Think cats can’t be trained? Most cats love being trained, they get to be the center of your attention and eat yummy treats! You can teach almost any cat to sit in less than 10 minutes. The trick is having a bribe (treat) that your cat really really wants. Experiment a bit, there are lots of treats to try, and every cat is different! Of course, you’ll have to repeat the routine for your kitty to remember it. Repetition and consistency are the hallmarks of all good training.
Place your cat on an elevated surface, such as a table. It may assist you if the cat’s back is to a wall. Allow kitty to get a good whiff of your bribe. When the cat shows interest, slowly raise the morsel (you may place the goodie in a teaspoon or between your fingers) along an invisible line from the cat’s nose to a point between its ears. Don’t raise the treat too quickly or too high over the cat’s ears. Say the cat’s name, the command “sit,” and then click the clicker while presenting the reward when kitty does what you want. Now, praise your smart cat, and pet her.
If the cat isn’t following the treat, either your kitty isn’t hungry, you’re waving the treat too high above the cat or that goodie doesn’t smell good enough.
Repeat these training sessions often enough and eventually your cat will sit at your feet whenever he or she is in the mood for a treat. Don’t overdo compliance, or you’ll have a cat who is training you. Ask friends and relatives to command your cat to “sit” for a treat. Soon, Kitty will be more outgoing, and more interested in “sitting” for your guest, hoping for the possibility.
This article is a reprint from our friends over at Purina® Cat Chow® and their wonderful Cat and kitten Care Library.