HOW TO TRAIN CATS TO DO TRICKS
HOW TO TRAIN CATS TO DO TRICKS
Many pet owners are aware that they can train their dogs to do tricks but did you know that you can also train your cat to do tricks? Contrary to popular assumptions that cats can’t follow commands, your feline friend is quite willing to learn all kinds of tricks including sit, shake, give you a high five, fetch on command and more.
However, training a cat to perform fun and amusing tricks isn’t really easy as it seem they would rather do these tricks in their own good time than yours. The key to training here lies in understanding what motivates them, and using positive, reward-based techniques.
3 things to keep in mind before you start training your cat
If you want to train your feline to do tricks, you need to keep the following things in mind:
- Patience: Unlike dogs, cats have no innate desire to please anyone but themselves, so don’t be disappointed if your feline shows no interest in learning tricks. What you can do to achieve your goal is to look for the appropriate type of motivation.
- Creativity: Don’t rush into trying to teach your cat the full trick. Break it down into small steps and work your way towards the full trick so your furry friend can get what you’re trying to teach him.
- Make the training sessions brief: Cats seldom devote their attention to anything for a long time, which is why it makes sense to keep the training sessions short, to keep your feline’s attention from wandering. The ideal training time is 10-15 minutes.
How to teach your cat to do tricks
- Stock up on cat treats: Figuring how to motivate a cat can be hard, but you can be certain your feline will love some moist treats. Try and pick a type of treat that’s only for trick training so he will associate it with that and that alone.
- Tap into your cat’s preferences: The best way to train a cat is to focus on her strengths. Some cats are vertically oriented, opting for leaps and climbs, while others like to stay close to the ground. The idea is to play into your furry friend’s tendency by teaching a trick around something she likes doing.
- Give the command: Use the treats to lure your cat into any position you want and then give a command to associate it to the action. For instance, when you lure your cat to sit, say “sit” and reward her with a treat immediately. She should pick up the connection relatively fast.
- Introduce the clicker: Once your cat learns that a command attracts treats as a means of reward, the next step is to incorporate a clicker to reduce the treats you give. When your feline obeys a command, click before giving her a reward and she should soon see that the clicking noise is a reward itself.
- Practice often: Practice makes perfect, so make sure you practice whatever trick you’re teaching your cat consistently for some days till she learns the trick.
Cats are highly intelligent creatures, a fact that’s both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that you can teach any trick you want them to do while the disadvantage is that they tend to become bored easily, so make sure you vary the routine, rhythm and even where you train.