Category Archives: Cat Training

Questions and answers about training a cat.

Why does my cat bite me?

Cats bite for numerous reasons. Biting is very common in kittens, but usually cats stop biting as they get older. Kittens bite because they are very playful creatures, and biting is a fun game for them!  You may also be interested in reading why cats sometimes purr and then bite, or why cats chew and bite plastic bags.

Your cat is most likely biting you because he is playing a game. Cats bite a lot when they are playing. Unfortunately, cats don’t always know when to stop playing, and sometimes they can hurt you when they bite.

Sometimes when a cat is playing, it has a hard time setting the boundary between playing with you and hurting you.

Your cat may also be biting you to warn you that he does not like something. For example, if you are petting your cat on his stomach, he may bite you softly to warn you that he does not like it.

If your cat is biting you hard or is displaying aggressive behavior, there could be something wrong with him, especially if the behavior is out of the ordinary. You should take your cat to see a veterinarian if he is acting out of character.

Cats may bite more frequently after undergoing a declaw surgery. Cats use their claws to grip objects. After a cat’s claws are removed, he has nothing to grip objects with except his teeth. Therefore, after your cat is declawed, he may bite objects (or you) instead of using his paws.

Cats may also bite if you have various scents on your hands. For example, if you were recently cooking with meat or other yummy foods, your cat may lick or bite your hands. In this case, your cat probably wants the food and does not realize that his biting may hurt you.

Some cats will bite your hands if you have chemicals on them such as bleach or other cleaning products. You should ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water before handling your cat. If your cat eats these dangerous chemicals, he could become ill.

How can I stop my cat from biting me?

You can train your cat to stop biting.  In order to train your cat to stop biting, it is extremely important that you are consistent. Never punish your cat or use physical force with your cat. Instead, simply say “No” in a stern voice. Pet owners have also reported success with pressing into the cat when he bites, instead of pulling your hand away. Another technique is to not react at all to the biting. Of course, this method only works if your cat is not biting extremely hard.

If you move your hand away after your cat bites you, he will probably think that you are playing a game with him. This will encourage the biting, and will probably result in your cat biting more frequently. Be patient with your cat. If you are patient and consistent, your cat will stop biting. If he does not stop biting, you should take him to see a veterinarian because he could be ill.

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Why does my cat eat plants?

Your cat is a carnivore, so why is he eating your plants? Plant eating is a normal cat behavior, but almost every pet owner is annoyed by it (myself included).

In the wild, cats probably eat plants as a source of fiber. In most cases, owners must either accept the behavior, remove the plants from the home, or try to redirect the behavior to a different source (such as cat grass).

However, if the plant in your home is poisonous, you must remove the plant from your home or place it in a location where the cannot cannot chew it. If your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, you should take him to see a veterinarian. Toxic plants can cause some serious health issues for your cat!

Is your cat eating his food? If your cat does not like his food, he may be eating your plants as a food source.

Cats biting fake tree

Cats biting fake tree

Why Do Cats Eat Plants?
Cats eat plants because the plant either tastes good, or feels good on their mouth while they are eating it. Some plants, like catnip, also produce a pleasurable effect. Cats don’t know which plants are safe plants and which plants are hazardous plants.

How can I stop my cat from eating plants?
Training your cat to stop eating your plants is very difficult. Most likely, you will end up getting rid of your plants, or choosing safe plants and accepting the ‘chewed up’ appearance of your plant!

However, if you’d like to keep your plants, here’s somethings that you can try:

  • Place your plants in cat-proof places, or places that are difficult for your cat to access
  • Provide your cat with cat grass in order to redirect the issue to an appropriate plant
  • Place mothballs to the plant’s soil
  • Spray the plant a scent or product that will keep your cat away from the plant
  • Attempt to train your cat that he cannot chew the plant (use a water squirter or air horn when your cat bites the plant)

What should I do if my cat eats a plant?

If your cat eats a plant, you should contact your veterinarian.  If your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, your cat needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.  You should also bring the plant with you when you go to see the veterinarian so they can determine the type of plant.  Different plants can affect cats in different ways.  Some plants may simply cause your cat to have an upset stomach and diarrhea, while other plants can be toxic and sometimes fatal to cats.

Are plants poisonous to cats?
Yes, some plants are dangerous for cats to eat. There are different opinions about which plants are safe for cats and which plants are dangerous for cats. Even if a plant is considered safe for your cat, it is possible that your cat can become sick from the plant.

If your cat ate a plant, you should check to make sure the plant he ate is not toxic to cats. If it is, you should speak with your veterinarian quickly!

Below is a list of plans that are considered poisonous to cats (taken from the Cat Fancier’s Association):

Almond (Pits of)
Aloe Vera
Apple (seeds)
Apple Leaf Croton
Apricot (Pits of)
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (fuit and pit)
Baby’s Breath
Bird of Paradise
Black-eyed Susan
Black Locust
Bleeding Heart
Branching Ivy
Buddist Pine
Burning Bush
Cactus, Candelabra
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherry (pits, seeds & wilting leaves)
Cherry, most wild varieties
Cherry, ground
Cherry, Laurel
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Crocus, Autumn
Crown of Thorns
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philodendron
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas
Devil’s Ivy
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumb Cane
Easter Lily *
Elephant Ear
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida Beauty
Four O’Clock
Fruit Salad Plant
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier IvyGolden Chain
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Glow
Golden Pothos
Gopher Purge
Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Hemlock, Poison
Hemlock, Water
Horse Chestnuts
Hurricane Plant
Indian Rubber Plant
Indian Tobacco
Iris Ivy
Jack in the Pulpit
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily *
Java Beans
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jungle Trumpets
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lily Spider
Lily of the Valley
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Mescal Bean
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mock Orange
Morning Glory
Mother-in Law’s Tongue
Morning Glory
Mountain Laurel
Needlepoint Ivy
Oriental Lily *
Peace Lily
Peach (pits and wilting leaves)
Pencil Cactus
Plumosa Fern
Poinsettia (low toxicity)
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Precatory Bean
Privet, Common
Red Emerald
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Ribbon Plant
Rosemary Pea
Rubber Plant
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Scotch Broom
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage
Snow on the Mountain
Spotted Dumb Cane
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Swiss Cheese plant
Tansy Mustard
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily *
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Tung Tree
Virginia Creeper
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Wild Call
Yews — e.g. Japanese Yew
English Yew
Western Yew
American Yew

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Why does my cat pee outside the litter?

Cats pee outside the litterbox for many different reasons. It is important to be patient with your cat and never punish your cat if he pees outside the litter box.

This article discusses the following topics:

  • reasons cats pee outside the litter box
  • training your cat to use the litter box
  • cleaning cat accidents in your home

Reasons Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box

Litter Box Too Dirty!
Cats will often pee outside the litter box if the litter is too dirty. Cats are dirty animals that like to have a clean washroom. Cats do not like to step in a dirty litter box. If your litter box is clean and your cat is still not using it, there is probably a different reason.

Stress or Change
Cats can experience stress for many reasons. However, usually stress is caused by change, such as a new animal in the household. If your cat is stressed, he may choose to pee somewhere other than the litter box.

Health Complications
If your cat is peeing outside the litterbox, he may be suffering from health complications, such as a bladder infection. There are many serious issues that can cause your cat to pee outside of the litterbox. If your cat is straining, that can indicate a serious problem such as a blockage. You should take your cat to see a veterinarian to ensure that he is healthy. Blockages can be life threatening emergencies that require immediate attention.

How to Train Your Cat to Use the Litter Box

Keep the Litter Box Clean
This is absolutely the most important step for training your cat to use the litter box. Cats are more likely to continue using the box if it is kept clean. Clean the litter box at least once each day.

Try Different Litters
There are many different types of litters on the market right now: crystals, clay, clumping, and flushable. Find a litter that your cat likes, and begin your training! Remember: Keep the litter clean!

Praise and Treats

Place your cat in the litter box often and pet him to make him feel comfortable. When your cat uses the litter box, be sure to praise him with affection and/or treats. You must communicate to your cat that it is good behavior to pee in the litter box.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is used by many animal behaviorists. It works by enforcing good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. You can use clicker training to train your cats to do many things. There are many clickers on the market that can be used, but you can also find tools in your home, as long as you use the same ‘clicking’ sound when training you cat. Start by making a clicking sound and rewarding your cat with a treat. Do this a few times a day until your cat learns that he gets a treat when he hears the clicking sound. The key to this training technique is to notice when your cat is using the litter box and make the clicking sound. Your cat will associate the clicking sound (which he likes) with the litter box (which you want him to like!)

Eliminate All Odors from Previous Accidents
This step is extremely important. Your cat can get confused if he smells his pee in other areas of the house. Cats generally go to the bathroom where they have previously gone. If your cat can smell his pee on the couch, he will likely go to the bathroom on the couch again. Keep reading for more information about removing the smell of cat urine in your home.

How to Eliminate the Smell of Cat Urine

To clean cat urine and eliminate the smell, follow the steps below:

  1. Dry the area as soon as possible if it is still wet.
      – Use a dry cloth or paper towel.
      – Don’t rub. Instead, blot the area to absorb the urine.
      – Keep soaking it up until it is dry.
  2. Choose a urine cleaning. There are many products on the market for this purpose. It is extremely important that the product you use neutralizes the urine. Your regular household products will not work because they will not neutralize. Look for a good enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle. There are many options.
  3. Keep the cat away from the area until the smell is completely gone. Remember: Cat’s have a better sense of smell than humans. Just because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean your cat can’t.
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Why does my cat drink from the toilet?

Your cat drinks from the toilet because he is thirsty! Even better, the water in the toilet is cold. Cats love cold water, just like humans do! Cats might like drinking from the toilet even more if your toilet water is running. It’s like a water fountain… for cats!

If you don’t want your cat to drink from the toilet, then perhaps it would be a good idea to put the lid down! If you don’t put the lid down, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you don’t ever forget to flush — Yuck!

If your cat is drinking from the toilet, make sure that you don’t have any dangerous chemicals in the water — this could make your cat sick.  Many toilet cleaning products are extremely poisonous to both cats and humans.  If your cat is drinking from the toilet and you sometimes forget to keep the toilet lid down, its a good idea to use a cleaning product that is not toxic to cats.

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