New Pet Owner’s Guide: 7 Purrfectly Simple Tips for Training a Cat

cat in basket

Are you looking to adopt a cat but aren’t sure how to train one? Does the thought of training a cat seem overwhelming and impossible? In this article, you’ll learn all about training a cat, the best and simplest ways.

Before you know it, you’ll have a well-behaved cat who understands commands. Read on to discover 7 simple ways to train a cat. 

Training a Cat 

Before diving into training cat tips, it’s important to keep something in mind when training them, never punish. Cats respond well from positive reinforcement so remember to be patient when your cat is learning. Cats don’t respond well to punishment, and they’ll wind up stressed. 

Items Needed

Before beginning training your cat you’ll just need two items, treats, and a clicker. These will both be necessary for properly training your cat along with patience and positive reinforcement. 

1. Shake Hands

Would you like to teach your cat how to shake hands? Get down to the same level as your cat with a treat ready, and tap your cat’s paw while saying shake. When your cat moves its paw use your clicker when they move their paw. 

You’ll want to repeat this until your cat will move its paw when you say shake without tapping their paw. This will take about a few days for your cat to master, so be patient with your feline. 

2. Come on Command 

Would you like to show your friends and family that cats can listen just as well as dogs? Cats can learn to come on command with practice. Make a certain noise or clicking each time before you feed them. As time goes on your cat will learn that the noise means something positive, like feeding time. 

Once your cat has that down, extend it to outside feeding time. Start with short distances, making that same noise or clicking sound, and when your cat comes to you, give them a treat. 

Would you like to keep your dog nearby and make sure they don’t run off while training them if they see another person or animal from your yard? Check out the best dog shock collar for training. 

3. Teach to Sit 

If you know how to train a dog to sit, it’s pretty similar. Place the treat over your cat’s head to encourage them to look up and sit down. If they sit down you can either use positive reinforcement such as good kitty or use your clicker plus a treat. 

Once your cat learns this command, you can start using the sit cue to start an activity. 

4. Walk on a Leash 

Would you like to take your cat outside but afraid they’ll run away and want them to be safe? Leashes aren’t just for dogs, you can train your cat to use a leash as well. 

Firstly, you’ll want a harness with a leash that attaches to your cat’s back and not their neck. Before putting it on, leave the harness out for a few days in areas that your cat goes such as sleeping and feeding areas. 

Next, you can drape the harness over your cat while giving them a treat but don’t attach the harness. Eventually, you can move to attaching the harness but not the leash, letting your cat move around freely inside. 

Leave the harness on your cat for a few minutes and then increase it over time for a couple of days. Once your cat is comfortable with the harness you can then attach the lease. Let your cat become comfortable with the harness and being outside, starting in quiet places. 

5. Teach to Beg 

This trick is similar to the shake hands command. Hold the treat above your cat’s head and say beg. Your pet will then stand on its hind legs when you have the treat just over their head and try to reach for the snack. 

Use your clicker when they do this behavior and then give them a treat. Practice this until your cat will beg without having a treat over their head. 

6. Teach High Five 

If you’re wondering how to train a cat to do high five, it’s actually pretty simple to teach and similar to the other tricks. You’ll want to encourage your cat to move their paw by giving them a treat when they lift their paw off the ground. 

Next, put a treat wrapped in your hand and wait for your cat to try to use their paw to get the treat out. Give your cat a treat when they do this. Repeat this many times and gradually raise your hand higher over time until it resembles a high five. 

7. Meow on Command 

Would you like to teach your cat to meow on command? When your cat makes the desired sound you can then give them a treat to reinforce that behavior. When the cat starts associating that sound with a treat you can then start using the words meow or chirp. 

Next Steps

In this article, you learned easy to follow tips for training a cat.  If you were afraid of adopting a cat before, now you should feel confident and comfortable knowing you can easily train them. 

Before you know it, you’ll have a cat who listens to commands, and you can have them impress all your friends and family. 

Would you like to learn more about everything from cat behavior to toys? Check out our other articles.