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(It's a Cat's World #4) Why Don't cats Come When Called?

Excerpt from It's A Cat's World...You Just Live In It by Justine A. Lee, DVM

Cats are aloof, fastidious, independent creatures who don't like to answer to anyone. Your cat can hear you calling her; she just may not feel like answering. That said, don't give up. With appropriate training, your cat may soon recognize her name and come to you when called.

If you want to train your cat to come to you when you call her, start by using a short name with a vowel at the end (like "Echo") - that'll make it easier for your cat to distinguish your daily gibberish and babbling from her name. Next, use positive reinforcement (i.e., bribery). When you're feeding her a canned food snack or treat, call her name. Before you know it, she'll be running each time you holler. Seamus and Echo both come when called, thanks to years of bribery and reward. Whenever I call them, I always reward them with some type of treat: an ear scratching, a small piece of kibble, or a quick butt smack (the gentle kind).

I also call them every evening for their nightly dollop of canned food grub (everyone should have a small pre-bedtime snack, right?). Makes it easier to train them to come get their medication too, if that day ever comes.

For all you dog types, don't get frustrated with your cat when it comes to training. Remember, dogs generally like to please their master and be obedient. Cats don't care, and it's OK to use bribery instead.

To learn more about your feline companion, purchase It's A Cat's World...You Just Live In It from Catnip today.


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