Teaching Your Cat Tricks Is Easy
Teaching your cat tricks, to come when you call and to beg is not hard, it is a very rewarding experience.
Have you ever wished that your cat would come when called? Well a cat can be trained to come when called and perform a few other small tricks. A cat, being a far more independent than a dog, will require more patience and energy. The results will be worth it; think about how convenient it would be to call Snowball, and have Snowball come to you.
The younger a cat is the easier it will be to train. This doesn't mean that an older cat is untrainable, but that it will be a little harder. The first thing to do is determine what your cat's favorite treat is. Canned cat food, sardines, or one of the commercial cat treats are all acceptable. The main thing is your cat has to like it over all other treats. You will only be giving your cat this treat when you are training them.
Cats can learn many tricks. Decide which one you need or want them to learn first, and that is the only trick you will work on. The process is very similar for most tricks. So we will go over teaching Snowball to sit up and beg. This is one of the easier tricks to teach your cat since it merely reinforces one of their natural habits.
When your cat is awake, and ready to spend some time with you, get out the treat of choice. Hold a small (the size of a pinhead) piece between your fingers and use one or two words to tell your cat what you want, for example 'beg'. Hold the treat above your cat's head to where Snowball will be encouraged to sit and reach up with her paws. The moment something resembling the desired trick is accomplished give her the treat. Don't worry about refining it at this point. Do this three to five times depending upon your cat's attention span.
Put the treat away. If your cat should perform the trick with out being asked then immediately praise her, and give her the treat. Most cats will take two to three weeks to learn a given trick if you work on it daily.
When you add another trick, have your cat perform one learned trick then reward her, give the command for the second trick and reward for performance only of the second trick. If you call Snowball and she comes, reward her and then you say beg. Don't reward unless they sit up and beg, or perform something similar.
When your cat performs a trick successfully everyday for two weeks you can occasionally not give them a treat for performance, but please remember cats are independent and will quickly refuse to perform if they are not rewarded. Patience is the key to training a cat. Yelling, will not work, and if you hit a cat they will think you are playing. Enjoy your cat and the tricks they learn.