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What every owner should train their cat to do

Kat Hobza resides in sunny Western Montana. She is the Senior Authoress Specializing in Sarcasm at www.funnyfreelance.com. Okay, she’s the only authoress at funny freelance. When she’s not formulating tongue-in-cheek ideas and content as...

Be cat-tastic

You may have always assumed that dogs hold the exclusive rights to cool and funny tricks. Not so! You can easily teach your kitty to be cat-tastic by teaching him a few cat tricks. Here's a little inspiration to get you going.

Handshake

Hand shake

If the thought of trying to get your cat to do anything other than sleep in the sun overwhelms you, start small. You can teach your kitty to shake hands/paws much the same way you would teach a dog — through the almighty and motivating treat system. You will see that motivation through cat goodies is a common theme with successful cat training — get low-calorie ones so your cat doesn't become obese and (more) lazy.

To get Mittens to shake, place a treat in one hand and nudge her paw with the other. Make sure all distractions are removed from your training area, so Mittens has no choice but to pay attention to you. When she moves her paw, shake it with your hand and issue a verbal command that you will repeat each time. Something along the lines of "shake Mittens" should do nicely. Reward your furry cuteness with a lean kitty treat. Repeat several times a day. Soon Mittens will not just be eating out of your hand, but shaking it as well.

Dancing diva

Tired of dancing alone in your living room on Saturday night? Teach your kitty to join in on the fun. This is easily achieved by holding a kitty treat up just out of your pet's reach. When he stands on his hind legs to get to the treat, let him have it. Repetition is a crucial component to this and any other cat trick.

Noises that accompany these tricks will improve the likelihood of success, so snapping your fingers up out of your kitten's reach while you get him to reach upward will remind him what you want him to do next time. Once you and your loyal companion have mastered this part of the trick, include other moves like twirling and — if you dare — flipping. Just don't expect your cat to learn how to two-step — the math is too hard when you have four legs. Teaching your cat to twerk is also not encouraged.

Obstacle course

So you have a lot of time on your hands and training your cat to maneuver an obstacle course seems like a reasonable way to occupy your time. This can be time well spent, full of fun and laughs for you and your cat (well, you'll probably be doing most of the laughing).

Set up the obstacle course on the floor, using things like boxes, cones and kitty hurdles. Entice your coordinated kitty through the course with the use of a cat toy that has a string and feather on it. Once your clever kitten has completed one challenge, encourage him to the next challenge by dragging the toy along the floor to the next obstacle. With all of these tricks, patience and a sense of humor is important. If you take this too seriously, you'll yell at your cat, and he will grudge-poop in your closet when you go to work.

Toilet training

Toilet training

We know what you're thinking — cats using the toilets only happens in the movies. Wrong. Thanks to training kits, all cats can use the porcelain throne just like Jinxy in Meet the Parents. It's important to use a biodegradable cat litter like Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal (so the litter can be flushed). The kit uses a graduation of rings — the hole gets larger in the toilet lid insert and the amount of litter used gets smaller until one day your little bundle of goodness can use the toilet without the aid of the training kit. Ah-mazing!

Play the piano

Cat playing piano

What if we told you that you can combine all the fun and magic of a laser pointer with teaching your cat to play the piano? It's almost too good to be true, isn't it? Well folks, strap in for more fun than one pet owner should be allowed to have. There are a multitude of ways to get your kitty to pelt on the ivories of a toy piano, but one of the more entertaining ways is to point to the piano keys with a laser pointer. Your kitty will strike the key that the laser is shining on, making it look as if they are playing the piano. Is it just us, or is this a pet/owner win-win?

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