Helpful Cat Training Tips for Beginners

Helpful Cat Training Tips for Beginners

 

Podcast | Kiara – Helpful Cat Training Tips for Beginners

 

So, you have a new little member of the family, and likely a very active playful one! Are they knocking stuff off of your counters and tearing holes in the furniture? It might be time to start cat training, whether they are kittens or grown adults. Training cats can be a little bit trickier than training a dog as cats are very independent creatures and prefer to do things their own way. However, there are some training tips that beginners can take advantage of to keep your cat on your good side and off your countertops!

Table of Contents

  1. Teaching your kitten to sit on command
  2. Teaching your kitten to use the bed/crate
  3. Developing socialization skills
  4. Teaching safe playing techniques
  5. Proper feeding etiquette
  6. Training a kitten to recognize their name
  7. Training a cat to use the toilet
  8. Get your cat some fun toys

1. Teaching your kitten to sit on command

Teaching your cat to sit is very similar to teaching a dog. You have to find your cat’s highest motivator (usually a treat of some kind) and physically push their backside down onto the floor. Immediately upon doing so, give them the cat treat! You’ll then fade that to independence.

2. Teaching your kitten to use the bed/crate

Kittens like to sleep wherever they feel safest, so teaching them that the bed/crate is where they belong can take some work. Some helpful tips for this process include:

  • Easing them into it by requiring them to stay in the crate or on the bed for a period of time (30 seconds to start and then increase)
  • Reinforcing that the bed/crate is a good thing by having a treat waiting in it for them
  • Giving them praise and pets anytime you see them in the bed/crate even if it’s not during a training session
  • Having their favourite toys in the bed/crate
  • Keeping the crate covered with a blanket and making it cozy (cats like to be surrounded and comfy).

3. Developing socialization skills

If you have anti-social cats, your best bet is to ease them into socialization. You can do this by only having them be held for short periods of time, so they get used to it. You can also just be around your cat even if you aren’t interacting with them. This gets them used to people being there and having to be okay with that. 

 

4. Teaching safe playing techniques

This comes down to simply rewarding the good behavior when they play in a safe manner is discouraging the behavior that comes with unsafe playing. For cats, the most effective form of punishment for unsafe behavior is spraying them with a squirt bottle or removing the toy altogether.

5. Proper feeding etiquette

Using cat bowls designed for proper eating can help reinforce proper behavior. If that’s not an option, make sure you have a designated eating spot and reinforce how you want your cat to eat by observing and giving them pets and a treat when they eat correctly.

6. Training a kitten to recognize their name

The easiest way is to overuse their name. Always say it to them and teach them to respond to it by standing/sitting 6 inches in front of them and say their name. When they respond, they get a treat or a toy or pet. Move your distance over time.

7. Training a cat to use the toilet

You’ll need to get crafty here and set up a “litter box” on top of your toilet to start that your cat will use. From there, you’ll remove the litter, and then slowly cut holes so that your cat voids into the toilet. You’ll then remove the litter box entirely and reward your cat with treats or pets each time they go in the toilet!

8. Get your cat some fun toys

A bonus tip for your cat-lovers is to purchase fun, unique toys that your cat will enjoy, and you can use as a reinforcer for training! Consider cat toys that they can chase or pounce on!


Training your cat is no easy feat, but it is absolutely attainable if you are patient, use lots of reinforcement, and remind yourself that cats are stubborn creatures and need you to be consistent! With these tips, you’re sure to have a happy trained kitty in no time!

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