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Steps to teaching your cat to sit:
Step 1: Get their favorite treat. This will be the reward. Make sure you are only using treats for training. If you use treats randomly, your cat will just wait to get a treat later for free instead of training for it.
Step 2: Get a bridge. This is any unique sound that is a common language between you and your cat that they are doing the exact correct behavior and will get a treat. We use a clicker as a bridge because it’s excellent for training. “Click” means “treat” to your cat. You will need to establish this bridge with your cat before you get started training behaviors. To do this, you “Click” and they pay them a treat. Repeat this until this concept is connected in their mind.
Step 3: Shaping the behavior. Use your cat’s nose following the treat to direct their head up and back so they are directed to a sitting position. Take it step by step if needed. Up the criteria each time, meaning progressively only reward them for doing better than the last time. Do not reward for incorrect behaviors.
Step 4: Pairing a cue. It “cues” them to what you are asking for. We use a verbal cue “sit” and a hand signal, fist. Once they have the behavior shaped you verbally say “sit” and show them the hand signal until they no longer need the treat to direct their nose. The cues will direct them to that behavior.
You’re all done! And now you have to toolkit to train many other behaviors. Happy training!
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