Where is the best place to do a training session with your cat?

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Cats are very trainable, intelligent and curious. They learn quickly, but they must be motivated.

The key is knowing exactly what your cat responds to because her mindset is important; that can either make a productive and happy training session or it can cause an abysmal one.

When thinking of an environment in which to train her consider these factors:

• Positive association. Does she remember that area as a fun and happy place, or is it one she associates with some kind of negativity? That will affect her mindset and her ability and desire to learn.

• Is it an appropriate training ground? For example, cats don’t like to use the bathroom anywhere near where they eat, so if you’re housebreaking a kitten, be sure to keep the litter box and food nowhere near each other. Another example is that cats generally dislike water; yet, they are fascinated with running water. So, if yours is an outdoor cat, and you have the hose turned on, that probably isn’t a good place for training. She’ll either be distracted, fearful or both.

• Is it calm and reassuring? Some cats get spooked easily by things like startling sounds, strange smells, fast movements, unfamiliar sights and surprise visits from people or pets. Keep the training environment calm and quiet.

If frightened, some cats will also react by biting or scratching people or even slipping out of their harnesses or walking jackets (if you’re trying to train your cat outside.)

• Is the room free of strange smells and sharp sounds? Cats are pretty sensitive to this, so make sure the area isn’t perfumed or has any smell of a pesticide or cleaner. Likewise, they don’t like sharp sounds so you don’t want to train where someone is vacuuming or using tools.

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