Is Training a Cat Harder Than Training a Dog?

are cats too hard to train for circus?
Is it possible to train a cat to perform circus tricks?
Photo: © Verzh

Have you heard that it’s not possible to train a cat? That’s not true, we’ve seen plenty of examples of cats being trained to both behave well and do tricks. Our home country even has a circus cat named Bingo, who climbs ladders and jumps through hoops.

However, it’s quite evident that it takes more effort to train a cat when compared to training a dog. Why is this so? There must be an explanation of why are cats harder to train than dogs, right? Right!

The reason why it’s hard to train a cat lies in how cats, dogs, and other animals perform their tasks assigned to them by nature. What are those tasks?

You probably know that most animals are best motivated by treats. Food is something in the real world that, in the wild, an animal would work his head off to receive because he needs it for survival.

Cats and dogs gather food differently

But did you know there’s a great difference in how dogs and cats hunt? And did you know this difference creates the gap between easy training of dogs and not so easy training of cats?

How dogs hunt: Dogs, with exceptions owing to the variety of breeds, track their prey for miles, up to levels of exhaustion. This causes them to do ANYTHING, including performing tricks, running courses, sitting in one spot, and pleasing their owners, as long as it leads to the desired goal.

This, however, does not mean dogs are dumb or that humans exploit them. Dogs derive their own pleasure from doing these things. After all, it’s in their nature to work for their food.

How cats hunt: Cats, on the other hand, are not so persistent. Mother Nature has created a cat that preserves its energy as much as possible. This is also why cats can sleep all day and then release their energy in short play sessions in the evening. But that is not all.

Additionally, cats usually hunt small animals, like mice, that do not provide much energy in the form of calories. What does it mean?

It means that cats must not spend a lot of energy on getting a single piece of food. Have you ever returned after a long day, totally exhausted? Did you feel the work might not be worth what you earn? Did you compare this state to working like a dog? This is how a dog would feel after chasing a rabbit for several miles. A cat would never do that, that is why the yare harder to train than dogs. Or humans,

That is, if you demand more than the cat thinks the return will be, you are likely to fail. But, if you plan the training wisely and provide a reward that, in combination with an outcome of the task itself, is extremely beneficial to the cat, you may realize that training a cat is not hard at all.

For example, a cat can be easily taught to sit on command; it’s the best thing to start with if you want to train your cat cool things.

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