For My Next Trick

With consistency, caring and patience, you can teach your cat new tricks.

By Arden Moore

Page 3 of 6

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Condition your cat to come when called by name. Start by saying your cats name in an upbeat, happy tone. When your cat glides into the room and into view, offer a friendly greeting and call it by name. Say, Hey, Maggie, its good to see you.

Now, connect your cats name with the come command by introducing a food signal. Use the sound of the can opener, tap the side of your cats bowl or shake a cat treat bag each time you say, Maggie, come. Your cat will quickly associate these sounds and your voice with receiving a treat when it enters the room.

Teach this command at mealtime when your cat is highly attentive.

Once your cat consistently comes into the kitchen when summoned, begin an advanced version of this command with a feline version of hide and seek. When in the same room as your cat, toss a treat across the room. As soon as your cat scurries after the treat, quietly slip around the corner out of sight.

Peek around the corner, call your cat by name and quickly pop back out of sight. Give treats each time your cat runs to you. Repeat this four or five times to reinforce your cats willingness to come on command.

This command can literally be a life saver, especially if your indoor cat slips out the door and is outside, Schultz says. A cat that has been conditioned to earn a treat or praise when her owner calls her by name is more apt to come back when called.

2. Sit
Cats that sit on cue are more receptive to learning other tricks and behaviors. For this trick, let gravity be your guide.

Time your training session just before mealtime and select a quiet room. Hoist your cat on a table and pet it under the chin to put your cat at ease.

Hold a treat in front of your cat. Slowly bring the treat up and slightly over your cats head as you say its name, followed by the word sit. When your cat tips its head back to follow the treats path, your cat will need to sit down to maintain balance. As soon as your cats rear end touches the table, say, Sit, good sit and immediately hand over the treat.

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Reader Comments

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

1/16/2013 2:46:09 AM

thanks for the information

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

10/2/2011 4:36:33 AM

good article, thanks

Cathy    Abington, MA

4/10/2008 7:40:39 PM

I'll have to try the tips to get my cat to come. It bothers me that she refuses to come when called because I'm afraid that there could be a time when it would save her life if she did.

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