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Yes, you can teach your cat tricks too. Trick training is a great way to connect while providing mental stimulation. To start trick training your cat, keep your sessions short. Five to 10 minutes is enough time, just take time to practice every day. Cats love routine. So if you set a daily ritual, you can get them excited about the exercise time. You will be amazed at how much your cat knows in no time.
One of my favorite tricks for beginners is teaching them high five. This impressive looking trick simply requires your cat to raise its paw, on cue of course, in a flapping motion that is a very natural and easy movement for them. The training should be fun and relaxed for both of you.
Ready to start?
- Start by pulling out your cat’s favorite treats that she doesn’t get very often. Freeze-dried chicken or fried chicken work great too! Fold or shake the bag to get your cat excited for exercise time.
- Hold a treat in front of your cat at shoulder height. If she holds out her hand, tell her it was “good” and give her a reward.
- Practice this for a few days, a few minutes at a time. If she’s struggling with this, lift the treat a little above her head. No two pets are alike, so try different levels to see what makes your cat want to raise its paw.
- Once your cat understands this transition to holding the treat in hand with a reward only when her paw touches your hand in the slightest, she will soon understand that she has to touch for the treat.
- Offer your open hand and say “good” and reward when your cat touches it. If your cat doesn’t respond, remove your hand and present it again. If she’s still confused, take a step back to freshen up.
And your cat will have high five! I hope these tips will spark a desire to exercise your cat and strengthen your bond.
Consistent training is the key. Your cat may not dive into high five quickly the next day. Sometimes we all need a little refresher.
Keep the meetings very short; five minutes is a perfect training session. This is difficult when both of you are having fun. However, a short session prevents burnout and makes you want more.
Train in the same area every day until your cat understands the behavior.
Pull out the ottoman! Some cats concentrate better when they sit on a raised platform.