Contrary to popular belief, behavior training is not just for dogs! Cat behavior, more importantly positive cat behavior, can be easily achieved through training.
Before implementing a cat behavior training program, have your cat examined by your family veterinarian and ensure any behaviors you are trying to modify are not medical problems or normal catg behaviors. Once you have confirmed your problem is something that can be corrected through training, begin your cat training program. If you are training to correct a a behavior problem you can use two methods’ rewarding positive behavior and discouraging negative behavior.
Some deterrents that can be used to discourage negative behavior are a can with coins or other small items that you can shake when you see the cat engaging in negative behavior that you are trying to correct. You can also clap your hands loudly or stomp your feet. Cats do not like loud noises nor do they like to be surprised. Surprising them with a loud noise each time they partake in a particular activity will discourage them from that behavior in the future.
Reward good behavior, such as scratching on a designated post and not your leather couch, by creating a happy experience. When you notice your cat using the post be sure to praise him or her. You can also add catnip to the post to make scratching a post a behavior the cat will be encouraged to repeat!
You can also try to train your cat by using substitution. If your cat is chewing cords or shoes or another undesired item, you can remove the item in question and replace it with an item safe for chewing such as a toy, a straw, or some do it yourself toys. As tempting as it may be, do not replace the item with a treat as kitty may interpret this as a reward for the behavior.
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