The Biggest Lie in the Cat World Exposed - You Can’t Teach Your Cat Tricks
There’s one argument that always pops up in cat versus dog debates that easily gets on our nerves—dogs are better because you can’t teach a cat tricks.
This statement is a solid proof that there are still a lot of misconceptions regarding cats, their characteristics, and the extent of their abilities. While it’s true that dogs are easier to train since they have been domesticated and bred by humans for millenniums, saying it’s impossible to teach cat tricks is totally unfair.
Have the people making these claims even seen the YouTube sensations that are Didga and Kaiser? Those two fellows are cats that can do many conventional dog tricks with ease.
Can You Train a Cat?
So, to answer the big question once and for all, yes, it’s possible to train a cat tricks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple handshake or more complex balancing and skateboarding acts you want to teach your cat. The only real obstacle that will stand in your way is your own desire and motivation. If your heart isn’t into the cat tricks training process, then it will be long, arduous, and senseless. Otherwise, it will be fun, memorable, and rewarding.
5 Tips for Successful Cat Tricks Training
If you are set on teaching your cat tricks as a way to bond and also show off to friends, then these five tips will help with your training.
Patience Is a Virtue
Cats aren’t dogs. Many of them aren’t eager to please, and their sense of independence—a thirst to have alone time—will test your limits. Given how we value them as our little kings and queens (and boy, do they take advantage of that!), cat tricks training generally takes more time, effort, and patience.
It’s basically a long-term commitment, which you can liken to maintaining a harmonious relationship with “the one” you decide to be with through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.
Start Them Young
Children devour new information in astounding speed. That applies to our feline buddies, too. Making them familiar with tricks and desirable behavior using clickers as young as possible will make the training process easier. As a general guide, you can start cat tricks training when kitty reaches the age of ten weeks.
Make It a Habit
Cats love surprises and action every now and then, but generally, they are creatures of habit. You might hate getting slapped or suffocated by a fluffy cat belly on your face in the morning (although we’d argue that’s a sign of love). However, it just goes to show that they have good internal clocks and thrive on routine.
With that in mind, it’s essential that you train your cat at around the same time every day. A few hours before and after a meal, when she’s neither too hungry nor full, is the most ideal time.
Always Be Positive
Nothing good ever comes out of using force and violence, and that’s why we are advocates of positive reinforcement. The objective here is simple: make your cat remember that good behavior and performance are equal to praises and treats.
Do keep in mind that your cat must hear the cue and click while doing the act. This way, she will understand that what she’s currently doing is what you want to see. It’s also vital to offer praises, maybe some rubs, and treats—rewards which reinforce the lesson—immediately after the action.
Also, we know it will be difficult the first few times, but you must resist the cuteness! Don’t give in and offer treats when she’s yet to complete a trick, thinking she’s having a hard time, because that will just confuse her.
Try Easy Cat Tricks First
Who learns calculus without first understanding basic math? Don’t expect your cat to be able to do something as unbelievable as that. Lay your foundations with simple cat tricks and then build up on them to create more complex routines. Here are some easy cat tricks to get you started:
• Sit—Cats sit whenever and wherever they want; you just have to be there and give them a nice cheer and treat when they do.
• Stand Up—After you’re able to make your cat sit on cue, you can then teach her to stand up by holding a toy or treat above her head, going a bit higher as she try to grab it.
• High Five—When she can stand up on cue, try going for the high five. Raise the toy or treat higher so she will reach for it. Once she extends her paw, say the cue clearly, do a high five, and then give the treat.
See how the tricks progress? From there, you can continue with handshakes and jumping through hoops and everything else! Cats are smart and can be as trick-savvy as dogs are. You just have to give them a chance to show it.
Have you tried doing cat tricks training with your feline pal? Share with us the tricks your cat can do in the comment section below!