How to Teach Your Cat to Sit on Command

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Some people would have us believe that it is impossible to teach a cat anything, but if he can be taught to come for his dinner then he can be taught other things as well. It may require patience and constancy, but the end result will be worth it. Not many cats have been taught to sit on command, yet it is not impossible to teach your cat this trick. 

Make sure your cat is wide-awake and a little hungry before you start to teach him this one. Get him used to accepting edible treats from your hand, so that he knows when he smells it, that you have something in your hand for him. Choose a time that the cat is standing. Approach him with the treat and let him smell that it is in your closed fist.

Once he has sniffed your hand, move it over the top of his head. Not high above him or he might jump to reach it. Just slide your hand over the top of his head, about one inch above it. You will see that to keep his nose near the treat, he will sit. If he does not sit, gently push on his back – just in front of the tail – until he does.

Of course, you must also give voice commands. Say “Sit” in a firm voice at the same time that you move your hand. As soon as kitty sits, give him the treat and praise him. You need to do this several times throughout the day to remind him what it is all about. It’s no use doing it once this week and then forgetting all about it until next week. Cats are not likely to remember anything like that for a whole week.

Once your cat sits quickly for his treat, you can try doing it with no treat. Still use your hand motion, but with nothing in the hand. When he sits, open the hand and show him there is nothing there, but still praise and stroke him for obeying. The next time you do it and he obeys, have a treat for him, but gradually wean him off the treats. You will need to make him sit at least twice a day for some time before he gets the hang of it. Once he is used to sitting without a treat, try giving the command without the hand motion. If he does not obey, go back to using the hand motion with the treat for a while longer. In this way you will train your cat to sit, and it will amaze your friends.

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