Imagine this. You’ve just gone grocery shopping, and you have arrived home. You load yourself up with all the bags and walk to your door. As you open the door, your cat comes rushing out. You do everything you can to stop them without dropping anything, but they get past you. If you’re like me, you’re likely cursing under your breath at this point.
To avoid this dramatic scene every time you come home, I’m going to teach you how to train your cat to stay.
Why should you train your cat to stay?
Cats are notorious for roaming and exploring all over the place. But you can train your cat to stay within a specific area for short periods, just as you would train your dog to do with some patience and persistence.
There are many reasons why you should train your cat to stay in one place. The most well-known reason is that it’s safer for your cat; they are less likely to run into the street or get into other kinds of danger.
Cats can also be trained to stay in one place so that they don’t scratch up furniture or other items in the house.
Some people may say that it is a waste of time to train your cat to stay in one place because it will never listen. But there are many reasons why this is not true and why training your cat is essential.
Cats are known for being very agile and intelligent animals. But, if they feel threatened or excited, they will suddenly turn into miniature racecars, and it doesn’t matter what or who is in their way.
Creating The Perfect Home For Your Kitty
Before we discuss how to teach your cat to stay, you need to provide them with an environment where they enjoy staying. This will also reduce your cat’s desire to run outside every chance it gets.
We will cover the basics of how to make your home perfect for your kitty. Make sure they have plenty of space, scratching posts, litter boxes, and toys.
The first thing you will want to do is find an area to put all their accessories like scratching posts and litter boxes.
Cats like to explore, and they like having their own space, so it’s best not to put everything in one area so they can feel free to roam around without being confined.
You can achieve the perfect home for your kitty by taking into consideration some important factors:
- The size: the space you’re willing to give your pet is a significant factor in what you should buy and where you put it. If space is an issue, cat trees are the best place to start. They give your cats more vertical space, which can also serve as a great scratching post. It would help if you also considered cat condos, which give them more places to hide and sleep. Shelves and high surfaces above the ground so your cat can scan its environment from above are also great.
- The litter box’s location: if you have multiple cats, it’s best to have litter boxes on every floor of your home. This will make cleaning up after them much easier and quicker. Many cat experts suggest having one litter box for every cat, plus an additional box. For example, there are two cats in our household, so we have three boxes altogether. If you have three cats, you would have four boxes. Increasing the number of litter boxes in the house will help prevent territorialism between cats and decrease any feeling of stress from overcrowding.
“If you have more than one cat you need more than one litter box. The general rule of thumb is to have more litter boxes than you have cats. Usually one extra will do, but that also depends on the dynamics without your home. The litter boxes should be scattered throughout the home so one cat doesn’t have to pass through another cat’s preferred area. One of the ways to keep peace in a multicat home is to not force cats to compete for resources. If you have five cats it may not seem like much fun to have to scoop six litter boxes but it’s better than having some or all of the cats stressed out and maybe ending up with a litter box avoidance problem. Cleaning a litter box is easier than cleaning soiled carpet.”Pam Johnson-Bennett at catbehaviorassociates.com
- Cat scratchers: These are extremely important for cats because they need a way to scratch their claws without destroying your furniture or carpeting! While clipping your cat’s claws regularly should be one of your habits, and using claw covers will help reduce the damage to your furniture a cat will still need to feel like they have something they can scratch on.
Entertainment inside and out
You also want to make sure you have lots of different toys. Tunnels are a great item to start with, as it gives your kitty something to explore. Balls and crinkly toys are easy and cheap. Melody loves balls that jingle and will bat one around for hours. There are also puzzles made for cats where you place a treat inside. Mio goes crazy over hers.
Are you not using your TV to watch your shows?
Put on shows for your cat. Most smart TVs allow access to Youtube, and you will find hundreds of Youtube channels that provide hours of video of birds, squirrels, and other creatures cats love.
Melody loves watching TV, and when I’m going to be gone for more than a couple of hours, I put her shows on.
Other forms of cat TV are windows and glass doors. Give your cats access to these areas by placing a cat tree or condo next to them. Hang bird feeders outside of these windows and watch as your cat chatters away at the birds that come to eat.
Make Cats Stay Put With these Simple Step-by-step Tips
Many cats are curious by nature, so training them to stay in one place can be tricky. Here are some tips that can help you train your cat to stay in one place.
- Reward your cat with a treat like greenies when it stays in the designated area.
- Play with your cat by tossing a toy or giving them food, so they come back to the designated area where you want them to stay.
- Ignore them if they move out of their designated area and follow this up with praise when they return to the right place.
- Do not use a squirt bottle or get angry with your cat if they don’t stay in one place. Remember your cat needs to feel comfortable with staying in that designated spot. Forcing them to remain there will only make them feel trapped and scared.
Stop tripping over your cat as you come through the door
Teaching your cat to stay in one place will keep them safe and protect your furniture. By following the tips outlined and providing your cat with an indoor environment they enjoy, training your cat to stay easy.
It may take time, but it will be worth it when you don’t have to worry about opening your front door.
Do you have any questions about or experience with training a cat how to stay? Leave your comments below, we look forward to hearing from mew!