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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Crate Training Your Cat



Training your cats when they are kittens to go into a crate is a method for providing your cat with a safe and secure den environment.

Every single one of my personal and rescued cats at the shelter has been trained to go into a crate. The crate provides the kitten or the cat with its own home.  When the cat becomes tired, scared or anxious they immediately go to their crate for safety or to rest.

Crate training a feral cat is a quick way to socialize the cat with the human. The feral cat will  learn to trust the human. The crate will provide the feral cat or kitten with all that they need, bed, litter box and water, however the food will come from the human and the feral cat will depend on the human for nourishment.  Crate training teaches the feral cat or kitten desirable behavior.

Another reason to crate train a cat is because it provides you with piece of mind especially if you are away from the house for a long period of time.  A crate will prevent your kitten from misbehaving by damaging your home and from getting hurt.



Getting Started with Cat Crate Training:
Before you bring your new kitten or cat home buy the essentials including a cat crate.  There are many crates available for cats.  I recommend one that is large enough for a litter box; sleep area leg room as well as water and food bowls.

For feral cats set the crate in a room away from household foot traffic. Feral cats need to bond with one human and need peace and quiet.  It is best to set the cat crate in a room where you like to spend time; your home office would be good.  Feral cats will be put into the crate immediately and the door will be shut until they are socialized, or bond with human.  By crate training a feral cat the socializing process is quick.

Positive Cat Crate Training
Familiarize your new cat with a crate as soon as your bring them home.  This will eliminate negative habits from forming. 

Set the crate in an isolated area in a room, a low human traffic area such as a dark corner or behind a chair.  Make the crate comfortable by setting a cat cuddle bed in the back of the crate, Spray the bed with catnip.   

Add a small bowl of water, a few toys made for cats and set a few cat treats on the floor of the crate.  Drape a sofa throw over the crate without covering the entrance. The cover makes the crate cozier and den like.  Then leave the crate door open.  

Release your new cat into the room where the crate is and the cat will be drawn to the crate due to the scent of the catnip.  Your cat will relate to the crate as being a positive area and will go there to sleep and to be safe.

Note:
Spray the cat bed daily with catnip.

Crate training a cat helps especially if you need to travel with your cat or take them to a kennel. 

If you intend to keep your cat in a crate while you are working then I would recommend a large crate.  When you get home from work, release the cat from the crate and spend quality time with your pet; petting, talking to them and playing or clicker training your cat to do tricks or to come sit stay.

Never use the crate as a punishment.  



 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Training Tips for Your Cat

A cat has a short attention and the trainer must keep the cat focused with repetitive training and treats as a reward.    In order to successfully train your cat you must implement a routine.  Plan on training your cat at the same time every day and reward them with a treat and your cats will please.  



I clicker trained all five of my cats with a daily routine.  I use the training period to interact with all of my cats.  The time is well spent as it is good for overall cat behavior. 
 
My cats are well trained to the clicking sound.  I can easily call them to the training room even when I am sitting at my desk.  One click and my cats will stop whatever they are doing and will run to where I am, and sit all around my feet.  They wait patiently for their delicious treat.  

The cats will respond to the clicker but if I do not deliver the treat then they will become disinterested and will display signs of bad behavior; hissing, snarling and overall grumpy behavior.

Tips:
  • I started training classes for my cats on a daily basis. The daily training is a good way to improve the cat and human bond.  
  • Give your cat a small portion of the treat, so they get a taste.  It is better to give your cat a small treat to get their attention. If your cat loves the treats they will follow you anywhere.  Which means cats that need to shed some extra pounds will eagerly follow you and your clicker all over the house.
  • Provide your cat with treat immediately after training the cat a new trick or after you click.  
  • Click once per behavior, if you click multiple times you will confuse your cat.

Notes: 
  • All rescued cats are clicker trained immediately as it helps with the adjustment period of being taken into the shelter. 
  • It is best to get all cat acclimated to a daily routine.  I find that the training helps the rescued cat to bond quicker with the human.
  • Cats that are trained with a clicker are more social.