The issue of pet training is more commonly associated with dogs, as compared to other animals. In fact, dogs have been trained for a very long time, whether for obedience, working on farms or even as police dogs for drug detection. Nevertheless, cats can still be trained. If you have been wondering how to teach your cat to sit then read on below.
Cats can be trained to do all kinds of commands ranging from shaking a paw and sitting to rolling over among others. Since cats are usually very independent creatures, the only way of succeeding to train them is by being really motivated. In addition, set enough time aside for training and most importantly, always be patient.
An important consideration when teaching your cat to sit is the fact that each cat is unique. This means that the reaction to training will be different in each cat.
There are some that will be quite eager and curious to train, while others may simply be uncommitted to the process. The trick is to only introduce one new behavior during training to avoid confusing them and also increase your likelihood of success.
Learn about Your Cat’s Psychology
The first step in learning how to teach your cat to sit is to learn more about your cat. This includes his motivations and what exactly interests him in you.
You need to build a good relationship with your cat through spending lots of time together and learning his or her unique characteristics.Once you understand your cat better, you will have an easier time communicating the command of sitting to your cat.
Create a Friendly Training Environment
After figuring out what exactly motivates your precious pet, the next step is to consider how to offer that motivation in small chunks. For example, if your cat is motivated by treats or food, then this will be small chunks of small pieces of tuna or chicken.
Likewise, a cat that is attention-motivated can be rewarded with encouragement and praise or simply strokes below the chin.
Each cat will have its own unique training environment, which is why it is important to first understand your cat’s distinct psychology first. You will also need a dog clicker or a sound that signifies correct behavior.
Some people prefer simply clicking their hands, while others prefer saying ‘good cat’. Ultimately, always ensure you are making this sound exactly at the moment the correct action is displayed by your cat.
Get rid of all distractions
In order to create a more effective training environment for your cat, you must get rid of all surrounding distractions, including children and other pets. Cats are easily distracted and these disturbances could end up making the training session quite disorganized.
Gain his attention
A simple way to gain the attention of your cat is to give him small treats while showing him that you still have more to give. Cats are very intelligent and some will even bully you to get more treats. In such cases, the first step of training will be to encourage positive behaviors from your cat and then giving him the treats.
Clearly tell your cat to sit
You can now start telling your cat to sit down. This should be done firmly and clearly, but not in a hostile way. Obviously, the cat will not know what exactly you mean at first, but repeating the word ‘sit’ will help him get familiarized with the fact that you want him to do something. Repeat this for a couple of times, giving the cat a few treats randomly in order to keep him interested.
Command your cat to sit
In this step, you should actually mean it when you tell your cat to sit. Draw his attention to the teats and then tell him to sit while raising your hand. His head will start to lift up and then you should gently push his back downwards towards the sitting position.
Apply moderate pressure if he resists, making sure that you are not too aggressive. The moment he starts resisting less, then you should reward this good behavior by clicking and then providing a treat.
If you notice that your cat is still resisting even after several tries, then you should stop for a break. He should still get rewards and then be given enough time to break. You can resume the training in an hour or even the next day. Eventually, your cat will be less resistant to your sitting down suggestions, especially when you push his back down.
Remove the click and the treats
After practicing with your cat for a while and being comfortable in his ability to respond to your commands, it is time to get rid of the click and treats. Start by always giving treats at each successful sit down and then gradually space them out. In the end, it should reach a point where the treats are giving at the end of the game, instead of every success.
Keep in mind that encouragement and praise should always be given every time the cat sits down. The click can also be dropped slowly over time, especially if your cat gets confused without it. At this point, you can even show off this cool trick to your friends and family.
Remember that training should always occur in a friendly environment and also during a period when your cat naturally sits down.
In addition, these training sessions should be done when the cat is feeling hungry, while ensuring to use tiny and nutritious treats. This makes biting and swallowing easier and gets the cat ready to work for the next treats.
Be patient with the process of learning how to teach your cat to sit and allow enough time for your cat to rest in between sessions. Ideally, you should aim for five minute sessions spread out a few times during the day. In the end, your cat will surprise you at how intelligent he is and how easily he masters this sit command.