You probably wonder if cats play fetch, too. Definitely, yes! Cats, like dogs, are also fond of playing games like fetching. Other than that, they can do different tricks as dogs. While some cats are natural with it, there are also those which require intensive training and a lot of patience. Either ways prove that cats are also capable to retrieving toys like how dogs do.
Doing the tricks will be challenging and rewarding at the same time. And to be able to succeed in it, there are a few things that must be considered carefully.
1. The Right Spot
As they say, there is a proper place for everything. The same thing goes when training any animals. For cats, and even dogs, it would be ideal to prepare a place or a room free of any distractions. It is also nice if the area is restricted and quiet.
2. The Perfect Toy
This is one of the factors that can determine the success of your training. To get your cat’s attention, you must choose its favorite toy. Choose something light and soft so your cat can easily bite it and carry it back to you. You may also try different ones and observe how your cat reacts on each, then select the one which your cat really likes.
3. The Right Timing
It is never good to force any animal to do something as it will only result to failure and disappointments. Observe your cat’s habits to find out when they are most receptive and active and avoid making training them during their naptime. It’s best to train them before mealtime to easily entice them with treats. Also, the training should be done in less than 10 minutes to avoid exhausting them.
4. Always be ready to play with your cat
In instances where your cat loses its interest in your game, you should try to keep her engaged through doing some activities with it. Not only will it feel excited about a new activity, it will also feel the rush to continue doing something like what you are trying to teach it.
5. The Best Reward
Believe it or not, our pets follow our command as they look forward to what they are going to get afterwards. Picking the best reward can make them feel excited and motivated to accomplish the things that you want them to do. It could be their favorite food, treat or warm hugs and cuddles from you.
6. Break Time
It is normal for your cats to lose interest in the training as it may also get exhausted and tired of repeated activities. Therefore, it is recommended that you set breaks in between the training. After your cat masters something, give it rest and go back to usual playing. This will make your cat look forward to your next fetching game.
7. Keep the toy in special place
To make the fetch toy special, place in a place where your cat can’t see it and only take it out when you use it for fetching. This will make your cat understand the value of the toy and when it is used.
How to teach your cats to play fetch?
After considering the things that should be prepared, you may start with the actual training. A great reminder – be patient and always expect the unexpected. Below are the ways to teach your cat to play fetch.
1. Make your cat focus on the toy
- When your cat is ready to play, get its attention by showing its favorite toy.
- Hold it a little far from your cat and let it approach the toy. If your cat approaches and touches or sniffs it, use a word like “yes” and give it treat. This is to make your cat keep on approaching the toy. Do it repeatedly.
- You can also do the training with a clicker as your signal.
2. Make it put the toy in its mouth
- After getting used to approaching the toy, start training it to put the toy in its mouth.
- Do the usual thing but when your cat does the same touching or sniffling, don’t give it a treat that yet. Then, your cat will figure out that it needs to do something else.
- The most possible thing it will do is open its mouth and bite the toy. Once he did it, give her a word or a click, plus the treat. Do it repeatedly until it gets to biting the toyin your hand.
3. Picking Time
- The next thing you should do is to make your cat pick the toy. Place the toy on the floor and let your cat approach it and put it in its mouth. After he did it, give it a treat.
- Do the same process while changing the places where you place the toy. You may also try placing the toy a little farther and around the room and let your cat follow it.
4. It’s fetching time
- Once your cat gets used touching, sniffing, biting and following the toy around, you may start training it to fetch the toy for you.
- Throw the toy not too far away from you first and let the cat pick it with its mouth and come back to you. Initially, the cat will not put the toy down.
- Show the treat and your cat will most probably drop the toy to get it.
- Reinforce this habit until it becomes natural for your cat. You can do it as regularly as possible to succeed. You may also try using other toys to keep your cat’s attention.
Cats are also smart animals. Which means, what they can do can’t be limited just like that. We only need enough time to understand their character and ability.
At the same time, they also need it to develop and showcase their skills. Given your mutual understanding, time and effort, you will surely succeed in whatever you want to achieve.