How to Train a Siamese Cat

How to Train a Siamese Cat

Siamese cats have a reputation unlike most other cats out there. Of course, Siamese cats are known well for their characteristic coloring, but in addition to this, they are known for being one of the oldest breeds, one of the smartest breeds, and one of the longest-living breeds of cat out there. 

Siamese cats can make a wonderfully enjoyable companion that will stay by your side for decades at a time and with their intelligence, can be a good pet to own if you are in a situation where you cannot own a dog. 

After all, the intelligence of the Siamese cat ensures that you will be able to teach it and even train it, assuming that you have the patience to work with the often-aloof Siamese cat. 

Just How Smart Are Siamese Cats? 

It’s pretty difficult for animal behaviorists to accurately determine the intelligence of cats, but it is believed that cats are often a fair bit more intelligent than they seem at first, especially intelligent cats such as the Siamese cat. 

The Challenge of Testing Feline Intelligence

The problem with trying to consider the intelligence of cats is that cats have the tendency to not care about participating in tests, which can make results seem as if the cats do not understand a certain concept for basing intelligence off (such as object permanence), even if they do. 

Cognitive Development of Siamese Cats

With that being said, it is widely accepted that Siamese cats are one of the smartest cats that you can adopt. In addition, the Siamese cat is one of the few cats that seems to truly want to learn more about the world around it, at least before it reaches adulthood and mellows out. 

What this means for you and your Siamese cat is that during the first one and half years of its life, between when the cat is a kitten first learning how to walk and before the Siamese calms down as it reaches maturity, it will seek to learn more from you and it will be at its most mischievous. 

In fact, one of the best ways that you can redirect your young Siamese’s mischievous energy is to direct it toward learning new tricks and behaviors. 

Not only will the Siamese get to spend its time learning something new and learning about the world around it, but you also won’t have to stress out nearly as much about having to deal with a hyper and chaotic kitten running around the house. 

Teaching A Siamese Cat New Tricks

There are a wide variety of tricks that you can teach your Siamese cat depending on your patience and the resources you have at your disposal. 

Most Siamese cats can learn basic tricks the same way that dogs can, such as learning how to sit, high-five you, and even how to fetch. 

If you have a particularly ambitious Siamese cat, you can even move to more complex tricks for your cat to learn, such as using the toilet and learning how to tolerate a harness and leash to go outside. 

It can be quite surprising to realize just how much a Siamese cat is willing to learn. 

Before you can begin training your Siamese cat, you will first want to make sure that you have properly bonded with your Siamese cat. 

Chances are that it won’t want to learn tricks from you if you aren’t one of the people the Siamese cat wants to spend time with. 

From here, you will want to focus on the most basic forms of training (such as using the litter box) before you begin teaching your Siamese cat more complex tricks such as tolerating a leash. 

With the right amount of persistent effort, training a cat is not much more difficult than training a puppy. 

Photo by Hongmei Zhao on Unsplash

Bonding With Your Siamese Cat

First things first, you will want to make sure that you have properly bonded with your Siamese kitten before you try and teach it tricks. If you try to take the cat aside to learn new tricks before the kitten has bonded with you, then there’s a good chance that the kitten will simply not care as much about what you have to say. 

If the kitten is especially young or has only recently been adopted, then there’s a good chance the kitten may even be scared of you at first. 

Thankfully, bonding with cats, especially cats as notoriously social and clingy as the Siamese, is incredibly easy. 

How to Bond With Your Cat

The first rule of bonding with your cat is make sure to  spend a lot of time with your cat. 

If your kitten is new to the house and is still anxious after the adoption, they may view you as a natural predator. It takes time for your cat recognizing your smell, sounds, and sight before it begins to realize that you are not a threat and you are just comparatively large in the kitten’s eyes. 

The best way that you can unobtrusively spend time with your kitten is to recognize which rooms in the house the kitten is used to being in, and simply remain in those rooms with the kitten. 

Over time, the kitten will be curious about you, once it has learned that you are not a threat, and will want to spend time with you. You can speed this process along by offering blankets or clothes that smell like you so that it can get used to the smell.

From here, Siamese cats have a tendency to bond quickly to their people. Siamese cats are incredibly social and will often have a favorite person in the house that they bond the most to and want to spend the most time with. 

If that person happens to be you, then you are in luck as you will likely get to hear the most meows from your cat, you will be able to hold and pet the cat more, and you will have the most opportunity to begin teaching your Siamese cat tricks that it can learn. 

When a Siamese cat has bonded with a person, they become an inseparable pair, which is great news if you enjoy holding your cat and having a cat in your lap whenever you want to relax in a chair.

Litter Training Your Kittens

One of the first things you will want to train your cat is how to use their litter box. The amount of involvement you will want to put into this depends on whether or not the mother cat is present in the kittens’ lives. 

If the mother cat is there and is healthy enough to move around, it will usually take the role of teaching kittens how to use the litter box just as it has learned. Otherwise, it will be up to you to teach the kittens that the litter box is the right place to relieve oneself.  

How to Teach a Kitten How to Use a Litter Box Without Their Mother Around

To begin, you will want to make the litter box as appealing as possible to the kittens. For now, you will want to keep the litter box in the room that the kittens are most often in, though you may want to find a place that is out of the way and won’t be moved often, as the kittens will feel comfortable if they can reliably remember where the box is. 

Most cats appreciate litter boxes that are not in heavily trafficked areas of the house, meaning that putting the litter box in a vacant corner will usually be your best bet of litter box location. 

Your kittens will then want to explore the litter box. 

It’s something new to them, and they may take some time to get over their fear of the brand-new object and smells that it brings with it. 

Some kittens may try to eat a few bites of litter, and this is usually fine as this is how kittens explore the world around them. In a way, they are simply learning that their litter is not food when they are doing this, since they are much like toddlers and don’t know any better. 

Some kittens may bring their toys into their litter as a form of play, the same way they would hide and bury prey in the wild. This should not be discouraged, as this is how your kittens will associate the litter box with their instincts. This is important because the litter box plays on a cat’s natural instincts of where it would want to relieve itself. 

Kitten Litter Training Accidents

There will likely be accidents as your kittens learn how to use the litter box. Never scold your kittens for these accidents, as they will not understand the punishments and will come to fear you, which is not what you want if you want to bond with the kittens. 

Instead, pay attention for behaviors that usually indicate the kitten is looking for a place to relieve themselves. These behaviors are usually crouching and sniffing the ground (more than usual). 

If you notice these behaviors, you should place the kitten inside the box. Over time, they will come to understand what to do. 

You will also want to reward them upon successful litter box usage, as this teaches them that this is the proper place to eliminate. 

How to Train a Siamese Cat to Use a Toilet

Siamese cats are one of the few cats that can be trained to use the human toilet. This takes a considerable amount of effort, as it goes against most instincts of a Siamese cat, but if you are planning to take up this type of training, it is important to start when they are young and haven’t developed habits and behaviors that cannot be corrected. 

Toilet training cats involves first litter training the cats, then once they are associated with the litter box, you will want to gradually move the litter box into the bathroom, near the toilet, and adjust the height so that it matches the toilet seat. 

Next, you will want to replace the litter box with a special training box and remember to give your cat a treat every time it succeeds to help encourage the same behavior. 

Teaching Your Siamese Cat Tricks

Siamese cats, being incredibly intelligent cats, can also learn various tricks the same way that dogs can. In fact, the way you train a cat to learn these tricks is almost the exact same as you would with a dog, except you will need a lot more patience and time. 

Dogs have been bred over time to seek praise and rewards from people, while cats often do not actively seek out their treats. Cats will work for their treats when the cats are in the mood to do so, and it can be hard to gauge when this is, leading to frustration during training sessions.

Remember that cats can sense frustration, and that you should never punish the cat for the frustration it causes, as it often doesn’t understand why it is causing frustration. If your Siamese cat isn’t in the mood for training one day, then wait until it is more active and try again. 

Clicker Training for Cats

One of the best forms of training to use is known as clicker training and it is incredibly popular when training other intelligent animals, such as dogs, horses, and birds. 

Clicker training makes use of a handheld clicker, treats, and your patience to help the cat associate the sound of the click with a specific behavior (such as the sitting for the Sit command). 

Using clicker training with cats is much the same as you would make use of it with dogs, and you can often follow dog training guides as long as you keep in mind that cats are not quite as reward-oriented as dogs and will want to learn on their own terms. 

Training Your Siamese Cat to Use a Leash

Siamese cats are also one of the cats that are the easiest to train to walk on a leash. Typically, it is healthier to use a harness for cats, as they tend to be agile enough to slide out of simple neck collars. 

Regardless of what you choose to use, the process of teaching a cat to work with a leash is a two-fold process. 

First, you have to teach the cat to tolerate the harness on its own, as it can be a weird feeling to cats. This process involves putting the harness on the cat every day for a set amount of time until the cat walks around comfortable with the harness on. 

Next, you add the leash to the harness. 

Cats naturally walk against the leash. Cats are independent, wandering creatures, and everything about the leash goes against this. 

It will take some time for your cat to learn how to walk with the leash, rather than against it. With the use of treats, patience, and a firm guide when the cat is trying to get places it shouldn’t when it has the leash on, you can easily teach a Siamese cat how to handle the leash, allowing it to come with you on your morning walks, though be mindful of how sensitive they are to sunlight.

Lara Kitt

When we aren't scooping up droppings to ensure a luxurious litter box experience for our fur babies, we are writing all sorts of stuff about cats for your enjoyment and knowledge.

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