It boggles my mind that so many people I’ve talked to don’t realize that you can teach your cat tricks just like a dog! It’s true that dogs can be a little more eager to please but if you put in the time with your feline you’re sure to get results as well as attention from your friends!
Step 1: Find the purrfect reward.
Use your cat’s favorite treat as a reward to help motivate them to learn the trick. Make sure to work with your cat before mealtime so they will have an appetite for learning!
Step 2: Get them interested.
Kneel down with your cat in front of you and get their attention by showing them the reward. Let them smell the treats so they become interested enough to continue to pay attention to you as you begin the training.
Step 3: Shake a paw!
Have your cat sit in front of you. Most will do this automatically. Offer your hand, palm up to your cat and hold it there for a few seconds. If kitty does not respond, take hold of their paw and say “shake” or any other short word that you want to use as the cue for the trick. Give them a treat as you hold their paw and shake it. Then let go and repeat this process a few times.
Soon your cat will start to associate your outstretched hand and your cue word with the trick you wish them to perform.
Step 4: Change it up!
Don’t reward your critter with a treat every time they complete the trick properly. Change it up by offering them their favorite toy or some well deserved affection instead. When the reward is random, the behavior is reinforced!