How to Train a Siamese Cat (4 Easy Steps)
The Siamese Cat is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. These cats were always highly revered by monks, priests, and royalty. But don’t let that fool you. These cats are for anyone that enjoys a chit-chatty cat. As long as you understand what it takes to raise a Siamese, this breed is a wonderful house pet.
The best part about this breed? They’re easy to train in multiple categories. We’re talking litter boxes, tricks, verbal cues, and even using the toilet—yes, you read that right.
Still interested? We figured you would be. So, let’s get started and talk about training your Siamese Cat.
Why Siamese Cats Are Easy to Train
Training a Siamese has a really cool outcome. Your Siamese will be able to do tricks and understand orders on command. That’s very different from our usual outlook on cats. But what makes the Siamese so different from other cats? Well, it’s all about their personality.
This breed is one of the most social cat breeds out there. Siamese Cats love to be around other people and talk your ear off. They follow you everywhere, sit on your lap, and ask you in Siamese Cat language how your day is going. They give their unsolicited advice and encourage you to follow suit.
Siamese Cats are also easy to please. Their social comfortability is one of the reasons this cat breed is so easy to train.
The other reasons are their intelligence and athleticism. It’s very much like having a dog. The Siamese is a highly active breed that always needs stimulation.
Benefits of Clicker Training Your Siamese
Teaching your cat to do a trick is pretty cool. But that’s not why training is important for the Siamese.
With training, you get the opportunity to provide mental and physical challenges for brain stimulation. You also encourage exercise, depending on the physical difficulty of the training session.
Both of these points combined help with better behavior management. You won’t see nearly as many behavior problems, and you and your cat will sleep better knowing this.
But the best part about training your Siamese Cat is the bonding. This is your time to foster a beautiful relationship with your cat. The positive reinforcement will strengthen the trust and love with your fur baby.
Useful Training Supplies
Let’s dive into our supply list. These are items you’ll need to train your Siamese, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
- A training clicker
- A target stick
- Healthy treats
That’s it. You don’t need anything else. However, if you want to train your cat to use the litter box, use a leash and collar, or scratch a scratching post, you’ll also need those items. But for Siamese training basics, you only need the items listed above.
The 4 Steps for Training a Siamese Cat
1. Step: Choose Your Clicker and Target Stick
Clickers are small plastic boxes with metal tongues that make a “click” noise when you press down on them. This “click” noise signals to your cat that it’s doing something right.
A target stick gives your cat a clear signal of where it needs to go during training. You can guide your cat into different places and teach your cat new tricks, all with the help of a tangible target. With these two items combined, training a cat becomes easier.
You don’t have to buy the same clickers professional trainers use. You can use anything that gets the job done, like a pen that makes a clicking sound. You can also download a clicker app or simply make a clicking noise with your tongue and direct your cat using a pen or pencil.
However, if you want to buy a professional target stick with a built-in clicker, they’re affordable, lightweight, and easy to store.
As long as you have some form of a clicker and treats ready, you can start clicker training.
2. Step: Choose a Reward
Selecting the right mouth-watering treat is key to incentivizing your cat. After all, what’s the point in training if your cat doesn’t like its reward?
This should be something your cat doesn’t regularly receive, like fresh tuna or chicken. And it should obviously be something your cat likes. This is easier when you know your cat’s preferences like the back of your hand. So, if you recently adopted your Siamese, take some time to get to know your cat.
3 Step: Introduce Your Siamese to the Clicker
The next thing to do is associate the click and target stick with a reward, like the treats we just mentioned.
It won’t take long for your Siamese to associate the click noise with treats. Cats are known to respond to clicks and alarms, which makes it even more effective. That’s why your cat jumps for joy when your alarm clock goes off every morning—it’s mealtime.
Once your Siamese associates the clicker and target stick with treats, you can officially start trick training.
Some of you may use a target stick, and some may not, so we’re going to discuss how to do clicker training with and without a target stick.
Without a Target Stick
If all you have is a clicker and some treats, don’t worry.
- Sit down with your cat and a bowl of treats.
- Press the clicker and immediately offer a treat to your cat.
- Repeat at different times throughout the day until your cat associates the clicker with treats
The following video is a short example of what it looks like to use a clicker and treats with your Siamese.
With a Target Stick
Using a target stick with a clicker will reap faster results.
There are a few different methods for training with a target stick. You can choose whichever one you think is easiest and most incentivizing for your cat.
The Pointer Method
This method aims to teach your cat that it gets a treat whenever it approaches the target stick.
Place a treat on the floor and point to it using the target stick. When your cat approaches the treat, click. Don’t move your target stick away from the treat until your cat approaches.
Try to click before your cat eats the treat, so your cat learns that approaching the treat is the correct behavior and not eating the treat.
Eventually, you can pretend to put a treat down and point to the floor using the target stick. Click when your cat approaches, and then give your cat the treat. This teaches your cat that it doesn’t need to see the treat to earn the reward.
Treat Ball Method
For this method, take a cat treat ball or a lattice toy ball and stuff some treats inside it. Then, attach the ball to the end of the target stick. When your cat approaches the ball, click, and reward with a treat from your hand.
When your cat comfortably follows the ball, you can remove the ball and use only the target stick to guide your cat around.
Lickable Treat Method
With this method, you apply a lickable treat to the end of the target stick. When your cat approaches the end of the target stick, click, and reward your cat with some lickable treats from your hand.
When your cat learns that it gets a treat every time it approaches the target stick, repeat without using the lickable treat on the target stick. Click when your cat approaches the stick and reward with the lickable treats from your hand.
4. Step Identify the Desired Behavior
Now that your Siamese understands clicker training, it’s time to choose what you want to train your Siamese to do.
You don’t have to choose a special trick if you don’t want to. Sometimes, it’s as easy as teaching your cat to sit, fetch, and lay down. If you see your cat doing something you like, use the clicker and give it a reward. Eventually, the light bulb will go off, and your Siamese will associate the behavior with the reward.
FAQ About Clicker Training
How Do You Clicker Train Multiple Cats?
Clicker training multiple cats is absolutely possible with a bit of planning. Some people say you don’t have to separate your cats to train them. We feel it’s best to separate the cats first so they can learn clicker training fundamentals with zero distractions.
Once each cat has clicker training down, you can combine sessions.
My Cat Keeps Pawing at the Target Stick
This is a sign that your cat thinks the target stick is a toy, and the treat isn’t enough motivation. Go back to step two and find a treat your cat loves. Then, move on to step three and re-introduce the clicker and target stick.
My Cat Keeps Biting the Target Stick
If your cat keeps biting the target stick, try to click sooner before your cat bites the stick. There’s no need to wait for your cat to approach the stick, at least not at first. If your cat makes an effort to approach, click and reward.
That way, your cat learns that approaching the stick earns the reward, not the bite. Eventually, your cat will learn to not bite the stick.
My Cat Isn’t Interested in the Target Stick
You can do a few things differently to improve your cat’s interest in the target stick. First, keep the training sessions short, so your cat doesn’t lose interest quickly. You can also try multiple kinds of treats to prevent your cat from getting bored with the same treat over again.
Ultimately, keep the training fun and easy when starting out.
- Don’t Pre-Feed Your Cat: Having access to food will take away the effect of the reward. The hungrier your cat is, the better. Put away the free-feed kibble to make your cat more eager and offer a tasty treat.
- Work on One Thing at a Time: Siamese Cats are intelligent, but go easy on your kitty, especially kittens. Your cat will learn faster as time goes on. Otherwise, you risk losing your cat’s interest.
- Be Consistent: Cats are creatures of habit, so they love when something new remains consistent. Consistency helps your cat stay focused and know what to expect. Your cat will learn discipline, and you can better assess your cat’s improvement over time.
- Keep the Training Sessions Short: As we said earlier, long training sessions exhaust your kitty, and your cat will lose interest faster. You don’t want your cat to associate the target stick and clicker with something negative. So, keep training sessions short.
- Don’t Forget to Click: This may seem obvious, but it does happen. We get excited when our cat does what we want, and we forget to click. But your cat doesn’t know when it’s doing something right without the clicker. So, don’t forget to click.
Wrapping It Up
Why is clicker training successful? It’s a clear message to your cat that it’s doing something correctly. Clicker training increases session productivity, and you’ll notice faster results.
The target stick isn’t necessary, but it’s undoubtedly helpful in guiding your cat where you want it to go. Cats can’t read our minds, but they can come close with the help of clicker training. Your Siamese will understand what to do, when, and how to do it.
Most importantly, your Siamese will also appreciate the time you spend with it and the mental and physical challenge. You will definitely have a happier Siamese kitty. Isn’t that something we all want for our cats?
Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock