Cats are trained best by watching you - a cat will mimic you just as he followed the actions of his mother. Of course, training your cat is easiest while he's still a kitten as many older cats are resistant to training. Cats all have unique personalities and are very independent. They don't require a lot of attention as they have a mind of their own. The older they get, the truer this is.
To effectively train your cat, it's essential that your cat trusts you. Never yell at or shout at your cat - you're just going to make the problem worse. Instead, use a soft voice, rewarding and praising your cat when he behaves appropriately. This is the surest, quickest way to get your cat to listen to you.
Like dogs, cats love praise and rewards. Once they learn that they will get a reward and/or praise for good behavior, they'll be more inclined to listen to you and obey you.
Never use your cat's name if you do find it's necessary to reprimand him. You don't want your cat to associate his name with a negative response from you.
Consistency is always the key when training any type of pet, and especially with cats. You need to always be consistent in your training to achieve your desired results. Training a cat will take much longer than it does to train a dog. However, it really is possible to train a cat to do many things. If you have others living in your home, be sure they know the commands you're teaching your cat, to ensure consistency in training. With everyone cooperating, your cat training will go that much more smoothly.
Cats can be finicky and exhibit some bizarre behaviors, and that seems to be part of their allure for humans. But, there will be behaviors that you want to correct and bad habits that call for reprimand. A harmless way to correct a cat's behavior is by filling a squirt bottle with water and giving him a quick squirt in the face when you catch him in the act of doing something wrong. A quick startling noise can also be effective in stopping bad behavior.
Training your cat is well worth the effort, as it makes having him that much more enjoyable and a lot more fun to have around.