Have you heard the phrase “like herding cats” in reference to a task
that is next to impossible? The saying is actually a misnomer, because
controlling cats, and even training them, is indeed possible. With a
bit of patience and repetition, you can teach your kitty to sit, lie
down and come on command.
The “Sit” Command
When your cat sits on command, you will
pave the way for teaching your favorite feline other trained skills.
For this first lesson to work, you will need a quiet area, a table and
a special treat that your cat loves. Follow these three steps:
1. Gently put your cat on the table at the edge nearest to you. Pet your cat to make it feel comfortable and relaxed.
2. Show your cat the food reward. Next, say your pet’s name followed
by the command word, as in, “Tabitha, sit.” Move the reward back toward
you and then over your cat’s head.
3. As your cat tips its head back to follow the food, it will sit to
keep its balance. At this point say, “Sit, good sit,” and then give
your cat a treat.
Your cat will soon sit without you having to move the food over its
head. At that point, you do not need to put your pet on a table to sit.
If your cat does not sit during the lesson, gently press down on its
hindquarters. Then repeat, “Sit, good sit.” This will work with some
cats, while others may resist. Be gentle and patient. Whatever you do,
avoid frustrating or frightening your cat. If your kitty resists, try
again another time.
The “Lie Down” Command
Once you have taught your cat to sit, getting it to lie down should be relatively easy. Here’s how:
1. Gently sit the cat on the table at the edge nearest to you and give it affection as before.
2. Hold a treat in one hand slightly below and in front of the table
and say its name followed by the word “down,” as in, “Tabitha, down.”
3. When your cat lowers itself to reach for the food, say, “Down, good down.” Give your cat a treat.
Your feline will eventually lie down following your command. Be
gentle and patient. Do not be afraid to help your cat into position.
Again, if your cat is just not in the mood for this, try some other
The “Come” Command
The best way to teach your cat to come
is to call your pet to its bowl. Since your kitty already comes to you
for food, this should be a cinch. You therefore should start to train
your cat this command at mealtimes. The following training session only
requires two steps.
1. Call out your cat’s name proceeded by the word “come,” as in, “Tabitha, come.”
2. When your cat comes, say, “Come, good come,” in an upbeat way. Give your cat a treat.
Once your cat has learned to come to its bowl, try the same steps in
another location. Your cat should eventually come to you whenever you
say, “Come.” When your feline does follow your command, affectionately
say, “Come, good come,” and again reward kitty with a treat.
Training your cat to do basic moves is just one of the many ways you
can bond with your four-legged friend. And think of how impressed
your two-legged friends will be!