How to make a cat obey

I often get asked, "How do I make my cat obey me?"

Reverend Jim, glad to do whatever is asked of him
They are often baffled by my reply. I say, "We make them happy."

The connection between Affection and Obedience is often the missing element when we have cat training troubles.

This is entirely different from the way dogs work. Whenever we try to use dog techniques on cats, we wind up with unhappy cats and frustrated people. So, we shouldn't do that.

Cats, unlike people and dogs, are not pack animals. They don't have "social shortcuts" that let them understand they are supposed to obey in a certain situation. In fact, there is no situation where a cat feels like they should obey!

Cats are used to relying upon themselves, or, trusted friends. If we get into the Trusted Friends category in our cat's head, we can then be relied upon to give advice, like "don't wake me up at the crack of dawn" or "bad things happen when you climb the drapes."

What we need to do is:

  • Learn their language.
  • Make friends with our cats.
  • Ask them to do us favors.

It really is that simple.

For more about training with love, see The training rule that is always broken.
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