Sunrise Veterinary Group

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


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.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

Sunrise Veterinary Group is open Monday through Friday 8AM-8PM and on Saturday 8AM-4PM (we are closed on Sunday). If your pet has a medical emergency during our hospital’s hours, please telephone us immediately at 631-661-5380. Our experienced team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to help you and your pet.

Our address is:

Sunrise Veterinary Group
521 Sunrise Highway
West Islip, NY 11795

Please click here for directions to our location.

If your pet is experiencing a medical crisis when our hospital is closed, you may take your pet to either of following 24/7/365 veterinary emergency hospitals in our vicinity:

Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island
75 Sunrise Highway
West Islip, NY 11795
Open 24/7/365

Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury
609-5 Cantiague Rock Road
Westbury NY 11590 
Open 24/7/365