How To Train A Cat Tricks

How To Train A Cat Tricks


I’m a cat behaviorist, and I’ve spent years helping cats throughout the United States learn important life skills like using the toilet instead of a litter box and not scratching on furniture. I’ve also trained cats to do amazing tricks that can impress even the most skeptical of your friends. In general, training your cat to do tricks is just as easy as training any other animal—all it takes is patience and an understanding of the science of behavior. Keep reading to find out how you can turn your little ball of fluff into a bona fide trickster!

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Choose Your Cat’s Trick

Choosing your cat’s trick is not a difficult task. It should be easy enough for him to do, but not so easy that he does it all the time by accident. The trick should also be something he’s motivated to perform because cats are always looking for ways to get treats (the more rewarding the better), and it needs to be something that doesn’t put his safety in danger or cause undue stress on his body (you don’t want him getting injured while trying out new moves). And finally, make sure you pick a trick that can easily be rewarded with food so there’s no confusion over what’s causing those tasty morsels of praise!

Condition Your Cat Positively

As you begin training, it’s important to understand how to condition your cat positively. When we say “positively,” we mean that you shouldn’t use aversive methods, such as punishment or food rewards for doing something wrong.

For example, if your cat is scratching furniture and destroying things around the house, don’t punish her by yelling at her or swatting her with a newspaper (aversive). Instead, find out why she’s doing this and correct the problem by fixing whatever is making her unhappy—whether that be boredom or not having enough toys. Or if your cat has been jumping on the countertops in search of food every time someone opens the refrigerator door (which is also dangerous), stop giving them treats from there altogether so they’ll no longer associate it with getting love from humans (aversion).

Combine A Behavior With A Cue

A cue is a signal that tells your cat what to do. It can be any word, sound, or gesture. “Go for it!” is an example of an excellent cue for teaching tricks.

A behavior is the thing you want your cat to do. In this case, we want her to jump through a hoop on command!

Practice Makes Purrfect

Cats are natural-born tricksters, so a good way to get your cat started on learning new tricks is to keep a lighthearted attitude. Practice makes perfect! The more often you perform the trick, the more comfortable and confident your cat will feel doing it. If you’ve ever tried to learn a new skill or develop an athletic ability, like basketball or golf, then you know that repetition is key. As with any other activity in life—from learning how to walk up stairs without falling over (it took me about 20 years) to mastering calculus—the most important thing is practice!

Reward The Correct Behaviors In Increments

Reward the cat for correct behaviors incrementally, not all at once. As the cat learns what you want and performs a trick correctly, reward it with treats, praise or petting.

Don’t reward incorrect behavior. If the cat isn’t performing a trick correctly, don’t give it any attention because this will only reinforce incorrect behavior and make it more difficult to train your cat in future sessions.

You can train your cat to do tricks.

Cats are smart, but not as smart as dogs. They have longer attention spans than dogs and can be more independent, so you may need to be patient when training your cat to do tricks. Cats are also stubborn and won’t always cooperate with your commands right away. As a result, you will need to be persistent and try again if your cat doesn’t pay attention or performs the trick correctly the first time around.

Cats are more curious than dogs; they like to explore new objects or places while they search for something interesting in their environment. You should take advantage of this curiosity by making sure that all areas in which you want your cat trained are accessible only after completing a specific trick or task (i.e., helping you open doors).


While it may take some time and patience, training a cat is just like any other type of learning. We recommend starting small and building on your experience as you go along; after all, learning how to effectively train one trick will make it easier to teach the next one. And once you’ve mastered these basics, who knows what interesting behaviors you can come up with? Maybe even training them as a pet therapy animal (or maybe not)!

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