Training your cat to come when you call may be easier than you think. Cats can be motivated by food they love just as dogs are.
When you open a can of cat food or rattle a bag of treats, does your cat come running? You can use this action in training. Cats have an extremely strong sense of smell and if you are cutting a favorite food into pieces, your cat will surely come out of hiding and head straight for you and the tasty tidbits.
Whichever method you choose – opening the can, rattling the bag, cutting a favorite food – call your cat’s name and give the come command in a positive voice. When s/he obeys, feed the treat and add lots of petting and praise. Do this exercise several times a day (watch the calories). It’s best to train when your cat is hungry as it will add another incentive to come.
When your cat understands that s/he will be rewarded for responding, move to different areas of your home and call. This will encourage your cat to come whenever you use his/her name and come command. Always use the same word and be consistent. Remember, some cats will learn quickly while others may take more time.
Coming when called is a useful and very important lesson. In an emergency you want your cat to respond to you as quickly as possible.
Never, never punish your cat, especially when calling him/her. If you are going on a trip to the veterinarian, giving medication or doing anything your cat will consider a negative, don’t call, just go find him/her. You want your cat to associate the come command with only positive experiences.