Get an adult pet or take a cat in from a rescue center: adult cats, with an already assertive character, require a real faculty to adapt. Will you be able to teach your cat new life rules?
Can you even… train a cat?
First essential question: can you even train a cat? Indeed, this little feline has a strong, sometimes unlimited, sense of independence and it seems impossible to “fashion” a cat as you could for a dog…
Beyond the basic education provided to a kitten, which includes hygiene rules (do its business in the litter box) and certain firmly forbidden behaviors (jump on top of furniture, steal food), it may be difficult to change the behavior of an already grown cat. The most important thing is to analyze the cat’s personality before taking it in, in order to make sure that you can live in peace under the same roof. A fleeting or fearful cat will not be the best candidate for “re-training”. Prefer peaceful and quiet cats that seem open to a new environment… Even if your influence will be limited (don’t get your hopes up)!
Once your new companion has settled in your home, it will have to follow the house rules:
- Hygiene: you prefer open litter boxes? If your cat is not used to doing its business in a tray, you’re going to have to be very convincing… Place your litter box in a quiet and private location in order to protect your cat’s intimacy. Do not put the box next to your cat’s food bowl! If you’re limited in space, crate-shaped enclosed litter boxes are a good solution. If you’re having trouble in the adaptation process, moisten a tissue with your cat’s urine and use it to lure the cat into the box. Finally, keep in mind that, even if it is popular on the internet, training your cat to do its business in the toilet is only possible with young kittens!
- Going out: whatever your house policy is, use a Weenect Cats GPS tracker right away. If you try to keep an outdoors cat inside, you will at least be able to locate it if it runs away. And if there is a cat flap in your house, you won’t have to worry about your cat getting lost.
Food is also a real concern! Indeed, the adult cat that you just took in was accustomed to a certain diet: home-cooked meals (the previous owner used to cook the cat’s food himself), dry food (kibbles) or wet food (canned mash). In the matter, every cat has a preference but know that cooking your cat’s meals yourself requires precise knowledge of cat nutrition, and that in the end, it is quite costly. Dry food remains the most simple option and you can let your cat nibble whenever it feels like it.
Make sure to choose the food that is most suited to your cat’s specific features (senior cat, neutered, delicate stomach, etc.).
Finally, know that cats are generally fond of mash and canned food, which can imply certain behaviors (such as begging for food at fixed hours and more frequently) as well as, sometimes, digestive trouble. You can mix dry and wet food, or even moisten the kibbles: it is ideal for a senior cat with fragile teeth, and also a good way to get a cat used to dry food gradually.
Adopting an adult cat means that it has a stronger personality and habits that you will have to deal with. In this context, you can’t really talk about training! However, you may get it used to your home habits, especially if you can make your cat comfortable in your house… It is the start of a great companionship!