Cat Tricks (Almost) Anyone Can Teach Their Pet
Dog training classes? Obedience for canines? You hear about these all the time, but Cat Tricks 101? Or agility training with your Feline? Unheard of, isn't it? That might lead you to believe that cats cannot learn tricks. For those of you who are skeptical, teaching your feline the following cat tricks might just change your mind.
Come - Try teaching this cat trick at mealtime when your cat is already hungry. Say your cat's name followed by the command, "come." If necessary, tap on the food bowl to get their attention. When they come, praise them over and over again and then give out the food as a treat for following your command. Eventually, your cat will associate the food with the command, "come," and then you will be well on your way to owning a trained cat.
Shake - Cats will naturally try to use their paws to do things, so this is not a difficult trick to teach your feline. With your cat sitting in front of you, touch their paw and say, "shake." As soon as they react and lifts its paw, shake it and then use lots of vocal praise along, of course, with a tasty treat. Remember, as with all tricks, to be consistent and always repeat the command the identical way each time.
Sit-Up - Start with your cat on a footstool or other raised area. Then, place your cat into sitting position. Hold a treat over kitty's head and say "sit-up." Do NOT give him the treat if the cat grabs at the treat without sitting up. Repeat the command again and again until the response you want is finally understood. When the accomplished trick is learned, give the treat right away and repeat the command several times so your cat will understand that sitting up and getting a treat go hand-in-paw.
Wave - Swiping at a morsel of food is a natural behavior for a cat. Hold a treat in your hand. Place it in front of the cat's nose but just out of reach of the front paws. Then, move it back and forth with your hands in a waving motion while telling your cat to "wave." As your cat reaches out for the food to and fro, it will appear as if kitty is waving. Once the motion mimics the waving behavior, be sure to praise your cat lavishly and give them that yummy treat which has been waving in front of them.Teaching a Cat Tricks Requires Patience
Remember, the key to training your cat is lots and lots of patience. Most cats will readily perform simple tricks in time. However, if your cat is clearly resisting your attempts and not in the mood, you should leave them alone for a while and try again later. Never make your cat do something they do not want to do.
While most cats are indeed trainable for such simple tricks as above, every once in awhile, there may be a cat who will stubbornly resist all opportunities at learning tricks under any circumstances (and may even become hostile). Do not force this type of feline to learn tricks or you may end up getting hurt and/or making kitty stay away from you--maybe even for good--out of exasperating distress and fear.
If you have photos or movies that you'd like to share of YOUR cat doing a trick, please send it to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org!
Sandra L. Toney has taught her cats many tricks through time and patience. Only a few of them have resisted and, in those particular cases, she has not forced them to perform--out of respect for their apprehension for learning. However, most of her tricks for cats have helped many people teach their own felines to perform tricks for treats. She is the author of the book, The Little Book of Cat Tricks. She is proud to reveal that each and every trick in her book has been tested and approved by at least one of her MANY furry friends through the years. If you want to learn how to teach a cat tricks, check out her book and share your experiences in the comments below!