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How to Teach your Cat a Trick – Super Easy and FUN

How to Teach your Cat a Trick – Super Easy and FUN


Hi there and welcome back to Kitten School! Who DOESN’T love seeing cats perform tricks? I mean, there’s something so adorable about a cat performing a trick and even more astonishingly – on command! I have always been fascinated by the enigmatic psychology of cats And particularly how cleverly they can manipulate and learn from us humans. My Siamese cat Sing Sing has all the traits of a “highly trainable” cat: He’s outgoing, eager to please, and is very, very FOOD motivated! I’m not kidding, This cat will eat ANYTHING! So I thought it would be fun to teach him some simple tricks. I have trained Sing Sing before, such as when I trained him that scratching on the scratchin post – and NOT our sofa, would earn him treats. He now uses only the scratching post, and our sofa is untouched. Recently I taught Sing Sing to walk through this cat tunnel on command …using a “trilling” sound to indicate what I want him to do. He’s got so good at this that he now runs back and forth in the tunnel without me asking him to! So I want to show you steps of how I am teaching Sing Sing to perform these tricks. I am going to use this box and do a really simple exercise that almost any cat could learn. I am going to “ask” him to jump into the box on command. Simple as that! First I get some tasty treats…in this case it is minced turkey, but other times it is bits of cheese. You want the treats to be small enough that cat can eat them quickly. Next I show Sing Sing the treats…and of course he is interested! I then hold a treat over the box and say the command – which is a little “Bloop!” sound The only way he can get the treat is to jump in the box…. …which he does! He earns the treat and lots of praise. Again, I hold the treat over the box and make the command – Bloop! It takes just a few seconds for Sing Sing to jump inside to retrieve his prize. Good Boy! After repeating this a few times Sing Sing starts to jump in the box without me having to show him the treat… He doesn’t need visual proof that he’s going to get a treat… He just knows that if he jumps in the box, he will get one. So by doing this, I know that he’s made the connection between action – performing the command I ask… …and reward: a tasty treat! Ok, now he’s definitely go the gist of what I want him to do. So I’m going to ask him to jump in the box again, But THIS time he’s only going to get praise, not a treat. Behaviorists call this “Intermittent Reinforcement” which means you want to make the treats random once the trick is learned. You don’t want to give the treat EVERY single time. The anticipation is very powerful… It’s what makes people sit at slot machines for hours, even though they don’t win EVERY game! Now the next time he performs the trick, he gets a treat along with the praise. He always gets praise; it’s the treats that are random. His anticipation about whether or not he WILL get a treat drives the excitement and eagerness to continue performing the trick. Alright! I think Sing Sing has the box trick down! We will back with some more difficult tricks soon, so be sure to enroll in Kitten School by clicking that SUBSCRIBE button! So you don’t miss a thing! Have you taught your cat to perform a trick? If so, BRAG about it in the comments!

Comments (17)

  1. Soooooo lovely💘💘💘

  2. Love your channel thank you, any good advice for shy blind cat 11 months old?? I noticed he is smart mature enough, he doesn’t meow at all , he doesn’t want attention, he doesn’t trust anyone, but I feel he fake or pretend to get what he wants ..

  3. I have: León was the first, but then Baltazar and now Dante have learnt to sit when requested. They even have a certain "serious/super focused" look on their faces…its very funny.

  4. Another great video of sing sing. Love it. With my cat we only did negative reinforcement training as he used to poop and pee everywhere. Didn't have youtube to teach us. 🙁

  5. I can do a trick. I just did. Awesome?

  6. Well done Sing Sing. You handsome and smart boy. Way to go Caroline. Awesome job too 🙂

  7. Cool tricks, can't wait to move and adopt cats😻
    😀 You re back with the old jingle 👍the best.
    🥂🖖

  8. Very good, Sing Sing.

  9. Good Boy, Sing Sing……sending you love and praise.

  10. Hey Caroline, I recently created a new account, so I'm under a different name now, but I'd really love for you to do a video (or videos) telling us how each of your kitties came into your life. Especially Sing Sing! My girlfriend and I are huge fans of kitten school. We get really excited every time you release a new video. It always makes my day better. In fact, we adopted our first kitty in September. She's a black kitty. She looks a lot like a Bombay, but she's a rescue, so we really don't know. Doesn't matter 🙂

    We're also HUGE fans of Dormouse. In fact, my kitty name is Dormouse – my girlfriend and I have kitty nicknames – we literally use them more than our real names.

    Anyway, thanks for all the awesome videos. I can't believe you don't have more subscribers. I honestly think that any day now you're going to go viral and have 100k subs overnight. I've called such things before, so we'll see, but if I could bet money on it I would. And I really like that you've stayed true to your principles the whole time. I've seen plenty of other YouTube creaters that, in my personal view, exploit or profit from the feral kitty population in their area. And I wouldn't say that if they were also talking about TNR. Anyway, I (we) truly think that you're going to explode overnight.

    Secondary, less important question, our kitty is very smart and LOVES to play. She's an amazing little hunter, but she's not very food motivated. Oddly enough, until the last couple of days, she preferred dry food to wet food (never seen another kitty like that). I think that might be because she trusts us more now, but she's really not food motivated. So to get to the point, I was wondering if you had any tips for training kitties like her. She loves to explore new places. We took her to my girlfriend's parents house, and we both expected her to hide for the first day or so, especially until all the humans went to sleep – as she did when we first got her – but she immediately started walking around and exploring and wasn't at all afraid of her parents. She also LOVES to sneak out into the hallway of our apartment building and climb up the stairs, sniffing everything! She's especially interested in the apartments where she hears people moving around inside.

    Anywho – I don't really care about getting her to perform tricks for humans viewing pleasure, but I'm pretty certain that she gets bored, so I'd like to figure out how to engage her mind more. She's very picky about the toys she likes to play with. Her favorite thing is these "wormys" (felt worms with bells on them) that we attach to this fiberglass fishing rod-like toy with dental floss. She loves it, and sometimes gets very vocal when she wants to play. We've also gotten her some rolling ball track toys, and while she plays with them infrequently, she's not really too interested. I can't always play with her, and I feel like she's capable of more and wants to do more. Being that she's not food motivated, do you have any suggestions? I can even build something myself. I'm an engineer, but I don't know what to make her. Otherwise I wouldn't be asking 🙂

    Anyway, keep doing your thing, and you're channel's going to get huge sooner or later.

  11. Intermittent Reinforcement is also how the recommendation algorithm of Youtube and others work, they make sure to give you what you want only scarcely to make you develop an addiction and control your behavior. Humans too are animals in the end.

  12. Teaching my cat not to jump into a box would be the most difficult trick.

  13. My two cats almost learned to use letter box and not to scratch furn. almost by their own!!, street cats are very much cliver!

  14. 13K and rising. Little did you know how much you would grow. F-u-r-t-h-e-r-!

  15. 0 thumbs down? Woah this must be good! Even gaming videos have dislikes

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