How to Teach a Cat Tricks. Cats are famous for their independence and this often makes cat owners shy away from trying to train them. While their independence makes them harder to train than dogs, they can learn tricks if you are patient and apply different methods. If you try to teach a cat to do tricks like a dog, you'll probably fail, but if you take their unique personalities into account, you can succeed.
Start with a young cat. It's best to train all pets at a young age, but because cats are harder to train it is imperative you begin trying to train them while they are 1-year-old or younger.
Give a command and encourage your cat to perform the trick. If you want to teach the cat to do something physical such as shaking or sitting, you may need to give the cat a gentle assist. Be gentle because cats cannot tolerate rough handling. Being rough discourages the cat from performing tricks.
Use food as the primary reward for performing the trick. As soon as the cat has performed the trick, reward him with a special food treat. Also, give him verbal praise and pet him, but quickly give him the food. Cats do not respond as well to emotional praise as dogs, so food is the best way to train them.
Keep training sessions short. Unlike dogs, a cat's attention span doesn't allow for long training sessions. Limit sessions to five minutes and stop if the cat becomes annoyed. In the event the cat expresses displeasure, let her be and resume training the next day.
Have training sessions every day your cat will allow them. It is crucial to keep the cat in the habit of performing the trick.