Cats are not like dogs. They do not obey commands to make you happy, but instead will obey commands simply because they know they will be rewarded. Also, remember that tricks should be taught using actions that would come naturally to cats. The High Five can be taught from the batting of a dangling toy, while sitting eventually comes from a relaxed posture. Make it fun for them, so they think it's for their own benefit, instead of yours.
Tricks can be either practical or just for fun. Practical tricks can include come, stay, sit or carrier so that a cat will go into a carrier without fuss. Fun tricks can include high five, touch, roll over, play dead, or any others you can think of that will be entertaining to both you and the cat.
Never hit or shout at a cat. This goes for both training with tricks, and disciplining for inappropriate behavior at any other time.
Be patient. Cats will not learn tricks in a few hours or even a few days. Some tricks may take a month or longer. Only train one trick at a time. Make a list of the tricks you want your cat to learn and prioritize them. Once a trick has been mastered, you may move on to the next trick. To keep previously learned tricks from being forgotten, use them either on a daily basis in playtime or when it's practical during the day's usual activities.
There are many ways to teach a cat a trick. What works for your cat may not work for another cat. Different tricks may be learned in very different ways. High Five and Sit both can be taught by dangling a treat or toy above the cat's head. Alternatively, neither of these may work, and tapping the base of the tail or a paw to lift it might work instead. Experiment until you find something that the cat responds best to.
Many people don't like the idea of training a cat. Opinions range from thinking cats can't or won't learn, to it's simply degrading of such a fine species. However, it can be a very good way to bond with your cat and spend extra time giving it one-on-one attention.
There are many resources available for learning how to teach cats tricks. Library books, Internet articles and videos are just a few. If you don't mind spending a little extra money, you could hire a professional cat behaviorist to help you. There are also many tools to use during training such as toys and treats, they don't need to be expensive.
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