Basic education

How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw

Amy McCready
By Amy McCready, Animal rights journalist. June 14, 2017
How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw

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Despite what many people think, cats are able to learn simple (and later more advanced) commands, as long as we use positive reinforcement.

AnimalWised are here to explain how to train your cat to give their paw, so that you can interact further and strengthen your relationship.

It is very gratifying to see your cat learn a command through your patience and perseverance. Because, without these two qualities, you will find it impossible to teach a cat any trick! Keep reading for our detailed step by step.

You may also be interested in: How to Train Your Schnauzer
  1. How to teach your cat tricks
  2. Teach your cat to give you their paw
  3. Tips for training a cat

How to teach your cat tricks

The tricks you can teach your cat depend on their ability and your patience and perseverance to teach. Do not assume that since dogs have such a great ability to follow commands that cats will too.

It is true that teaching tricks to a cat is more difficult than a dog but with our advice and using positive reinforcement, the task will be much easier. The tricks that are most taught to cats are paw, sit, or spin, but they are also able to learn other things like learning to use the toilet or learning their name.

First, you have to know that the ideal time to teach a command to a cat is when they are active and never when they are drowsy or tired. If you have to wake them or encourage them to play with you you will never get good results. It is also recommended that the training session be held before meal times. This is so they can be hungry and be rewarded with treats. Use snacks or canned food that you know they love. An incentive is always a good idea!

Also, it is advisable that the commands are simple and are within their possibilities, since of course we all have our limitations and cats no less. If you always use the same word associated with the same order, you will get better results, such as "hello", "paw" or "give me the paw".

Finally, in addition to treats, it's advisable to use a clicker as a secondary conditioned reinforcement in training. The clicker is a small device that emits a characteristic sound and is normally used to teach orders to dogs. It can be used for many other animals though!

How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw - How to teach your cat tricks

Teach your cat to give you their paw

To teach your cat to give you their paw, follow these directions:

  1. Try to place yourself somewhere calm and without distractions to start the training session.
  2. If they already know how to sit, give that order first. If not, you can always give them a little touch by pushing the bottom of the spine down to sit on the floor.
  3. Now give the order " hello "," paw ", " give me the paw "or the one you want to use, at the same time you offer your hand to your cat with your palm up.
  4. Wait for your pet to put their paw on top of it and when they do, give them a snack as a reward.
  5. If they do not put your paw on your palm, pick it up for a few moments and put it in your hand. Then give your cat a treat so they will begin to associate that gesture with a prize.
  6. Repeat this operation a few times, no more than 10 minutes a day.

At first your cat will not understand what you want them to do but after a few training sessions they will realise this gesture leads to a treat. And, as time goes by, you can replace the food rewards with pampering, caresses and praise, so that they still feel accomplished. Of course, do not you think of doing this at the beginning while they are learning. Not only will this confuse them, but they will likely give up cooperating with you.

How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw - Teach your cat to give you their paw

Tips for training a cat

Just as each person is different, each animal has a different learning ability. If your cat has more difficulty learning a command than your friend's cat, do not worry! Every process is different. You will need a lot of patience and perseverance and must repeat the training so they remain motivated and do not forget what they have learned.

Remember not to get upset or scold your cat when they are learning because all you'll get out of it is a negative experience for both of you. Instead, provide them with fun and lively play time with their human friend.

Finally, it is important to note that the sooner you start teaching tricks the better. When they are small this is when they soak up the world around them and have more capacity for learning, just like human babies.

If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in tips to stop your cat from chewing wires and tips to stop a cat from scratching the sofa.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw