How to Teach Your Older Cat New Tricks
They’ll be acting like the kitties they once were in no time!
Cats are very intelligent creatures. They respond to stimuli positively especially when regular reinforcement is present. Despite the feline’s age, they can learn new things quickly making them susceptible to change.
In addition to requiring physical activity, cats need to be challenged mentally. That way, they remain sharp and active as they age. There are many ways to encourage pets to stay young at heart through meaningful play and engagement.
In fact, if you want to teach your older cat new tricks, here’s what you need to do.
Motivate Them in a Supportive and Encouraging Way.
Find a method that works with the cat. For example, it may be best to reward new behavior with a small treat or extra pat on the head. Cats respond to your actions accordingly by demonstrating the same behavior that is being praised. They like pleasing you and hearing the sounds of satisfaction in your voice.
Take Small Steps in Helping Them Learn New Behaviors.
Your cat isn’t going to change his or her personality overnight. Through small, deliberate actions, however, he or she may start to do things differently. They may not have been interested in playing with one toy but slowly show interest in something of yours. Don’t be afraid to introduce them to new things and watch how they interact with them.
Encourage Use of Their Paws.
Because felines do not have hands, they’re forced to grasp and bat items with their paws. You can get them into the habit of giving you high fives by placing your hand palm up in front of him or her. If the animal responds by slapping their paw against you, tell them they’ve done a good job and reward them with something good to eat. They’ll know that giving you a high five results in them receiving a treat which makes the behavior worth demonstrating to them.
Cats are complex beings. They’re very receptive to rewards and praise which make them easy to train. If you want your older cat to stay young in mind and body, do what you can to teach them new behaviors. They’ll respond positively by demonstrating the actions you’re trying to encourage them to do. You can teach old dogs, and cats, new tricks contrary to popular belief.
Having plenty of toys and other items that provide challenges to pets is ideal. Easyology Pets offers a wide variety of options that encourage cats to learn and try new things. Among the most popular items we sell to date is the Pizza Party Cat Toy complete with plush ingredients and an openable pizza box.
Focus on Tricks.
Positive reinforcement helps cats make behaviors habitual. If you’re going to feed your pet and want them to eat on schedule, call their name and tell them to come. By doing this regularly, the pet starts to associate your verbal cues with feeding time which benefits them. Before you know it, they’ll hear the sound of food being poured into their bowl and come to the feeding area without you needing to call them to eat.