In order to fight against the loneliness caused by the pandemic, many people have adopted puppies and kittens. But few are the inexperienced owners who expected that a cat would need an education similar (or almost) to that of its canine friend. Although more autonomous, the feline must be accompanied to adapt to life with us.
Unlike dogs, cats have never used their abilities to herd or accompany humans on hunts. As a result, the relationships they have with our species are diametrically opposed, but they are not to be banished for all that.
As ScienceAlert reports, research has shown that mistigris are indeed capable of responding to our social cues and performing a variety of tasks. Better yet, according to Nottingham Trent University researcher Lauren Finka and Daniel Cummings of the charity Cats Protection, “the cat can even derive many benefits from it”.
First of all, training can be useful on a daily basis: simple techniques can be used to help our four-legged friends to feel comfortable in a transport cage, to tolerate grooming or even to support visits to The veterinarian.
Some may even appreciate being taught to check (provided there are treats, of course). More specific case: education can even be a real asset in a shelter and help the cat to develop more affinities with humans. Consequently, an emotional bond will be created and its chances of being adopted will be maximized.
However, felines are not born with an innate appetite for education sessions and must therefore be handled with care and love from the age of 2 weeks, the idea being that they understand that we are not their enemies.
Educate surely… but serenely
To begin, it is important to put the animal in confidence by finding a place that inspires serenity. He must be able to distance himself if necessary and you must end the session as soon as you feel that he wants to.
To make education fun, consider rewarding the cat with treats by gradually increasing the time between each. Don’t hesitate to encourage him and show him your support (it’s time to be gaga). Finally, to keep your animal’s full attention, each session should not last more than a few minutes.
If during his training, your cat shows signs of discomfort such as turning his head away, licking his nose, shaking his head, raising his paw, suddenly grooming himself, flapping his tail or even flattening his ears, your session would be better be cut short. You are just not welcome around him at this time. In this situation, there is no point in raising your voice, it could scare him.
Cat owners are witnesses to this: felines are generally much less involved in training than dogs and rather prefer a good nap session. So after the effort, do not hesitate to offer him comfort (with a purring supplement).