Can I Teach My Cat To Do Tricks?

Yes, you can, but it's not the same as teaching a dog to do tricks. Your cat, as much as she loves you, is a self-motivated creature whose primary goal is doing what she wants. If you want her to do something she doesn't want to do, there's potential for problems.

Your cat will respond best to a system of patience and rewards. Don't ever yell at her for not doing the trick; she'll immediately lose all interest in ever doing it. And because timing plays an important role in teaching tricks, it's important to be attuned to your cat's moods and interests. Don't try to teach her when she is in the midst of her afternoon catnap, or engrossed in watching the birds out the window.

Cats have very long attention spans when something interests them. Your cat will learn best when you allow her to come to you for attention. Have a box of treats handy and let her get used to the idea that she will be rewarded when she does what you have asked.

Given patience and perseverance--and a fair amount of bribery--your cat can learn to play fetch, to walk on a leash, and to even use the toilet rather than a litter box.