How to Teach a Cat to Fetch
Playing a game of fetch isn’t something only dog owners can enjoy. You can teach your cat how to play fetch as well.
Cats are clever animals, can be taught many tricks, and enjoy the attention they get while playing with you.
Teaching your cat to fetch might be easier than you think it is. It will require that you make a commitment and a consistent effort, but eventually, you will be successful. You can show off your cat’s cleverness to guests at your house. Cat’s playing fetch isn’t something you see every day.
Here is an easy process you can use to teach your cat how to play fetch.
Steps to teach your cat to fetch
- Choose the right space. Begin by finding a quiet spot in your house where you can play with your cat without any distractions. If you have kids, other pets, or any other distractions, it might be a good idea to use a room with a door that closes. You don’t want anything distracting your cat while you are teaching it how to play fetch. You will also want to consider what is in the space you are using. You don’t want your cat to be jumping over furniture or other objects. Use a clear space so you can easily see the toy and your cat while training.
- Pick a good time for your cat. If you have noticed your cat is high energy in the morning, then the morning would be the perfect time to teach your cat to fetch. Trying to use a time of day that your cat sleeps typically isn’t likely to yield any results and will likely leave you frustrated.
- Use a toy your cat likes. This might be a trial-and-error process. Trying toys with different weights and textures to find one your cat likes the best will make them want to fetch the toy much more than a toy they consider subpar. You can try crinkle balls, fake mice, balls, or even crumple up a piece of paper to try. Try to make it something that is on the lighter side and easy for your cat to pick up and carry around. You can hit a pet store or get creative with what you use for a toy or anything your cat finds enticing.
- Use catnip. Rub a little catnip on a toy to entice your cat into going after the toy. If your cat is being sassy and doesn’t want to run after its toy when you throw them, rubbing a little catnip on the toy might be all the encouragement your sassy feline needs. Let your cat get a smell of the catnip before you throw the toy, so they know what they are going after. You would be hard-pressed to find a cat who can resist the allure of catnip.
- Use lots of praise. When your cat feels playful, grab your kitty’s favorite toy and call your cat over to you. When your cat comes to you, give it lots of praise and affection. You can even slip them a treat while giving them lots of praise. This will begin the correlation between coming to you, their toy, and getting praise and treats. Keeping this positive will help to create a strong foundation to start your training.
- Start throwing a toy. Start throwing their toy after your cat has mastered coming to you when you call. It doesn’t have to be very far to start; start small. It may take you fetching the toy and returning to your starting position for the cat to begin seeing a pattern in what you are doing. This may be the longest and most frustrating part of teaching your cat to fetch but stay positive, and eventually, your cat will get it. Cats are very clever animals but also very stubborn.
- Throw the toy a little further. Once you have established throwing the toy and your cat bringing the toy back to you. Then it’s time to start throwing the toy a little further, and when your cat brings the toy back, continue giving it a treat and praise. Eventually, you will work your way up to throwing the toy further and further. It won’t be long until you can throw the toy across the room, and your cat will dart after it for retrieval.
- Be consistent. You can’t expect your cat to learn how to play fetch if you are not consistent with the game. Try to incorporate the training into your daily routine or at the very least a few times a week. After a while of consistent training, your cat will start to bring their toy to play a game of fetch. Once your cat starts to initiate the game of fetch, I would say it’s fair to say you have successfully trained your cat to fetch.
- Enjoy the game. The process for your cat to learn how to play fetch may take a couple of weeks, give or take, but with consistent practice, you will have successfully trained your cat. It will seem like in no time, your kitty will be bringing you their favorite toy with the anticipation of you throwing it for them to go fetch.
Teaching your cat to fetch is an excellent opportunity to bond with your cat and strengthen your relationship. You will be shocked by how easily your cat picks up the game.
The most important part of teaching your cat to play fetch is remaining positive, being patient, consistent, and focusing on any little bit of progress your cat makes.
Once your cat is trained to fetch, you can show your friends and family how smart your cat is.
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