It sounds quite common when people keep saying that cats aren’t like dogs, that there’s no way you can train them. Do you believe that? I don’t! Cats are actually capable of learning to do some simple tricks (of course, not all cats). In fact, it’s good for them. Some are necessary, such as being gentle (not biting), while others, such as rolling over, are a lovely way to improve your cat’s life. I’m here to share with you the best tricks to teach your cat today!
Training and doing tricks with your feline strengthens your bond. Cats appreciate happy moments with their humans, and in no time both of you will be eager to spend more time together.
In reality, you have actually trained your furry friend in various ways, even if you aren’t aware of it (though they might not be the same kinds or among our list of best tricks to teach your cat). You probably have a feeding pattern that your cat is aware of and may have assisted you in developing. You may already have other routines in place, such as providing afternoon goodies that your little guy looks forward to. Routines teach cats a lot, therefore teaching tricks is only a question of starting another new routine.
- A calm and pleasant environment is the best.
- Goodies (e.g. snacks) that your cat loves. These should be saved and used to teach tricks because your cat doesn’t receive them often. In case your cat isn’t particularly food driven, you can find his favorite toy to use as a treat. For cats who prefer physical contact, you can reward him with some pats (a few is enough). These particular cats take a bit longer to teach, but you will get the result in the end.
- 15 minutes of your precious time. In reality, each session might even be shorter. You will need time to find your cat and prepare the toys and treats in place within easy reach.
- Clicker training is a good way to start (you can also see this video). You can also use other things to generate a clicking sound such as a ballpoint pen or simply your tongue.
In a nutshell, training is nothing more than associating words with natural activities and rewarding your cat for participating. So let’s get into our best tricks to teach your cat today because you (and your feline) can master them!
12 best tricks to teach your cat
1. Be gentle
Encourage your cats to perceive hands as a constant source of pleasure. Dab a little homemade or store-bought treat paste on your knuckles or the back of your hand to avoid biting. As your cat or kitten licks your hand, say “gentle,” and pull your hand away calmly if she starts to pinch or bite.
Click and treat your cat whenever she sits naturally. When you put out the treats, you’ll notice your cat sitting to cue you. Once you’ve figured out what she’ll do, add the phrase “sit.” After that, use a target wand or a pointing signal to entice her into place. This stance should be rewarded with a click. Gradually stop clicking every correct response and only use the clicker and goodies when necessary.
From the moment they enter your home, cats can learn to come. Combine happy memories with the sound of a treat cup being shaken with the word “come”. To accomplish this, place treats in a cup or container, shake it, and reward your feline until he or she recognizes the sound. When your cat arrives, click and give her a treat. Gradually shorten the time between saying “come” and shaking the rewards until she responds on cue. Also gradually remove the clicker and treat her on a regular basis.
4. High five
It’s a simple trick to teach your cat that looks impressive. Ensure both of you are on the same eye level. Have a goodie at shoulder height for your cat. When she stretches her paw to touch the treat, click before giving it to her. She’ll eventually learn she has to touch your hand to get the treat. If she touches your right hand, click and deliver the treat to her with your left hand. If your cat does that consistently, start presenting your hand palm up as a high five and actually saying the command. When the cat touches your palm, reward her. You can put away the clicker and only teach her to respond to the cue.
This cat training is much easier than it appears: Prepare a reward, then place yourself with your cat on the same level. When your cat moves its paw, tap it with your clicker while saying “shake.” Rep the training until your cat responds to the “shake” command by offering its paw without tapping. This, like the “come on command” trick, can take a few training sessions spread out over a few days. Your cat will be well-behaved and ready to star in some internet cat memes once you’ve mastered this technique.
Another trick of the best tricks to teach your cat is “beg”. This works in the same way as the “shake hands” method. Give a “beg” instruction while holding a reward slightly over your cat’s head. Your cat should stand on its hind legs and reach for the treat; click to mark the behavior, then give your cat the treat. Practice until your cat begs without a treat dangling from the ceiling. If you truly want to understand how to properly teach a cat, make sure to consistently treat your pet—but never feed your cat milk.
7. Find It
Toss high-value goodies at your cat’s paws and add the word “find It” once your cat can follow the toss. Yes, it’s that straightforward. The shell game can then be played with Tupperware containers or your hands. If she claws or bites your hand, say “gentle” and use a dab of cat paste to encourage licking. After she licks or taps your palm lightly with her paw, reveal the treat.
Rub some tuna can water on your cat’s favorite toy and toss it just out of reach to teach her to retrieve. This will allow their natural hunting abilities. ‘Click’ and provide a treat if your cat approaches the toy or takes it up. Be patient; your cat may need a few sessions to get the hang of it. If your cat approaches you with the toy, click and treat him. Your cat will then let go of the toy in order to consume the reward. You may add the cue word ‘fetch’ each time you toss the toy after he or she is dependably retrieving it.
9. Lie down
Ask your cat to sit while holding treats in your hand. After that, place your hand on the floor near your cat’s front paws and slowly draw your hand away from your cat. Once your feline lies down, click and give her a treat. Repeat this for a few brief sessions before including a verbal or hand gesture into your routine.
10. Roll over
This is one of the best tricks to teach your cat! This should be done after your feline has mastered the “sit” trick. Tell your cat to lie down, then direct a treat toward your cat’s back paws, causing them to lie more on their side, with one shoulder and hip striking the floor. Next, take a treat and draw it up and around your cat’s neck after they are resting on their side. As your cat learns to turn over, keep practicing. Using a soft surface, such as a bed, can assist your cat with rolling over.
11. Stay on Your Mat
Lay a flat mat, towel, or cloth napkin on the counter, sofa, or tabletop to make a cat-mat. Curiosity won’t kill your feline, but it will give her the upper hand! Click when she steps on the cat-mat. Then toss a reward a few inches away from the mat, forcing your cat to return for the next round.
Gradually incorporate “on your mat” as a cue. Introduce the “stay” cue if your cat is willing to go to her mat and stays there. While you eat or cook, use the cat-mat to encourage your cat to stay in a specific spot, such as her cat tree. You may also take your cat-mat on vacation or to the veterinarian to keep your cat calm during appointments.
12. In the Box (or Cat Carrier)
The majority of cats will readily leap into a box or investigate a bag. When it’s time to draw out the cat carrier, having a direction for this action is helpful. Pull out the cat carrier before you need it, hide treats inside, and even feed your cat or kitten portions of her meal in it. Click and reward your cat when he jumps into the carrier or a box. Add the cue “in the box” when your cat prompts you. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend carrying her around in her box/carrier, praising her after each ride.
Because lessons typically need strong concentration, keep them short and upbeat. End each one with a predatory game including a feather flyer or a stuffed toy, which you should let your cat carry away in victory.
These are the top 12 of our best tricks to teach your cat! Just remember that good things take time and patience. If you love your cat and truly want your furry friend to have a happy and healthy life with you, then your effort will pay off.
Do you have your best tricks to teach your cat? We’d love to hear from you!