5 Tricks You Can Teach Your Cat

5 Tricks You Can Teach Your Cat

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  1. House cats are not considered the kind of pet that can perform tricks on command. Kittens and full grown cats do plenty of adorable things on a daily basis that delight their owners. Yet, there’s a certain satisfaction in getting your pet to successfully complete a trick at your demand. There are some tricks that cats can learn with a little coaching and plenty of positive reinforcement. Most of these tricks are based on common cat behavior.

    Before you begin training your feline friend, there are a few things that need to be considered.

    • Consult with your veterinarian before embarking on a cat training regimen with your pet or taking any advice on its care.
    • Base the trick your choose on a behavior your cat already displays. If your cat never jumps upward when playing, a trick that involves that cat behavior may be more difficult to teach.
    • Keep your patience. Cats training is infamous for being difficult, and you need to make sure to keep yours interested in the lesson.
    • Treats, treats and more treats. Instead of scolding your cat when they don’t perform, give plenty of treats for each step in the right direction. Cats like treats and are smart enough to pick up on what to do to get them.

    Now that you have the stage set for trick training it is time to pick a stunt and get started.

    1. Shake Hands
      Cats instinctively use their paws when interacting, making ‘shake hands’ a relatively simple trick for them to learn. First, tap your cat lightly on the top of their paw and say ‘shake hands’ in a clear, firm voice. When your cat picks their paw up in reaction to being tapped, shake it and offer words of approval along with a treat. Consistency in the verbal command and tapping motion are very important.
    2. Wave
      Teaching your cat to wave is similar to shaking hands in that is plays off of what is already a natural feline behavior. Start by holding a treat in front of your cat’s nose but just out of the reach of their front paws. Move the treat back and forth, allowing your cat to reach for it. When the cat’s movement is mimicking waving, say ‘wave’ in a happy tone and give your cat the treat.
    3. Come
      Some say a cat cannot learn its name. Teaching your cat to come when its name is called is as easy as feeding it dinner. Once the cat’s meal is ready to be served, call it’s name to where you are. In the beginning, tapping or shaking the food bowl or container will get the cat’s attention. As the cat arrives, give lots of praise and put the meal down. If this action becomes habitual, your cat will associate the sound of its name with being fed.
    4. Roll Over
      This trick is ideal for cats who enjoy having their stomach tickled. In order to have their tummy scratched, your cat will need to roll onto its back. The use of a simple ‘roll over’ command while you pet his stomach is the best way to start. Then, only mime rubbing his stomach while repeating the command. Continue this pattern until your cat rolls over upon the command, not the start of being pet.
    5. Stand and Beg
      Again, the use of a treat to insight a movement is the best style of trick for cats. For cats that have been seen gracefully standing on its back legs or reaching for treats or toys, teaching them to beg should be easy. Start as you would with the ‘wave’ trick. Hold a treat in front of your cat’s nose but out of its reach. When the cat displays interest in the treat, state the command of ‘beg’ and move the treat upward. Be careful with this trick when teaching it to kitties who still have their claws. Some cats will dig their claws into your hand for balance while standing.

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