Are there certain cat breeds more trainable than others?

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Some cat breeds are more trainable than others because they are by nature more inquisitive and social. No cat is really programmed to please in the way a dog is because cats are solitary predators, not pack animals. Some feline breeds are, however, incurably nosy, a tendency that can be well directed in training.

The Siamese is a popular breed for its highly verbal, loving way of being in the world. These cats do not like to be left alone and they demand serious, engaging mental activity. They take well to training, often inventing “tricks” all on their own, but they can be a real handful and when they lose their tempers, they are formidable.

The Somali is also playful, active, and smart, but they’re a little less demanding than the Siamese. Somalis are very affectionate and enjoy close proximity to their humans, so they’re more tolerant of longer training sessions than most cats who won’t stand for “lessons” than run longer than 10 minutes or so at a time.

Bengals, with their distinct spotted coats, are exotic in appearance and considered to be among the most intelligent of all the domestic cat breeds. Bengals are often compared to dogs in their willingness to play fetch and even to talking walks on a leash. They are very busy, and curious, however, and can find all kinds of trouble to get into when left to their own devices.

Maine Coons are also known for their willingness to submit to the leash. These massive cats are not bundles of energy, and love to spend most of their time horizontal on the couch, but they’re highly intelligent and interactive with their humans and have a reputation for being easily trained.

In truth, almost any cat is trainable if his human understands cat “language” and the way the cat interpret praise, reward, and effort in its world view. Essentially cats will only do those things that to them communicate a positive reward. When that reward is taken away, so is their willingness to perform the behavior.

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