As a practical cat owner, Nita Heerk suggests the following is possible:
- Getting cats to sit before being fed.
But fetch? Stay? Roll-over? For a practical pet-owner, Nita doubts it can happen.
However, if you want to avoid a cat bumping its head against your hand, causing you to scatter cat-food all over the floor, try the following:
1. Hold the bag (or can) but don’t remove the food.
2. Say, “Sit.”
4. Don’t get upset.
5. Gently push the cat’s front. Pushing the back sets up resistance but nudging the cat’s front automatically puts it in a sitting position.
6. Say, “Sit” again after the cat immediately stands up on four legs.
7. Keep going.
8. If you have more than one cat, feed the one who sits first.
Eventually, at least one of your cats will begin doing this on a full-time basis (sort of).
If you are set on training your cat more behavior modified responses than the above, check out Show Biz Tricks for Cats by Anne Gordon with Steve Duno from the Portland Public Library and Clicker Training for Cats by Karen Pryor (with clicker) for $17.95 from Planet Dog (located on 211 Marginal Way in Portland, Maine).
Disclaimer: Katherine Woodbury is not a veterinarian, behaviorist, or professional animal trainer. Her observations and advice are the result of on-the-ground, real-time exposure. Her perspective is that of an experienced cat-owner searching for practical solutions. When a suggestion does come from an expert source, this will be noted in the article