Adopting a rescue cat is a wonderful way to add in a pet to your family and home. While cats have a reputation for being cold and aloof, in truth they will provide hours of joy, snuggles and fun, and ask for very little in return.
There are a vast number of benefits to adopting rather than buying your new feline friend, and it is certain that you will have the chance to change a life for the better. It is crucial that you provide your cat with the training and tools they need to integrate and fit into your household, as this will give them security and confidence. They need clear boundaries and expectations.
This is especially important for rescue cats, who may have suffered ill-treatment in the past. Here are the top tips for training your rescue cat, so you can enjoy a happy, harmonious household for both two and four-legged members!
Take Things Slowly
Depending on the background of your cat, they may be wary or mistrustful of humans. Giving them plenty of time to settle in. If you try and move too fast or rush the process, they may develop negative associations with the tasks you are trying to train. Make sure that they are happy, settled and comfortable in your home before you begin training. That way you’re more likely to ensure long term success.
Start With the Basics
There are a few basic tasks every cat should be able to do, such as learning and responding to their name, using their litter box, and socializing with other cats and humans. Pick one task at a time to focus on. Most cats are fast when it comes to learning their name, and mastering this is an excellent foundation for the other tasks. Always make a fuss when your cat responds as desired—a quick snuggle will go a long way!
Emphasize Positive Reinforcement
Treats are your best friend here! It is important that your cat associates the task they have been asked to do, for example, pooping in the litter box, with a positive outcome such as receiving a treat. This means that after a while they will begin to perform these actions out of habit, as they know it is something which will please their owner and result in rewards. Don’t hold back with those Dreamies during training!
Cats are brilliant creatures, but a rescue cat may have barriers and hesitations which need to be gently trained out. Every training session should be calm and relaxed with no pressure or stress on your pet.
Keep your voice calm, low and reassuring, and don’t make a big deal if they fail to get it straight away. Lots of praise and reassurance go a long way and will help you to grow together as companions, as well as establishing your kitty as a confident and accomplished family member. Don’t be afraid to leave the training session for another day, and always let your cat know they are safe and loved regardless of the outcome.