BaxterBoo Blog
May 12, 2019

5 Surprising Things You Can Actually Train Your Cat To Do

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If you’ve ever tried and failed to teach your cat to do something, you probably have the impression that felines are incapable of learning tricks the way canines do. After all, it’s rare to see a cat respond consistently to commands, even in movies. While it’s true that cats are less inclined to seek your approval than dogs, with a little patience and plenty of rewards, you can have your mouser following basic commands with ease. Here are 5 surprising things you can train your feline to do with the help of a clicker training tool and some of her favorite treats.

  • Sit

The “sit” command is one of the first things you teach a dog because it’s simple and easy. It’s also a great first trick for a cat to learn. Follow these steps and your tom will be sitting in no time:

  • Take your pet to a quiet area of your home where there are no distractions and he feels perfectly safe.
  • Make sure his attention is directed at you by saying his name and slowly moving a favorite treat over his head, slightly above eye level.
  • To look at the treat, he’ll have to tip his head back and will need to sit down to keep his balance. When he does so, immediately give him a treat and say “Sit. Good sit.”
  • Keep repeating this process until your furry friend obeys your cues without requiring a treat. You may need to split up your training sessions into several 5-minute sessions, especially if your cat loses attention quickly.

To maximize the effectiveness of your lessons, it’s important to do them when your kitten is hungry and really wants his treats. You’ll know when he’s done with lessons when he no longer shows interest or suddenly becomes preoccupied with grooming himself.

  • Lie Down

Teaching Kitty to lie down is fairly easy once she knows how to sit. Here’s the process:

  • Command Kitty to sit.
  • From a seated position, lure her to the ground with treats while giving the “Lie down” command. The first few times, she may just bring her head to the ground. If she does, start over.
  • Keep trying until she brings her body to the ground, then immediately reward her with the clicker, treat and the verbal affirmation “Lie down. Good lie down!”

If you can’t get your little hairball to lie down on command, try waiting until she does it on her own. Take her to a location where she likes to lounge, then wait until she does so on her own. As soon as begins to lie down, immediately give the verbal cue “down” and mark the action with a click. Follow by rewarding her with a treat. She may be confused at first, but with consistency, she will learn to associate the reward with the command “lie down” and the action.

  • Spin

Spinning is one of the most impressive tricks you can teach your feline and will show off his coordination and flexibility. You’ll need some type of lure to teach the spin command, so consider using a small spoonful of soft cat food or a treat. When you’re ready, follow these steps:

  • Get your pet to follow the lure as you move it slowly in front of him. Even if he only takes one step toward it or simply follows it with his eyes, mark the action with a click and a treat.
  • Once he’s following the lure with his eyes, you can start to move it around the side so he has to move his body to continue following it. Move slowly and start over if he backs up instead of turning his body.
  • Continue moving the lure in a circle until your kitty successfully completes a 360-degree turn.
  • Once he’s comfortable following the lure in a circle consistently, raise it above his head so he has to stand on his hind feet to reach it.
  • Follow the previous steps to get your pet to complete a circle on his hind legs only. Give the command “Spin” as he does so and reward him by saying “Spin. Good spin.” and giving him his tasty reward.

As with all other tricks, you want your feline to eventually complete a spin without requiring a lure. This may take time, so be patient.

  • Wave

A waving kitten is one of the cutest sights you’ll ever see in your life, and you can enjoy the moment repeatedly when you teach your little fuzzball how to wave on command. Here’s how to get started:

  • Have your feline start in a seated position.
  • Hold a lure of your choice above her head – making sure it’s just out of reach of her mouth. She’ll probably reach out a paw to try and grab the treat. When she does, immediately say “Wave” and reinforce with a click.
  • Repeat this process, moving the lure a little higher each time until your kitty has to reach high for it. Every time she does this, reward her accordingly.

You can also teach the “wave” command by dangling a new toy just out of your feline’s reach, then rewarding her when she reaches for it.

  • Shake

Move over, dogs! Cats can learn how to shake just as well as you can! Teaching your kitten to shake is refreshingly simple. Here’s what you do:

  • Command him to sit.
  • Once he’s sitting, gently lift one of his paws in your hand while simultaneously saying “shake.”
  • Mark the action and reward your kitten
  • Repeat these steps until he lifts his paw for you when you say “shake.”

Be careful not to make this action uncomfortable for your mouser. Don’t raise his paw too high or hold it too tightly. If he resists, you may want to try again later.

Once you’ve mastered these tricks, you may choose to move on to more complicated options such as “roll over” and “fetch.” It’s even possibly to teach your feline how to use the toilet instead of a litter box! You may be surprised to discover how willing your kitten is to learn new things when he’s consistently rewarded for his actions.

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This entry was posted by Rachel.

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