Sorry. I lied. There is no easy trick to training your cat. On the contrary, your cat needs to train you. Here are some suggestions to ensure that you and your cat are living “on the same page,” written by Fluffy the Cat.
Dear Prime Women readers,
Here are a few tips for understanding my wonderful feline personality.
I like to scratch. It keeps my claws sharp. I use my claws for pulling things toward me, for batting things away. I use them for climbing. Along with my voice, I use them for defense. I find claw enhancers all over the house. Couches and chairs. Spare boxes. Sometimes I even use scratching posts that my owners buy at the pet store. The ones that work best are the tall ones because I like to stretch out my whole body – it feels so good!
What discourages me for a while are the sprays that my owners sometimes use on the couches and chairs, but that wears off after a while. If you want me to scratch in a certain place, you must make this very appealing to me. Catnip helps. My owner has a tall scratching post and a flat scratching cardboard, which I also like to lie on. I still try to get away with whatever I can, though, like scratching on people’s jeans. So you shouldn’t totally trust me.
What also helps is keeping my claws short. I like to play with people’s hands. Hands are so much fun. Often hands have treats. If you don’t want scars all over your hands, keep my claws trimmed fairly short. Or wear gloves all the time. Whatever.
I love to climb on things. I like to see how high I can get. If you have tall shelves or furniture, make sure there is nothing breakable on the top. I do consider myself fairly flexible and balanced, but there is always the occasional knick-knack that is too near the edge. If there is somewhere you don’t want me to go, you must make sure it is out of my jumping range. I think some of us are part gazelle – we can gracefully leap over shorter objects at a single bound. Like Superman.
You must train me early so I know where I can go and where I can’t go. You must be consistent. It does no good to tell me I can be on this table part of the time when it is forbidden the rest of the time. This confuses me. Be consistent in what you expect of me.
My owners don’t want me to go on the kitchen counter while they are at work. Too bad, I’ll go there if I want to. So they discourage me when they are home. But I am home alone all day, and I want to see what they are doing. They let me sit on the edge of the counter by the drainboard and watch them fix dinner and do the dishes. That’s all I want, just a bit of company. After all, I’m part of the family, too. My owners have a spy camera in the living room, so I don’t do too much damage while they are away. After all, there is only one culprit around, and that is me. No avoiding the consequences.
Last year my owners had a Christmas tree. Just a tree, no decorations. I was too young to understand that those bright, shiny objects should be left alone. I wonder if they will put on some decorations this year. Maybe they should put up some unbreakable ones that won’t be damaged if they should unexpectedly fall to the floor, due to the higher gravity underneath the tree. They probably won’t put up any lights. A chewed string of lights is not safe. Maybe when I am older, I’ll understand better and will leave the lights alone.
I am an indoor cat. My owners don’t want me to go outside and get lost or pick up fleas or get into a fight with another cat. Or a raccoon or a possum or a bobcat. So I stay inside. I like to look out of windows from my perch so I can see what’s going on outside. I watch the birds and squirrels and listen to the neighborhood kids play on the sidewalk and grass. I hear cars going by. Human beings are fascinating – they get to do so many wonderful things. Sometimes I really want to go outside and play with them.
So whenever the front door opens, I am often right around the corner, ready to dash out. My owners have to be real careful with children, delivery people, and family friends who may not know how close I am to the door. I am fast and strong and want to see as much as I can. And when I get out, I don’t want to come back in. My owners trick me, though. There is a dangly toy that I just love and will follow anywhere, so I am fooled into capture and house arrest once more. Darn!
My owners are doing more, though. They are enclosing their open front porch with screens so that if I get out the front door, I’ll still be enclosed by the screens and the screen door. Hmm…this will take some cogitating to overcome. I’ll let you know when I come up with a solution.
I hope these hints are helpful to you. I hope you and your cat are happy and healthy and are enjoying life like I am!