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What Cat Tricks Can Be Taught (13 Tricks For Cats + Teaching Methods)

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    Cats are often mistakenly thought to be untrainable, yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.

    These intelligent animals, with the right cat tricks and a bit of patience, can learn to perform a variety of entertaining behaviors quickly.

    The most effective way to teach these tricks is through clicker training. It’s highly recommended to familiarize yourself with the basics of clicker training before proceeding with this guide.

    Now, what kinds of tricks can you teach a cat? Here’s a list of 20 cat tricks to begin with:

     

    Initial steps to train your cat

    Just as not all tricks are the same, the initial training steps you introduce to your cat are crucial. They lay the groundwork for all subsequent lessons and skills your cat will learn.

    1. Sit on command

    Training your cat to sit on command is not only an impressive trick but also a practical one, particularly in managing their behavior during meal times or vet visits.

    sitting cat

    It’s easier to start this training in a familiar indoor environment, where distractions are minimal compared to the outdoors.

    Check out this video on how to teach your cat to sit on command: Click through and watch this video.

    2. Paw shaking

    The first trick I introduced to my cat was paw shaking. This trick is not only fun but also practical in guiding your cat, whether it’s to move them from the counter or to get them into their carrier.

    Due to its significance, I’ve found a video on this topic: video resource.

    3. Mastering the simplest cat trick

    Having mastered the basics with your cat, you might now be eager to teach them other tricks that are not only entertaining but also enhance the trust, listening skills, and bond between you and your feline companion.

    The simplest trick to start with is teaching your cat to Shake Paws.

    This trick is quite popular among cat owners, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an excellent foundation for more advanced tricks and is also useful behavior in various situations.

    Training your cat to shake paws is particularly beneficial for moments like vet check-ups or when you need to put on or take off their harness.

    The method is straightforward: hold a treat in your hand and let your cat reach out for it. As they lift their paw, gently shake it, click, and then reward.

    For additional guidance, you can click and watch this instructional video.

     

    5 simple cat tricks for quick learning

    If your cat has already mastered coming when called, sitting, and finger targeting, teaching these next tricks should be a breeze. They are designed to be straightforward and enjoyable for both you and your cat.

    4. Shake hands

    Shake hands is an adorable trick that will certainly charm your friends and family.

    To teach your cat this trick, extend your hand towards them and wait for them to place their paw in yours. When they do, immediately reward them with a treat.

    5. High Five

    High Five is a delightful trick akin to shaking hands, but with an amusing twist. To train your cat for a high five, present your hand at a higher position and wait for them to tap it with their paw. As soon as they accomplish this, reward them with a treat.

    6. Spin

    Spin is a slightly more advanced yet entertaining trick for your cat. Begin by enticing them to follow a treat in your hand. Gradually move your hand in a circular motion, leading them to follow the treat’s path.

    As they track the treat, they’ll naturally start spinning. Once they complete a full spin, reward them with the treat and offer praise for their accomplishment.

    7. Jump through a hoop

    Jumping through a hoop is another impressive trick to showcase to friends and family. To teach your cat this skill, first hold the hoop in their view.

    Next, position a treat on the opposite side of the hoop, encouraging them to leap through to reach it.

    After they’ve successfully jumped through a few times, you can start to move the hoop to various positions, adding an element of challenge.

    8. Stand on two feet

    Standing on two feet is an adorable trick that will certainly captivate your friends and family. Begin by holding a treat near your cat’s nose.

    Then, gently lift the treat higher, encouraging them to stand on their hind legs. Once they’re standing, reward them with the treat and commend them for their excellent performance.

     

    Complex tricks to train your cat

    After your cat has successfully learned the initial set of tricks, it’s time to progress teaching them some more sophisticated and challenging skills.

    9. Play dead

    It is a humorous trick that will surely amuse your friends and family. To train your cat in this trick, begin by encouraging them to lie down on their side.

    Next, patiently wait for them to roll over onto their back. When they are comfortably on their back, reward them with a treat and acknowledge their achievement with enthusiastic praise.

    10. Walk on a leash

    This is an excellent trick for adventurous cats. Begin by attaching the leash to their harness and allowing them to become accustomed to its sensation.

    walking a cat with a leash and harness

    Subsequently, take them for a walk, letting them guide the path initially. As they grow more confident on the leash, you can gradually start leading them.

    For those aiming to leash-walk their cat, selecting an appropriate harness and leash is crucial for both comfort and safety.

    11. Ring a bell

    Ringing a bell is an engaging trick for cats fascinated by the sound of bells. To teach your cat this trick, attach a bell to a string or a toy. Then, every time they ring the bell, reward them with a treat.

    After repeating this several times, begin training them to ring the bell upon your command. This trick not only entertains but also stimulates their natural curiosity and playfulness.

    12. Roll over

    This is a delightful trick that is bound to amaze your friends and family. Begin by coaxing your cat to lie down on their side. Then, patiently wait for them to roll over onto their backs.

    When they’ve achieved a full roll-over, promptly reward them with a treat and offer them praise for their successful effort.

     

    Tricks unique to cats compared to dogs

    However, the most fascinating tricks are those that cats can perform but dogs can not.

    13. Shoulder Perch

    A personal favorite among cat-exclusive tricks is training them to leap onto your shoulder from the ground and comfortably remain there.

    Growing up as a fan of Pokémon, the idea of my cat accompanying me, perched on my shoulder, feels quite enchanting.

    For those interested in teaching this trick to their cat, here’s a helpful video guide: Click here and you can get it.

     

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, the journey of teaching cat tricks is not only rewarding but also strengthens the bond between you and your feline companion.

    From simple commands like ‘sit’ and ‘paw shaking’ to more sophisticated skills like ‘shoulder perching,’ each trick offers a unique way to engage and communicate with your cat.

    The variety of tricks outlined here demonstrates the impressive range of behaviors cats are capable of learning, debunking the myth that cats are untrainable.

    With patience, consistent training, and the right approach, such as clicker training, you can enjoy the delightful experience of your cat performing these tricks, enhancing the joy and companionship they bring into your life.

     

    FAQs

    What is Clicker Training and Why is it Effective for Cats?
    FAQ: Many cat owners wonder about clicker training. This question explores why clicker training is a recommended method for teaching cats tricks, focusing on its principles and benefits, distinct from the basic introduction already provided.

    How Can I Motivate My Cat to Learn New Tricks?
    FAQ: This addresses common concerns about keeping a cat engaged and motivated during training sessions. It will offer insights into using treats effectively, creating a positive learning environment, and understanding feline behavior to encourage learning.

    What Are Some Tips for Training Shy or Nervous Cats?
    FAQ: Focused on strategies for training cats that may be shy or nervous, this question is crucial for owners of less confident cats. It will provide tips on creating a safe training space and using gentle encouragement to build confidence.

    How to Choose the Right Cat Harness for Leash Training?
    FAQ: This question expands on the brief mention of harnesses in the main content, offering detailed guidance on selecting the right harness for a cat, considering factors like size, material, and cat’s comfort, to ensure successful leash training.

    How Long Does it Typically Take for a Cat to Learn a New Trick?
    FAQ: A common question among cat owners, this addresses the expected time frame for a cat to learn a new trick. It provides a realistic perspective on training duration, factoring in variables like the cat’s age, temperament, and the complexity of the trick.

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