Cat Alarms and Other Tools for Cat Training
The cat’s independent and sly nature makes cat training difficult, and unlike dog owners, many cat owners are not familiar with effective pet training methods. Cat training alarms, spray bottles and homemade noisemakers make it fairly easy to train a cat to stay off the kitchen counter, dining room table or couch.
Psychology and Methods for Cat Training
The key to cat training (or dog training, for that matter) is to provide positive feedback in the case of desirable actions while providing negative feedback for undesirable actions. So when training cats, it is essential to praise “good” behaviors, while offering an unpleasant consequence for “bad” behaviors. In cat training, examples of a humane but unpleasant consequence include a spritz from a water bottle or a loud, sudden sound created by a cat alarm or noisemaker.
When a pet owner starts a cat training effort, it is important to be consistent. Every time the animal performs a negative action, the owner must offer up negative stimuli; every time the cat exhibits a positive behavior, the pet owner should offer up a reward and praise. The more consistent the owner is with the cat training effort, the faster the cat will learn a new behavior or break a bad habit.
Cat Training Using a Cat Alarm
A cat alarm is an effective pet training aid. A cat alarm is a small battery-powered device that can be placed on a kitchen counter, dining room table or another surface where the cat is not permitted. The cat training alarm is activated by motion and by vibrations. Once activated, the cat alarm emits a shrill tone; the cat finds this tone unpleasant and jumps off the counter or table.
Cat training alarms are particularly effective since they provide consistent negative stimuli when the cat exhibits an undesirable behavior (like walking on the kitchen counter.) The cat training alarm is usually more effective than other training aids since it can offer up a negative stimulus every time the cat walks on the counter, even when the owner is not present. Other cat training tools like a spray bottle are less useful since they are only helpful when the owner is present.
Cat training alarms can be purchased at most pet supply stores and from online pet supply retailers.
Noisemakers and Spray Bottles for Cat Training
A water-filled spray bottle can serve as a useful cat training tool.
Whenever the cat exhibits the undesirable behavior, the cat receives a squirt.
A simple homemade noisemaker can also be effective, mainly when training a cat who enjoys the water. Fill a soda can with coins, and you shake the can when the cat walks on the counters or table.
Notably, it is vital to work on one training effort at a time. If the cat is getting spritzed with a water bottle for several different behaviors, this can be confusing for the animal. Instead, focus on training the cat to stay off the kitchen counter; once the cat has been trained to stay off the kitchen counter, pet owners can begin a new training effort for the dining room table. Solve one behavior at a time to avoid confusion and frustration for both cat and owner.
It is necessary to remember that the negative stimuli should be unpleasant, but it should never be frightening, painful or extremely distressing. A cat with a history of abuse may experience severe distress in reaction to a noisemaker, thereby making it an inappropriate training tool for that particular cat. Frightening the cat is counter-productive regarding cat training, and it can seriously damage the cat’s sense of trust and security.
Offering Positive Stimuli in Cat Training
In addition to discouraging negative behaviors, pet owners must reward and encourage good cat behavior. For instance, if the cat normally enjoys sitting on the kitchen counter, the owner can instead offer a new cozy cat bed. Then, the cat should be rewarded by offering cat treats, praise and attention while he is sitting in the new bed.
Pet owners should also pay attention to the location of the object that’s the center of the training effort. Perhaps the cat is sitting on the dining room table because he has afforded a good view of the yard. In this case, installing a window-mounted cat seat provides the cat with a comfortable and more appropriate perch.
Related Articles on Pet Training and Cat Ownership
Cat owners who are new to pet training may enjoy learning about basic dog training methods, which are essentially the same methods that are used for cat training.
Read: Kitten Facts