You may have read somewhere that cats can perform tricks like dogs and circus animals and you’ve already seen fun cat videos on YouTube where cats do some pretty awesome tricks.
And now you’re wondering… Can I train my cat to do that?
Well, cats can be trained. How much and how easily you can train your cat is dependent on your cat’s breed, age, temperament, and your commitment.
What Tricks Can You Teach Your Cat?
Felines will do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Nevertheless, they are also quick on the uptake and can learn to perform tricks. Here are some of the basic things you can teach your feline furball.
How To Use The Toilet
How To Stop Destructive Behavior
How To Go On Fun Walks
Yes, cats do walk on a leash. Not necessarily a party trick, but a pretty cool thing to do. Just think how nice it would be if you could get to take your cat outside for an enjoyable and safe walk.
Commands – High Five, Roll Over, Fist Pump, Respond To Its Name
What we typically think of when we hear the term “cat trick” is a cat responding to a certain command.
For example, you can teach a cat to sit down, how to fist pump (or fist bump), how to handle a paw or give a high five, how to jump through hoops, how to roll over, and so on.
You can also teach your kitty how to respond to its name and how to walk up to you whenever you’re calling it. It’s a basic command, but it sure comes in handy!
So, How Do You Teach Your Cat New Tricks?
Unlike dogs, felines don’t feel the need to please their owners. As such, they won’t wag their tails and carry out a performance for you just so that you can smile at them, pat them on the head, and allow them to lick your face.
So, how do you make the kitty respond to the commands?
The best way to do this is the positive reinforcement training technique.
Guide the cat into doing the thing you want, and always take it slow. As your cat attempts to do whatever trick you’re teaching, reward it.
For high fiving, you can carefully take kitty’s paw and use it to high five your hand, while saying “high five”, and then give a treat.
Cat training requires a lot of patience, focus, and devotion. You need to finish what you started. Otherwise, your kitty won’t learn anything.
Food and Treats
High-quality cat food and cat treats are essential for training.
Use small amounts of food to feed your kitty after each command. Don’t overfeed your cat and always leave it hungry for more so that you don’t spoil its appetite for dinner later.
Use verbal and physical praise whenever the cat does something right or attempts to perform the trick guided by verbal commands like “sit,” “high five,” and so on.
Praise your furball by saying things like “good kitty,” pet it, and stroke its fur gently. It will make the cat associate the training with a positive experience.
Spend about 10 minutes per day repeating commands and using positive reinforcement. Repeat the training sessions each day without skipping a training session.
Always do the training at the same time each day so that you’ll teach your cat when it’s time to perform the tricks. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll bore and possibly even irritate your kitty.
Younger kittens are easier to train than older cats. Nevertheless, you can always teach your furry pal new tricks regardless of age or breed.
Never punish your cat!
Don’t ever scold, slap, or punish your cat in any other way. Your precious feline creature won’t understand why you’re doing. It will simply associate all training sessions and all tricks with a negative, stressful, and even frightening experience.
As a consequence, your cat could start destroying your furniture and peeing all over the place from the stress.
Stick to the positive reinforcement techniques and reward good deeds instead of punishing your cat for its wrongful doings. Always treat your kitty with food, verbal, and physical praise, and devote yourself to training sessions.
Some cats will find it harder to learn how to perform tricks than others, but as long as you’re not giving up on yourself and your kitty, your feline furball will eventually succeed.