Originally Posted by Epona
There are some things that come naturally to a cat, but that is due to their nature: eg
* will take to using a litterbox easily because they prefer to bury their waste
* will tend to prefer cat furniture for scratching because sisal does the job better and feels better than upholstry or carpet (scratching posts may need to be provided by doorways for territorial marking purposes - scratching and stropping are about marking as well as claw sharpening).
For other things though, cats are not trainable to the same extent as dogs, because they do not have the same innate desire for stable social heirarchy or the desire to please the alpha/you and keep you happy - while dogs ancestors hunted in packs and worked together, cats are solitary hunters and look after themselves - and as domesticated animals this translates into 'I decide what I am going to do' rather than the dog's 'I need to cooperate with the rest of my family'.
My Oriental is 'trained' in that he knows what I am telling him to do, but like all cats, he will only comply if and when he feels like it- if he doesn't think there's anything in it for him immediately, he will just sit and look at me as if I'm insane. For example, he knows that 'get down on the floor' means exactly that. If I am feeding him and give that command, he obeys it because he has learned that I will stop serving his dinner until he is off the counter. If it is not dinner time, there is no compulsion for him to obey my command and the lure of playing in the sink is more interesting than getting off the counter - so he will just stare at me and then go right back to what he is doing.
That's about as trained as you can get a cat really, I would suggest that if you are specifically looking for an animal you can train then a cat is not ideal for you.
A cat will do something if he wants to do it. While you can provide incentives to encourage a cat to do what you want him to do (eg not go onto the kitchen counters) whether the cat actually does it depends a lot on individual personality. My Mosi is like Epona's oriental - he does exactly what he wants. Sometimes that coincides with what I want, sometimes it doesnt'. He still hasn't got the hang of sleeping at night depite my doing all the 'right' things to discourge night time activity. There is a limit to how much you can train a cat and that needs to be accepted by the whole family before you get one.
If by training you mean not scratching furniture - most are happy to use scratching posts if they are to their liking and in the right place, but it sometimes takes a bit of trial and error to find out what they like.
You say your husband will accept a cat in the house if it's trained - what will happen if it's not trained? What if the cat wees on the carpet or scratches the furniture? Neither of those things are guaranteed to happen at any point during the cat's lifetime, but they may and it's important to acknowledge that at the outset.