How to teach a cat to paw

How to teach a cat to paw

Although felines have a reputation for being independent and a priori one might think that their training is impossible (or very expensive), the truth is that there are several tricks or simple commands that they learn more or less easily. It will depend on each animal. In this post we explain how to teach a cat to paw. Can you come with us?

Yes, it may surprise you, cats are capable of being trained despite the fact that their psychology means that you must dedicate greater doses of sweetness, patience and perseverance, as well as many rewards and certain guidelines, with respect to dogs, in that learning. We show you all the keys in the next few lines.

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Training in cats

Learning to give the leg, to turn on themselves, to bring you toys, to relieve themselves in the bathroom, to come to your side when you call him by his name or to sit down are some of the tricks with which you will both have fun , so much during the learning process as well as afterwards, when it has already been internalized.

However, there are certain elements that are essential in this process to be successful. Those elements are none other than calm, constancy, choosing a cozy place free of distractions, as well as a propitious moment: when your pet is active and it is time to eat. This way, they will be more receptive.

Select a word to identify that trick you want to teach him. In this case, it could be “leg”. It is preferable that it is short, so that it is easier for you to assimilate, and that it contains a single vowel. You should always pronounce it when referring to that order and do it in the same way. This makes it easier for you to build the association.

Is positive reinforcement the only valid one?

Experts agree that positive reinforcement is the one that achieves the best results, both in cats and dogs. Rewarding with something that is appetizing and to your kitty’s liking predisposes him to repeat the action until he learns it. Therefore, in the case that we are dealing with snacks or sweets, when you have not eaten yet, they will be of great help .

Contrary to what many people may believe, conditioned reinforcement using a clicker is just as appropriate with cats. This small plastic gadget has a metal strip that when squeezed emits a sound similar to a click, being very popular as a secondary resource in dog training.

Its application in cats consists of showing what to do, pressing the clicker and offering a reward instead of going to the reward directly after the achievement, which is what characterizes positive reinforcement. As you can see, prizes are always decisive for cats to create those positive associations in their brain and learn.

Teach a cat to paw, step by step

Learning will be conditioned by several factors. However, you should always respect the rhythm of your furry. Otherwise, you will get frustrated and it will be very costly to reverse the situation. Always act in the same way and speak lovingly to him, without punishing or scolding him if the process becomes complicated or is not as fast as you would like.

Of course, the younger you are, the more innate it will be for you to learn. As with humans, the first weeks or the first months of life are full of experiences of exploration and contact with the environment, and the capacities are fully oriented to this: to become familiar with the environment in which they will live. .

If your pet is already an adult when you are going to teach him this trick, don’t worry. You will learn it anyway if you follow these guidelines :

  • Once you have selected the most favorable place and the right time, you must order him to sit down. If he doesn’t know how to do it with a command, tap the lower part of his spine to encourage him to sit up.
  • Show him the snackand put it in your hand. You will see how their pupils dilate and they reserve their full attention to you.
  • Take its paw and place it in your hand palm up. Offer your prize and repeat the process several times without exceeding 10 minutes per session. If you find that the mere fact of understanding yourself is difficult for him, reward him with a break and return later.

Is it convenient to withdraw the prizes when I have already learned?

In the first phase, when the association is not yet assimilated, it will be necessary to be persistent and repeat the dynamics for several days. As you learn it, you can substitute treats for treats or praise. They will have a positive effect on your furry making him feel fulfilled and will consolidate what he has learned.

However, it is not advisable to alter the order of the rewards . At first you should lean on the food and then alternate it with other types of rewards so that it does not get disoriented and what has been achieved up to that moment is lost. From time to time you can go back to snacks , but only if you have fully internalized the entire process.

In short, with tenacity and affection you can make your kitty have fun learning new things. It will be a way to face challenges that will stimulate their cognitive abilities and that will strengthen your bond. Without a doubt, you will be helping to take care of their mental health in a playful way. Do you dare to put it into practice?


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