All of us vividly remember the moment a pet walked into our lives and made it a million times better than it was; the moment we fell in love with our four-legged buddy. Of all the pets, dogs and cats are the most common. Bringing them home is one thing, but getting them acclimated to the environment is a roller-coaster ride in itself.
Training pets is essential for healthy and consistent growth. Building a routine and getting them to grasp commands or words helps keep them active. Pet training is a two-way lane, which helps understand your pet better.
We have all seen adorable videos of pets obedient and responsive to commands or trigger words. But how many of those videos were of cats? Not many, indeed. It is a preconceived notion that cats do not, or instead, cannot be trained since they are not exactly docile. Inculcating certain habits and training cats is as important as feeding and nurturing them.
Why should you train your cat?
So, some of the reasons why cats have to be trained are as follows.
Maintain overall health and hygiene
Creating a schedule for their daily activities like eating and playtime and training like potty training and crate training helps keep tabs on their health.
They tend to gradually get accustomed to the routine, which aids in their consistent growth. It also helps keep cats’ berserk side in check and get a grip on their overall body language.
Understand your cat better
Cats can be unpredictable and tend to exhibit frenzied behavior at times, which makes understanding them all the more difficult.
Training them will help you discover certain traits and quirks specific to your cat and make accommodations in their routine accordingly.
Identify triggers and motivators
All cats are not the same. Their reactions to different situations are based on heredity, past pet parents and environment, and history of abuse if any.
If you can identify their triggers, then you can pinpoint any such events, things, or places that might aggravate them or, on the other hand, spark a light of manic joy in them.
Recognize health issues earlier
One can never be too cautious since cats are notorious for hiding their illnesses.
Poor response to commands or trigger words, reduced reaction to pre-established routine, and shrunken appetite are some indicators of oncoming health issues that can be identified and treated.
Training with command words
Cats usually do not listen. They are pretty dependable.
However, to begin with, here are some of the common command words to teach your cat from the very beginning.
|Sit||Keep a treat handy
Ensure you have their full attention
Use clickers too
|Treats, toys, and words of praise|
|Come||Use their name as often as possible while calling out to them
Use the command word followed by a welcoming gesture
|Sound of clickers and treat boxes|
|Target or Attack||Use pointers or flashlights
Hand gestures pointing at the target
Target sticks and wands to keep them alert
It can also be used in case of a ‘fetch’ situation
|Laser pointers, Teaser Rods, and Chew toys|
These are some of the usual commands to which cats respond and adapt quickly. One of the trickier habits to inculcate in cats is sleeping. Cats are curious but hate to admit it. It always ends up in them having hysterical fits at ungodly hours, or in other words, 3 AM zoomies. These zoomies leave pet parents in a fit of rage and confusion, and bringing them under control isn’t exactly as easy as falling off a log.
Can you train your cat when to wake up?
Well, it’s time to address the elephant in the room – can you train cats when to wake up. The answer is yes, but it is a consistent process, like any other training activity, and involves a little more effort and restraint.
Once a routine has been established, you will have grasped your cat’s napping and grooming hours. Unfortunately, some cats tend to be light sleepers, while some are deep sleepers; this doesn’t exactly help the process.
What to consider before sleep-training your cat?
So, how to go about this predicament? Well, look no further. But, before you train your cat to rise and shine, here are some aspects to consider.
Identify their sleep schedule
Like all other living beings, cats, too, have a sleep cycle. The sleep cycle can be either REM (Rapid Eye Movement) or Non-REM, where the former is sleeping on the lighter side, and the latter is deep sleep. Sleep helps restore energy and recoup.
If you can put your finger on their precise sleep schedule and ad hoc hours, the other steps will be smooth sailing.
Follow the cycle of four
Creating a schedule around these four activities helps ensure that your cat has all its daily needs satisfied.
- Hunt – In the current domestic scenario, allowing them to pretend-hunt with catnip-filled toys and tease wands satisfies their hunting instincts.
- Feast – Providing them with the correct amount of food at the right times with the optimum amount of nutrition.
- Groom – Grooming is a cat’s hygiene time. Let them whoop it up.
- Sleep – At the end of the day, these activities will leave them exhausted. Time to go to bed!
It also serves as an example of what a cat’s daily routine should look like.
Render them a conducive atmosphere
Sleep here implies quality and refreshing sleep, and for this, the environment, as well as the immediate surroundings, have to be favorable and comfortable. Some households have the “no pets on the bed” rule, while some have the “no pets on the upholstery” rule. No matter the case, ensure that your cat has the right mattress or bedding that does not cause discomfort.
There are a variety of cat beds to choose from, ranging from cat caves to cat perches, from pre-warmed beds to bed baskets. In addition, cats often snuggle in with their toys, which might help them slip into a deep slumber. With all these things considered, you can ensure your cat has a calm and rejuvenating sleep.
What if your cat’s naps go on for lengthy hours?
On the other side of the coin, anything in excess is wrong, and so is sleep. Excessive sleeping can make your cat sluggish, lethargic, and inactive. It may also lead to the cats gaining an unhealthy amount of weight and developing a hoard of ancillary health problems.
Can this be avoided? And if so, how? The answer to this again is training and making it habitual. It may feel like walking on eggshells, and it is, so tread carefully; you would not want to get on your cat’s bad side by angering or agitating them in the process, thereby creating a hostile environment.
How to train your cat when to wake up?
Now, to get your cat to wake up in a disciplined manner, as they do for all other aspects of their routine, some ways are as stated below.
Constant and consistent physical activity during the day, as a routine, will eventually make them run out of energy.
Doing this at the same hour(s) every day will ingrain in them the tendency to fall asleep around the same time each day and, as a result, wake up at the same time the following morning.
Keep them engaged
In situations where your cat is all by itself during the day or in case it is in isolation for a significant part of the day, boredom may make them active during later hours of the day, thus messing up its sleep schedule.
Some of the ways to keep them occupied are as follows.
- Automatic ball dispensers
- Television shows, usually nature and wildlife-related shows
It leaves lesser energy at night. The sleep schedule will work its magic here. Below is a condensed list of props that can be used.
- Chew toys – Chew toys earlier were just a way to keep your cat occupied. But now, these toys have advanced features like teeth cleaning, mental stimulation, and physical exercise. Ensure that they are of the right quality and feline-friendly. Be a little selfish. Check if it is easy to clean up too.
- Teaser Wands – Teaser and feather wands will cater to your cat’s hunting instincts. A fun way to keep them on their toes!
- Laser Pointers – Another device to tickle those hunting instincts is laser pointers. It is one of the most common ways to keep them engaged and active. Again, these can be found easily online.
- Catnip-filled Toys – Catnip to cats is what fast food is to us, humans. These toys will keep them hooked. These come in the form of different types of soft toys and dolls with an enticing exterior. Advanced features are available, too, with refillable catnip. So, you can try the interactive catnip-infused Pet Craft Wiggle Pickle Cat Toy to keep your cat busy.
- Scratch Boards – These may seem pointless, but scratch boards are, in reality, very useful, especially for kittens to unleash their pent-up energy. It is also a way to keep them from scratching and nibbling on your precious furniture and walls.
These are just a few enlisted here as an example to give an overview of the available options. These are available on all e-commerce platforms and at your nearest pet care store.
Allocate the meals
Meals must be distributed during the day, and a balanced meal is where the crux lies. A good meal puts us, humans, in peaceful sleep.
Likewise, cats too tend to fall asleep right after dinner. A balanced but light meal right before their usual sleep-time might push them towards waking up at the same hour(s) the following day.
Use command words and trigger phrases
As enunciated earlier in the article, many cats have unique trigger words that they recognize even in their sleep.
Words or phrases on the mellow side that will gently wake them up and help them shake off their sleep when repeated daily will eventually become a habit for them too. Avoid jolting them awake or sudden provoking movements, which may push them to their ‘fight mode.’
Monitor your cat’s behavior
Tweak the process where possible. Not all cats have the same reaction and response levels.
In some cases where senior cats are involved, their activity levels may be maintained on the down-low since they get tired quickly compared to younger cats or kittens.
Restrict their response
Cats often raise false alarms. They revel in chaos and might bug you. But, of course, we all are familiar with those 3 AM zoomies and 4 AM meow-ing.
If you give in, this might lead them to believe that if pushed to your limit, you will eventually give up and concede. So, keep a check and do not respond to vain yowling; instead, work on preventing it.
All of these factors must be considered to ensure that it becomes habitual for your cat to wake up around the same time. Following this might seem like a mountainous task, but no more. The tips mentioned above will undoubtedly help you.
Letting the cat out of the bag is easier than putting it back; similarly, bringing a cat home is the easiest part of all. Many people buy cats excitedly, but when it comes to taking care of them, they usually get flabbergasted. Nurturing and ensuring all the aspects mentioned above will be a bittersweet journey, sweet having the upper hand.
We often hear the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat,” but that’s the half-truth. The correct and complete version is “Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought it back, that’s why the cat has nine lives”. Cats are inherently snoopy and are known for their eccentric acts; thus, it’s pretty difficult to wake them up once asleep. So, bear these tips in mind, and you can surely avoid a ‘cat’-astrophe.