How to teach your cat to SIT
How to Teach Your Cat to Do Tricks
Like many pets, cats can be trained to do tricks. Because they tend to be independent, teaching cats can take persistence, however. With positive reinforcement and patience, your cat can have a great time playing games and performing a variety of tricks.
Learning How to Train Your Cat
Get a supply of treats.Cats need to be constantly rewarded with tasty treats in order to learn tricks. Keep plenty of your cat’s favorite bite-sized treats on hand when trying to train it. Give your cat frequent treats when training it in short sessions.You can also vary treats frequently to keep your cat interested.Some good choices are:
- Diced chicken
- Bits of tuna
- Commercial cat treats
- Small pieces of dry food
Veterinarian Pippa Elliott has this tip: "All cats have at least one food they will do just about anything for. If your cat seems disinterested in treats, you just haven't offered the right one yet. Keep experimenting by offering different tidbits and eventually you'll hit on one that excites the cat."
Get your cat’s attention.Your cat won’t want to learn tricks if it’s not in the mood. Starting by giving your cat a treat might get its attention. If your cat doesn’t act interested in learning a particular trick, don’t force it to play—just be patient and try again later.
Use a clicker.A pet clicker is a small device that makes a clicking sound. Each time your cat does something you want it to (like a trick), make the clicking sound and give it a treat. The sound and positive reinforcement (reward) of the treat condition your cat to repeat the behavior.
- Pet clickers can be found at pet supply stores. If you can’t find one, you can try a pen that makes a clicking noise.
Keep training sessions short and frequent.Cats learn through repetition, so frequent training sessions will help them master a trick. Try repeating tricks several times each day.Keeping training sessions brief will also hold your cat’s attention so it will want to keep trying.
Repeat tricks when training your cat.When your cat completes a trick, give it a treat. Then try to get your cat to repeat the trick 5-10 times in a row (giving it a treat each time), as long as it is interested. This repetition will encourage the behavior.
Don’t use cue words until after the cat has learned a trick.For instance, if you want your cat to sit, don’t use the word “sit” until it is used to doing the trick. This will help the cat associate the word specifically with the trick.
Teach one trick at a time.Positive reinforcement like praise and treats as your cat learns a trick will help it to master the behavior. Trying to teach it more than one trick at a time can confuse it, however, because it may not understand what behavior is being rewarded. Wait until your cat has mastered one trick before moving on to the next.
Do not punish your cat for not learning a trick.Cats learn when given rewards and positive reinforcement, not when they are punished. Scolding or punishing your cat when it doesn’t complete a trick will only make it stressed or disinterested. If you cat doesn’t act interested in learning a trick, or doesn’t perform successfully, just try again later. Take cat breaks so they look forward to learning. The
Teach Your Cat Specific Tricks
Teach your cat to sit.When your cat is on all four feet, hold a treat in front of its face to get its attention. Slowly move it from in front of the cat’s face to just between its ears. Many cats will follow the treat in the air and lower their rear end to get it. When your cat sits, positively reinforce its behavior by praising it and giving it the treat.
- If you cat’s rear end doesn’t quite touch the ground the first time, give it the treat anyway. Keep repeating this training and your cat can get better each time.
Teach your cat to “hi-five.” First, encourage your cat to move its paw by giving it a treat each time it lifts the paw off of the ground. Then, put a treat in your hand (wrapped in your fist, for instance), and wait for your cat to use its paw to try and grab it out of your hand. Give the cat a treat as a reward when it does. Repeat this many times, gradually lifting your hand up higher each time until the behavior resembles giving a hi-five.
Train your cat to come when called.Try this training your cat for this trick at is mealtimes, because it will already be hungry. Call your cat’s name and tap on its food bowl to get its attention. When your cat comes, praise them and give them a treat.
- When your cat gets used to coming when called, you can also use the command “come” for this trick.
- You can vary this trick by trying to train your cat to come from distances increasingly farther away, from outside to inside, etc.
Train your cat to touch an object.You can have your cat learn to touch an object like a toy or a sturdy surface that will not fall over. This trick is learned best after your cat has learned to sit. Once your cat is sitting next to the object, hold a treat near it to attract the cat. When the cat touches the object, give it a treat.
- Once your cat becomes interested in this trick, you can also train it to touch the object with a specific type of its body. For instance, if you want to train it to touch an object with its paw, wait to give your cat a treat until it does.
Train your cat to sit up on two legs.Hold a treat above your cat, but not so close that it can touch it. When your cat sits up on its hind legs, and reaches for the treat with its front paws, use a command like “sit” and give it the treat.
Teach your cat to shake hands.Sit in front of your cat and gently touch its paw. When it lifts the paw off the ground, grasp it in yours as though you were shaking hands. Give your cat a treat immediately afterwards.
Train your cat to meow on command.Cats are capable of producing a wide range of vocal sounds (meows, chirps, trills, yowls, etc.), and they reserve most of them for communicating with humans.You can try training your cat to produce a meow or other sound on command. Just give your cat a treat when it makes the desired sound. After the cat begins to associate the treat with a reward, introduce a word like "meow" or "chirp" to create the command.
QuestionAre there any tricks I should teach my cat first?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should teach your cat to respond to its name first, that way it will know when you're calling it to a training session.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible to teach these tricks to a kitten?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but be very patient.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to have a clicker to train a cat, or can I just make the sound with my mouth?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, any method that produces the noise that the cat will associate with reward.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my cat is never in the mood for tricks?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt might not want the treat you're offering. Try using other types, and just make sure it's good for the cat.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I teach it to jump over things?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCheck out this article: http://www.wikihow.com/Train-a-Cat-to-Jump-Through-a-Hoop, and use the information to train your cat to jump over things.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can you do if you do not have treats?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFind something else a cat may enjoy that will not endanger its health, such as small bits of ham or chicken.Thanks!
QuestionWhen I try to get my cat to hi-five, he just points his nose to my hand. Why?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt may be because you are giving the cat too many treats, or he has just associated the trick with the treat.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my cat is only doing the tricks for the treats?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWell, that's pretty much how it works, but once you've gotten your cat used to performing the trick, they will usually keep doing it even if you stop giving the treats.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my kitten is too hyper?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat is common. Try relaxing (petting) the cat as much as possible; as it gets older, it will be more calm.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I can't get my cat's attention?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry finding a quieter room without any distractions.Thanks!
If you want to teach your cat to do tricks, find a treat that your cat likes, such as diced chicken or pieces of tuna. Give the cat a treat to get its attention, then get it to perform the trick, such as giving you its paw or having it sit. Give the cat a treat and praise each time it performs the trick, but keep the training session brief, about 5-10 repetitions. However, you can repeat a training session several times a day until your cat learns the trick.
- Tricks are a good way to help your cat get the exercise it needs. 20 to 60 minutes per day of activity is recommended.
- If your cat (or kitten) scratches or bites then tricks can help you play with your cat.
- If you want to teach a cat to jump over something, get a toy or treat and hold that object in front of your cat. Call its name and say " Jump over!". Your cat should jump for the treat/toy. After a few times, try it without the object. Call it's name to gets attention. Then say "Jump over!".
- Don't expect your cat to learn tricks faster. Be patient. Be steady.
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