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Raising a cat, tips

The most common mistakes in raising a cat, do you recognize these points?

Training a cat may seem impossible, but it's not. Cats are intelligent, and with the right approach, you can often make the most of their intelligence.

Training a cat often seems more difficult than it is; we address the 5 most common mistakes here.

1. Thinking it takes too much time 

Many cat owners assume that training a cat takes a lot of time and effort. In practice, a cat learns best during short training sessions of 1-5 minutes spread throughout the day. It's not necessary to train your cat at fixed times or according to a schedule; you can do it whenever you have a moment. An effective time to train is during mealtime when your cat is paying attention to you.Kat opvoeden tips

2. Ignoring good behavior and reacting to bad behavior

If your cat does what it should, such as using its scratching post, you may take that for granted. As soon as your cat puts its claws on the couch, you want to punish it, teaching your cat that it only gets attention when it claws the couch. If it uses its scratching post, you don't react, and it keeps seeking the couch to scratch, as it gets your attention. Teach your cat what's right and what's not; reward good behavior and correct bad behavior by gently guiding it in the right direction.

3. Trying to unlearn instinctive behavior                                                                         

People often disturb themselves with a cat's natural behavior, such as scratching, jumping, or climbing. Attempts to unlearn natural behavior are stressful for your cat and rarely successful. Instead, redirect your cat to a space where this behavior doesn't cause harm. A cat can use a climbing tree or scratching post to seek a high place, while a box or laundry basket can be a safe place to relax. Encourage your cat to explore these areas by offering treats or toys. Reward it when it plays in the designated area.

4. Expecting a cat to listen without training                                                                        

It's not that your cat doesn't want to listen; it doesn't understand what you're asking without being taught. Don't assume that words like "down," "low," or "stop" are understood by a cat just because you repeat them often. If you want to teach one of these commands, you'll need to reward the cat when it does something and not punish when it doesn't. Also, teach your cat alternative behavior, like going to its bed or scratching post as a replacement for what you're asking it to stop. Be patient; with practice, your cat will learn to go to its bed when asked, expecting a treat.

5. Setting unrealistic training goals                                                                                    

Each cat learns at its own pace. One cat might learn a particular exercise in a few attempts, while another cat might take a few days. Don't try to force or teach your cat too many things at once; this can lead to frustration and confusion for your cat, and it will slow down the learning process. Increase the difficulty of your training in small steps so that it's not too fast for your cat; this will help it build confidence. All those small steps and little successes will bring about a significant change in your cat's behavior.

Don't hesitate to seek help if your cat is aggressive or consistently eliminates outside the litter box. Also, ask for assistance if training your cat doesn't seem to yield results; perhaps your veterinarian can refer you to a specialist who can help further.

Image source: Svetlana Rey/shutterstock.com