A pet clicker is a small device that makes a clicking sound. Pet clickers can be found at pet supply stores. If you can’t find one, you can try a pen that makes a clicking noise. Keep training sessions short and frequent. Cats learn through repetition, so frequent training sessions will help them master a trick. Try repeating tricks several times each day.
Keeping training sessions brief will also hold your cat’s attention so it will want to keep trying. Repeat tricks when training your cat. When your cat completes a trick, give it a treat. This repetition will encourage the behavior. Don’t use cue words until after the cat has learned a trick. This will help the cat associate the word specifically with the trick. Teach one trick at a time.
Positive reinforcement like praise and treats as your cat learns a trick will help it to master the behavior. Trying to teach it more than one trick at a time can confuse it, however, because it may not understand what behavior is being rewarded. Wait until your cat has mastered one trick before moving on to the next. Do not punish your cat for not learning a trick. Cats learn when given rewards and positive reinforcement, not when they are punished. Scolding or punishing your cat when it doesn’t complete a trick will only make it stressed or disinterested.
If you cat doesn’t act interested in learning a trick, or doesn’t perform successfully, just try again later. Take cat breaks so they look forward to learning. Teach your cat to sit. When your cat is on all four feet, hold a treat in front of its face to get its attention. Slowly move it from in front of the cat’s face to just between its ears. Many cats will follow the treat in the air and lower their rear end to get it.
When your cat sits, positively reinforce its behavior by praising it and giving it the treat. If you cat’s rear end doesn’t quite touch the ground the first time, give it the treat anyway. Keep repeating this training and your cat can get better each time. First, encourage your cat to move its paw by giving it a treat each time it lifts the paw off of the ground. Give the cat a treat as a reward when it does. Repeat this many times, gradually lifting your hand up higher each time until the behavior resembles giving a hi-five.
Train your cat to come when called. Try this training your cat for this trick at is mealtimes, because it will already be hungry. Call your cat’s name and tap on its food bowl to get its attention. When your cat comes, praise them and give them a treat. You can vary this trick by trying to train your cat to come from distances increasingly farther away, from outside to inside, etc. Train your cat to touch an object.
You can have your cat learn to touch an object like a toy or a sturdy surface that will not fall over. This trick is learned best after your cat has learned to sit. Once your cat is sitting next to the object, hold a treat near it to attract the cat. When the cat touches the object, give it a treat. Once your cat becomes interested in this trick, you can also train it to touch the object with a specific type of its body. For instance, if you want to train it to touch an object with its paw, wait to give your cat a treat until it does. Train your cat to sit up on two legs. Hold a treat above your cat, but not so close that it can touch it. Teach your cat to shake hands. Sit in front of your cat and gently touch its paw. When it lifts the paw off the ground, grasp it in yours as though you were shaking hands.