Can you train your cat? Authors Tracey West and Gary Weitzman, D.V.M., believe you can. To prove it, they have written an adorable book called Pounce! A How to Speak Cat Training Guide.
Have a cat AND a dog? See the companion book, Fetch! A How to Speak Dog Training Guide.
The book opens by busting the urban myth that cats cannot be trained. They absolutely can be trained, provided you find whatever motivates them. Veterinarian Gary Weitzman quickly educates readers that unlike dogs, which have been trained to do specific jobs, cats are typically indifferent to training. This is because humans never trained cats during the time they were being domesticated; cats ate or chased away rodents on their own, so humans gave them complete freedom. While dogs were guarding humans, rounding up sheep or fighting side-by-side with humans on the battlefield, cats were being allowed to come and go as they pleased. This produced today’s snooty kitty that makes up its own mind whether it will obey you or not.
Next, author Tracey West outlines all the reasons you should want to train your cat: namely, “a trained cat is a safe cat…and a happy cat…that will fit in better at home.” Readers learn about cats’ eyes, nose, hearing, claws, whiskers and tail. They get a mini-lecture on what should be done BEFORE training begins (buy a clicker, buy some treats, etc.), and then…the lesson is OFF! Readers learn about their cat’s body language, its natural behavior, and even how it can learn to walk on a leash.
There are detailed training sections on learning to handle your cat, learning how to get it into a carrier, and even training it to use the litter box, etc. There is also a section with intermediate tricks/commands, like teaching it to beg, sit, stay, and — wait for it — roll over!
This is an adorable book to help cat lovers train their adorable friends. The prose is vibrant, fast-paced, and quite interesting. In fact, in some places it’s actually surprising. Use this book as supplemental reading or as a handbook for the kitty-lover in your home.