Mastering “cat coming when called” is a crucial skill for any feline looking to explore the world. In certain situations, knowing how to train a cat to come might save a cat’s life.
It’s not always easy to call a cat to come when you need it to, such as when you’re trying to get it into its carrier for a visit to the vet. Or, if your cat slips out of a harness or pulls the leash right out of your hand while darting after an insect, you’ll be thankful you’ve handled this practical command.
However, cats are known for being stubborn and independent, so training them with patience and a positive approach is essential. Canvas Personalized has outlined the best cat training method below to simplify things for you and your cat.
What You’ll Need Before Teaching a Cat to Come?
Find an appropriate reward
Cats, unlike dogs, do not always do what their owners want them to do. Your cat will only respond to your call if you lure it with a treat. Your cat might not actively engage in an activity if she isn’t assured she will be praised for good behavior.
Most cats would do everything for their favorite treat or meal, even when learning “how to train a cat to come.” What your kitty loves to eat is highly recommended as a reward. It may require a bit of experimentation to identify a food kind that your cat enjoys. Do not hesitate to do something kind for them, like picking up a particular delicacy from the grocery or offering deli meat or tuna. This time, go with a snack different from what they usually eat.
If your cat isn’t interested in eating, try rewarding him with his favorite toy, brush, or even a specific kind of stroking instead.
Decide on a call
Make your own custom call to attract your feline friend. It’s best to use a word not often used to train cats to come when called. The worst possible choice for a call would be your kitten’s name, as you use it even when you don’t want it to respond. This can make things more complicated.
Noise can sometimes be effective. In this situation, you may use a high-pitched voice and exclaim something like “Ki-ki-ki!”. In addition, the noises you create might be either clicking or squeaking. Or, a whistle might also do the trick when you train cats to come when called.
When learning “how to train a cat to come,” make your own custom call to attract your feline friend. It’s best to go with a word that isn’t often used. The worst possible choice for a call would be your kitten’s name, as you use it even when you don’t want it to respond. This can make things more complicated than they need to be. Choose a distinctive phrase or sound you may use to entice your cat to come to you.
Noise can sometimes be effective. In this situation, you may use a high-pitched voice and exclaim something like “Ki-ki-ki!”. The noises you create might be either clicking or squeaking. Maybe a whistle might do the trick as well.
Choose a word you use seldom but feel good using it. You may use phrases like “Come here!” “Treats!” or “Tuna!”
Establish a positive connection between the sound and the reward
After you’ve decided on a sound and a reward, you may begin creating an effective connection between them. Teaching her that sound means good things is the key to getting your cat to come when you call.
You may reward your cat for responding to your call by giving it food, treats, toys, or petting it. It’s probably best to make the call before dinnertime if you reward them with food. And do not forget to use only positive reinforcement to teach your cat to come.
How to Train a Cat to Come: Step-by-step guide for Pet Parents
Step 1: Call her with your chosen word
Hold a yummy treat and call your cat over by saying “come here” or using your preferred signal. Do not force her to consume the treat; instead, place it on the ground and let her pick it up there.
Step 2: Create a distance
Put some distance between you and her, beckoning to her again, and give her another piece. You should repeatedly teach her that responding to your call or signal will earn her a treat.
Step 3: Add some more distance
Go backward two steps, repeat the word or signal you used to call her, and provide her with another little food.
Step 4: Use positive reinforcement
Doing this three or four more times throughout the first training session is recommended. It would be ideal if she rapidly connected the sound of her name being called to the promise of being treated to a tasty treat. Be persistent and call her from a safe distance until the cat reliably comes when called.
Step 5: Give the cat the remaining food
Give her the remaining portion of her food once the workout is completed.
Step 6: Move to another room
Increase the space between you and your cat when it approaches you from close range. You may start by calling her from four steps away and then increase the distance by one step when she successfully comes from that far.
Step 7: Call her wherever in the house
Next, you could try calling her from other rooms in the home and rewarding her when she comes to you. Reward your cat whenever she responds to your call, even from across the room, and keep practicing until you can call her anywhere in the house.
Tips when training a cat to come when called
- Minimize the length of training sessions to no more than five minutes.
- Consistent practice is essential for your cat to keep this new skill.
- If your cat ignores your calls, don’t punish it. Cats are not trainable via punishment but rather through positive reinforcement. When you punish a cat, it may feel anxious or afraid, leading to other behavior problems.
- Don’t forget to provide treats to your cat. After she comes down from the bookcase, reward her with a snack, even if you’ve been calling for a long time.
- Don’t call your cat when you need her to come so you can prescribe drugs or quickly take her to the vet. She could avoid situations when her presence is absolutely necessary if she begins to link hearing her name with anything unfavorable.
You and your feline companion may find that training your cat to come when called is a pleasant and fun experience for both of you. If you’re consistent with your cat and use positive reinforcement, you may strengthen your relationship with it and make it less likely that it will get into trouble.
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Remember to be patient and persistent; eventually, you’ll have a cat that comes running anytime you call. Check out Canvas Personalized‘s other articles on “How To Train A Cat To Come” for additional information and techniques on training your cat.