A Step-by-Step Guide to Train Your Cat

A Step-by-Step Guide to Train Your Cat

Cat training may not be as common as training dogs, but it's equally important for maintaining a harmonious home environment with your feline companion. Whether you're a new cat owner or looking to improve your existing cat's behaviour, this step-by-step guide will help you understand and apply effective cat training techniques. We'll cover essential topics like litter box training, behaviour correction, and even some fun tricks to keep your cat engaged and well-behaved.  

Litter Box Training 

Litter box training is often the first step in cat training, especially for new kitten owners. Here's how to get started: 

  • Choose the Right Litter Box: Select a box that suits your cat's size and provides easy access. Some cats prefer covered boxes for privacy, while others prefer open ones. Experiment to see what your cat prefers. 
  • Select the Right Litter: Cats can be picky about their litter. Choose a litter that is unscented and feels comfortable on their paws. Some cats prefer clumping litter, while others prefer non-clumping. 
  • Location Matters: Place the litter box in a quiet, easily accessible spot. Avoid placing it near their food and water bowls. 
  • Regular Cleaning: Cats are more likely to use a clean litter box. Scoop waste daily and change the litter regularly. 
  • Positive Reinforcement: When your cat uses the litter box, offer praise and perhaps a treat. Positive reinforcement helps them associate the box with a positive experience. 

Behaviour Correction 

Cats may exhibit undesirable behaviours such as scratching furniture, jumping on counters, or excessive meowing. Here's how to address these issues: 

  • Scratching Furniture: Provide scratching posts or pads as an alternative to your furniture. Use positive reinforcement when your cat uses them and consider using double-sided tape or cat-safe deterrents on furniture. 
  • Countertop Habits: To discourage countertop exploration, use a cat deterrent spray on surfaces, or invest in a motion-activated device that emits a harmless spray when your cat jumps up. 
  • Biting and Hissing: If your cat displays aggressive behaviours like biting and hissing, identify the triggers. It could be fear, territoriality, or stress. Work with a professional cat behaviourist to understand and address these issues through desensitization and positive reinforcement techniques. 

Tricks and Commands 

Training your cat to perform tricks and follow basic commands not only provides mental stimulation but also strengthens your bond.  

Here are some tricks you can teach your cat: 

  • Sit: Hold a treat above your cat's head and slowly move it back over their head. As they follow the treat, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position. Reward and praise them when they sit. 
  • Paw Shake: Offer your hand with your palm facing up. Gently tap your cat's paw, and when they raise it, reward them with a treat and praise. 
  • Stay Off Countertops: When you catch your cat on the countertop, use a firm but gentle "no" command. Redirect them to an acceptable area like their scratching post and reward them when they stay off the countertop. 
  • Using The Cat Flap: If you have a cat flap or door, teach your cat to use it. Encourage them to approach the flap, push it open, and go in and out. Reward them for using it correctly. 
  • Walk on a Leash: Some cats can be trained to walk on a leash. Start with a comfortable harness and a short leash, and gradually introduce outdoor walks. This provides mental and physical stimulation for indoor cats.  

Additional Tips for Cat Owners 

  • Clicker training: Consider using a clicker to mark desired behaviours, followed by a treat as a reward. This method can be highly effective for teaching various tricks and commands. 
  • Be Patient: Cats have their own pace when it comes to learning. Be patient and consistent with your training efforts. 
  • Consistency is Key: Use the same commands and rewards consistently to avoid confusing your cat. 
  • Safety First: Ensure your home is safe for your cat. Remove hazardous items and provide cat-friendly spaces. 


Training your cat can be a rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between you and your feline friend. Whether you're tackling litter box training, behavior correction, or teaching fun tricks, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are your allies. Remember that every cat is unique, and it's essential to tailor your training approach to your cat's individual needs and preferences. With dedication and love, you can transform your mischievous kitten into a well-behaved and happy companion. Happy training!