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Can you really teach a cat tricks?

 by lucy on 18 Jul 2018 |
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Dogs aren’t the only pets that can learn tricks. With some patience (and hefty a supply of treats) your cat can also learn to sit, shake and play fetch.

Many people think tricks are just for dogs, but some exceptional felines prove that cats can also learn to sit, shake and play fetch. With the right combination of energy, intelligence and a strong bond with his trainer, your cat can learn several tricks that will reinforce your bond while impressing guests.
The first step when training your cat is to recognize that there are some fundamental differences between cat and dog obedience. Felines are less motivated by praise and less instinctually driven to work in tandem with humans, so you’ll have to rely heavily on treats during training. Pick something especially delicious for your companion, such as soft, savory diced chicken or turkey. After choosing the right commercial cat treats or other morsels, start with a simple trick to teach Kitty that a certain behavior will earn him this tasty treat. Many pet owners choose ‘sit’ as the foundation for feline training because it’s relatively easy to master.
To begin training, start by rewarding your cat with a morsel every time he does the desired action by chance. Repeat this several times in a row so your pet understands why he’s being rewarded, bearing in mind that training sessions should last no more than 10 or 15 minutes. This will keep both you and your cat engaged in the training and prevent boredom or frustrated. Often, you can use treats to guide your pet in the right direction of a trick—holding a treat above eye level to encourage your cat to stand, for example. You can also gently guide your with your hand while he’s learning the ropes.
Many experts suggest teaching cats only one trick at a time so they do not become confused about which action earns them a treat. Once your pet has mastered one trick, you can move on to the next, remembering to practice old tricks regularly so your pet doesn’t forget them. Some common feline feats including teaching your cat to sit, come on command, shake hands, and fetch his favorite toy. Others include playing dead, standing on his hind legs, and even giving a high-five. Always use the same vocal command for a trick, rewarding your cat immediately when he executes a command.
There are, of course, some cats that will be more receptive to training than others. Cats with higher levels of energy and athleticism will be more motivated in training, as will exceptionally intelligent felines. Cats that are highly social also love spending time with their humans, making training an easy fit for these felines.


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