Updated: Mar 8
Establishing a good recall with your cat.
Dogs or cats, recall is always listed as one of the most important things to train your pet. Its also one of the hardest.
There are many different ways to train your cat to come when called but absolutely none of them will work if there is no trust. If an animal is fearful of you its not going to come running to you when its off leash no matter how much you yell their name. So its important to begin there. There is no one right or wrong way to create a bond with your kitty and there is no set timeline. Just spend as much time with your cat as they will allow, playing, cuddling, napping, eating, and always give them space when they need it. This will greatly help you to build your good relationship up. You want your cat to see you as their safe/comfort zone.
From there you can use whatever method you like best. Some people prefer clicker training, training with praise, play time, or treats. I, in particular have one cat who is very food driven and one who is driven by attention and pets so I use a combination of both of those. I also have one cat who hates everyone and everything and who will only come when called if she was already on her way to you, and that's okay! Some cats are not about the adventure lifestyle or learning tricks and there's nothing you can do about it. They are all unique and that's why we love them!
Back to training. I started with saying their name every time I saw them and giving them pets (or use your command for "come" I want them to come to their name so I used their name). Next I would stand a few feet away and say their name as they came toward me on their own, again ending in pets. Then I upped the anti, standing in the same room while saying their name but not near them, this time adding in treats if they came. Basically so on and so forth until I could call them from anywhere in the house.
Now why is this important? Because inevitably your adventure kitty will slip their lead. I know, I know but they're escape proof! Unfortunately nothing, no matter how much its tested, is ever 100% escape proof and you need to be prepared.
This is where that trust really comes back into play. Sure your cat may come when called in your home but once you're outside the norm goes flying out the window. Outside is a big scary place and your cat is a tiny creature. If they slip their lead because they are scared or trying to get away from something it will help their recall immensely if they see you as their safe haven, their protector, a place to hide.
I'll be honest with you this is all easier said then done. Rune has slipped his lead and stayed right next to me. He however is also a cat that I can let out of the car and he'll walk to the front door on his own. Tank on the other hand is a runner. I have chased him down (not the proper thing to do but I freaked out and completely forgot everything I should have done) more then once. It's scary to see and instinct is to chase them. If you can remain calm, use your "come" command and slowly walk along with them, if that doesn't work try to lure them back with treats (always have treats on hand)! Don't worry you got this!