15 Common Cat Training Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Training your cat is an important way to ensure they are happy and healthy. It improves their behavior, as well as making them more likely to bond with their owners. 

However, many people make mistakes when they’re training their cats and those mistakes can be costly! 

Here are 15 common cat training mistakes along with tips on how you can avoid them:

Clicker Train Your Cat Faster avoiding these 5 MISTAKES
Key Takeaways
1. Training your cat takes patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
2. Punishing your cat for bad behavior is not an effective way to train them.
3. Providing your cat with the right tools, such as a scratching post or litter box, can encourage good behavior.
4. Consistency is key when it comes to cat training – training sessions should be a regular part of your daily routine.
5. Understanding the science behind cat behavior can help cat owners achieve long-lasting results.
6. Training your cat doesn’t have to be a chore – there are plenty of fun and creative ways to train your feline companion.
7. Common mistakes to avoid during cat training include expecting too much too soon, underestimating the impact of environmental factors, and not being consistent with your training.
8. By following the dos and don’ts of cat training, cat owners can avoid common errors and help their feline friends learn new skills and behaviors.
9. With patience, consistency, and the right training techniques, it’s possible to train your cat to do tricks, use the litter box, and even stay off of counters and tables.
10. For those interested in learning more about cat training, there are many helpful resources available online.

Using Force To Train Your Cat

The best way to train your cat is by using positive reinforcement. this means rewarding the behavior you want, rather than punishing unwanted behavior.

In other words, don’t use force or punishment to train your cat—it’s not humane and won’t work!

Inconsistency In Training

One of the biggest mistakes cat owners make is to train their cats in a way that’s inconsistent with the rules and methods they use during normal daily interactions.

While consistency is important when training your cat, it’s also critical to be consistent with how you’re treating your cat throughout all daily activities. 

For example, if you want your cat to come whenever they’re called (using their name), don’t punish them for not obeying when they aren’t being trained at that moment. In other words: Don’t change the rules mid-game!

Another common mistake is changing the rules mid-training session or switching from one command to another without warning. This can confuse the animal and result in a lack of cooperation from him or her.

Training Your Cat to Stay off Counters and Tables: If you’re struggling with keeping your cat off your counters and tables, don’t worry – you’re not alone. With the right training and tools, you can successfully teach your feline friend to stay off of these surfaces. Our guide on training your cat to stay off counters and tables provides step-by-step instructions to prevent your cat from climbing onto your kitchen counters or dining table.

Not Using A Clicker

Clickers are a great tool for training your cat. They’re inexpensive and easy to use, and they can be found at pet stores or online. 

You can also make your own clicker by using a pen or pencil with a piece of tape on the end, but it’s good to have an actual clicker in case you need one in the future.

The clicker method is reward based—you reward positive behavior with treats or just praise from you, then continue doing whatever good action was performed again so that your cat will keep repeating it! 

This makes training very simple because all you have to do is reward them when they do something good until they learn what behavior gets rewarded by their owner.

PrecisionClickers let you exactly and instantly mark a behavior that you want to reinforce
ConsistencyClicker sounds are the same volume and quality every time, providing your cat with a reliable marker of what you want to communicate
SpeedUsing a clicker allows you to communicate clearly, fast and is especially helpful for behaviors that occur quickly
Mood ManagementClicker’s sound is neutral and it reduces emotional mood swings for your cat
Positive AssociationYour feline friend will learn to love the sound itself and look forward to positive training sessions with you!

This table provides data-driven information on some of the key benefits of using a clicker during cat training, including the precision it provides for marking desired behavior, its consistency and speed of use, and its ability to manage mood swings in cats.

Also, a Clicker creates a positive association with training which helps your cat enjoy the whole experience.

Keeping Toys Or Treats Out Of Reach

You may think that leaving your cat’s favorite toy or treat out on the counter will keep it from getting bored when you’re not home, but that strategy actually encourages bad behavior. 

If your cat has access to a toy or treat, it will use that as a reward for unwanted behavior such as destroying furniture or waking you up early in the morning.

Keeping toys and treats out of reach when not in use can help prevent this situation from happening. 

If you do leave a toy out while you’re gone, consider putting an item of value nearby so they learn how to fetch it instead of playing with your belongings.

Asking Too Much Of A Cat

Don’t expect too much from your cat.

A cat is not a dog, and it’s not going to do everything that you can do.

Cats don’t have the same capabilities as humans, so don’t expect them to react the same way. For example, if you ask a cat to sit down on its hind legs, it may not be able to balance itself properly because they have poor balance and coordination. 

You also need to consider the size of your pet; if it’s relatively small (like a kitten), then it won’t be able to hold itself up like an adult could.

How to Train Your Cat to Stop Scratching Furniture: Do you find that your cat is constantly scratching your furniture or walls? This behavior can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that it’s a natural instinct for your feline friend. The good news is that you can train your cat to use a scratching post rather than your valuables. Our guide on how to train your cat to stop scratching furniture offers practical tips on how to redirect your cat’s scratching behavior, making training your cat easier than ever before.

Not Using Positive Reinforcement Enough

In a similar vein to the “correction” method, positive reinforcement is an important part of cat training. If your cat does something right or has their behavior corrected and they don’t feel punished, they’ll be more likely to repeat it. 

This can mean rewarding them with treats or praise after your cat does something you want them to do or corrects their own behavior without prompting.

Some people may feel uncomfortable giving their pet any kind of reward because they think it’s hypocritical or not worth the effort; however, this isn’t true at all! Here’s how you can use positive reinforcement with your feline friend:

Reward good behavior by giving them a treat when they come when called.* Praise them when they greet visitors politely.

Give them treats if they come back from outdoors safely (assuming there aren’t predators in the area).

Positive Reinforcement TechniqueDescription
High-quality cat treatsOffer a small, bite-sized treat immediately following a desired behavior
Clicker trainingUse a “clicker” device to signal a positive behavior and follow up with a treat
Praise and affectionVerbally praise your cat and offer physical affection to encourage positive behavior
PlaytimeIncorporate playtime with toys or games as a reward for desired behaviors
Treat-dispensing toysUse treat-dispensing toys to provide an interactive and rewarding training experience

This table provides data-driven guidance on effective positive reinforcement techniques to use when training your cat. Providing high-quality treats, using clicker training, and offering praise and affection can help encourage desired behaviors.

Additionally, incorporating playtime and treat-dispensing toys can provide an interactive and engaging experience for both you and your cat during training sessions, leading to more successful training outcomes.

Expecting Too Much Too Soon

Expecting too much too soon is one of the most common mistakes cat owners make when training their cats. 

While it may seem reasonable, this not only sets you up for disappointment but it can also cause your cat to lose interest in training altogether and revert back to his old ways.

Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t expect too much from your cat as far as training goes. Cats are independent creatures who aren’t likely to do what you want them to do just because you ask them nicely or scold them if they don’t listen. 

Cats need time and patience before they will learn even the simplest of tasks like sitting on command or not scratching furniture when told not to scratch it

Only Rewarding With Food

A cat’s motivation for doing something can vary quite a bit between individuals, but even if you know your cat’s favorite reward, it still makes sense to train with more than just food. 

A well-trained cat will be happy with praise, a toy or petting. Cats differ in what they like more than others some are motivated by play, others by the hunt and some want attention above all else. 

If you only reward your cat with food or treats during training sessions, it can become boring for them pretty quickly and make it harder for you to get them involved in future training exercises.

The Dos and Don’ts of Cat Training Explained: When it comes to training your cat, there are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind. These tips can help make your training sessions more effective and enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. Before you start training your cat, be sure to check out our guide on the dos and don’ts of cat training to ensure that you’re on the right track.

Training At The Wrong Time Of Day Or On An Empty Stomach

Training at the wrong time of day or on an empty stomach can lead to trouble. Cats are most alert and active in the morning, so that’s when you should train them. 

Also, make sure they’ve eaten before training if your cat is hungry she may become distracted by her stomach. If you have multiple cats (like most of us do), it’s also important to remember that they each have different personalities and learning abilities. 

Some will learn quickly while others may take longer to pick up new tricks; don’t get discouraged! 

Finally, make sure your training sessions don’t last too long cats can get bored easily if they’re not stimulated enough during these play periods.

Training TimeFeeding Schedule
Early morning or late evening1-2 hours after a meal
Avoid training during cat’s resting timeAvoid training while cat is hungry
Train during natural peak activity times, such as early eveningFeed your cat high-quality food on a regular schedule
Avoid training during periods of high stress or anxietyProvide treats or incentives to encourage engagement during training sessions

This table provides data-driven guidance on the best time of day to train your cat and how to structure their feeding schedule around training sessions. Training sessions should avoid times when cats are resting or overly stressed and should instead occur during the cat’s natural peak activity times.

Additionally, feeding your cat a high-quality diet on a regular schedule and providing treats as incentives can help encourage better engagement during training sessions.

Distracting Your Cat During Training Sessions

When you’re training your cat, distractions are the enemy. This can include other pets (especially if they’re kittens), children, TV, people and so on. 

If you find yourself unable to train at a certain time due to circumstances beyond your control (such as having visitors over or a house full of guests), it’s better not to try at all than risk upsetting your animal’s routine by attempting something when they’re too distracted by other stimuli around them.

If possible, train in an area with low levels of noise and activity—or move your training area to somewhere quieter altogether.

The Science Behind Cat Training: What Really Works: Cat training can seem like a daunting task, with many different approaches to take. However, understanding the science behind feline behavior can make training your cat a much smoother process. Our guide on the science behind cat training: what really works delves into the biology and psychology of cat behavior to help cat owners achieve long-lasting results.

Not Rewarding Progress

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to train their cat is not rewarding progress. Many times, we want to reward our cat for doing what we want them to do and give them the treat or toy they’ve been begging for.

But this can be a problem if you don’t remember that consistency is more important than rewards. You should only give your cat treats or praise when they are doing the right thing and immediately after they do it (not later).

For example: If your cat meows at you but doesn’t jump on top of your head, don’t give him/her food until he/she does jump on top of your head even once – because then you know he/she will understand what behavior gets rewarded!

15 Fun and Creative Cat Training Ideas: Training your cat doesn’t have to be a chore – it can be a fun way to bond with your feline companion. From interactive games to tricks and agility exercises, there are dozens of creative ways to train your cat. Our guide on 15 fun and creative cat training ideas provides inspiration for cat owners looking to expand their furry friend’s repertoire of skills and behaviors.


Our overall takeaway from this list of cat training mistakes is that it’s important to be patient and consistent. 

Cats are intelligent animals, but they don’t work like humans do—they need to be coaxed into doing things on their own time, not yours! 

If you keep these tips in mind as you train your feline friend, we think you can make great strides toward a happier relationship between human and pet.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about avoiding common cat training mistakes, be sure to check out these helpful resources:

Softpaws.com: “4 Common Cat Training Mistakes” discusses some of the most frequent errors cat owners make when attempting to train their cats, along with ways to avoid those mistakes.

Vetstreet.com: “5 Cat Training Mistakes: Guilty of Any?” is a comprehensive article that not only outlines five common training mistakes, but it also provides expert advice and training tips.

KittenToob.com: “20 Mistakes to Avoid When Training Your Cat” provides readers with a lengthy list of errors to avoid when training your feline companion. Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or a seasoned pro, the advice in this article is sure to prove invaluable.


What are some common cat training mistakes?

Some common cat training mistakes include punishing your cat, failing to use positive reinforcement techniques, expecting too much too soon, underestimating the impact of environmental factors, and not being consistent with your training.

Can cats be trained to do tricks?

Yes, cats can be trained to do tricks just like dogs! With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, it’s possible to train your cat to sit, come, shake, and even use the toilet.

How do I stop my cat from scratching furniture?

To stop your cat from scratching furniture, provide your cat with a scratching post or pad and train them to use it. You can also redirect your cat’s attention by providing toys or playing with them when they start scratching.

How do I train my cat to use the litter box?

To train your cat to use the litter box, start by placing your cat in the litter box after meals or naps. Use positive reinforcement, such as praise or treats, to encourage your cat to use the box consistently.

How long does it take to train a cat?

Training a cat can take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the cat’s personality, behavior, and the training techniques used. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement can make training sessions more effective and enjoyable for you and your furry friend.