Cats are not as social as dogs, so they are more independent. AS a result, they aren’t as naturally inclined to work for praise or attention like dogs, making them harder to train.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t teach your cat a few tricks! Training your cat helps stimulate his body and mind, keeping him healthy longer. It also helps strengthen your bond.
You can teach your cat to play fetch, come when called, or even use a toilet!
To start, you need to find the right treats.
Fresh chicken diced in tiny cubes, bits of tuna, meat-flavored baby food, and commercial cat treats are all good choices. Once you’ve identified treats your cat likes, follow the basic steps of positive reinforcement training (reward-based training) to teach him the behavior you want. Suppose you’d like your cat to sit and stay on a stool while you prepare his dinner. Follow these steps to train him:
First, make sure you have your cat’s attention. Hold the treat in your fingers right at your cat’s nose. When your cat begins to sniff the treat, slowly move it in an arc from his nose up just over his head between his ears. (Don’t raise it straight up, or you’ll be teaching your cat to stand on his rear legs rather than sit!) Many cats will follow this arc motion with their eyes and nose, and as their chin raises up and back, their butt will go down.
The instant your cat’s bottom hits the floor, praise him and offer him the treat. If his rear doesn’t go all the way down on the first try, give him the treat anyway. Over several repetitions of practice, give him a treat each time his rear gets slightly closer, until he’s gets into a complete sit with his rear all the way on the floor.
Have fun training your cat!