how to train a cat to wear a harness

Cats are canny, adorable creatures and can make outstanding companions. They are more independent than their household competition, dogs, which makes them a perfect pet for someone with a busy lifestyle. Owning a kitten can be very satisfying and gives you a puurrfect creature to adore. When you are ready to add a feline pal to your family, make sure you learn how to set your cat up for success by following these basic training guidelines.

How to Use a Litter Box

One of the first things cat owners do when thinking about how to train a cat is, “How do I get them to use the litter box?” Since cats tend to be indoor pets, they need a designated place to eliminate, that does not include behind the couch or on bedding. While kittens do not require a little box until 4 weeks of age (up to that time the mother cat stimulates the kitten to eliminate and cleans up after them), it is those next few weeks that training must take place.


It is important to choose the right size litter box for your new pet. If you have adopted a kitten, choose as smaller litter box, and a larger box for an adult cat. In general, the box should be 1 ½ time the length of your pet.

Litter Type

Cats instinctively use cat litter to cover their urine and feces. Price, odor control, the amount of dust, absorbency, how well it clumps, availability to purchase, scent or lack thereof, and other factors may play a role in the type of litter you or your cat prefer.

Tips on how to train a cat to use the litter box include:
  • Reinforce good litter box habits- provide your pet with a treat when he uses the box
  • Keep the litter boxes clean- after removing the litter, add clean litter to keep 2-3 inches for digging
  • Provide a variety of litter box options- place litter boxes throughout the house, and in convenient space

PetMD’s Advice on Introducing Your Kitten to the Litter Box

Once you have your supplies picked out and litter box areas set up, here’s how you can help litter train your kitten.

Step 1:

Show your kitten the locations of each litter box and let your kitten sniff them

Step 2:

Gently place your kitten in the litter box. They may instinctively start pawing at the litter or even using the litter box. If they don’t, run your fingers through the clean litter to demonstrate the pawing action

Step 3:

If your kitten didn’t use one of the boxes in the initial introduction, try placing your kitten in one of the boxes each time they eat, drink, or wake up from a nap, until they begin using the box on their own

How to train a cat to not scratch on furniture

Cats have a desire to scratch for many reasons. They utilize this skill to mark their territory, sharpen their nails, and it can simply happen while they are stretching. However, if your cat is destructively scratching your furniture, you can train the cat to stop by providing scratching posts made of cardboard, carpeting, wood, sisal, and upholstery. Discourage scratching on furniture or walls by place plastic or double-sided tape on the surfaces. Also, make sure you regularly clip your cat nails. Never punish your cat by hitting or yelling at him when you see him scratching the wrong spot. You can startle them by clapping your hands loudly or squirting them with a water bottle.

How to train a cat to not attack your legs

The ASPCA lists the following reasons as to why cats attack:

  • Fearful or defensive
  • Territorial
  • Play
  • Redirected
  • Pet induced
  • Pain induced
  • Maternal
  • Idiopathic

You can train your cat not to attack your legs when you walk by giving them toys to play with, giving them time alone if they are in a threatening situation, or cause a loud noise to distract them from this behavior.

How to train a cat to walk on a leash

It’s common to take a double take when you see someone walking a cat on a leash. It seems odd, however it can be done. The first step is to accomplish this is donning a harness on your cat. Let them walk through the house to get used to wearing the harness. If the cat is easily frightened, you can attach the leash and hold it, allowing him to roam around freely through the home before venturing outdoors. Use treats for positive reinforcement and a fearless association with this new activity.

How to teach your cat the sit/stay command

Cats are capable of learning many of the tricks that dogs learn. To teach a cat to sit, find a treat they love and lure them into a sitting position while saying, “Sit”. Repeat this activity with three, 3-minute sessions and your cat should understand this command within a week. To teach your pet to stay, find a non-distractive environment, train in small intervals of “stay” time, gradually increase the amount of time you anticipate your cat to stay put, and introduce new distractions.

Now that you have a well-rounded idea of how to train your cat, it’s also commonly known that they are escape artists. With a Pin Paws membership, you are likely to be reunited faster with your feline through our dynamic lost pet notification system.

Sign up today and save a heartache tomorrow.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Receive the latest news in your email
Table of content
Related articles