How to train your cat to come when called
One of the most fulfilling times of being a cat owner is successfully training your cat to come to you when called by their name. Research tells us that most cats respond when their owners use their names. Cat brains can recognize plenty of words and can distinguish that one word most often used when calling them.
Of course, cats don’t necessarily know the concept of their name, but they can indicate that their owners use a familiar word for them. However, more than just the word, the delivery of the word and its pitch and tone can play a huge role in getting your cat to come when called. Sometimes, the cat would go to their owners when called by their name and not to strangers.
Kittens are easy to train to respond to their names. However, in some cases, cats may have previous owners or were called differently by others. Sometimes this case may be difficult for new owners to make them come when called. The goal is to have the cat come to you when called.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to train a cat. Cats respond to positive reinforcement and can be taught to associate their name with themselves. Whenever a cat hears a treat bag open or their favorite toy sound, they immediately react positively to the stimulus. When calling them, this kind of reaction can be replicated using their names as the stimulus.
Table of Contents
- How to train your cat to come when called
- 6 easy tips on train your cat to come when called
6 easy tips on train your cat to come when called
Getting your cat to come when called takes a lot of patience and hard work. The objective is to have the cat come to you when called. You need to train the cat to respond to positive reinforcement to do this.
Positive reinforcement training is a method of training cats that aims to increase the cat’s motivation to perform the desired behavior, which is to come when called. When using positive reinforcement training, you show your cat by actions and words that doing what you asked them will earn them praise, food, or play. It is much easier for your cat to perform desired behaviors because they want to be praised and rewarded.
Here are six tips on how to train your cat to come when called:
1. Use Higher-Pitched Sounds
When you call your cat, you’re probably used to using a soft and gentle voice like when speaking to your pet. However, you may want to use a higher pitch to get its attention faster when calling your cat. The higher pitch voice is much louder than, the lower pitch voice, which will get your cat’s attention faster. The high pitch will show the cats that you mean business, thereby increasing your chances of getting them to come.
Cats can hear up to 85kHz, which can be a rare frequency. Calling them in a higher pitch will immediately catch their attention and prompt them to investigate the source. Avoid sounding harsh towards your cat. Cats can interpret this as a warning to stay away from you. There’s a difference between calling in a high frequency and yelling loudly. Remember, the goal is to have the cat associate your voice with positive feelings.
2. Train them with clickers paired with human sounds
A clicker is a training tool that helps a cat learn to associate rewards with behaviors. When the cat enters the correct behavior, which in this case is coming when called, a clicker gives a small reward. A human voice is useful for reinforcing the desired behavior, but a clicker is more efficient.
Train your cats to come to you by using clickers and human voices. Cat training has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and strengthen the bond. The clicker is a small plastic device that emits a signal to your cat to indicate that they’ve done something right. Whenever your cat comes to you when called, use the click and reward your cat with praises and treats. Your cat will associate their name with the sound of the click and the promise of a reward.
3. Call them with the “puss-puss” sounds
When used repeatedly, the “puss-puss” sound acts as a kind of universal beacon to cats around the world. The constant “pspspspspspsps” sound is generally heard at a much higher frequency which attracts animals with incredible hearing, especially cats. Use this call when trying to teach your cat to come to you when called. Combine various methods like a high-pitched voice and the “puss-puss” sound, then award a treat or praise whenever they come to you.
Please make this a habit for your cat so they can familiarize the habit of coming when being called. It is very useful, especially when trying to call your cat when you’re outside. Cats are generally attracted to the “puss-puss” sound, so there’s a possibility that you may attract other cats other than your own when looking outside.
4. Practice often but keep the sessions short
The best way to train a cat is to regularly do short sessions, typically four times a day—and reward the animal for correct behavior. It would be best to use your energy to go easy on the cat, not overpower it. Instead, praise or reward the cat as soon as it does what you like. Getting a cat to come when called is probably one of the easiest things to teach them.
Allow your cats to have plenty of time for playing and lazing around, which is highly natural for them. You have to be careful not to overtrain as it may cause confusion, strain, and stress on the cat’s part. Short sessions but frequent practice are the best ways to ensure that your cat maintains their new skill.
5. Do not punish them when they don’t come
Cats are mysterious creatures. They have a unique sense of time and an uncanny ability to know when they’ve done something wrong. For this reason, you should never punish them for not coming to you when called because it will just teach them you are a dangerous character for them.
It is important to understand that if a cat doesn’t respond to training, it simply means that they’re not ready to learn, and you should continue to provide the training until they are.
Some cats tend to learn at their own pace. It’s your job as a cat owner to understand and level down with your cat. Extend your patience and try to assess your efforts if you are doing the training the right way. Punishing the pet, you promised to take care of is not a trait of a responsible pet owner.
6. Reward them whenever they come when called
It doesn’t matter whether the reward is tangible, like a treat, or intangible, like an extra toy. When you reward your cat for coming to you specifically, it’s more likely to come to you again. You can teach your cat that when it comes to coming to you, it should always be rewarded with a treat or praise when it shows that it is ready to come to you. You can also teach your cat that it should not come to you unless called.
Giving rewards the right way is the heart of positive reinforcement. Train your cat to understand that a good thing will happen to it whenever they come when called. Cats are single-minded when it comes to food and affection. Their brains are easily trained to notice stimuli that will allow them to be rewarded. And so, reward your cat strategically by only giving them a treat once they have done the task.
Rewarding your cat without any reason will confuse them and derail their training. Make sure to discipline yourself when providing rewards to your cat. It will allow them to learn and follow you in the long run.
To get your cat to come when called, you need to have a lot of patience and time. Motivate your cat through positive reinforcement. Reward them when they do what you ask, which is to come to you when they are called.
Training a cat can be a tiresome but ultimately rewarding journey. Do not punish your cat when they don’t follow you. Instead, you can strategically withhold your treats and praises until they do what you want them to do.
Cats should come to you when called. Make this possible with the right discipline, affection, and dedication to training.