Step by step
Many people believe cats can’t be taught tricks, but if you spend enough time with your feline friend, nothing is impossible. The 3 tricks in this article consist of various steps. It is imperative that you only move on to the next step when you are absolutely sure that your cat has mastered the current one. To help your cat to stay focused and motivated, we have a secret ingredient: treats! Pick small, low-calorie treats so you can keep on giving without having to feel guilty.
Never punish your cat
Cats aren’t dogs, so make sure to be patient when teaching them something new. Never punish your cat when you feel they ‘just won’t get it’. Instead, reward your cat for everything they do right. Like this, your cat will not only learn to associate tricks with treats, but they will also start to associate affection with treats, wanting to be near you even more.
Teaching your cat to sit
For our doggo friends, “sit” is usually the first commands they learn. Why not start off by teaching your cat the same trick.
- Have your cat on a raised platform, like a table, to spare your back.
- Grab a tasty cat treat.
- Briefly let your cat sniff the treat so they know there is a reward to be earned.
- Hold the treat slightly above your cat’s head. Your feline will most likely go sit down without the need for any encouragement.
- If your cat won’t sit down, lightly press down on their lower back, near their tail.
- Once your cat sits down automatically when you show them a treat without holding it over their head, you can add a verbal cue (“sit”), or a hand gesture.
- After practicing for long enough, over an extended period, your cat will sit down on cue!
Teaching your cat to come when called
Shaking the treat bag is usually enough to make your cat magically appear at your feet, but wouldn’t it be fun if they responded to their name? Here’s how to make it happen.
- Make sure your cat is no farther than a few feet away from you.
- Call your cat’s name, and immediately after crinkle the treat bag.
- When your cat comes over, give them a tasty treat.
- Gradually increase the distance between you and your cat.
- Try calling your cat without crinkling the treat bag and generously reward them when they respond.
Teaching your cat to give high 5
Teaching your cat to touch an object on command, your hand in this case, needs a bit of a different approach. To speed up the learning process, we recommend the use of a target stick. No need to break the bank though! You can quickly craft one by gluing a small, colorful ball to the end of a stick. Below, we refer to this colorful ball as “the target”.
- Ask your cat to sit down (find out how to teach them this command in trick #1)
- Once your feline is seated, lay down the target in front of them. As soon as your cat touches the target with their paw, give them a treat.
- Now, raise the target higher, to the position where you would hold your hand if you were to give your cat a high 5. When your cat touches the target with their paw, reward them.
- For the next step, place the target in the palm of your hand and hold your hand in the high 5 position. When your cat touches either the target or your hand with their paw, give them a tasty treat.
- Finally, try to leave out the target.
Congratulations, you have now successfully taught your cat 3 tricks while having created a deeper bond with them. You didn’t think that was possible, now did you? Want to show your cat’s new skills to your friends on social media? Don’t forget to tag us!