Trick Training for your Cat by Dr Findy

Trick training your Cat can provide great entertainment for everyone (including your cat!). Evidence suggests that training helps build and enhance your relationship with your cat as well as a source of great mental stimulation. Here are a few easy tricks to have fun with your feline friend and impress your guests.  


What you will need  

  • Treats for your cat – small bits of chicken breast, tubes of fish puree, the list is endless  
  • A quiet space  
  • 5-10 minutes of your time  
  • Patience and a positive mindset
  • Optional: A clicker or you can simply substitute the clicking sound from the clicker by saying “YES!”  


The Party Tricks  

Sit on command  

  • If a dog can do it, your cat most definitely nail this trick! Afterall cats are the best – now we can level the “training” field.   
  • Start by showing your cat a treat in your hand.  
  • Once you have their attention, say “Sit” and place the treat slightly above and behind their head.  
  • Be prepared – if you would like to be a professional cat trainer, as soon as their bottom touches the floor, say “Yes” and reward them with the treat in your hand.  
  • Repeat 2-3 times for each training session.
  • Optional: Throw a treat away from you to signify the end of the training session.  


Through (Tunnel through your legs)

  • This trick is simple yet impressive.
  • Start by showing your cat a treat in your hand.  
  • When your cat walks towards you, spread your legs while you are standing, say “Through!” and throw your treat through your legs to a short distance just behind you. 
  • Repeat 2-3 times for each training session.
  • Start by a short distance so it’s worth your cat’s effort! 


High Five  

  • This will be the highest level of difficulty out of the three tricks and are for cat parents who love a challenge a treat in your hand.
  • For the first training session, hold a treat in a closed hand and keep it close to the floor.
  • When your cat paws or touches your hand, say “Yes” and give them the treat.
  • Once your cat can reliably tap your hand when he/she sees it for a reward, then you can increase the height of your hand until they lift their paw up to touch your hand each time you present it.
  • For the next training session, start with 1-2 repetitions of what you have taught them in the first session i.e. your cat gets a reward when he/she touches a closed hand.  Then start presenting an open palm with no treat in it. When you cat touches your flat hand, say “Yes” and give them a treat with your other hand.
  • When your cat reliably puts a paw on an open palm with no treat, he/she is ready for the “high five” manoeuvre. This time, present your open palm facing outwards – say “Yes” as soon as your cat touches your hand. Just like that – you have taught your feline friend how to high five! 


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When things get tricky:  

  • Never get mad or frustrated for your cat not understanding what you are trying to teach it or not interested in trick training at all. Pick another day and try again.  
  • Enjoy the journey as much as the results – no one needs to be a high achiever when it comes to trick training a cat! Don’t forget trick training is about spending time together and having fun with your cat. The tricks learnt are just a bonus – what truly matters is your relationship with your cat.  


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