What is this about?
At ABC we have been teaching people to become cat trainers since 2014. Over the past 6 years we have come to understand that dog trainers who learn cat training are at a competitive advantage over those who haven’t learned cat training.
Wait, cats can be trained?
Yes! In fact, believe it or not, cats are as trainable as dogs. They are just motivated by different things. I have a dog who will work for a scratch behind the ear. He loves this. Most cats will look at you strangely if you try to motivate them that way. However, many cats will work for food, or special toys and some will even work for pats.
What do you teach cats to do? I’m not interested in teaching my cat to walk on a leash the way I would my dog.
Most cat training involves behavior modification, specifically how to modify problematic behaviors. For example, while many pet parents of kitties have little interest in teaching their felines to obey cues, all cat owners need to know how to litter box train their felines. Other things to teach them are not to scratch on furniture, how to accept other cats in the house, how to tolerate going into a crate or carrier so they can be transported safely to a veterinarian or groomer and even how to accept dogs. Speaking of leash training, it’s actually a pretty good idea to teach cats to walk on a leash and come when called. Not only does this allow you to take them in public without having to use a crate but coming when called could prove to be a highly useful thing for the cat to understand and might even be a lifesaver!
Ok, cats can be trained. Is there a market for this or is this just a fad or trend?
According to Statista.com, there are 94.7 million cats in the United States. In fact, they outnumber dogs.
42% of all households in the US have a cat according to The American Pet Products Association.
These are huge numbers and suggest the market for training cats is massive and still relatively untapped.
If this market is so big why is it untapped?
Because up until recently many people still thought that cats weren’t trainable. Perhaps you were among these people. Perhaps this article has convinced you! Regardless, public perception is changing about the train-ability of cats.
What does cat training have to do with dog trainers?
Most dog trainers become trainers because they love animals and want to help them and the people who love them. It stands to reason that if a dog trainer also understands how to train cats, this will allow them to make a positive difference in the lives of that many more pets.
What’s more, many dog lovers and doggie pet parents also have cats. As per the Insurance Information Institute, there are literally tens of millions of families who have both cats and dogs.
This means that there are many more opportunities for those who know how to train both.
Why would a dog trainer want to offer cat training?
Aside from the reasons about helping more animals and the people who love them, there is the advantage of being able to stand out.
There are a lot of dog trainers practicing their trade all over the nation. There are far fewer cat trainers, which means any dog trainer that can offer both types of training, will automatically stand out from those competitors who don’t. This might make it easier for dog trainers looking to establish referral relationships with veterinarians. Currently most dog trainers attempt to forge rapports with veterinarians and their staff in attempt to garner referral business. This is a smart move to make. However, this has been done for years which means when a dog trainer introduces themselves to a veterinary hospital, they might be asked to stand on the end of a pretty long line of other dog trainers looking for referrals. If this same dog trainer also trains cats, well that’s much rarer and could result in this trainer being asked to stand at the end of a much much shorter line.
It is for these reasons and many others that dog trainers should seriously consider learning how to train cats and everyone should be aware that cats can be trained!