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How to Train Cats: The Basics

 by zack on 12 Oct 2012 |
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Don’t you just love a fat cat? Aren’t you just smitten with kittens? When you get home from work, do you make a B-line for your feline?

All cutesy kitty poetry aside, cats are great companions who can provide hours of entertainment. Don’t you wish you could share in some more group activities? Maybe you should teach them some cat tricks. You must be thinking: “How do I train cats?” Well, you’ve read this far basically on the momentum of the poetry, but what if you found out that learning to train cats is easy?

I'm doing it better mom, I'm winning!While cat training is fairly easy, it can be frustrating as well. Cats are not dogs. They do not wait on your beck and call. Whereas a puppy might decide to play dead in order to get a smile and a word of affirmation, cat tricks will require a more substantial bribe. Finicky creatures that they are, you’ll have to choose your treats wisely. Tuna snacks are a popular choice, and there is no lack of cat treat recipes online.

So how to train cats? Well, it’s a simple process that takes time and repetition to complete. First thing’s first. You’ve got to get kitty to sit. Sitting is a foundation of all other cat tricks. It’s required to get your cat’s attention. The cat will need to be standing still to begin any sort of training. Since Kitty is more likely to do this in a sitting position rather than standing, it makes more sense to teach this cat trick first. Secondly, a lot of the other tricks must be performed from the sitting position.

To train cats to sit, utter the command and put light pressure on the cat’s rump. It may take time, but eventually the cat will either sit of its own volition or due to your prompting. Once that’s accomplished, immediately reward your cat with a tasty treat, a pat on the head, and exclaim in your sweetest tone of baby talk:” Good kitty!” You can also say “Good Sit!” Or “Hallelujah!” if your cat is particularly stubborn.

Whatever you like, really. It’s your cat, go nuts.
That's a good kitty!
Once you’ve got sit down, (no pun intended) the other tricks come pretty naturally. After sit, learning how to train cats is a breeze. Begin with sitting, then just say the command while performing the following actions, and always reward with petting, treats, and kind words.
  • You can have them shake by placing your hand behind their front leg and bumping a paw,
  • You can hold out a hand palm upward for a “low five,”
  • Hold it outstretched for a “high five,”
  • Hold a treat above the cat’s head to have him “Sit Up,”
  • And hold a treat at eye level to get the cat to “wave.”
Remember while learning how to train cats, you must be patient and consistent, and never expect Mr. Mittens to perform for laughs. Always have those treats ready, or prepare to face the wrath of kitty!

If Thor had fur...

Need more help? Check out these helpful training videos!


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