This is for all of us who would be happy if our cats would just use the litter box instead of our comforter, closet or shoes.

This is for owners who would like their cat to use a scratching post instead of the stereo speakers. If you’re like me, you admire your cat for being a cat and you want him to behave as nothing other than a cat, but a well-behaved one.

Before we can train or teach our cats to do something or to stop doing something, we need to look at how cats learn. They don’t understand English, they can’t read books or attend lectures.

They learn by experience. If the experience is good, they will try to repeat it. If the experience is unpleasant, they will try to avoid it in the future.

They enjoy raking the furniture with their claws, so they continue to do it. But it’s quite a shock when they stick their nose in a candle flame, so they won’t do that again.

The key to training is to make sure that whatever you want your cat to do is exceedingly rewarding and pleasurable. Whatever you don’t want your cat to indulge in must never be rewarding or fun, in fact, it must be unpleasant.

Sometimes we unintentionally reward our cats for obnoxious behavior. A common complaint is that the cat pounces on the owner at five in the morning, meowing up a storm and generally being a pest.

What do the owners do? They get up and feed the cat, play with him or let him outside. Kitty has learned that his behavior gets him exactly what he wants.

Many owners become frustrated because they can’t catch the cat in the act of the crime, so instead they show the cat the evidence (usually a wet spot on the carpet or pieces of shredded drapery) and discipline the cat at that time.

A common practice is grabbing the cat, pointing out the wet spot, then dragging him to the litterbox and forcing him to dig in the litter. What the cat is learning is that being reached for by the owner is a bad experience and that the litterbox is a torture chamber. It is usually difficult if not impossible to catch the cat in the act because most cats have already learned that being caught is bad news.

Reprimands simply do not work. If you catch kitty in the act, he will only misbehave when you are not around. If you punish the cat later, he will not associate the reprimand with the crime. In either case, the misbehavior continues. Some cats misbehave just to get attention and the attention is enough of a reward to cause kitty to continue his ways. So what do we do?

If you want to prevent problems from occurring, or reform kitty of his bad habits, the answers are the same. Here’s a three point plan:

* First: Stop all reprimands and punishment, no matter what your cat is doing.

* Second: Set kitty up to succeed in performing those behaviors you want her to learn so she can be rewarded.

* Third: Set up kitty’s environment so that those behaviors you don’t want him to learn are not rewarding.

Let’s look at these at little more closely.

1. Stop all reprimands. Concentrate on making your relationship fun, rewarding, playful and interesting. Sometimes this change alone will solve your problem.

Cats are known to become overly active and destructive when bored. Daily play sessions and relaxing massages help calm kitty down. Cats that feel neglected will often stop using their litterbox. If you schedule regular sessions to give kitty your undivided attention and to play games with him, even litterbox problems can disappear almost overnight.

2. The most effective way to train a cat is through rewards, so the second step is setting up the cat’s environment so he can succeed.

This will give you the opportunity to reward and praise him for good behavior.

Let’s take a look at litterbox training as an example. A cat’s physical system is very regular. If you control the input, you are also in control of the output.

Kitty should be on a regular feeding schedule so he will have a corresponding regular output schedule. Adjust his feeding time so you can be present when he needs to go. About 15 minutes prior to when you know he will need to go, take him to his litterbox room. Because you and kitty are locked in the litterbox room, he doesn’t have the option of going on the carpet in the hall or on your bed. His only choice is the litterbox.

When he uses it, praise the daylights out of him! Give him a juicy chunk of salmon or another treat that is reserved for this wonderful performance. Until you’re sure that kitty is completely litterbox trained, don’t give him free access to the rest of your home when you know his bladder and bowels are full.

3. The third step is setting up the cat’s environment so that his misbehavior is not a rewarding experience. Let’s take a look at furniture scratching as an example. While making kitty’s scratching post fun, rewarding and exciting, it may also be necessary to make the furniture unattractive as a clawing item.

Instead of you telling the cat to avoid the furniture, let the furniture itself tell the cat to stay away. It’s up to you to find something your cat does not like. Each cat is different.

However, most cats don’t like to snag their claws when scratching, so you might try draping some netting or tulle over the furniture. Some cats don’t like the feel of aluminum foil or two-sided sticky tape. A mild menthol or citrus scent repels some cats. Once your cat realizes that these places are not fun to scratch or sit on, and she regularly has wonderful times at her scratching post, the problem of inappropriate scratching will disappear.

Maybe you do want to train your cat to jump through a hoop, maybe you just want him to stop climbing the drapes. Whatever the case, remember that cats learn best through the use of rewards, praise and positive reinforcement.

Set kitty up to succeed. Set yourself up to succeed with your cat. It works. And it’s a lot more fun that way for both of you.

http://www.eliminatecatodour.com

About The Author

Anita Hampton http://www.eliminatecatodour.com

The first thing was to get a Cat Training Kit that has been around forever and that has a proven track record. I chose Kitty Whiz because my parents used it for our cat when I was growing up and my son recently used it for his cat with great success.

My cat, Oscar, isn’t the brightest of cats, so I didn’t want to fool around with one of those “Johnny-come-lately” imitations. Plus, they are all so over-priced! Can you believe one is about $90?

Anyway, my experience in training Oscar paralleled instructions in the kit. Oscar always needed more love with everything because he’s little slow. I figure that if Oscar can get it, any cat can.

The Kitty Whiz package included:

(A) Bag of Herbs.
(B) Clear Plastic Form.
(C) Cartoon Style Instruction Booklet.
(D) Diploma for when Oscar graduated.

There was warning to wait if Oscar just had a litter. But, Oscar didn’t have to worry about pregnancy. Also Oscar was to be using a litter box already, which he did.

The warning went on for female cats. If your was is in heat, pregnant, or recently had kittens, you were to wait 6 – 8 weeks.

The Kitty whiz “transfer” was to take about 2 weeks. I lost track of time, but it was about that for Oscar to get into the groove. Of course, I changed the litter daily and kept everything clean as usual.

There was a recommendation to use a padded toilet seat cover for off-balance cats and Oscar qualified because he is awfully clumsy.

Kitty Whiz divided their training into stages. Everything I personally did was covered in the instructions.

STAGE 1

I took Oscar into the spare bathroom where nobody would bother him. Remember to start this training in the evening because your cat will need to stay in the restroom overnight so they will do their first poops and pees.

While Oscar was meowing around, I placed the large clear plastic form and the large white form together- with the clear form on top.

I chose to train Oscar with the toilet seat down because I thought it was safer and it is usually down anyway. The padded lid stayed up.

I then took the old litter box out to the shed so Oscar couldn’t find it and he would be focused on his new toilet facility. Good riddance to that smelly thing that I could never figure out where to put anyway.

Per instructions, I filled the bowl part of the form with regular litter so it looked vaguely similar to Oscar’s regular litter box.

Since Oscar had been known to poop and pee in everything resembling nature, I covered my houseplant soil with aluminum foil where possible and rocks where possible.

In the restroom where Oscar was training, I put his bowls with his favorite food and fresh water.

I opened the herb package and took a whiff. It did nothing for me but Oscar loved it. He followed the package as I led him up onto the toilet seat.

I sprinkled a little on the litter and Oscar sniffed around. This was to help Oscar take note of where his kitty litter was now located.

It was a little heartbreaking, but I closed Oscar in his restroom for the night. He needed to poop in peace, and he doesn’t like for anyone to interrupt his “work.” Instructions mentioned that cats are that way.

In the morning I checked on Oscar and he was perfectly content and maybe a little too proud. The litter was saturated with pee and there was a healthy mound of poop.

There are instructions for cat owners who have not been as successful as I was with Oscar. But, neither my parents nor my children have ever had problems.

I read over the steps to take if one is unsuccessful. They boil down to doing things over, keeping things real clean and encouraging one’s cat with love and finesse. Oscar may not have been blessed with smarts, but he was blessed with a loving family. I’m sure your cat also has a loving home environment.

STAGE 2

I was glad to move on to the next stage because Oscar was really going through the litter and leaving me with mounds of love each day. I think he was laughing at me.

After four days, Oscar was accustomed to using his new litter box on top of the toilet. So, I saw the principle involved there. I gradually removed parts of the plastic form until nothing was left. In about two weeks, Oscar was going into the restroom all by himself and using the toilet like a regular human.

This is my own personal touch to the toilet system. I secured the toilet seat lid so it was always in the up position. I also had the door fixed so it was always open enough for Oscar to walk through. I did these two things to make sure Oscar was never prevented from doing his “work.”

Nowadays, it is quite humorous to see Oscar get up from his favorite TV program and wander off to use the restroom. My only responsibilities lately are to flush the toilet. Maybe Kitty Whiz will someday invent a way to train Oscar to flush the toilet.

I think Oscar was proud to officially join the human race as a toilet user. He always knew he was human, but it was good to have official recognition in the form of a degree. We gave him a graduation party and presented him with his Kitty Whiz Degree. He wore a blue ribbon and we framed his degree an hung it in his “office,” right above the toilet.

I was so moved, I sent some pictures to Bluejayz Pet Supplies, from whom I had purchased Oscar’s Kitty Whiz Kit. Maybe I’ll see Oscar’s picture on their web site.

Bluejayz encouraged me to email any suggestions, pictures, and success stories about Oscar and other cats to success@bluejayz.com

I need to add the policy regarding images and testimonials as a courtesy to Bluejayz.

All pictures stories and suggestions sent to BlueJayz Pet Supplies become the exclusive property of BlueJayz Pet Supplies and can be utilized in any way, manner, shape and form without consideration or compensation of any kind to submitter.

Here is my personal testimony about Kitty Whiz:

I remember Kitty Whiz from the 1970s. It was around a long time before other cat toilet training systems. It is proven and trusted in my family. And I know other families that used it with success and I recommend it to first-timers. I’ve seen many imitations on the market lately and they are usually way over priced. I saw one for about $90 dollars. All I can say is, “Get real!”

I bought Oscar’s Kitty Whiz online through BlueJayz Pet Supplies and I recommend it for good prices and fast shipping.www.bluejayz.com

About The Author

Brandy Connery

I became an early fan of Kitty Whiz in the 1970s after seeing it demonstrated on TV.

My family also uses Kitty Whiz to train their cats and I recommend it over high-priced “Me Too” imitations that have recently flooded the market.

I bought my cat’s Kitty Whiz online through BlueJayz Pet Supplies and I recommend that you check it out www.bluejayz.com

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