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How to make a cat listen to you

Updated on July 20, 2012

We all agree that cats are not very clever when it comes to training. Yes, it will be very easy for you to teach her to take a dump in the litterbox, but all other things seem almost impossible. A cat will never be a loyal friend as a dog can be, because cats tie to the territory and not to a person, and are pretty individualistic beings. They can be interesting and it is fun to play with them, but if you allow too much freedom to your cat, it will become your master nomatter that you provide her food and shelter.

However, a few tips can help you in your cats training, but you must never expect 100% sucess and you must be very persistent. You do your part and hope that everything turns up ok, since cats have their own personalities and some attributes cannot be changed, ever.

Litterbox: this is the easiest part and most cats can figure out this on their own. Just put a litterbox filled with bought sand. Deprth of the sand must be such that a cat can dig it, so do not make it too shallow. It wants to defecate there and make the crimescene look intact. It is mostly because it wants to cover the trails. For the first time your cat enters your home or appartmant, take her to the litterbox filled with sand, take its paw, one by one and scratch the sand with the paw, then sink its head gently there. Just watch the cat for awhile and see if he takes dump there in the box. In most cases, it will. But if you later find that it starts “marking the territory” all over the place, spray those spots with a mixture of vinegar and water.

Scratching the furniture: All cats need to sharpen their claws, and if you do not provide her a piece of wood to to so, it will scratch your furniture. It is not ok to let it do so, because the furniture will be ruined after some time. So, every time it starts scratching, and I mean every time, take her away from that spot and say loudly “No!”. Maybe it will learn through time. If it is used to scratch a certain spot on a furniture, take a piece of wood and put it exactly there! It is used to the location, not to your couch, ao if you put a piece of wood at the bottom of the couch or whatever it will attack that piece of wood.

Duct tape: If you do not want your cat to touch doors, furniture, electric cables etc. you might consider stripping those places with duct tape - sticky end outside - because the cat does not like those sticky surfaces.

Sleeping at night: Most people and living creatures, but not all, tend to sleep at night and be awake during the day. Cats are the ones who don't. They get hyperactive during the night and to nap in daylight. That might become a problem. So play with her as much as you can so it gets tired up, but that might not help either. You can teach it to sleep at a certain place, bathroom is a good idea. The rug it sleeps on should be taken there and the doors closed. It might be noisy but it will get bored after a while (few days, weeks, years) and will know it’s place!

Bathing: Just put the cat into bathtub and slowly start watering her from down under. First her feet, then legs, body and finally the head. Some cats show no resistance while bathing, others hate water as they hate dogs. Be patient, water her down completely, shampoo her (use baby shampoo!) and then rinse thoroughly, taking care that shampoo does not touch her eyes because they are sensitive. The cat will dry later by licking itself and might get a little mad, although some cats will be grateful. You do not need to wash her often since cats are very clean and do their washing by themselves and their tongues, but bathing is the only efficient method to get rid of the fleas!

Marking the territory: Male cats will start marking their territory during the mating season and it might get a bit unpleasant if your apartment is their territory. So make a mix of vinegar and water and spray over all places where the cat had “left a mark”. They hate the smell of vinegar and will never do that again on that place, so you need to follow it constantly and watch out. Sterilization (castration) is advised by most, but not mandatory, and it is always up to you would you do it or not. Some apartment cats can get very fat after sterilization due to the lack of activity.

Going out: Cats are very territorial beings and they value their territory very much. The flaw is that they always want more! If you bring a new cat to your apartment, first give her 15-20 days to get used to the place before even thinking of letting her out. This trial period is strongly advised and emphasized because she needs to take into notion that your apartment is her home she can come back to, but her first going out should be guided. After the trial period, open the doors and feed the cat in front of them, at the outer side of the door. That will also help to strengthen her bond with your home. Important: never stand between the door entrance and the cat – she might get frightened. Follow her awhile and then lead her inside again. Do not let her out too often unless you want her to become an alley cat, and that is a dangerous position for a pet. You can make a crinkling sound with a plastic bag to drag her in.

Plastic bags: They can be of much use. You can almost always call a cat to come to you by crinkling a simple nylon plastic bag, because that sound reminds them on food. You can give her a plastic bag to play with it and degrade it much faster than nature can – it’s ecological, practical, and fun! Also, if a cat gets lost outside, crinkle the bag until it appears because it is almost impossible to call her by name.

Stuck on a tree: Although cats possess nine lives, they are pretty clumsy. Sometimes your help is needed to get her out of trouble. If it gets stuck on a tree, and that happens to young cats, you should lean against the tree but facing it, and spread your hands so the cat will automatically run towards you without fear and there will be no need to call the firemen.

These are a few useful advices considering cat behavior and making it more fit to you but you must understand that cats can never be tamed, and some may never learn a few things you want them to learn. It is a different approach then that for a dog. With dogs, you need to – dominate, as Cesar Milan says it, but with cats it is a bit of merging of your two beings, since cats can never submit. But it is nice to have a cat, because besides its flaws and potential uselessness it can give you a lot of playfulness, happy hours and love.

But, if you want a cat to listen to you, just – be persistent!

Some people have even succeeded in teaching their cat to speak and read fortune:


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    • mrsaxde profile image


      6 years ago from Southern Delaware

      Ah, I missed that at first..."In my book" is a figure of speech. :-) I am though actually writing a book, when I have time to work on it. I don't have a name for ityet. I started working on it several years ago, and it has unfortunately not gotten as much of my attention as I would have liked. It is about my and my family's cats that we have had over the years, and the working title is "Living With Angels." I also have a completed children's book about a couple of our Siamese cats, but I don't have the extra money right now to get it published. Want to try publishing it as an ebook since the costs for that are practically zero.

    • Gentle Fist profile imageAUTHOR

      Gentle Fist 

      6 years ago from Serbia

      I totally agree with aviannovice! You must always know what to expect :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      One is there to serve a cat, not vice versa. If you like that, then you should have one.

    • Gentle Fist profile imageAUTHOR

      Gentle Fist 

      6 years ago from Serbia

      Yes, that Siamese on those pictures is our cat :) I agree that they are very clever but not for training and making them please you. That might be a little bit troubling for new owners but if you get use to them they will be grateful:) What is the name of your book, what is it about? Thanks for commenting!

    • mrsaxde profile image


      6 years ago from Southern Delaware

      Great pics. I love Siamese! Gotta take issue with your statement that "cats are not very clever when it comes to training." Actually they are quite clever. Unlike dogs, who want so badly to please their owners no matter what, cats are only willing to do things that meet with their interests and approval. In my book that makes them very clever. :-)

      (Actually I get what you are saying. I just think that cats are smart enough that they, rather than you, decide what they are and are not going to do.)


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