Cat training takes patience and understanding - and a supply of tasty cat treats. If your cat doesn’t come scampering over when you call his name, it’s not bad cat behavior. It just may be that he’s never been motivated to respond. You may need more than a sweet “here kitty kitty” to capture her interest. Cats tend to do as they please, so all cat training has to involve their own pleasure.
How to train your cat to come when you call his name
- Start your cat training when your kitty is with you, in a contented mood, such as when curled up on your lap. Pet your cat in the way he most likes to be petted, and say your cat’s name a few times in a soft, friendly voice. Do this several times each day. This will train your cat to associate the pleasure of being petted with his name.
- Next, say your cat’s name when stroking him, and if he turns his head to look at you, give him a reward, such as a small cat treat or a scratch behind the ears. Praise your kitty. This will train your cat to pay attention when he hears his name
- Then, sometime when your cat is near you, not sleeping, say your cat’s name in the same tone of voice. When he looks at you, praise him. But if he comes to you, give him a cat treat and praise. Practice this several times a day. This will train your cat to come when he’s alert and sees you.
- As your cat catches on, knowing that pleasurable things come when he hears his name, try saying your cat’s name further away from him, eventually from another room. This will train your cat to come, possibly even when taking a catnap. Reward with a cat treat, stroking or a toy, and praise each time. (You’ll find what cat training reward works best for your own cat.)
Cat behavior and training tip: Never say your cat’s name in a forceful voice to stop naughty behavior–such as jumping up on the dining room table. You will be inadvertently training your cat to bolt when hearing his name! Say “no!” instead (or use a spray from a water bottle) so he doesn’t associate his name with getting in trouble.
More articles on cat training and cat behavior
Book Review: Cat Training in 10 Minutes
Walking Your Cat