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How to Teach Simple Commands to a Cat

Updated on August 17, 2013

Cats are quite often thought of as untrainable, but in actuality, they are far more responsive than most people realize. With a little patience and a few treats it is quite possible to train your cat to follow simple commands.

Cat Training Command #1: Come

This simple cat command is best taught at mealtime. Your cat is already hungry and no doubt they already respond to the sound of that can open or the whirl of the can opener. Say your cat's name followed by the command, "come" right at feeding time. When they arrive as commanded, praise your kitty and give them the food as a treat for obeying your command. Eventually, your cat will begin to associate the food with the command, "come." When this occurs you will be on your way to having a well trained feline.

Cat Training Command #2: Shake

Naturally, cats will use their paws to do things like bat an option. Because of this, the command "shake" is ideal for your kitty to learn. While your cat is sitting in front you, lightly touch their paw and say the word, "shake." Once they react and lift their paw, shake it. Use verbal praise and a tasty treat to encourage the behavior. Repeat the command the exact same way each time and eventually this will be another trick in your cat arsenal.


Cat Training Command #3: Wave

Those paws are used for all kinds of things in the feline world. Swiping food is a natural behavior that can be groomed into another kitty trainable trick. Place a morsel of food in front of your cats nose but just out of reach or their front paw. Move it back and forth with your hands while telling your cat to "wave." Once your kitty reaches for the food it will appear that they are waving. Praise your kitty and give them the treat as a reward for "waving."

Cat Training Command #4: Sit-Up

Place your cat on a footstool or other raised area. Place them in the seated position and hold a treat over their head. Say "sit-up" but do not give him the treat even if he grabs for it. Repeat the command again and again until your kitty actually sits up. At that point give them the treat and give the verbal praise. Repeat this sequence several times and after a while your cat will understand that sitting up and getting the treat go together.

What Do You need to Train Your Cat?

The number one thing you need to train your cat is patience. If your cat simply refuses to engage in any of these training activities, it is properly best to simply leave them alone and try again later. While most pets are trainable, there are those few who are simply not interested. do not force your kitty to learn tricks if they do not seem interested. This is a quick way of encouraging them to avoid you or worst yet to become hostile.


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