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Cats aren't quite as complicated as humans. Cats always have a specific motivation for all they do, and most of the time that motivation is based on the instinct to survive. When you understand their motivation, you can alter their behavior.
When training a cat, try to mimic natural behaviors or try to cooperate and compliment a cat's natrual instinct to do a specific task. It has always been more successful for me to train my cats to do what they naturally do, but in a manner that I can control. If they want to jump up; I give them a specific place where they can jump or climb. When they want to sleep, I give them their own 'nest'. If they want to be close to us during tv time, I give them their own chair and blanket. By subtly catering to my cats' natural behaviors, I can control them without a lot of corrective measures.