Although most people associate training with dogs, with the right motivation cats can also be taught to perform a range of tricks and behaviours.
Litter training your cat should start as early as possible, ideally as soon as you bring your new kitten home. But if you have adopted a cat from a shelter they may already have some unusual habits or simply may never have been house-trained. Cats are naturally clean animals so going back to the basics of litter training can help them to learn where the appropriate place is for them to toilet.
Cats may become stressed or confused when their environment changes and will often toilet in inappropriate places to spread their scent around, mark their territory and reduce anxiety. Try to identify the underlying cause to why your cat is stressed and correct this, the toileting issue will often resolve itself.
Can you teach an old cat new tricks? Of course you can! Just like dogs, cats respond best to reward-based training. This can be in the form of treats, affection or a game with a special toy. Find out what your cat likes best and use it to reward them for doing the right thing or learning a new trick such as shaking 'paws' or rolling over.
The most important thing to remember when training your cat is to have patience. Training is a wonderful way to further the special bond you share. Read the following section to be sure you're on the right track to a well-trained cat.