For many people, the Chartreux cat will be a breed they’ve only recently discovered. In fact, if you’re in the States then I wouldn’t say they were rare, but they aren’t the easiest breed to find if you’re in the market for one. Also, you may not know this (or you may not care) but a little bit of trivia – the Chartreux cat is actually the ‘National Cat of France’ – Vive La France!
But, as you’re reading this – you are not only aware of the breed but you’re either probably considering getting one or you already have one and want to know if you can train them – and if so, how easy it is!
Well, you’re probably in the minority as most will just give you a bemused look when you talk to them about this breed. However, I do know about this breed – as they happen to be awesome and I like things that are awesome. So, let’s see if we can ‘level-up’ your cat skills!
Are Chartreux cats easy to train? It is not easy to train a Chartreux cat to perform tricks, although it’s no harder than most other breeds of cat. Cats are not naturally inclined to follow instructions from us ‘lesser’ humans.
What makes an animal easy to train?
Generally speaking, the larger the brain, the higher the chance you’ll have of being able to train them. But, this isn’t always the case. For instance, we all know that dogs can be trained to do all kinds of clever things, given time and patience. However, a Lion has a larger brain than a dog, right? Fancy training a Lion?
I know you find ‘Lion Tamers’ in some circus’s but these are generally trained with methods that you and I wouldn’t want to consider. However, the Lion’s brain may be larger than a dog’s, but actually it has about the same amount of neurons (500m) – source.
Anyway, how did I get onto Lions? I guess I was just trying to make a point. The point is that generally speaking, the smaller the brain – the less luck you’ll have in training the animal (and the longer any training will take).
What can you train the Chartreux cat to do?
You should be able to train the Chartreux cat to do the following:
- Use a litter tray – I’ve put this up the top as it’s probably the most common thing that owners want their Chartreux cat to learn first!
- Use a cat-flap – next on the list but not on everyone’s list. Some people will have a sensor fitted to their cat’s collar to activate the lock on the cat-flap when they get close. You will need to teach your cat that they can get in and out using this method.
- Coming when requested – this is a good skill to teach, especially if they are allowed to go outside. You want them to come back when asked!
- Using a leash – if you want to give your Chartreux some outside time but don’t want them to run off, perhaps because you live in a dangerous (to them) location – many decide to use a leash. My tip – start early!
You might be able to train the Chartreux cat to do this:
- Use a toilet bowl. What? Yes, you heard me right – just look on YouTube, there are loads of examples. To be honest, it’s a bit of a novelty and pretty rare. Also, some of these cats just decide to do it by themselves and actually aren’t trained at all. However, using the flush afterward – now that’s impressive!
- Sitting when requested – I’ve seen this a few times, enough to know it’s possible. But, I have to ask, why would you want to do this?
- Jumping through hoops – if you’re spending a lot of time playing with them, you may be able to get them to jump through hoops (quite literally) if you reward them with a treat after.
- Play fetch – some breeds of cat are more inclined to retrieve things that you throw more than others. The Chartreux breed is one of these breeds but good luck in trying to train them to do it!
Is it possible to train all Chartreux cats?
I guess I could just end this section here but let me explain. There are some breeds that are considered more ‘intelligent’ than others and may be more inclined to do some tricks than others. For instance, the Maine Coon is great at playing fetch.
However, you can’t say that just because a breed has some traits of a certain type then all cats of that breed will exhibit those qualities. It’s like looking at Usain Bolt and saying, well – he’s a human so all humans should be able to run that fast. Doesn’t quite work out that way, does it?
So, what’s my point here? Well, just don’t expect miracles and also don’t assume that you’ll be successful in training your cat. After, all – it’s a cat.
What age should you start trying to train the Chartreux cat?
The key to training any living being is the same – start the training as early as possible. Particularly when it comes to litter tray training. Their first 12-weeks of their lives is arguably the most important part of their lives. This is when their personality is being developed and molded. This is when they are are most receptive to new things.
This obviously isn’t always possible though – if you’re acquiring your cat through a breeder then you shouldn’t really get them before 12-weeks anyway. If you’re getting one from a rescue center then they could be any age!
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – well, you can’t teach an old cat new tricks either. Actually, you might not be able to teach a young cat new tricks either – but this isn’t why you got a cat, is it?
Should you be trying to train a Chartreux?
Put it this way, if you wanted a pet that you could teach tricks – don’t get a cat! Dogs are way more receptive to this kind of stuff and you’ll be a lot less frustrated as you’ll probably get better results!
A cat doesn’t naturally want to do things that aren’t natural to them. If you look at a litter tray, well – actually, this isn’t a trick, is it? They are doing exactly the same thing that they would do outside, except in a tray inside your house. They dig a hole, do their business and then cover it up. Except in our house, the covering up bit doesn’t always go to plan and we end up having all kinds of ‘things’ over our kitchen floor.
Conclusion – are Chartreux cats easy to train?
No, they’re not – but then, no cat is easy to train and you didn’t get one so you could teach them tricks anyway. My advice would be to let your Chartreux do exactly what they want to do, when they want to do it. That’s generally what cats do anyway and it’s one of the reasons why we love them so much!