Teach Your Cat Tricks

Edited by Train Wreck, Eng, VisiHow

Contrary to what many people believe, it is possible to train a cat tricks and particular behaviors. Though it may be a bit more difficult to train your cat than to Teach Your Dog Tricks, since cats tend to be more independent and less in need of human companionship, it is still possible to teach your cat some tricks. Cats, just as dogs, can learn a variety of behaviors and tricks, including sitting properly, shaking your hand, rolling over, and giving you a high five. This article will give you a few tips about how you can successfully train your cat with patience, practice, and treats. A lot of treats.

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Training Your Cat

  1. 1
    Teach your cat one behavior or trick at a time.
    Your cat will learn new behaviors on its own time. We will provide tips below to help your cat along, but one thing you should avoid is trying to teach your pet multiple tricks at the same time. Trying to teach multiple tricks at once may confuse your cat and result in him or her not actually mastering any of the behaviors you are trying to teach.
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  2. 2
    Train briefly at the appropriate time.
    According to the Humane Society, the best time to train your cat is shortly before mealtime, when your cat will surely be motivated by food. Since cats will not pay attention for extended periods of time, keep your training brief: no longer than 15 minutes. When your cat loses interest in the training, he or she will stop responding. This means that when your cat stops responding, it's time to end the training. Do not attempt to force your cat to train if he or she is not interested or not responding to you.
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  3. 3
    Cats do not respond well to punishment or negative reinforcement.
    Punishing and insulting your cat will not be effective and may cause stress. This can lead to behavioral problems and spiteful or antisocial activity. Cats respond better to positive reinforcement in the form of tasty treats. Don't choose just any treat and make sure you select a delicious, irresistible treat to reinforce good behavior. Feel free to use praise and other rewards, such as a favorite toy. Note, however, that in order to have a behavior repeated and fully mastered, immediately rewarding your cat with a treat may be your best option. This is especially true if you have just begun your training program.
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  4. 4
    Reward your cat immediately and consistently.
    Cats have short attention spans. For this reason, the timing of your reward is very important. Your treat should be given to the cat immediately or within seconds as the good behavior occurs. If your treat is delayed, your cat may associate the reward with a different behavior, which may not be one that you want repeated. You should also be consistent with the reward in order to make sure that your cat associates the desired behavior with the treat.
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  5. 5
    Trade in the treats gradually.
    Treats are used to reinforce and teach good behavior, but should eventually be removed when your cat learns. As with humans, giving your cats too many treats too often can lead to obesity and a host of health problems. Once your cat consistently displays the desired behavior, you can begin cutting back on treats and monitoring the results. You can start by giving your cat a treat three of every four times the positive behavior is performed, then dropping to two of four times, and gradually decreasing treats until the cat performs the behavior without receiving this type of reward consistently. Make sure you continue to give your cat praise and nonfood rewards, and keep him or her interested with an occasional treat too.
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Additional Considerations

Understand that as cats are fairly independent animals, they can be difficult to train. Training a cat well requires a lot of patience, persistence, and rewards. If you follow the steps above and do a bit of research on what you would like your cat to learn, you may be able to train your cat to do some incredible things.

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  • Have these tricks and tips worked for you? Let us know! Leave your comments and questions in the section below.

See our other tutorials on felines: Choose the Best Cat Food, Groom a Cat, Know What to Feed Your Cat, Make a House for Newborn Kittens, and Safely Clean Your Cat's Litter.

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Article Info

Categories : Cats

Recent edits by: Eng, Train Wreck

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