How to Teach Your Cat to Lay Down and Roll Over on Command

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This is also a neat cat trick that your friends will love at parties and on visits. It’s a little bit harder to teach than jumping through a hoop, but with the right commands and actions, and a little patience, you can get your cat to do this. People are amazed at this trick, because so many of them believe cats to be un-teachable. You can show them what a preposterous notion this is. 

First, sit down on the floor with your cat.  You’re going to want to teach your cat both a hand command and a voice command for the laying down and the rolling over. Gently push your cat into a sitting position. Then, very gently push on his upper shoulders with one hand while making a fist with the other hand. Show him the fisted hand and as you push on him, gradually lower the fisted hand to the floor while saying “down.” Make sure your cat watches your hand while you push on him and say “down.” You’ll want to get him to learn the “down” part first, before beginning on the rolling over.

When you’re working on teaching your cat to go down, be sure to have lots of treats handy and liberally reward him with both treats and petting and praise when he goes down. Do this five to ten times in a row each day, spending a good amount of time on it. Your cat will soon start to associate the hand command and the word “down” with getting treats and praise. This means that after a few days of practice, you can stop pushing on him when you give the dual commands and just lower your fisted hand in front of him while saying “down” and he will go down on his own.

Once your cat has accepted going down on his own, it’s time to teach him to roll over once he’s down. After you get your cat to lay down during a training session, hold up a treat over his head and gradually move it to the side farthest away from you, His eyes and then body should follow the treat, causing him to do a complete roll-over. Say “roll over” as you’re moving the treat. Once your cat rolls over, give him the treat and pet and praise him. Practice this several times daily until you can get him to go down and roll over all in one fluid motion and wait for the treat and praise at the end of the entire routine. 

It can take several days to several weeks for a cat to learn this trick, depending on the cat, but he WILL learn it if you’re consistent with the commands and the rewards. Just keep at it and soon you’ll have a well trained cat who can perform for your friends.


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