VCA Animal Hospitals

How to Train a Cat

Cats are very independent creatures—they are not as demanding of attention as dogs and they don’t make large efforts to win your approval. While this makes for a fairly laid-back, easy-going house companion, it can present training challenges.

While many cats can be trained to do tricks and walk on leashes, the most important training for cats is to make sure they are performing normal and natural cat behaviors in the proper places at the proper times. For example, toilet training a cat is critical to living happily with a cat. Cat potty training is usually fairly easy to do as cats are naturally clean and prefer to bury their waste. The first step to training kittens is to make sure they know where their litterbox is located. It is often necessary to confine your kitten to a room with water, food and a clean litterbox for a short time until he or she is successfully using the litterbox every time. Cat toilet training usually happens very quickly.

Contact us if your kitten is not using the litterbox as there may be a medical or behavioral issue we can help with.

Another good example of important cat training is proper scratching behavior. Scratching is a normal cat behavior but it must be done on an appropriate scratching post so as to not destroy the household furniture. When training a cat to scratch in the right place, you must provide adequate scratching posts and then praise him when he uses the post and offer only minor corrections (not punishments) when he is caught in the act of scratching elsewhere. The most successful way to train a cat is by providing adequate environmental stimulation and then using positive reinforcement techniques. There are many tips for training cats to instill good manners and avoid bad behaviors which may lead to problems with aggression or inappropriate elimination.

More on Training


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.