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How to Train Your Cat to Do Tricks


Robin writes about married life, cooking and being semi organic with family pet Cornelius in Richmond, Virginia. Her blog Our Semi Organic Life covers everyday life with a restrained amount of cute cat photos. Just like every pet parent she thinks her cat is the cutest of them all.



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Most people associate dogs as the family pet that can show off doing tricks. Not at our house! We’ve trained our cat Cornelius to do all the standard dog tricks and more! Over the last 5 years he’s learned: “sit”, “shake”, “speak”, “roll over”, “come here”, and this “up” trick where he jumps up. We’re also still working on “back up” and “wait”.

You can see him “perform” here:


Don’t think that you cat isn’t smart enough to learn.

Here are 5 tips I’ve learned to train your cat.


At first show them how to do the trick, such as placing a paw on your hand to show “shake”. Repeat this over and over. Then keep going more and more. Cornelius sort of taught himself his first trick “up” by always bumping his head up against your hand to get himself pet. We then trained over and over with treats and praise. He slowly learned to do it higher and higher as the trick “up”. After lots of repeating he now knows this command as a jumping trick.


Use your cat’s natural habits to train them to do tricks. We noticed Cornelius would often be lounging on the floor stretched out, roll on his back, and then roll over. We trained our cat to do the trick “roll over” by associating the word, hand motion, and a treat with his ordinary behavior. Now he can do it on command… usually!


Each of our tricks has a hand motion associated with it. They don’t have to be fancy. “Sit” is a pointed finger and “shake” is holding your palm out for him to shake. Your cat will learn a word and gesture to mean their tricks.


Most of our cat’s tricks took about 6 months to learn and longer to get every time. Slow and steady. I’ve heard training a cat to do tricks is just like training a dog. I’ve never trained a dog before but it takes plenty of time. Also cats can be stubborn and sometimes it seems that they know but just don’t want to perform!


Take videos and show off your cat’s skills to friends and guests! Our cat does so well with his tricks now that he’ll even do them for strangers. He loves performing when treats are around! We are proud cat owners.

Who else’s cat does tricks?
Best regards,
Now here’s a fun question from World’s Best Cat Litter™, if you could train your cat to do any one trick, what would it be? Let us know in the comments section below!