Training cats may seem harder than training dogs, but most cats have already been trained to behave in certain ways. Using a sound that is annoying to your cat can be the quickest way to stop negative or destructive behaviour. However, this negative punishment system often does not provide long-term solutions for pet owners. Instead, consider using the clicker training system, which uses positive noise to train cats.
Loud, High-Pitched Sounds
High-pitched sounds are effective for annoying cats. Cats have a better sense of hearing than humans and can hear pitches up to one and a half times higher than the human ear. This ability to hear high-pitched sounds comes in handy when the cat is hunting. However, the cat also can associate these loud, high-pitched sounds with distress, especially if they sound like a kitten or the squealing of another cat.
There are a number of household sounds that can annoy and frighten your cat. Most of these sounds are either high-pitched, loud or droning. For instance, the squeak of your oven shelf as you remove it produces a metallic, high-pitched noise that cats find annoying. Blow driers and vacuums also make loud, droning sounds that will frighten or annoy your cat. Every cat will respond differently to household sounds, based on the frequency of its exposure to them. When using household sounds to prevent your cat from behaving badly, use them sparingly, to prevent frightening your cat too much.
There are numerous programs available for download on your computer or smart phone that produce noises designed to annoy cats. For instance, Paw Sense, produces annoying noises that are created when your cat walks along your computer keyboard. This helps to train the cat to stay off your computer, prevent him from accidentally deleting files or causing damage to your computer or keyboard. Additionally, there are iPhone applications that use high-frequency sounds in different pitches and durations, which you can use to prevent your cat from behaving badly.
Clicker training is a popular method for training both cats and dogs. The sound of the clicker is used not to annoy the cat, but to allow the cat to associate the clicker with positive behaviour. Clickers are small, plastic tools that make a soft clicking sound when they are depressed. Clicker training works by rewarding positive behaviour in cats, rather than punishing the negative. When a cat behaves well, such as using a scratching post rather than your furniture to sharpen its claws, the clicker is depressed and a treat is given to the cat. Eventually the cat will associate positive behaviour with the sound of the clicker.