Can You Train a Cat to Roll Over?
Did you know that your cat can learn a wide variety of tricks? Everyone knows that dogs can learn many amazing tricks. From balancing acts to racing around agility courses, the sky’s the limit when it comes to training a pup. But with the right attitude, your adorable kitty could be just as talented!
Yes, even the laziest and most aloof cats have a few tricks up their sleeves. You just need to know how to unlock their secret talents. For today, we will focus on one simple trick, “rollover”. This classic trick is quick and easy to teach. So, grab your favorite feline, a tasty treat, and let’s get started!
How to Train a Cat to Roll Over
The first step is to wait until your cat is lying down. This step can be made easier by first training your kitty to lie down on command. You can guide your cat to lie down by holding your arm out parallel with the ground and guiding your cat underneath it with the treat. They will lie down as they reach under your arm with their nose.
Once your kitty is lying down, hold the treat to the side of their face to guide their nose around to their shoulder. From there, bring the treat around the back of their head. This will encourage them to roll over onto their back.
It may take your feline a few tries to figure this part out. Patience is key when it comes to training a cat. Once they roll onto their back give them the treat and lots of praise. They are already halfway there!
Bring your cat onto their back once again using the above steps. Once they are there, continue to guide their nose around until they roll all the way over. Feed them the treat and give them lots of praise and pats. Congratulations, you have successfully gotten your cat to roll over!
Repeat these steps several times until your cat consistently follows the treat. As your kitty figures this out, they might even start to roll over as soon as you show them the treat. Now you can start to add a voice cue to the trick. Pet owners usually say “rollover” when teaching this trick because it’s simple and easy to remember.
To get your cat to roll over on command, all you have to do is guide him around as you did before while saying “rollover." As always, give him lots of praise and a treat every time they complete the trick. Over time, you will get him to do the entire trick for a treat.
If you need to remind yourself of these steps while training, we have put together a quick step-by-step guide for you to refer to.
Teaching Your Cat to Roll Over: Quick Step-By-Step Guide
- Ask your cat to lie down.
- Guide their nose to their shoulder with a treat.
- Bring the treat around to the back of their head, guiding them onto their back.
- Continue to guide their nose around until they roll all the way over.
- Treat, praise, and repeat!
- Add a verbal cue by saying “rollover” every time you repeat the above steps.
How Long Will It Take to Train My Cat to Roll Over?
Training any animal can be frustrating at times. The tricks seem so simple to use but they just can’t seem to figure it out. Cats can be even more maddening to train than dogs, as they get bored easily and want to move onto the next game.
How long it takes for your kitty to learn “rollover” depends on several factors. Younger cats and kittens are much better at learning and will usually pick up a new trick in one training session. If your furbaby is older than 1 year old, you may need to spread out their training over a few days for them to perfect a trick.
Being patient is extremely important when it comes to training cats. If you ever feel yourself getting annoyed, finish the training session, and give your kitty a pat. You can always pick the lesson back up tomorrow.
Every cat has a unique personality and some are just less inclined to trick training than others. Lazy cats might not be bothered with learning tricks for food because they know they will be fed anyway. On the other hand, hyperactive kitties can also be difficult to train because they get bored very quickly. But, for the right treat, any cat will learn a trick or two.
So, how long will it take to train your cat to roll over? It’s impossible to say for definite. Most cats will figure out a new trick after a few days of training. But your cat may pick it up sooner or need more time to figure it out.
If you’ve been trying to teach “rollover” for over a week and it just doesn’t seem to be working, take a break for a few days and try again. Your cat may just need to process what he or she has learned.
Cat Training Tips and Tricks
The most important part of trick training your cat is to find the right treat. All animals have their personal likes and dislikes. Your cat may go crazy for string cheese while your best friend’s feline turns up their nose. If you can figure out your kitty’s favorite treat, you can teach them any trick!
In an ideal world, you would use low-calorie treats like kibbles and small pieces of chicken. If you’re lucky, your feline friend will go crazy for these and you can feed several in one training session without worrying about weight gain. But if your kitty will only perform for liver pâté, don’t worry. Just make sure to feed it in moderation and cut back on your cat’s normal food on training days.
Keep your training sessions short and sweet. Many cats have short attention spans and will often get bored after 10 minutes of doing a repetitive trick like rollover. It’s important to always end training sessions on a good note before your cat moves on to something else. Stick to 2-5 minute lessons and don’t be tempted to go any longer, even if your kitty is in a good mood. You can do more than one session per day, as long as they’re kept short.
This final tip is to clicker train your cat. Clicker training is a little technical and requires good timing on your part. But if you can figure it out, it’s an amazing tool to unlock your kitty’s full potential! To clicker train your cat, you teach them to associate a particular sound with getting a treat. This sound can be anything from clapping your hands, clicking a pen, or using a clicker from a pet store.
Once your cat knows they will get a treat when they hear the clicker sound, all you have to do is ‘click’ whenever they do a trick. For rollover, you would click at the exact moment that they finish the movement and give them a treat immediately. Clicker training is an excellent, scientifically-proven technique to speed up trick training for animals of all shapes and sizes. You should definitely consider adding it to your cat training toolkit!
The final tip is to always have fun while teaching your kitty! Training should be enjoyable for both you and your cat. When it’s done right, it will create an even stronger bond between you and your feline friend.
So, if you ever feel like you’re not having fun while training your cat, take a step back and re-evaluate. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Having a playtime break could be just the thing you and your kitty need to improve your training sessions. Good luck!