By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.
Yes, you can teach your kitty two basic cues: 1) to sit and 2) sit up. In this article we’ll focus on “sit” as your kitty must master this first, before they can learn to “sit up.”
In the right training session, both of you will reap benefits. You will have a well-mannered feline and your kitten gets the opportunity to stimulate his mind, hone his athleticism and sharpen his socialization skills.
Here are the 4 steps to teach your kitten to sit:
1) Select a quiet place where he feels comfortable and safe. Gently place him on a table near the edge closest to you. Give him some friendly cheek rubs with your finger to put him at ease.
2) Get his attention. Say, “Zeki, sit” as you move a small, high-quality treat slightly above his eye level and directly over his head.
3) Time when to dole out the treat. When he tips his head back to follow the treat with his eyes, he needs to sit down to maintain his balance. As soon as he sits, say, “Sit, good sit.
4) Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repeat these steps in 5- to 10-minute training sessions until your kitten obeys the “sit” cue with only a hand gesture and not a treat.
Once he is consistently sitting on cue, teach him to sit when he is walking on the floor.
In all training, it is important to conduct the mini-sessions when your cat is hungry and to always use tiny, but nutritious treats that your cat can quickly bite and swallow and be ready to perform for the next treat. And, be aware that felines let you know when the session is over by walking away or suddenly have the urge to groom. Good luck!
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