When we ask about the cat education, we think it can be a very difficult task but, like dogs, cats can also be educated, being able to achieve good behavior and thus a harmonious coexistence. What we must keep in mind is that they do not behave in the same way. Cats are social animals but more independent, they are not interested in pleasing us, so it is essential to understand what they think, need, motivate and why their actions.
In this article we will give you some recommendations about how to make your cat pay attention to you, but before getting into the subject, it is also important to emphasize that not all cats are the same, that they also have different temperaments and personalities (some are active and boisterous, others are reserved and shy, there are very independent and others are very affectionate) and that they may have experienced unpleasant experiences or traumas, so each case will need their time and dedication.
Why does not my cat pay attention to me?
Taking into account the different behavior they present and the different personalities of the cats, the most common causes for which they do not pay attention to us and that we have to bear in mind can be the following:
- Environmental factors that can affect their behavior as introduction of new animals or people at home, which means that they feel threatened or more insecure.
- Changes in the routine to which they are accustomed, which may be related to the previous cause or be for other reasons, such as a meal schedule change.
- Instinct own of the species as it can be marked with nails or urine, which leads the animal to feel the need to scratch furniture or objects. The marking can also be due to stress, produced by one of the previous causes. In addition, your hunter instinct can explain certain behaviors, so covering this need through proper play is more than recommended.
- Physical problems as pain, arthritis, trauma, urinary tract infections or different pathologies that can lead to aggressive attitudes or some abnormal behavior such as performing their needs outside the sandbox.
- Age. When they are very small it is normal that we observe that the cat does not pay attention, since it is still in the process of learning. Likewise, when they are very old it is also common for them to be more reluctant to obey. In the latter case, we recommend that you go to the veterinarian to check if it is a physical problem or behavior associated with age.
Especially the first two points generate in the cat a state of stress that can be more or less serious and that affects its general behavior, producing behavioral problems such as those mentioned and, of course, causing the cat to ignore. For this reason it is so important identify the cause of the problem and treat it.
What should I do to make my cat pay attention? – Basic techniques
One of the techniques that we must take into account when it comes to knowing how to make a cat pay attention is the positive reinforcement, which consists of reward the animal, either with a caress, candy or favorite food, when we see that he does something right, encouraging him to repeat the same action. From our point of view it is one of the guidelines that will help us the most, achieving a fast and effective learning. It is necessary to be constant and be attentive to the behavior in order to reward it at the exact moment and thus achieve a desired behavior.
Indicating what is wrong without punishing and offering alternatives
In contrast to the previous point when we find it doing something that we do not want, like climbing on the table, we must mark it with a “no” in a firm tone. It is important to do it at the right time so that they understand it and that they can associate it with the behavior they are having at that precise moment. The punishments physical or in which fear is instilled they do not work, because they do not understand it and on the contrary we can achieve an undesired effect such as the loss of confidence towards us, anxiety, stress or aggression.
In those cases in which the unwanted behavior is towards us or an object, such as scratching or biting, it is important replace the inappropriate resource with one that is correct, like a scraper or a toy. In the following sections we will see concrete situations and how to make your cat pay attention to you.
My cat does not obey me and scratches the furniture
A normal behavior in cats is to sharpen their nails or mark their territory with them, the problem is when they do it in places not suitable as furniture or armchairs. To get it to stop scratching the furniture you have to accustom them to do it in a scraper or trunk. If this cat happens to you and there is no way to get your cat to listen to you to use the scraper, start playing with it, associating it as something positive, placing it in front of the object that used previously and, when using the scraper, reward to the animal
Once you accept the scraper we can place it in a place that we consider more convenient or suitable. When we scratch another piece of furniture, we must separate it immediately (not abruptly) and take it where we have accustomed it. In this sense, have several scrapers and different it improves environmental enrichment and, therefore, achieves better results. Cats love scrapers with different heights, as well as looking outside through a window, so placing a scraper that meets these characteristics in your favorite window can be very positive.
My cat does not listen to me, it bites me and scratches me
Many times cats try to bite or scratch, this may be due to aggressive behavior but most of the time they do it as part of a game due to his predatory behavior or to bad education on our part. Many are the tutors that when they adopt a kitten play with him using their hands and feet, without realizing that the animal will interpret this as correct and, therefore, in the future will continue to scratch and bite, causing more pain for being bigger . For this reason, we should never teach a cat that chasing and “playing” with our hands or feet is correct.
When the animal scratches or bites us, we must mark it with a “no” and suspend the game session immediately, since this will make you understand that what you are doing is not correct. We will also have to avoid all the stimuli that can trigger such behavior. Likewise, another infallible technique to get a cat to pay attention and understand that he should not scratch or bite us is replace our body with an adequate resource, how can it be a toy? In this way, after saying “no”, we will give him a toy and we will reward him to interpret that he can bite that object.
My cat does not listen to me when I call him
To get your cat to pay attention to you when you call him, follow these simple tips:
- The first step to start this learning is choose a name that is simple and short. It is important to avoid confusion in our pets do not use diminutives or change the tone used.
- The second step is choose a treat or food that you like a lot to use it as a reward. Start by placing yourself at short distances and call him until you get his attention (at first it might be helpful to use a toy). Every time you approach you, give him the prize you have chosen to associate him with something positive. Repeat this several times a day in short sessions and, as advice, do it before the meal so that you are more predisposed.
- As you answer your call, increases the distance and then advance to other environments of the house. Once this is achieved, it is convenient to gradually decrease the chosen prize.
In addition, it is important that you associate the call to something positive, so do not use your name in negative situations. On the other hand, it is much easier to get a cat to pay attention when you call him, starting his education at an early age, although if you have an adult cat you can also teach him. By last, Be patient and have proof.
Know your needs and you will know how to educate
It is important to know your needs, as Always keep your sandbox clean (the cat is very meticulous with its hygiene), to know that the cats are more active during the night (they spend most of the day sleeping) with which we can play with them before going to sleep, provide them with toys so that they entertain themselves, always leaving food and water available to avoid this way that we wake up during the night with their meows. Of course, if your cat does not know how to ration food, to avoid overweight you should set a meal schedule that you will respect.
You have to understand that cats act differently from us, that they have their own instincts and that we must cover them in some way, not only to know how to make a cat pay attention, but to make the animal live happy and balanced. Understanding their behavior will facilitate their learning.
Constancy, key to getting a cat to pay attention
Finally, we must remember that we have to be constant in order to achieve a change. Some will be more predisposed and others will use their stubbornness, which is why it is essential have a lot of patience and an assertive attitude, since any change in our mood will be noticed. We can always also resort to the advice of professionals with knowledge in animal behavior, such as feline ethologists, and trusted veterinarians in very serious or complicated cases.
We hope that these guidelines to know how to make your cat pay attention to you be of help and never forget that in any education you can not miss respect, trust and love.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to make my cat listen to me?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.