Everyone knows you can teach dogs tricks, but did you know cats were also capable of learning new skills? Cats enjoy working for food, so teaching them tricks in exchange for goodies is a great way for both of you to have some fun. A hungry kitten, their favorite snacks, and a clicker are all you need. If you’re not sure what to teach, have a look at the list below!
Teaching your cat to sit is one of the simplest things to learn, and it’s one you should start with. Simply say “sit” while luring your cat into a sitting position with a piece of food, then click and feed. You’ll be able to attract without food after a few reps and then fade out the bait.
When your cat is quiet, gently lift one of their paws and say “shake,” then mark and reward. Continue doing this until you can start to fade away your physical cue (raising the paw) and the cat comes to meet you there. To make the activity more constant for your cat and hence simpler to learn, elevate the same paw each time.
3. Sit Pretty
Because it isn’t a natural position for your cat, Sit Pretty is one of the trickier skills. However, once your cat has a basic grasp of how training works, it’s simple to teach. Simply lure your cat’s head straight up so that their front feet are off the ground, click, and reward them while they’re sitting.
Teaching your cat to spin in a circle is also a great way to teach them directions like right and left. Simply lure your cat in a circle (we recommend teaching one way at a time) while stating your instruction, then click and reward them.
To teach your cat to wave, simply place a treat in front of their nose and wiggle it around a little bit while saying “wave” or “hello.” Mark and reward your cat when they elevate their foot to grab the goodie.
It will be up to you to teach your cat to leap based on their natural instincts. If you have a cat who enjoys jumping, teaching them to leap through a hoop may be simple. You’ll first coax your cat through the hoop when it’s on the ground, then click and treat your cat when it walks through it. Then you’ll keep raising it until your cat leaps straight through!
7. Come When Called
If your cat recognizes and reacts to their name, teaching them to come should be straightforward. Make sure you use a command that you’ll remember and that you’ll be able to reward each time your cat comes to you until you’ve completed your training. Simply give your instruction and call your cat’s name, then mark and reward them when they arrive. It’s possible that you’ll have to entice your cat over the first few times.
To train your cat you retrieve, first determine what toy he or she like and be sure to utilize it. Fetch may be taught in a variety of methods, but the most straightforward is to toss the toy then gently take it away from them before throwing it again. Most cats eventually find chasing after the toy to be extremely entertaining and will bring it back to you on their own.
9. Lie Down
It’s easier to teach your cat to lie down from a sitting position. Simply lure your cat’s head down to the ground with food while giving the order when your cat is in a sit. It may take a minute for your cat to bring their complete body down, and you may have to try several times before succeeding. But wait for your cat to come to a complete stop and then mark and treat them.
10. Roll Over
It’s better to teach your cat to roll over once he’s mastered lying down. You’ll most likely teach it in steps after that. Begin by luring a piece of food over your cat’s left shoulder in a circular motion while they are lying down. When your cat turns their head to grab the reward, they’ll try to lift their feet and roll over onto their side. This should be clicked and rewarded. Repeat this technique a few times until your cat is comfortable with it. Instead of clicking and rewarding laying on the side, continue enticing until your cat rolls all the way over to eat the food, then mark and reward that behavior.
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