Hey Fido - Move Over!
Cats can be taught to sit up on command too - and they are cuter when they do it than their canine counterparts (Okay - maybe I am a bit biased).
I think the thing I like best about teaching my cat to sit up is that I suspect they have visions in their head of being big cats performing in the circus. I am the lion-tamer and as I say "hup" and give them the hand signal, they all sit up like little groundhogs :-)).
In fact, when I am preparing chicken for dinner, my little herd of felines gather about my feet, waiting for the signal. With a palm filled with tiny bits of cooked chicken, I turn around to face my "mob", call "Hup!" and without fail, they all sit up like perfect little kitties and I go from one to other giving them a little chicken treat.
It is too, too adorable!
Almost any cat can be taught to sit up. From a chunky, bottom heavy Persian to a svelte, athletic-bodied Siamese, any breed or body style of feline has the ability to sit up.
Sitting up is perhaps the easiest trick of all to teach your cat. All you need is a food treat, a hungry kitty, and a bit of patience. Most kitties catch on to the concept very quickly.
I use the verbal command "Hup"... but you can be as inventive as you like. Up, Beg, Sit-Up, Salute - choose the command you like best.
The hand signal most often used is simply a short, upward movement of the hand with the palm facing up.
Some trainers prefer to snap their fingers or use a clicker with the command.
The reward for performing the trick correctly can be a food treat or a favorite toy - although a cat may be more likely to paw at a toy.
The food reward I use is a bit of cooked chicken breast, but you can use any treat that your cat favors.
How To Begin
Select a place with secure footing.
- Start with your cat in the sit position.
- Give the command "Hup" .
- At the same time, hold the food treat just above the height of your cat's nose.
- The cat will stretch its head up to get it.
- As the cat reaches its head up to the food, move the treat slightly higher.
- Continue in this way until the kitty's front legs leave the ground.
- Immediately reward the kitty by giving it the treat while it still has its front feet off the ground.
- If the cat attempts to paw at the food, just hold the palm of your other hand in such a way as to prevent the front paws from reaching for the treat.
- You many have to practice to see just how far or how close you need to hold the treat to get your kitty to sit up.
- If your cat tries to stand up on its hind legs while sitting up, just bring the food closer (but don't give it to him or he will think he is supposed to stand up)
- NOTE: I have taught my more athletically inclined cats to walk on their hind legs. Be sure not to try this on a slippery floor. For some reason, my cats find walking backwards easier than walking forwards!
Most cats catch on to sitting up within just a lesson or two. Kittens in particular learn very quickly.
Not only will training your cat to perform tricks entertain both of you - but it is just one more thing that strengthens, deepens and enriches the human-feline relationship.