Tuesday, 6 December 2011

How to teach cats to do tricks

It is often said that cats are very hard to train.  This is at times true, because cats are basically not pack animals.  They like to live by themselves and as such are less ready to learn or to obey commands.  But they can be trained to do so by simple things like not to claw furniture or to sit down or get up.  They are also intelligent pets and can be trained.  They enjoy the praises showered on them and may do things just for some tasty treats.

Cats cannot perform tricks as dogs are trained to do but simple things like getting up in the morning, to teach a cat to use litter bins, play with a ball, to come at a call, can be taught.  In fact, there are certain things that cats are trained inborn like coming to a person who shakes the canned food at a cat.

For training a cat, it has to be started with when it is a kitten.  This is because as a cat grows older, it is difficult to train her.  On the other hand, a kitten is active and curious at his age and will respond positively to your training.  You can teach your kitten to jump or catch a ball, or to jump over small objects.  Do not try to teach kitten something which is above their level of mental development as it may confuse the kitten and it will stop any further training.

There are various tricks to be taught to a cat.  Some of these are –
·        Fetch a ball – This is a very simple trick.  Make it enjoyable for the cat to bring back the ball.  Attach a string to the ball, toss it into the air and wait for the kitten to fetch it up from the floor. As it catches the ball, pull on the string and the kitten will obviously follow it back to you.  Do this trick for a few days and be patient.  After a few days, remove the string from the ball and the kitten will fetch it back without the string now.

·        Make it rollover – For this, let the cat’s eye follow an object which makes it roll over.  For the initial stage, try to move the object for the cat to roll at its side, and then slowly try to revolve the object so that the cat has to roll completely to see it.  Practice this for a few days and then you can train your kitten to roll over at your will.

·        Playing with a Piano – Can this really be done?  This is a trick that can be taught to a cat if she has absolute faith and trust in you.  First let her explore the piano, she may even sleep on it as a bed.  Let is be.  After a few days when she get accustomed to the piano, let it play with the keys.  The first few sounds may be frightening for her, but soon she will be familiar with it and even enjoy it.  The next step is to place the cat in your lap and then let it stretch its paw on the keys.  After a few days she will be ready to follow you on the piano.

There are some tips that can be followed while teaching your cats.
·        Always see to it that the teaching process of a cat is very slow and it has to be repeated each and every day without fail.  Also choose the tricks which are easy and simple.  If the cat performs these tricks, don’t forget to reward her with a favorite food.  Cats like their treats and as such these are to be given as reward for their efforts.

·        Calling a cat by her name is the most natural training for a cat.  By calling her name again and again, the cat gets used to the word and follows it whenever it hears it.
·        Also be careful not to tire her out with the daily training.  If the cats take no notice after sometime, it is a sign that she is getting tired and time is right to stop the practice.
·        Always keep the teaching sessions short but regular and teach the cat if she is in the ‘mood’.
·        Remember to stroke her as a way of appreciation for the work she has put in.
·        To teach the cat to use the litter box, put the cat in the litter box when she comes to the house for the first time.  Run her forepaws in the little for her to learn to use the box.  Try to praise her when she uses the litter box regularly.
·        Let the cat learn to scratch the post instead of the furniture.  Once she is used to this activity, the cat will leave alone your furniture and furnishings.

These are some helpful tips which make your cat learn to get involved in tricks and can be trained as per your needs.

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