The British Shorthair in the USA , with its teddy bear looks and calm demeanor, might not strike you as the most trainable feline. But beneath that plush exterior lies a surprisingly intelligent and playful cat. With the right approach, you can unlock your Brit’s hidden talents and build a strong, rewarding bond.

Why Train Your British Shorthair?

Training isn’t just about teaching tricks (though those can be fun too!). It’s about communication and positive reinforcement. Here’s how training benefits your Brit:

  • Mental Stimulation: British Shorthairs are naturally curious, and training sessions provide much-needed mental exercise to keep them from boredom.
  • Stronger Bond: Training creates a positive association between you and your cat, strengthening your relationship.
  • Improved Behavior: By rewarding desired behaviors, you can discourage unwanted ones like scratching furniture.
  • Basic Commands: Teaching simple commands like “come” or “sit” can be helpful, especially for vet visits or emergencies.

Understanding the Brit Mind

British Shorthairs are known for their independent streak, but they also crave positive attention. Here are some key points to remember when training your Brit:

  • Short & Sweet: Keep training sessions short and focused, around 5-10 minutes at a time. Cats have shorter attention spans than dogs.
  • Reward-Based: Use positive reinforcement with treats or praise to encourage desired behavior.
  • Patience is Key: Don’t expect overnight results. Be patient, consistent, and celebrate small victories.
  • Respect Their Boundaries: British Shorthairs don’t appreciate force or coercion. If they seem disinterested, take a break and try again later.

Training Techniques for Your Brit

Now, let’s get down to the fun part! Here are some effective training techniques for your British Shorthair:

  • Clicker Training: This method uses a clicker to mark the exact moment your cat performs the desired action, followed by a reward.
  • Target Training: Teach your cat to touch a target (a stick or wand) with their nose for a treat. This can be the foundation for other tricks.
  • Interactive Play: Incorporate training into playtime. Reward your cat for fetching, chasing a wand toy, or jumping through a hoop.
  • Lure and Reward: Use treats to lure your cat into the desired position, then reward them for staying there. This can be used to teach commands like “sit” or “stay.”


  • Keep it positive: End training sessions on a high note.
  • Be consistent: Use the same cues and rewards every time.
  • Make it fun: Training should be enjoyable for both you and your cat.

With patience, positive reinforcement, and a healthy dose of playtime, you’ll be amazed at what your British Shorthair can learn. Not only will you have a well-behaved feline companion, but you’ll also deepen the bond you share.