How to Train Your Cat: A Guide for Humans

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Jude and Simon have this system down for the past year where they have been manipulating me to feed them extra food. I know that they were doing it, but I could not figure out how to make it stop and was too tired to care.

The cats eat breakfast and dinner. Their food is measured according to the veterinarian specifications so that they stay at optimal weight and health. Jude will beg for food, but he is easily ignored. What is more challenging is that Simon acts out to try to get food. I have not been able to get him to behave. The only way I can get Simon to stop destroying whatever he is destroying is to feed him.

So when we went to the vet office for Jude’s well visit this spring, I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. Jude and Simon have been manipulating me ever since we moved into the house. I was literally at my wit’s end on what to do and how to make it stop.

Simon was chewing stereo cords. I literally thought of taking the stereo upstairs and putting it in an empty room to get him to stop. This would completely screw up my mojo. The stereo is my longest possession – I’ve had it over 20 years. I play radio or CDs all the time. I have trouble with the stairs, so to put the stereo on the second floor would be torture to me. I could not get Simon to leave the stereo alone unless I fed him.

So, yes, Jude had gained 2 pounds since we have been in the house which is totally not good for his health. When I explained the entire situation to the vet, she laughed saying that the cats have trained me. I guess they have. The cats are better at training me than I am at training them.

Have you ever tried to train a cat? It’s like nailing jello to a tree. They say dogs have owners and cats have staff. There’s some truth to that. Thank goodness we don’t have a dog. I don’t think I could train one.

I told the vet everything I had done to get Simon and Jude to stop.

The vet said that I should be able to train them within a week. She gave me some tips and said that the vet office would follow up in a few weeks to see how it was going.

I can train a cat within a week? I know people who own dogs who have to take them to obedience classes and it takes months to train a dog. You think I can train two cats within a week?

Try 4 days.

Yes, I did train them. It took four days.

I followed my vet recommendations. I put a handful of quarters in an empty pineapple can. Whenever Simon got anywhere near the stereo, I shook the can without looking at him, talking to him, or acknowledging him. I shook that can and continued reading/cooking/doing whatever I was doing.

Simon is completely fearless. Simon is not afraid of anything except thunderstorms. This cat is brave beyond belief with absolutely everything on planet earth except thunderstorms. And apparently, quarters in a pineapple can. Those are terrifying too.

Do you know how hard it is to train a cat like this without laughing hysterically? It’s like when you are trying to have a “teachable moment” with your child when they have done something absolutely hilarious, yet you have to keep a straight face so they will learn why even though what they did was funny, it was not a good idea.

So, if you want to train your cat, put a handful of quarters in a pineapple can and shake it when they misbehave.

I did that four days in a row before we finally got to the point where Simon does not dare go anywhere near the stereo.

Quarters in a pineapple can will train your cat in 4 days. Who knew?

We have the best veterinarian EVER!

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