Just as dogs can be taught to come when they are called, so can your cat (who is even smarter!). The most important rule to remember is that you must be consistent and ready to follow through when you issue your command. This is the most important training you can give your cat. It can stop accidents from happening, even though it may not always work since cats have a short attention span. But it's better to have something rather than nothing to use. Here's an idea of how it can save your cat:
Your outside with your cat and she runs into the road. Oh no! Here comes a car. You issue the "Come Kitty" command and kitty gets out of the road just in time. Whoa! Thank goodness you taught her this command!
I learned this command almost by accident. Meowmie would call me when she had something special for me. I associated the command with pleasant things, such as toys, rubs, food, and the best CATNIP!!!! Oops, sorry about that. I get a little out of paw sometimes.
As we all know, cats will take their own sweet time responding to a command. That's just their nature. A dog comes immediately when called, a cat takes a message and gets back to you later! Isn't that fitting though?
Here is how to get your cat to come on command....almost always!
Be sure to get personal. Here's how:
Use your cat's name when you call. Say something like, "Come, Sassy. Come on!" Raise your voice slightly to achieve that higher pitch that cats love.
Make sure you have a positive reinforcement to show your cat when she comes. Don't use this command to administer medicine. Give kitty a pet or a treat when he/she arrives.
During the initial training, it's helpful if you bring yourself down to the kitty's eye level. This approach helps build trust. If you are not the "giant" issuing commands, your cat will respond better.
Each and every time your cat comes to you, issue a lot of praise. Cats love to be stroked and patted. Use this positive reinforcement cue to build a solid foundation for training.
If your cat doesn't come when you call, please do not chastise or punish them. Simply ignore (as in not giving them the positive reinforcement) until they respond. Make sure that every member of the family follows suit. It's no use training your cat to come when called if someone else gives in and gives the cat rewards for not obeying the command.
Limit your training session to several minutes daily. Cats do not have a long attention span and will simply not stay involved long enough for a lengthy training session to be of any value. You are better off staggering your efforts into two or three mini-sessions for 5 minutes each per day.
If your cat is particularly obstinate and moseys over several minutes after you issue the come command, praise them anyway. They are trying and eventually they will get the message.
Do not practice this trick outdoors if the kitty is off the leash. Cats may pick up a scent and run after prey instead of obeying your command. Don't take a chance that your cat may run off and risk the tragedy of an attention.