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Imagine that you are scolding your cat for scratching at your new furniture, and Kitty is sitting staring at you. Suddenly you realize how silly you look and how futile your scolding is. So how do you train your cat to respect your home?
All cats can be trained and should have some training from their owners. You will need to train your cat to use her litter box, sharpen her claws on the scratching post instead of your couch, and to stop negative behavior when you say "no." Cats can also learn to do "tricks," and the mental stimulation of learning is good for them.
Cats learn the same way dogs and people learn; they repeat behaviors that have a pleasurable result. The best way to train your cat is to reward her when she does something right. The reward might be a small piece of a special food, or lots of praise from you in a happy, high-pitched voice.
Training to change negative behaviors requires you to catch your cat "in the act." For example, if your cat uses your stereo speakers as a scratching post, wait until she is about to put claw to fabric, then firmly say "NO." The moment she freezes and turns towards you, switch to the happy voice and praise her. Move towards her to distract her away from the inappropriate object. If she makes any movement towards you praise her even more. Timing and repetition are the keys to success here. You must catch her as she moves to act inappropriately, and praise her the exact moment she stops.
Things to remember if your cat scratches your furniture
* Understand your cat's need to scratch.
* Forget punishment - it doesn't work.
* Provide a suitable place for your cat to scratch such as a scratching post
* Make the scratching post attractive to Kitty
* Make the place she's been scratching unattractive - physical or scent related deterrents will work
* Whenever possible, start cats young.
* You may want to trim your cat's claws.
Training simple tricks can be incorporated into daily playtime. Always keep some cat treats in a pocket during training time. To teach your cat to "shake hands," begin by saying "shake," then touching your hand to the underside of one of her front paws. Praise her for letting you touch there, and give her a treat. Repeat this over and over again. Eventually, you can lay your hand flat on the floor just in front of her paw. Say "shake" and wait. If she even moves her paw towards you praise her and give her a treat. Little by little, she'll catch on that every time she touches your hand with her paw she can get you to give her a treat. Once she willingly touches your hand, you can start to raise your hand off of the floor a little bit at a time. Keep training fun. Stop the session before she loses interest, and always end on a positive note with a reward.
You can use the same one-small-step-at-a-time technique to teach your cat to walk on a leash. This allows you to take your cat outside for fresh air and sensory stimulation without having to worry about her running off. Purchase a cat harness from a pet supply store. Before you even try putting it on your cat, simply leave it lying by her bed for a day or two. When she is used to seeing and smelling it, loosely put it on her just before her normal mealtime. Hand-feed her food to distract her from the harness and to make wearing it a pleasurable experience. Remove it when the food is gone. After a few days, you can let her wear the harness around the house. Let the leash drag behind, but watch to make sure it doesn't become tangled around furniture. When she seems comfortable with the harness and leash, pick up your end and walk with her, letting her lead the way. Eventually she will walk willingly beside you, and you can both venture outdoors.
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Animals rescued from Florence floodwaters, after pets left behind or forgotten
The Coast Guard said, as of Sunday, crews have rescued at least 91 pets in North Carolina since Florence -- then a hurricane and now a tropical depression -- began lashing the state with torrential rains. Helicopter crews alone are responsible for ...
The animal rescuers of Florence: Dogs saved from submerged crate, pets shuttled away in a bus
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Pets at risk for poisoning after increase in wild mushrooms
After two weeks of wet weather, mushrooms are popping up in yards across Central Texas and they can pose poisoning problems for pets. In most cases you might not even notice the new mushrooms in your yard unless your dog mistakes one for a snack.
Foundation's mission to save homeless pets continues
Midland Daily News
In efforts to reduce the number of homeless pets in America, Bissell Pet Foundation is hosting a national Empty the Shelters event Oct. 6. The Grand Rapids-based nonprofit will pay all pet adoption fees at 90-plus shelters and rescue organizations in ...
Cute pics of UP students and their pets
Studies show that owning a pet can be good for you, and help reduce anxiety and loneliness. Some UP students don't wait to graduate, buy a house and get a job before they have their dream pet. Some bring their furry best friend to college with them or ...
As Florence loomed, a pet lover escaped South Carolina with 64 dogs and cats on a school bus
Tony Alsup closed the door of his old yellow school bus then hit the gas, fleeing from the dark skies and strong winds that loomed offshore. In the bus seats behind him, confused passengers barked and meowed as they were driven to safety. To Alsup ...
When the humans leave, the pets pout
The Boston Globe
Re “The dog days of fall: With the kids off to college, pets often pout” (Page A1, Sept. 11): Reading Beth Teitell's article brought tears to my eyes. More than four decades ago, I moved from Colorado to Hawaii to be with my boyfriend, who was in the Navy.
East Bay Times
East Bay pets of the week for Sept. 21
East Bay Times
Annie has had a hard-knock life, initially coming into our care with a litter of orphan kittens, which she lovingly nursed and raised. All she wants now is a forever home of her own. She may be a little shy at first, but once she gets to know you, she ...
The Mercury News
Hurricane rescuer takes bus full of pets nobody else wants
The Mercury News
Alsup, who wants to open his own animal shelter one day, has been rescuing shelter pets from floodwaters with his school bus since Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast last year. When Alsup saw on the news how numerous animal shelters became ...
Charleston-area, national animal advocates ready to rescue pets from Florence flooding
Volunteers needed: Bricko Farms to shelter more than 250 pets affected by Hurricane Florence
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - Pets will be flown in or driven to Augusta Tuesday morning for the rest of the week. The only problem is Bricko Farms, and other volunteers, need your help. "It was getting worse, worse and worse," explained Wendy Weishaupt.
My Modern Met
Animal Lovers Are Lining Up to Foster Homeless Pets During Hurricane Florence
My Modern Met
Before the storm hit, local animal rescue shelters began asking residents for assistance in providing shelter for the pets in their care. Animal lovers soon began lining up to adopt the pets in need, demonstrating their heartwarming compassion for our ...
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