Bringing a new cat into a home with other cats? Let’s face it: cats are territorial, so you will want to be sure to introduce your cats slowly to minimize fearful or aggressive interactions. In the beginning, you will want to confine the new cat to a separate room to encourage them to get used to one another’s scent. Eventually, you will be able to progress to a controlled face-to-face meeting, allowing visual contact through a barrier, such as a pet gate, baby gate, or screen door. But how do you progress to visual contact while avoiding a stare down or confrontation? Try training!
Cat-Alyze Your Trick Training
Trick training is usually associated with dogs, but that’s no longer the case. Cats are now joining the fun! With positive reinforcement and patience, cats can learn many of the behaviors that dogs learn. Due to their smaller size and fantastic jumping abilities, cats can learn even more! (How many dogs are small and agile enough to jump on your shoulders?)
Station Training with Cats
Does your cat beg or swat at you while you are fixing his/her food? Station training, teaching your cat to relax on a designated spot, keeps your cat (and your appendages!) safely out of the way while you prepare your cat’s meal. Station training is also a wonderful way to engage with your kitty and strengthen your bond.
Reinforcement Delivery for Cats
Despite popular belief, cats can be trained. Training any animal, the key is finding the right reinforcement and reinforcement delivery! Many cats devour small training treats or kibble from a pouch.
Teach Your Cat to Follow a Target
Imagine if you could teach your cat to go into or out of a carrier effortlessly, without physical manipulation. How about getting on or off furniture? What if you could dazzle your friends by teaching your cat to spin, rollover, or jump through a hoop? These behaviors can all be achieved by teaching your cat to follow a target stick—one of the easiest and most useful behaviors to teach!
Yes, You Can Train Kittens!
Kittens are highly intelligent animals that, just like their canine counterparts, are capable of learning a variety of behaviors. Beginning your training as soon as you bring your kitten home will help prevent unwanted behaviors and ensure that your kitten will grow up to be a well-adjusted member of your family.
Cooperative Care for Cats
Do you struggle with giving your cat medication? You aren’t alone. Getting cats to take medication can be a challenge, even for veterinarians! Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. In this video, Tabitha Kucera, KPA CTP, RVT, and her cat Jellybean (aka Bean) demonstrate how to get a cat to take medication willingly!
Happy Cat Day: Fun with Shaping
How do you celebrate National Cat Day? At Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), we celebrate by teaching our cats new behaviors, of course! Cats can be trained easily with shaping, the process of using a series of gradual steps to build toward a final behavior. With shaping, you can teach a cat any behavior that the cat is physically capable of doing, from sitting, spinning, and stationing on a mat to riding on a skateboard!
Preparing for Your Kitten’s First Vet Visit
Anyone who has ever taken a cat to the vet knows that it can be a stressful experience for both feline and human. Just the sight of a cat carrier can send your cat into hiding! This stress and anxiety is one of the reasons that, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cats are far less likely to go to the vet than dogs. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way!
Teach Your Cat to Sit
One of the most useful (and easy) behaviors that you can teach your cat is to sit on cue. Not only will the sit behavior impress your friends, but teaching a sit helps manage unwanted behaviors, like being underfoot when you are preparing dinner (his or yours!) or begging at the dinner table.
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