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How to Teach a Cat to Sit
Have you ever thought about training your precious kitty a few tricks, but have no clue where to start? Well, you’re in the right place! Today, you will learn everything you need to know about training your cat how to sit.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to teach your cat. All you need is a tasty treat that your kitty loves and a quiet environment where they won’t get distracted. If you keep your training sessions short and interesting for your feline, they will be sitting on command in no time!
Get Your Cat's Attention
Okay, let’s get started! First up, you want to get your cat’s attention. Show your cat the treat bag or maybe let them sniff the treat in your hand. But don't him eat it just yet. Fluffykins is going to have to work for his treats.
Once you have your kitty’s attention, hold the treat above his or her head. You don’t need to say anything to your cat just yet. They might try to reach up and grab the treat out of your hand. If they do, just ignore the behavior until they stand still.
To guide your cat into a sitting position, move the treat back towards their tail. Your cat will start to tilt their head back, eventually lowering their bum down and sitting. Feed them the treat and give them lots of love at the exact moment that they sit.
Repeat the above steps until your cat is sitting consistently and isn’t trying to grab the treat from your hand. Most cats will figure this out in one, short training session. But, if you need to, you can spread this out over a couple of days to make sure your kitty has perfected the move.
Now you can start to add a voice cue. The popular choice for this trick is to say “sit.” This is the ideal cue because it’s short and sweet. All you have to do to teach your cat to sit on command is to say “sit” as you guide them into the sitting position. Once you have repeated this step a couple of times, you will need to lead your cat less and less with the treat as they start to associate sitting with the word “sit."
Alternatively, you can teach your kitty to sit from a hand signal. Pick a signal that is clear and can be easily seen by your cat from the ground. A popular hand sign for sit among dog owners is to flip one hand so that your palm faces the sky and then lift your hand up a little. To teach your feline a hand signal, repeat the previous step. But this time, instead of saying “sit” while guiding your cat, you will do the hand signal.
As you can see, teaching your kitty to sit is actually pretty easy. People often think that cats can’t learn tricks like dogs. But they couldn’t be more wrong! If you need to refer back to these steps at any point during the training process, check out this handy step-by-step guide below:
Teaching Your Cat to Sit: Quick Step-By-Step Guide
- Hold a treat above your cat’s head.
- Move the treat back towards their tail.
- When your cat sits, give them the treat and praise.
- Repeat steps 1-3 until your cat sits consistently.
- Add the vocal cue “sit” and/or a hand signal as you guide your cat into a sitting position.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Cat to Sit?
Training your cat is all about patience and practice. Some cats enjoy being taught new tricks and will pick them up in just one, short training session. If your cat is lazy or doesn’t care much for treats, however, he or she might take a little more convincing.
Keeping your expectations low for each training session is super important when it comes to training cats. Kitties get bored easily and ending a lesson before they do will make sure that they are excited about tomorrow's training. We recommend sticking to 2-5 minute sessions. You can certainly do more than one a day, but your cat may learn better with just one daily training.
If you stick to this routine, your cat should learn to sit on command within a week. Younger cats or kitties that love treats will learn more quickly. Meanwhile, lazy and aloof felines might need a bit more time. You know your cat best and you can adjust training sessions over time to match their personality and energy levels.
But setting a strict timeline for your cat’s training can take the fun out of it! Keep training interesting for your feline friend by changing things up. Consider teaching them a different trick tomorrow if they seem to be getting bored with sit (we have plenty of training guides for other tricks on our blog!). Maybe a different treat could entice your feline to work harder? Or perhaps a fun playtime break is all you and your furry friend to get your mindsets back in the right place.
Cat All Cats Learn to Sit?
The short answer is, yes! Every cat can learn to sit on command. With patience and persistence, you can teach even the most grumpy, older cats that never learned a trick in their lives. All you need to know is their favorite treat.
If you don’t know your kitty’s favorite food, find out! There are plenty of options to try from store-bought pet treats to cheese and from blueberries to liver pâté. Every cat has that one special treat that they will do anything for. Although, consider feeding the pâté in small doses only!
Certain health issues may make training your kitty more difficult. But, there’s almost always a way to get around your cat’s differences when training them. For example, cats that are deaf can’t be taught to respond to verbal commands (but they can learn hand signals!) or you might have some trouble finding a treat that your diabetic kitty can eat (don’t worry, there’s plenty of options!)
Why Should I Train My Cat to Sit?
There’s a couple of reasons you might want to train your cat to sit. First and foremost, teaching your cat to sit can help them be more patient at mealtimes. Have you ever been preparing your kitty’s breakfast and had to deal with them jumping all over the countertops? Sometimes they will even try to climb up your leg to get at their food.
To get your cat to sit on cue, all you have to do is ask your kitty to sit and wait for her food. Do this before every meal and your furry feline will master “sit” in no time at all.
In fact, asking your cat to sit can help stop many so-called bad behaviors and is much kinder than reaching for a spray bottle. Dog owners often ask their dogs to sit whenever they do something naughty like jumping up or barking at other dogs. Asking your kitty to sit will distract them from whatever they’re doing, be it scratching the furniture or digging up the potted plants, and redirect their attention towards you.
Another reason you might want to train your cat to sit is that it’s just plain fun! Training your cat will strengthen the bond between you and your fluffy friend. It can help them feel more relaxed as regular lessons give them plenty of mental stimulation. Over time, your kitty might even start performing tricks he knows without you asking, just to get your attention.