how to teach your cat a trick

Learn How to Teach Your Cat a Trick

Does your cat typically spend its days just lounging around, playing with catnip toys, and constantly demanding attention? Want to spice up your kitty’s life while also making him or her look like a show-stopping magician? If so, teaching our feline friends a trick or two is the perfect way to do it.

With the right tricks and motivational methods (i.e., treats!), you can have your endlessly curious feline performing an array of impressive stunts quickly by teaching your kitty some dazzling tricks with a minimal amount of patience, persistence, and loving guidance.

Now, cat owners can turn their lazy cats into the star of their own magic show. You have to admit, that is definitely a fun way to bond with your furry companion while proving that cats are indeed capable of learning some remarkable new behaviors as well.

What are you waiting for? Let’s put this unique guide into action so you can easily teach your cat a trick or two and have the little entertainer mesmerizing friends and family in no time!

how long to learn tricks

How Long Will it Take to Teach a Cat New Tricks?

The truth is, how long it takes to teach a cat a new trick really depends on your approach and the patience you have to train your cat. Generally speaking, most cats learn more readily with the consistent and positive reinforcement you provide, grasping any particular behavior quicker.

With techniques like giving treats or praise, cats normally learn how to do a trick within a few days or up to a week. However, don’t be surprised if it takes your kitty a bit longer to get the hang of it as every cat is different. Each cat has their own unique learning style that you must take into consideration.

All in all, how long it takes for your cat to learn how to do a trick depends on the difficulty of the behavior you are teaching and how motivated your furry friend is. With that said, if you take it slow and use the proper procedures, your kitty will quickly become an expert!

teach cats new tricks

What You Need to Teach Cats New Tricks

Before starting the process, it’s important to keep in mind that teaching cat tricks can be quite different from how you would train a dog or other domesticated animal. Thus, here is a detailed checklist of what you will need in order to teach your cat how to do tricks:

  • Patience and Understanding – Cat training can take an ample amount of time and patience. Unlike dogs, a cat learns at its own pace and is not as obedient so it’s important that you remain patient throughout the entire process.

  • Treats – This is a great way to motivate your kitty and reward them for doing something correctly. Training session treats should be small enough for the cat to quickly consume so it doesn’t lose focus.

  • Toys – Include a few of your cat’s favorite toys to keep them interested and enticed during the training process. This will help hold their attention and can be used as props for certain tricks.

  • Pet Clicker – A pet clicker is a great way to reinforce a behavior quickly with the clicking sound while teaching tricks. This can be combined with treats as a reward after the behavior is completed correctly.

  • Positive Reinforcement – The best way to train cats is by providing positive reinforcements such as verbal praise, petting, and rewards when they do something right.

  • Space – Make sure you have enough room to practice the tricks safely and properly.

  • Time – Dedicate enough time for training on a daily basis in order to ensure consistency in how you teach your cat new tricks.

Once you have gathered all of these items, you are ready to train your cat how to perform some amazing feats!

cat training tips

12 Tips to Make Cat Training Sessions Easier

There is no need to complicate this process. To make your training session somewhat effortless, these tips will help get you and your cat on the right track to success.

  • Set Realistic Goals – Don’t expect your cat to master a trick in one day. Start by teaching small tricks and gradually increase the difficulty over time.

  • Create an Ideal Environment – Find a quiet area with minimal distractions where you can focus on training your cat for better results.

  • Start with a Few Basic Behaviors – Before attempting more complex tricks, begin by teaching your cat how to do simple things like sit, stay, come when called, or shake hands. This will help your kitty become comfortable and get used to the process of learning how to do new tricks.

  • Keep Training Sessions Short – A training session should never be too long as cats can easily become bored after a few minutes. Frequent training sessions will help your cat retain the memory of what’s expected. You do want to keep each of the lessons short and sweet so your cat remains engaged and interested.

  • Reward Good Behavior – Positive reinforcement is key when it comes to training cats how to do tricks. When your kitty does something correctly, reward them with treats or verbal praise or petting so they know what behavior they are doing right.

  • Increase Difficulty Gradually – As your cat progresses, you can start adding more complex behaviors such as jumping through hoops or fetching a ball. Make sure to increase the difficulty level gradually so that your cat understands how to better learn tricks before moving on to the next one.

  • Take Breaks – Once your cat has figured out a few tricks, it’s important to take breaks in between lessons. This allows their brains time to rest and will ensure that they are still attentive during the next session.

  • Allow for Mistakes – Mistakes are inevitable when teaching cats how to do new things so don’t be too hard on your kitty if they’re not getting it right away. Just move on to another trick or take a break. NEVER push or punish your cat during any training sessions.

  • Be Creative – Take advantage of the fact that cats can learn how to do some pretty incredible tricks by being creative with how you teach them new behaviors. Try using props like toys or even food items as rewards and make sure to have fun while doing it!

  • Keep It Fun – Training should be enjoyable for both you and your cat. Make sure to keep the lessons light and entertaining so that your kitty stays interested in learning how to do new tricks.

  • Be Consistent – Consistency is key when it comes to teaching cats how to do tricks as this helps them understand each behavior clearly. Try to keep the same commands, rewards, and cues throughout the entire process so they can learn more quickly and efficiently.

  • Use How-To Guides or Videos – There are plenty of resources available online that provide step-by-step instructions about teaching your cat how to do specific tricks such as playing dead or rolling over. Utilizing these resources can make training easier and faster as it gives you a detailed guide on how to proceed.

By following these tips and guidelines, you are sure to have success when you train your cat how to do these fantastic tricks! With a little patience and persistence, you can make training sessions fun for both of you while your cat learns how to do incredible feats that will impress everyone who sees them.

24 Amazing Tricks That You Can Teach Your Cat

Most cats are surprisingly clever animals when it comes to learning tricks. With just a bit of patience and practice, you can train your kitty to do all sorts of cool things from giving high-fives to opening their own doors. Here are some fun tricks you can teach your cat with relatively minimal time and effort.

1. Sit

This is a simple trick you can teach your cat and it’s a great starting point if you’re just getting into teaching them how to do tricks. All you have to do is hold a treat in front of their nose where they’re standing and move your hand upwards until the cat sits. Then, give them the treat as a reward for following your command. Keep going until they’re proficient.

2. Shake Hands

This trick is slightly more difficult as it requires your cat to use their paw to grab onto something. To teach them how, start by holding a toy or a treat in your hand and gently putting their paw onto it until they get used to the feeling. Then, reward them with a treat when their paw remains there for a bit. Continue until they rest their paw on your hand for a few seconds or so.

3. Lay Down

Teaching your cat how to lay down is a little more complicated but still doable. Start by having them stand up, then gently press their shoulders toward the ground while saying “lay down.” Offer a treat as soon as they are lying down and repeat the process until they can do this regularly.

4. Give Kisses

You want to teach your kitty how to give you a kiss, which is fun and one of the easiest tricks. Start by gently petting them and giving them verbal cues like “kisses” or “give me a kiss.” Once they start licking your hand, give them a treat as a reward and continue to repeat the process until it becomes second nature to them. You don’t have to limit this technique to just the hand. You can try the face or any other place you want.

5. Come When Called by Name

This is an excellent trick to teach as it can help keep indoor cats safe if they ever get out of the house. Start by saying their name, then offering a treat when they come to you. Gradually increase the distance between you and your cat while saying the command until they are able to come when called from anywhere in the house.

6. High Five

This is one of the more advanced tricks you can teach your cat. Start by placing your open hand with a treat just out of reach in front of them and encouraging them to snatch it with their paw. Once they do, give them the treat and then steadily continue this exercise, moving your hand higher each time until you’ve reached their high five upper limit.

7. Spin in a Circle

Start by holding a treat in your fingers slightly above the cat’s head as they’re standing and slowly moving it around in a circle while saying “spin” or “rotate.” When your cat follows the treat with their eyes and starts to turn, give them the treat as a reward. Incrementally increase how far they turn each time until they are doing full circles.

8. Jump Through Hoops

This trick is one of the most impressive you can teach your cat. Start by having them stand in front of a hoop which you’re holding it upright with the bottom touching the ground. Entice them to walk through it with a treat in your hand on the other side of the hoop. As soon as they make it through, give them the treat. Slowly move the hoop higher and higher off the ground each time until you have it at the desired height which they can jump through.

9. Play Fetch

This is a fun game to teach your cat and the good news is that some cats learn how to play it on their own. But if yours isn’t one of them, try this technique. Start by placing a treat on top of a ball or their favorite toy on the floor and let them eat that treat. Now take away the treat. Once they start to associate the treat with the ball or toy, give them a treat when they bring it back to you. Next, toss it a couple feet. If your cat chases after it and brings it back to you, give them a treat and/or praise. Continue to expand how far away you toss the ball or toy until your cat is comfortable chasing it from any distance.

10. Knock Things Down

Many cats already have specific behaviors such as knocking things off a high surface like a table and because of this, it should be a relatively easy trick for them to learn. To get them to do this on command, start by stacking two objects in front of your cat and gently pushing the top object with your finger. As soon as they realize what you did and repeat it, say “knock down” and reward them with a treat. Continue doing this until they can do it without a treat and simply give them praise. Do not give them the treat if they knock it over before your voice command.

11. Balance on an Object or Rope Bridge

This is one of the trickier things to teach your pet cat. Start by placing a flat object like a 2″ x 4″ wood board on the ground and tempt your cat to stand on it with a treat. If they do, reward them with the treat. Keep raising the board until they are comfortable standing on it each time. Next, you can progress to a rope bridge which will take a little more patience. Your cat will have to get used to how it moves under their feet but eventually it will become accustomed to the motion.

12. Roll Over

This can be a difficult trick to teach your cat and will require lots of practice, patience and treats! Start by having your cat lay down and say “roll over” as you move a treat over from one side to another over their head. As soon as they follow the treat with their eyes and start to roll, give them the treat. Keep practicing until they are doing full roll overs.

13. Stand Up on the Hind Legs Like a Human

One of the more impressive tricks you can teach your cat is how to stand up on their hind legs. Start by standing in front of your cat with a treat in your fingers and encouraging them to stand up by saying “stand up” as you move the treat slightly higher over their head each time. As soon as they stand, give them the treat and then slowly increase how long you expect them to stay standing until they are comfortable doing it for a few seconds at a time.

14. Play Dead

This is an amusing trick for your cat to learn. It is basically a combination of lay down and a partial roll over onto their back. Begin by having the cat lay down and use a treat in your fingers to motion from left to right (or vice versa) over their head until they roll onto their back and stay that way, then give them a treat. Continue doing this while giving the voice command “bang”. Next make your hand look like a gun and point it at them when you say bang to give them a visual reference that helps distinguish this particular trick. Repeat this until they know what to do.

15. Walk on a Leash and Harness

Walking your cat on a leash and harness is an excellent way to get them outside while keeping them safe. Start by having your cat walk around indoors with just the attached harness at first. Next add the leash and see how they react. If they’re comfortable, encourage them to step forward by holding a treat in front of them and rewarding them when they take a few steps. Gradually increase how far a cat walks before you give them the treat until they are comfortable walking for extended periods of time.

16. Weave In and Out of Your Legs

This is a great trick for any cat that loves to play. Start by standing with your legs slightly apart and try enticing your kitty to walk through your legs with hand movement or possibly a treat. As soon as they do, reward them with that treat. Have them follow your hand motions and/or treats around your legs in a figure-eight fashion while saying “weave”. When they can do a couple times weaving in between your legs just by the vioce command alone, they’ve learned the trick (give them a treat too).

17. Push an Object Across the Floor

Here is another fun trick for your kitty. Start by placing a lightweight object such as their favorite toy or a paper ball or a bottle cap on the ground in front of them and try getting your cat to push it with their paw. As soon as they move it a little, reward them with a treat. Slowly increase how far you want them to push the object while saying “push” and giving them a pushing hand motion. Continue until they push it any distance.

18. Balance Treats on the Nose

While this is an outstanding trick to show off to your friends and family, it can also be extremely difficult and time-consuming! Start by placing a treat on your cat’s nose and saying “balance” as you reward them when they don’t move for a few seconds. Continue extending the time period then begin adding the command “eat” so they can have the treat. You will want to be close enough to them to snatch the treat if it falls before you give the eat command.

19. Play Hide and Seek

Certainly this is a trick which works best with a clingy cat. Hide and seek is an excellent way to bond and keep your cat entertained. Start by hiding in a room while your cat watches you. Once you’re hidden, call your cat and reward them with a treat when they find you. Continue to challenge your cat by making the hiding spots more difficult and farther away until they are successfully able to find you no matter where you hide just by calling them.

20. Carry an Object in the Mouth

Mastering the trick of teaching your cat to carry an object in its mouth is a difficult yet immensely fulfilling task. To get started, motivate your feline companion by placing a treat on top of the item (like a toy mouse) you want them to pick up. When they’re comfortable with that, remove the treat and show appreciation with praise or treats when they pick up the object. Now after they pickup the object, walk a few feet away and say “carry”. When they follow you with the object in their mouth, give them another treat. Finally, keep placing the object further and further away from you while saying the command and when they carry the object over to you, give them a treat and/or praise.

21. Wave Hello or Goodbye

Here is a cute trick which is quite simple and enjoyable. Start by saying “hi” or “bye” as you hold your hand up in front of the cat with a treat just out of their reach. When they swipe or paw at it, reward them with the tasty treat and repeat the motion until they’re doing it every time you say “hi” or “bye”.

22. Climb onto Your Shoulder

This trick is both entertaining and awesome, especially for the men. However, it may take a few training sessions. Start by holding a treat close to your shoulder and encouraging your kitty to climb up. As soon as they make it to the top, reward them with a treat. Tip: Either wear thick clothing (think Winter) or start the cat from a counter or a higher place off the ground as they will be climbing you like a tree.

23. Retrieve Specific Toys by Name

This extraordinary trick which will shock even the biggest skeptics. Start by showing your cat the toy you want them to retrieve and saying its name. As soon as they fetch the toy, reward them with a treat and then keep increasing how far away it is from them while saying the toy’s name each time. Eventually, with patience, you can place the toy in another room and expect your cat to retrieve it successfully.

24. Open a Door

Yes, you read that correctly. This trick is more difficult and quite advanced compared to the ones mentioned previously but it’s certainly achievable with certain types of door handles (push down, not typical rounded twist door knobs). Start by placing a treat on the door handle where they can barely reach it. Let their paw push it down to get the treat. As soon as they do, reward them with a treat. Continue until your kitty can do this repeatedly without coaxing.

By following these simple tricks and using patience along with praise, you can easily train your cat how to do one or possibly more of these tricks! With practice, they will soon be capable of performing extraordinary tasks that will most certainly amaze everyone. Good luck and please have fun!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, teaching your feline friend how to perform tricks is a fun and rewarding experience for both them and you. With patience, consistency, and rewards, even the most stubborn of cat loves learning how to do cool tricks such as retrieving objects by name or climbing up onto your shoulder. So, why not give it a try today? You never know how far your furry companion might take it!

If nothing else, at least you’ll have some funny moments along the way that you’ll be able to look back on fondly. Best of luck with your efforts!

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