How to Train Your Cat To Come When Called

Easy
3-8 Days
General

Introduction

Are you thinking of training your cat to come when called? The success of this mission may depend on your cat! Their level of independence and how affectionate they are may have some bearing on how well they come to your call. 

As with training your cat to listen, your kitty may decide to let their free-spirited personality determine their level of obedience. But experience shows that many cats happily respond to the call to come. Give your furry feline a try!

Defining Tasks

Teaching your cat to come when called can be a command handy for keeping them out of danger. If you are walking your kitty and they dart off after a bird, you may lose control of the leash. 

Having a cat who responds to the request to come will be a bonus in this case. Getting your cat to come when called at mealtime is an easier task, understandably. Because of this, it’s a good place to start.

Getting Started

To train Coco to come when called, set the stage for success. Gather tasty treats, a fun toy, and a little patience. Top it off with a willing cat and it’s time to get started. 

Remember, if you sense that your clever cat is not in the mood to train, decide to try again the next day. Cats are never in a rush, so don’t be either! They’ll learn in time and have a fun time training with their favorite human!

The Name Reinforcement Method

Effective
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Step
1
Ensure readiness
Make sure your cat is ready to train. If they are tired, in a playful mood, or ravishingly hungry, the timing may be off. To have a successful training session, your cat should be relaxed and hungry enough to respond to the possibility of a treat.
Step
2
Proper environment
Make sure there are no distractions. Don’t train your curious kitty beside an open window with birds flying around or try to get them to focus on you if their sibling is playing nearby. Set the stage for success by training in a quiet locale.
Step
3
Say their name
Stand opposite your cat. Have a few of their favorite treats in your hand. Say your cat’s name with a cheerful and uplifting voice. If they respond right away by looking directly at you, say “yes” and give them a treat.
Step
4
Repeat the action
Repeat this simple action over a session of 1-2 minutes. For the sake of this training exercise, don’t call them by name over the training period, which could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Step
5
Add distance
After a few sessions, if you feel your cat has the idea, start training them from a few feet away. They should remember that training involves yummy treats. As your cat responds to you calling their name, you can replace the treats with a play session with a fun toy to avoid the overfeeding of treats. Keep working on the command until they come when called from a distance.
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The Sound Method

Effective
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Step
1
Treat association
Does your cat already come running when they hear the sound of the treat bag opening at treat time? Use this association with something yummy to train your feline four-legger to come when called.
Step
2
Decide on command
Decide on the command you will use when asking your cat to come. It could be as simple as calling their name, or it could involve more direction, such as “come, Coco, come”. Always use the same command when teaching this task.
Step
3
Repeat with treat
Start beside your cat, open the bag, and say their name or the command, whichever you decide to use. Next, move a few feet away from your kitty, open the treat bag, and repeat the action.
Step
4
Increase the distance
Once your cat is coming to you when called from a short distance, increase the distance by several feet. Try this distance in your training session the next day.
Step
5
Add challenge
After several sessions, plan to start the next training time in another room. Open the bag, call your cat and see if they respond. Have another family member do the same thing from a different room, encouraging the cat to respond to each person.
Step
6
Ultimate test
The true test will be when your kitty is on a long leash outside. Try calling your cat when they are distracted by the buzzing of bees and the sight of birds in flight. At first, you will most likely have to give a treat as a reward for coming when outside. After coming when called becomes old hat, you can reward your obedient cat with a game or cheerful praise and affection.
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The Clicker Method

Effective
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Step
1
Teach clicker
The first step is to help your cat associate the clicker with good things. Take a spoon and add a little soft cat food. Let your cat lick the spoon, and use the clicker to make a sound at the same time. Over 3-5 sessions, associate the click with the food reward.
Step
2
Treat and spoon
At the next training session, take the spoon with the treat on it and place it near your cat’s nose. Coax them toward you by moving the spoon closer.
Step
3
Treat and cue
Give the verbal cue “come, Coco, come” as you move the spoon. Click when your cat arrives and allow them to lick the spoon. Repeat this over a couple of sessions.
Step
4
More distance
Once your cat comes to you from a distance of one foot or so, just by seeing the spoon reward, increase the distance. Remember to always click and give the verbal command. Before you know it, your cat will respond to you from a distance and even the next room. Keep up the reward and the click until you are confident your cat has the task down pat.
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Written by Darlene Stott

Published: 02/09/2021, edited: 02/09/2021

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