Ideas for instilling good habits in cats

(22 Posts)
41sunnydays Tue 22-Jun-21 18:47:00

We have two new kittens and really my husband really want---- to start with encouraging good behaviour. Nothing extreme but not begging for food, no jumping on the dinner table or kitchen counters.

Also they are quite good using the litter tray but I want to encourage them to use a litter tray with a lid, any tips ?

Thanks

OP’s posts: |
RustyFig Tue 22-Jun-21 18:51:11

New kittens, aww! But where are the pics OP??!!

Insofar as it's possible to get a cat to do anything, these are my tips:
- only give them their own food, ie not bits of sausage or whatever from.the dining table.
- lift down from work top/table every time and firmly say "no."
- put a little bit of their used litter in the new litter tray, mixed in with some new litter.

Good luck!

Purplewithred Tue 22-Jun-21 18:54:21

We have one too. Madness - an abandoned rescue. Thank goodness DD has taken it on herself to manage the first few weeks. Good litter tray tip, thank you.

Bargebill19 Tue 22-Jun-21 18:54:41

Well good luck with trying. Far easier to adapt to your cats. Cats have slaves.

Btw cat tax needs paying!

Toddlerteaplease Tue 22-Jun-21 18:58:38

Yep good luck with trying to teach them manners. gringrin

AlfonsoTheMango Tue 22-Jun-21 19:02:07

I love the idea of teaching cats manners.

Tempusfudgeit Tue 22-Jun-21 19:04:40

Ha ha ha ha ha, good one, OP grin

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TwigTheWonderKid Tue 22-Jun-21 19:07:36

That's hilarious OP. Have you actually met a cat?!

statetrooperstacey Tue 22-Jun-21 19:08:53

You really can’t teach a cat manners😁 but they do tend to get much more civilised once the kitten stage is over! Provide Plenty of things to scratch, or rather things they are allowed to scratch.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 22-Jun-21 19:23:15

I remember this optimism with mine too.

Well best of luck to you.

kittenkipping Tue 22-Jun-21 22:14:43

I fear I am speaking too soon- based on other replies- but I've had my kitten for 2 months now and taking her to bed at 10 and instilling bedtime has worked- she sleeps every day 10-6 , without waking or bothering us. We used a spray bottle of water to "teach" her to keep off the dinner table and kitchen worktops - which means she's stopped doing that when we are there to witness it . That said, begging, climbing the curtains, biting the dogs eyelids, sitting on books as you try to read, getting in plastic bags, stealing the toilet rolls, insisting on joining you when you bath- despite hating water touching her, attacking feet as they turn corners- all behaviours that have proven un stoppable. So to surmise- I've instilled a bedtime and no more blushgrin

HunkyPunk Tue 22-Jun-21 22:24:08

I'm sorry op, but you'd be better off with a dog, if you want to train your pet. Cats are rarely amenable to training!

JaceLancs Tue 22-Jun-21 22:28:43

I can’t call it manners but Dcats have learned a few things
Not to beg or steal food! If they hang around and are patient then they get morsels but only if plate etc put on floor for them
OFF usually works well if we are around
They can tell the time (presumably by hunger) as we always feed at same set times - within an hour either side - generally they don’t hassle for food at other times
They know upper floor is boring and out off bounds as all doors are kept shut - so soon return to their more fun territory where there’s lots to do - food - access to outdoors
They’ve trained us to be their slaves rest of the time

Veterinari Tue 22-Jun-21 22:31:07

Cats learn just like any animal.

If something is rewarding they'll repeat it.

They won't beg if you never give them tidbits.

They won't climb on the counters if you provide cat shelving and lots of high spaces, and if there's no food out.

Basically if you actively provide for their needs then they won't be motivated to search for alternatives

These guidelines are helpful

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1098612X13477537

Sadik Tue 22-Jun-21 22:52:45

I'd say you definitely can teach cats some basic rules, so long as you're VERY consistent and so long as there are plenty of other good options. I have a no cats on my bed rule, and they do, mostly, stick to it - there are lots of other good places to sleep in the house (including dd's bed), where they won't get picked up and moved whenever someone comes into the room.
Similarly no cats on the kitchen work surface, or on the table - but we do make sure to never leave food out, and we have a couple of other separate high surfaces in the kitchen for them to lurk on.

Bargebill19 Wed 23-Jun-21 15:34:11

Hmmm. Sure you haven’t got a dog? Or they are cats and they are stringing you along - when you go out, they plan world domination and human subjucation! 😂

purrswhileheeats Wed 23-Jun-21 16:09:33

My four are well trained - the only thing I can't leave on the worktop is a cooked chicken grin

Kloppy is NOT allowed on my bedroom balcony as he used to leap onto neighbouring balconies and get stranded; thankfully he seems to have grown out of this urge now.

cupsofcoffee Wed 23-Jun-21 16:34:35

My old cat knew he wasn't allowed on the table/counters.

Every time we came back home, we could hear him jumping down grin

I suggest not worrying about it and just cleaning surfaces before meals.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 23-Jun-21 17:27:42

I think pretending they obey while your in is standard practice for them.

Hughbert Wed 23-Jun-21 17:39:12

I got mine used to a covered tray by leaving the cover off the tray but on the floor so they could get used to going in and out of the door. Put the lid on once they were big enough to successfully get in and out of the tray.
They don't go on worktops if I'm around usually but if I'm chopping up anything particularly appealing I have to work fast or boy gets up to try to get it. He knows he isn't allowed up there and jumps down when he hears me coming, but girl cat is a div, so often caught in the act. Girl is a dreadful food stealer, will swipe anything she can get close enough to, so is not allowed in the same room when we eat.

Onthegrid Wed 23-Jun-21 17:50:08

Mine don't beg for food if we are eating, they never have and we have never fed them from out bowls. They will investigate the plate if we eat in the lounge and put it in the side/floor when we have finished (lazy I know). They do ask for their tea sometimes early, and are always conning DH to give them Dreamies when he is by the microwave making coffee (they don't ask me as I didn't get into the habit of doing it)
All my previous cats came at 2 year plus and never jumped on worktop/tables, the current pair came as 4 month old kittens (now 4 years) and do, I am not bothered about any surface except the kitchen worktops, and I have trained them not to go on there when I am home, by saying no firmly and lifting them down. However I am fully aware that they go up there at night to look out of the window, I just clean the surfaces every morning and then again before I do food prep, which is pretty normal anyway.
I never had any issues with them using a litter tray, and once they had stopped being shy and had the run of the house they learned to sleep everywhere, usually a bed of the sofa or a random uncomfortable place like on a cardboard box.

violetbunny Wed 23-Jun-21 20:38:03

Jackson Galaxy has lots of videos on YouTube of this. His philosophy is that when you say "no" you should also say "yes".

An example is scratching furniture - we have scratch guards on our sofas now (the "no") and have placed a big scratching post next to their favourite sofa scratching spot (the "yes"). Works a treat.

The example a PP gave of providing some shelves high up for them for them to climb on instead of on the kitchen side is also an illustration of this.

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