Fascinating cats in this dog-world might make your peers judge you, but that is not your concern! If you’re like me, you will notice yourself asking- why are these felines irresistible?
Perhaps, you have an emotional support cat who you admire. I understand cats can produce pleasure when they are obnoxious. That is what an emotional support animal is supposed to do- bring you happiness, keeping you calm and relaxed.
Owning a cat is more like being owned by them! However, not every cat can be your ESA, but you can train them to adapt to your lifestyle and work with humans. It is best to train and socialize them when they are still kitties.
An Emotional Support animal needs to be obedient. Hence, teach them basic commands like Sit and Stay. With cats, you are blessed with a partner who genuinely receives you.
So, let’s explore how to train any cat to be your best ESA.
Socializing the Cat
ESA Cats are not social with humans as ESA dogs, especially if you adopted a feral cat! Hence, they need the training to be social at home, with strangers, and in public places. Cats can be best-taught socialization when they are kittens. It soon gets accustomed to being around people.
Here is how to socialize your cat!
A kitty can be your best apprentice. At that age, it learns what is “normal”, and hence it is most natural at this stage. If your puss determines that being touched and friendly is “normal”, it is more likely to be a sociable cat willing to be petted by strangers.
Socialization At Home
Charity begins at home, and so does the training! Work on petting and caressing them at home. Let it know- you are its human. Start with light strokes that cats enjoy like pats on the head and gradually stroke it all over. Next, you can start by holding its paw or tail for a few seconds. If it doesn’t resist in that duration, reward it with petting the way it likes. Eventually, move on to petting areas where it doesn’t like as much. Withdraw if your cat seems to get mad!
Bring Strangers To Socialize
Have strangers come to your house and introduce them to your cat. Let your cat approach them first. And, when it does, ask your friend to try to pet as if your cat will let them. To encourage your cat, let your friend offer a treat or a toy to play with.
Take Your Kitten Out To Socialize
As much as it is important to welcome guests politely, it is important to behave in public places. Hence, take your kitten out and let it meet new people. Moreover, it is not only us with whom the cat should socialize. Let them leave the house and befriend other kittens too. Some areas have special classes for kittens to socialize.
Obedience Training For the Cat
Obedience is the key to the behavior of cats and dogs in public places. Especially if they are emotional support animals, they need to be in their best behavior as they will be your roommate, your travel partner, and most of the other things!
Begin with Clicker Training
A clicker is a device to train pets with a clicking noise. You begin this training only to get our cats associated with good things. Hence, you offer a treat every time you use the clicker. Repeat this until your cat gets accustomed to associating treats with the clicker. Use a ball-point pen with a clicking noise if you do not have a clicker.
Help it to come at its name
I am sure you have chosen a perfect name for your feline companion. Teach your cats to respond to their name! The easiest way to teach its name is by using a behavior already in place. Suppose, if your cat comes when you use a can opener, say your cat’s name as you use the can opener. Then, reward your cat with a treat.
Work on “Sit” Command
Training ‘Sit’ command to cats is similar to dogs’ training. You require a treat and your cat in a distraction-free area. Take the feast and hold it above the cat’s head. Let the excitement in your cat fade out. Move the treat from the head towards their tail, which will make them lift their head and come to the Sit position. Say “Sit” as it procures the position.
Work on “Stay” Command
Stay command is important to make your cat public-place ready! Take it to a distraction-free area and let it sit in one corner. Say “Stay” and slowly step back. Keep on retreating your steps. Consider a specific distance initially and gradually increase it as your cat masters the previous training. You need patience in this training too!
Teach Your Cat To Walk On A Leash
Your cat should be habituated to walk in a controlled manner, and nothing is better than teaching them to walk on a leash. You require a harness and a leash for this training. Begin with putting the harness on the cat in the house. Once they are okay with it, take them outside with that leash on. Don’t walk it yet. Let the cat explore the yard, but don’t leave it alone. As it gets okay outside, try taking short walks in the near neighborhood.
What a gift you’ve got there- an Emotional Support Cat. Don’t be fooled by the dog-loving population. Researchers say that cats can be healing to humans. Cat owners are less likely to die with heart attacks. To certify your cat as an ESA, make sure they are trained well and behave adequately to be accepted in public places. You can make the most of this summer and train your cat along with yourself! Make sure that your cat is of appropriate age before you head out to train it! Also, if you’re adopting a feral cat, it’s temperament should be worthy of all your efforts! Dog’s behavior is simple to interpret compared to cats.