sure that you are able to discipline your cat in the most human way possible which is with positive reinforcement. What that means is that you want to reward your cat for when he or she does what you want them to do. So for example, returning to scratching furniture. When you are watching the cat around the cat, you would correct him when he claws the upholstery. That means that the cat would listen to you when you praise and you pet it and do not punish it. You will be able to teach the cat to use the scratching post and to follow other instinctive behaviors without causing a problem. That means that you are going to continue to ensure that you are always giving the cat positive reinforcement and that you are working with him or her to have the best possible solutions.

Remember that every cat is unique and that you as a parent need to be patient with him or her because otherwise your efforts are doomed to fail. Spend the time that is necessary to know your cat and to know his or her habits so that you are able to have a peaceful home.

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