Trick or Treat! Easy Tricks to Teach Your Cat
Cats are incredibly intelligent animals who love to learn. A great way to keep them stimulated is to teach them tricks - and what better time to learn a trick than at Halloween? Teaching your cat some new tricks is not only fun and adorable, but it is a good opportunity to strengthen the relationship between you and your pet.
Training sessions should be short and sweet. Try five or ten minute intervals a few times a day. Always stop before your cat gets bored or frustrated. You want to end the session on a positive note.
An easy trick to teach your cat is “Sit.” Hold a small treat up above your cat’s head. Then slowly move your hand up and back. Your cat will naturally sit down in order to better see the treat. As they sit, say “Sit” and reward them with the treat.
Once your cat is sitting down, hold a treat in front of their nose to get them interested. Holding the treat, outstretch your hand, palm up. Your cat may try to bite or lick the treat, but wait until they use their paw instead of their mouth. When your cat touches the treat with their paw, praise them and say "Shake" while allowing them to take the treat.
Hold a treat in front of your cat’s nose to get them intrigued. Move it in a circular motion and allow your cat to follow. They will naturally start to spin in a circle as they track their snack. Once they complete the spin, reward them.
When your cat is in the sitting position, hold up your hand with your palm facing them and say “Stay.” Slowly back away while keeping your hand up. After a few seconds, reward them. Gradually increase the amount of time they need to stay still before rewarding them.
When your cat is in the sitting position, hold a treat in front of their nose to get them interested. Slowly raise your arm up and your cat will stand up to get nearer to the treat. As they rise, say “Stand” and reward them.
Remember to be patient and to always use positive reinforcement. You will need to repeat the tricks often in order for your cat to start to understand. Once your cat has mastered their tricks while you use treats, try to get them to do so without giving a treat. When they do it successfully, reward them with lots of praise and the occasional treat.
If your cat ever seems uninterested or frustrated, take a break and try again later. Trick training is meant to be a fun way to give your cat some much needed mental and physical exercise while strengthening the bond you share.