Does your cat come when you call, or does he look at you and ignore you? Getting a cat to come can become quite frustrating for a cat owner, which is why today I will be explaining how to train a cat to come when called.
Every cat needs to understand when they’re called and respond quickly. Besides everyday needs, getting your cat to come when called without delay would help in critical situations.
Take for example, if your pet gets lost or there is an emergency, you need to protect your cat and get her to come to you quickly. It will also help you save time when you are in a hurry to feed and care for your cat before heading out.
Overall, it makes it easier for you to communicate with your pet. This is why I’ll be showing you how to train a cat to come to its name with the following tips;
Table of Contents
1. Choose An Easy Name For A Cat
You can’t talk about how to teach a cat to come without deciding on a name. Choosing a name is the first thing to do, and it’s important to pick an easy name. An easy name won’t be difficult for you to pronounce and one your cat can easily recognize.
Picking an easy name for your cat doesn’t have to be difficult. There are lots of cat name ideas and name generators online you can leverage. Also, a cat’s name should be one or two syllables at most for better results. Some names are not great for cats, so be sure to choose the right type of names.
When you pick a name, do not change it too soon if it seems as though your pet isn’t getting the hang of it. You have to be consistent with it for it to stick.
See our article here with ten tips on choosing a name for your cat to help you find a great name if you haven’t settled on a name already or if you would like a better name for your cat.
2. Call Your Cat Only By The Name Chosen
With a suitable name selected, you can now proceed by calling your cat only by her name. The first attempt may be difficult as your cat might wonder what this strange word is being called out.
Therefore, to draw your cat’s attention to you or state your presence in the room, you may wish to go down to her level on the floor, call her name and follow up with any action you previously used to make her come.
It’s important to use this in positive ways only. That means don’t call your cat by name if you want to scold or shout at her. Positive reinforcement training is preferred anyway, as cats do not learn from punitive forms of discipline.
As you progress, try calling her name alongside other simple commands like sit, come, etc. Try doing this from different distances; start very close to her and increase the distance gradually. See this article on how to train a cat to be well behaved to help you teach your cat how to behave better.
3. Find Out What Motivates Your Pet And Provide It
Picture this scenario, you call your pet by her name, and she turns and sees you holding her favorite treats. She’ll run to you to have some. Subsequently, she’ll come to associate the name with receiving treats and will run to you when called.
Most cats already do this. They come when you open up your wet cat food, or they hear the sound of the bag of treats being opened. So we can use this to get better results.
To make the training work better, you need to first find out what motivates your cat to respond and obey. Does your cat like treats, or is there a toy that your cat loves? Most cats are motivated by food, so that should be your first choice.
4. Learn How To Train A Cat With Treats And Rewards
When starting the training, ensure you call and reward your cat with treats just before it’s time for her to eat. At that time, she’s a bit hungry and will come to get the treats.
You can call your cat and drop the treat for her to eat when she comes. After the treat is eaten, take a few steps back and do the same thing. Repeat this like 2 to 5 times during the first training session, and then give your pet the full meal to enjoy.
If your pet responds well to this, try calling her name from a different room and continuing to reward her with treats when she shows up. You can also call her name as you are opening up the bag of treats, so she starts to associate good feelings with the sound of her name.
You could also try rewarding her with affection that you are sure she likes, as an alternative to treats on occasion.
5. Get Help From Others Living With You
As you work on teaching your cat to come when called, the goal is to get your pet used to hearing her name as much as possible. If you leave in a house with other family members or flatmates, employing their help is key to success.
Let your co-residents know the name you have decided to call your pet and use it whenever they want to engage her. They shouldn’t just call out phrases like sweetie, cutie, etc. Everyone should use her name along with these phrases.
Sticking with your cat’s name would make your training more effective and is essential to ensure your cat is not confused during the training process.
6. Train Every Day In Different Areas
You’ll be boring your pet if you repeat the same activity for long hours. Cats are relatively independent animals and like their space. For this reason, you should train your pet in very short sessions but every day.
Training sessions can be as short as 2 to 5 minutes max. You can engage your pet in these sessions 2 to 3 times every day for the best results.
Also, don’t train your pet in the same location every time. Switch rooms, and once in a while, also take your pet outdoors. If your cat is already leash trained, she won’t get lost. She’ll learn to recognize your voice and the name anywhere you are.
How To Get A Cat To Come To You Outside
It is important to use your cat’s favorite treats while outdoors, especially in the beginning when teaching your cat to come as the outdoors is a bigger distraction for your cat. Most cat breeds love being outdoors and may not want to return too quickly.
To overcome this, try using multiple rewards and varying the rewards and treats so that your cat gets excited to return to you as they are unsure of what the gift will be.
However, don’t do a negative action like take your cat inside, or take her to the vet immediately when she comes to you; otherwise, she’ll start being afraid to come. This is most important in the beginning while training your cat.
If you are fond of going on extended outdoor trips like hiking, you can see our post on how to train your cat for hikes. However, your cat must learn basic commands first before embarking on long trips like hiking. You can teach your cat commands with the use of a clicker. See this post on clicker training a cat.
7. Seek Medical Help
If it seems impossible for your cat to learn her name and respond when called, you might need medical help or need to see a specialist.
You should, first of all, try all the tips mentioned here before proceeding to this. Training takes time, so you may need to be a bit patient.
However, if no results, you would need to take the next step and see a vet. You will need this most if you have an adult cat or a rescue. According to VCA Hospitals, cats can lose their hearing as they age, and it’s a slow but steady process. If your cat has lost her hearing, it might be hard for her to decipher what you are saying.
Can You Train A Deaf Cat To Come When Called?
If your cat has been certified as deaf, it could have been caused by various issues. If it’s a kitty, then it could be a genetic problem. Some cats are born completely partially deaf, which makes hearing a problem; this is referred to as congenital deafness.
Your veterinarian is in the best position to diagnose the problem and recommended possible treatments and solutions.
However, a deaf cat can still be trained to come to you but not with sound. You will need to use visuals instead, like a flashing toy or flashing light, etc., and be in her line of sight or view so she can see it and know you want her to come to you. Be sure to follow the same steps of training previously covered and provide her with rewards when she comes.
Here is a video that details the training process; if you still need more information on getting your cat to come to you.
These tips on how to train a cat to come when called are important. You won’t be able to train your cat to do several other things like walk on a leash, use a litter box, etc. if your cat doesn’t understand and obey your calls.
Also note, cats are easier to train when they are younger and more eager to learn. However, adult cats can still be trained, but you will need to be a little bit more patient with them. Don’t worry; it will be worth it in the end.
Finally, take the time to go through the steps above and get your cat to come when you call. Don’t forget to share this post on how to train a cat to come to its name with others.