How Cats Learn Things

How Cats Learn Things


Cats are glorious creatures, independent yet affectionate and loyal characters that are fun to be around. However, knowing how cats actually learn things can really help you understand your feline companion which not only benefits your relationship with them, but it makes taking care of them that much easier too.

But how do cats learn new things?

Many cat owners don't realise just how many new things their feline companions learn in any one day, after all they are not actively being taught anything. What their owners often fail to understand is that cats pick up on things very quickly and they soon learn how to manipulate a situation. A great example being when their owners attempt to read a newspaper only to find their cats suddenly deciding the best place for them to be happens to be right on top of the paper they're attempting to read!

The only way to get pussy cat off the paper is to fill up their food bowl with some tasty morsels. The lesson your pussy cat learns is that by sitting on the paper means getting fed. When a newspaper is picked up all these clever felines know that all they have to do is sit right in the middle of it in order to get fed and it's the only way their owners get to read the newspaper in peace!

The Many Benefits of Training Feline Companions

If the truth be known, owners start training their feline companions from a very young age when they teach them to use a litter tray rather than be “dirty” around the house. Cats are also taught not to jump up on kitchen work surfaces which is something they take on board very easily. They learn not to jump up on the dinner table too which they also learn is a real no-no very quickly. In short, there is no reason why their “training” has to stop there.

It's just as important to teach cats to go into their carriers without it being stressful and which often sends them into a complete panic every time it's taken out of the cupboard. If it becomes routine to go into a carrier, then trips in the car to go to the vet are a lot less stressful for both cats and their owners. Teaching cats to do things like take a tablet makes life a whole lot easier which means the effort is well worth it.

Cats Like to Laze Around

Although cats do like to laze around and spend a lot of the day snoozing in a lovely warm spot in the house or a favourite cosy outdoor hide-away, if their owners want to play a few interactive games with them, they'll be only too happy to oblige!

Our feline friends are now actively taking part in agility classes and competitions and they excel at what they have been taught to do, enjoying every minute of it. The thing about cats is that they learn things all of the time whether they are being taught things intentionally or not. The great thing about cats is they are very clever creatures and if they are rewarded for doing things with a tasty morsel or two, they are quick to make the association and therefore quick to repeat the process when they are asked to do anything.

If the experience turns out to be a negative one, cats like other animals will not be as eager to repeat it! The key to successfully training your feline friend to do anything which includes play a game like “fetch the toy” is to make sure they enjoy it and to reward them immediately with a tasty, albeit healthy treat when they get it right.

Training Through Conditioning

Cats get used to certain sounds and these noises trigger an automatic reaction in them which includes purring when they hear a kitchen cupboard being opened because they associated this sound with the very pleasant experience of being fed. You can use this association with specific sounds to train your feline companion to do things for you very easily. It could be the sound of a bell inside a favourite toy or some other noise you notice your feline friend readily reacts to like the rustle of paper.

Cats also learn things by watching what other cats do and when two of them live in the same household, they will very often teach each other the things they have learnt whether they were taught intentionally or not. This is especially true of kittens and young cats.


Cats learn things in all sorts of different ways from a very young age. Kittens are taught by their mothers, young cats living together in the same household will teach each other the things they have learnt. People inadvertently as well as intentionally teach their pussy cats to do certain things like use the litter tray, not to jump on work surfaces and dining room tables. Because cats are so clever, they are quick to learn new things as long as the experience is a positive one and the reward is a healthy and tasty treat!



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