Cat Care

Training an Adult Cat

Cat Care > Cat Training > Training an Adult Cat

Training an adult cat

An adult cat comes to its new home with a set of established and ingrained behavior patterns. If the cat has previously been in a good home, it will be well behaved and settle in happily into the household routine. If it has not been so fortunate, however, it may have some bad habits, such as not being toilet-trained, scratching at furniture, jumping on worktops, etc. Training should be much the same as for a kitten, using a mild form of 'shock treatment' or aversion therapy when undesirable behavior is witnessed. These tactics include making a sudden loud noise or even squirting the cat with cold water from a water pistol, which is particularly effective if the animal does not see where this is coming from. Although this may sound unkind, usually only one or two 'shocks' are necessary for the behavior to cease.

Naturally, there is a fine balance to be struck between frightening a new pet and merely deterring it from behaving antisocially. It is important to give the cat plenty of reassurance and attention and to make sure that it has its own places and spaces in the home where it is allowed to go and to praise it when it behaves correctly. Sometimes, even with patience and perseverance, retraining a cat is not successful. If this proves to be the case, it may be necessary to prevent the cat from having unsupervised access to the home and confine it to one small room that is easily monitored.