Although cats aren’t popular for doing tricks as their canine counterparts, it never means cats can’t learn tricks. Since cats usually tend to be independent, teaching your cat a trick requires more persistence. You can teach your cat different tricks with patience, practice, and positive reinforcement.
Like many people, you may haven’t thought of teaching your cat a trick, but they love it. Cats are intelligent. You can add enrichment to their lives by training them with a trick.
Importance of teaching your cat a trick.
Teaching your cat to do tricks is important for multiple reasons. For instance;
- Teaching your cat to follow a command and do the trick will help you keep them active, responsive, and engaged.
- All these things are vital for your kitty’s mental and physical health. Bored pets tend to be aggressive and destructive.
- Teaching your cat tricks can be the best way to keep it happier, healthier, and entertained.
- In addition, training your cat also keeps them alert and more interested in outdoor settings.
- You can strengthen your bond with the cat through trick-teaching lessons.
- The practice is vital to provide external stimulation to avoid depression and keep their mind sharp.
Well, there are many reasons to teach your cat a trick. However, learning how to succeed is important for cat owners.
Tips to teach your cat a Trick
Do you want to train your cats or teach them to do the trick? Here we have some important tips that you must consider in this regard.
So, here we go:
Cats respond better to positive reinforcement
Unlike dogs, cats don’t feel motivated by praise or bad by negative punishments. Therefore, you must add a little creativity to teach your cats a trick better.
Cats better respond to positive reinforcement. So, you should always teach your cat a new behavior with positive reinforcement only. Dominance or punishment are not healthy ways to teach cats anything. Dominance or punishment can cause stress which is a leading cause of behavioral problems in cats.
So, with that in mind, it would be better to focus on positive reinforcement while teaching your cat a trick.
Arguably, the best reinforcements are treats that you can offer your cat. However, it shouldn’t be any treats. It means many cats want specials for motivation. That’s why rather than throwing kibble toward your cat, you should look for the stuff your cats love.
You can consider the following:
- Meat-flavored baby food
- Low-sodium tuna
- Commercial cat treats, and more.
You can choose the best of these per your cat’s likes and preferences.
2. Start simple
It is always better to start teaching the simplest tricks to your cat. Then keep giving your favorite cat treats to let them learn that good things happen during training sessions.
Starting simple will make the learning process easier for your cat. In addition, it will also let the cat used to get rewards for their good behaviors.
3. Keep the training sessions short but frequent.
Cats typically learn with repetition. Frequent training sessions are vital for cats to let them master the tricks. Therefore, you must try repeating their training sessions frequently every day.
Keeping the training sessions short but frequent is always a key to making the cat learn more.
It is always important to repeat tricks when you teach your cat. Give your cat a treat once it completes the trick. Then try to get the cat to repeat the trick up to 10 times continuously. Always repeat the process only as long as the cat is interested.
The repetition will certainly encourage this new behavior in them.
4. Use a clicker to reinforce timing.
Rewarding your cat as soon as it performs the trick is always important. Still, it can get harder sometimes to time their reward precisely with the behavior of their cats. A clicker can be the handiest option to consider here. You can use the clicker to introduce your cat with a sound to tell her what she did is good. The process will certainly help you with the timing.
Charge the clicker by clicking and then treating your cat without asking for any action. After a while, the cat will learn that the clicking sound represents good things on her way. Over time, the clicker will become a reward for her. Now you can have an aid to perfect the reward timing.
5. Practice, Practice, and more Practice!
Practice is imperative to teach your cat a trick. You can repeat the training process multiple times in a row. It will let your cat learn that it is being rewarded.
Don’t bore or wear out your cat but drive home a relationship between certain behavior and reward.
Also, associate a command with a certain behavior over time. Limit the session time to up to 15 minutes. However, stay consistent with the routine to see good results.
6. Consider one trick at a time.
You can teach your cat multiple simple tricks like sit, stand, lay down, high-five, and more. You can even teach your cat practical behaviors like walking on a leash. Despite the number of tricks you wish to teach your cat, it is always better to focus on “one at a time.”
Consider focusing on one trick at a time. Once your cat is fully trained in one trick, then you can move toward the next on your checklist.
Here are some fun tricks to teach your cat
A variety of tricks are out there that you can teach your cat. For instance, teach your cat to:
- Sit and stand
- Lie down
- Ring the bell
- Walk on leash
You can even include more options on the list. However, getting creative when it comes to tech your cat a trick is always important. Don’t expect your cats would learn the tricks quickly like your dogs. Being patient and steady is imperative to see progress.