Simple tricks to teach your cat
It is believed that cats are not the type of house pet that can be taught anything. Although teaching a cat is more challenging and requires more time and patience, by utilising proper techniques and tools you can teach your feline a few tricks, that will certainly impress your friends or family.
How to prep for training
As cats typically have a short attention span, they can quickly lose interest in your training sessions. It’s best to plan shorter but more frequent training sessions and always offer a tasty reward for any progress made. Clicker and tasty treats will most definitely make the training easier. The sound of the clicker signals correct behaviour. Remember to reward your cat with a treat - the clicker alone is just a signal, not a reward. The sound of the clicker can be a bit loud and it can startle the more timid cats. Hold the clicker in a closed fist, which will mute the sound a bit. Every trick should have a unique voice command, such as “sit”, “paw”, “fetch”. Be patient and don’t give up if you’re not seeing immediate results. Younger cats will usually pick up tricks quicker than an adult or older cats, but this does not mean you cannot teach and adult cat a thing.
Probably the easiest trick you can teach a cat is a paw trick. “Give paw” is a great way to get your cat comfortable with having their paws handled - it can be useful during nail trimming or vet checks. To teach the trick have your clicker and treats ready. You can also try with the snacks alone. Give a command “Paw!” or “Give paw!” and at first gently pick up your cat’s paw. Use the clicker, give a cat a treat and place the paw back on the ground. Praise your cat and give him pets if he behaves well. Repeat this over and over until your cat picks his paw by himself.
To teach this trick you will need your cat’s favourite snacks. Show your cat a treat and slowly place the snack above your cat’s head and give a “Sit!” command. In order to keep an eye on the snack, your cat will need to lift his head, which will shift his body’s centre of gravity. To comfortably observe the snack it will be much easier for your cat to sit down. If your cat does sit, signal him with a clicker, reward with the treat and loads of pets. “Sit” can be an extremely useful trick if you have multiple pets living in your home. If your pets tend to run around the kitchen as you’re serving their food you can tell them to “sit” and patiently wait for their meal.
Teaching a “fetch” command can help increase the amount of physical activity in your cat’s daily routine. For this trick choose a toy your cat can easily pick up with his teeth. At first throw the toy close to you while giving a “Fetch!” command. Although cats love chasing toys you throw, they are not too inclined to bring them back to you. A bit of patience and encouragement can work wonders in teaching your cat to fetch.
Remember to always be patient, especially when you’re working with an adult or older cat. Always reward your feline for properly executing a trick or command, but remember that snack can quickly add up in calories. Don’t give your cat too much treats in a day, as it can go over your cat’s daily energy needs and even lead to weight gain.
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