How to Train Your Cat to Beg for Treats on Command


This is another variation based on the “sit up on hindlegs sequence” – and we have even seen it used as a prelude to grooming your cat! The same training steps can be used whether you decide to train your cat using a table or using the floor as a base.

Training objective: To beg for treats on command.

Training steps

  • Command your cat to sit.
  • Hold the food in one hand, slightly out of reach, above his head. If you have decided to use ‘wet’ food as your motivator, place it on a spoon.

  • Say the word “Up”, and slowly raise your spoon or hand up and away from you. Your cat will reach to touch your hand or spoon with one or both paws. At this juncture say the word “Beg”. As he reaches for the food, he will automatically adopt the “beg” position, with his front paws hanging down as he bends the carpal bones in his front legs.
  • You need to keep him in the begging position for a few seconds and give him his reward. Say the word “Good”, and remember to praise him while he is still in the begging position.
  • Repeat steps 1 to 5 over several sessions a day, for a period of at least a week, until he learns the desired behaviour. Your cat must learn to associate that the begging position means an instant reward of a treat. If you give him the treat when he has dropped to his normal ‘all-fours’ position, he will not make the correct association.
  • Carry on repeating this trick, but start removing the cue of food treats so that he learns to associate your hand with the required response. Always finish the training session with a food treat.
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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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