Can you teach a cat tricks? Yes, it is possible, it all depends on the guardian, his involvement, and the cat himself. The key to success is repetition, patience, and the age of the cat. The younger the cat, the faster and easier the process of learning tricks will be. In addition, an important aspect when teaching a cat tricks is positive reinforcement, i.e. praise, fun, or a treat that we use after a correctly performed action.
The learning process
When starting the process of learning tricks, you should stick to the following rules that will make learning easy, enjoyable, as well as affect the bonding between the owner and his cat.
First of all, we need to get the cat interested in learning tricks. The easiest way to learn is to reward yourself with treats or a toy. First, get a supply of treats that your cat loves. Thanks to this, you will attract his attention.
Once you have your favorite treats, give your cat one serving first to attract attention.
If the cat is interested in the treats, the next step will be to patiently teach the pet. First of all, it is worth showing the action that the cat is to perform, e.g. changing the position from standing to sitting by gently pressing the lower spine area and saying the word “sit”.
Another important activity is repetition and keeping calm. You should help the cat perform a certain action and at the same time reward it until it performs the first trick or command. When the pet performs the trick correctly, without human help, we use positive reinforcement through a reward in the form of a treat and lots of caresses. And at this point, it’s best to end the learning process and start it again in another two days.
In order for the cat to perform the commands we ask for, we need to exercise it regularly. That’s why it’s a good idea to establish trick-learning cycles of up to 3 times a week. It is worth mentioning that the more often we train with our cat, the more likely it will be bored. Therefore, you should approach the teaching of tricks in such a way that the cat is enthusiastic about the learning process every time.
Finally, always remember about positive reinforcement, i.e. rewards that will indicate the correctness of the command execution. It is also worth remembering that you should not punish the cat for a poorly executed command. The animal does not understand punishments and can very quickly take a negative approach to performing tricks and thus its body can block learning.