Do you get bored with the same old cat games every time you play? Why not teach your cat buddy a fascinating and enjoyable new skill by teaching them to fetch? Cats, unlike what most people think, can be taught to play fetch just like dogs.
With this game, you may deepen your relationship with your kitten while giving it some much-needed mental and physical activity. Here at Canvas Personalized, you’ll find detailed, step-by-step instructions about how to teach a cat to fetch. So grab some treats, and let’s get started!
What You’ll Need When You Train a Cat to Play Fetch?
Find a Quiet Spot
To hold your cat’s attention and effectively train it in anything new, it is frequently preferable to do it in a setting with no other potential distractions. Locate a private space in the house, ideally with few obstacles and a limited playing area.
Choose the Right Toys
It’s common for cats to have a few preferred objects they like to fetch. When introducing your cat to the game of fetch, it will be easiest if you go with something she already likes.
A catnip mouse, a wad of paper, a soft sparkling ball, or even a specific food may pique your cat friend’s interest. Some felines even like the opportunity to chase kibble over a cement floor. They may “beg” for another throw even if they do not return it.
Thus, playing fetch with the favorite toy your pet is most interested in chasing is best.
Moreover, to increase your cat’s success rate, choose a fetch object that fits her mouth appropriately and has a texture she is familiar with. Grab some of your cat’s favorite goodies and a clicker.
Pick the Right Time to Play Fetch
You know your cat’s behavior better than anyone else, so choose a time when you know the kitty is ready to play fetch when you know he or she is active. Your cat’s naptime is not a good time to teach, even if it is convenient for you. On the other hand, before eating, some pets can respond to training and paying attention to the owner.
Although fetch dogs enjoy marathons, remember that cats are masters of sprint and dash. Cats have short attention spans, so ten minutes might seem like an hour. If you stop playing before the cat physically decides it’s had enough (five minutes is enough for most cats), she’ll be more likely to be interested in playing again.
Play Copy Cat
Which would your cat rather do, have the ball bounce or paw-whack a piece of paper across the room? Copy a cat’s preferred playing activities. As a result, your pet will know that you’re on the same level as them and eager to play along.
Give the Playing Fetch Game a Name
Cats may communicate with us using fluff, eye and tail movements, and meows, but they also pick up on a wide range of human words. Assign a phrase to an activity to ensure your cat always knows what to do.
After throwing the toy across the room, use a cheerful, high-pitched verbal cue to say something like, “Fetch, kitty-kitty-kitty!” to get your cat to bring it back. Use the “come” command linked with the “fetch” word if your cat has been clicker trained to come when called.
Rewards to Train a Cat to Play Fetch
Little snacks are a great way to reinforce desired behavior in your cat. Having the right treats on hand might be the key to successfully teaching fetch. Avoid adding extra pounds by using treats sparingly and only when she performs the new behavior.
How to Teach a Cat to Fetch: Step-by-step guide for Pet Parents
Step 1: Getting cats to target the ball
The first step in training a cat to play fetch is to help the cat understands that the ball is the target of her attention. Thus, keep your fingers about 6 inches from your cat’s face when holding the ball. Encourage and reward when the cat touches the toy with her nose. Repeat this until your cat immediately starts hunting for the object after finishing her treats.
Step 2: Train the cat to place her open mouth on the toy
After your cat habitually touches the toy whenever it is shown, you may stop clicking immediately. Afterward, the cat will pause, give you a thinking look, and consider what to do next. The next action is when she opens her open mouth to fetch the object.
Your cat will consider why she did not get a treat when she reached for the ball and instead try something else, such as a slightly opened mouth on the toy. You should watch for this; if it occurs, treat her immediately.
It might be best to end the play session now if this is your first time working together.
Step 3: Train the cat to place her mouth on the ball and grab
Prepare the cat toy, cat snacks, and clicker. Once again, hold out the toy and click and reward when your cat fetches it with her mouth open. Do this until the cat willingly puts her open mouth on the toy. Now, you’d be watching a couple of different things.
The timing of step changes isn’t always clear, which might cause stress. There is a delicate balance between remaining on one step too long and not staying long enough. One method to evaluate a situation is to proceed. If your cat continues to fail at the new practice despite your great effort, you may be rushing things. Take a step back.
The best thing you can do for your cat constantly pushes her to the next level and see how she responds.
Step 4: Train the cat to grab the toy from the ground
Put the toy on the ground instead of holding it to get started. You should put the toy on the floor in front of you. Treat your cat when he or she fetches the toy, whether with their mouth closed or fully open. It’s best to remove the ball while your cat is snacking on it and give it again in another place.
After your cat touches the ball every time it is given, you may change your expectations to having her approach it with her mouth open. Watch for signs of stress as you complete the tasks with your cat. If she leaves the session without finishing the previous step, take a break, go back, and give her additional time.
Step 5: Picking up the ball
Get the toy on the floor and wait for the cat to roll or bite it enough to get it moving. You should reward every time your cat shows one of these two behaviors. Repeatedly praise the cat whenever it provides biting and pickup, no matter how quick. After that, practice clicking while the object is in the mouth and toward the end of the pickup.
This process will go quite quickly at first, but as you continue, you’ll see the cat holding on to the ball for longer periods of time. After you’ve succeeded in getting your cat to pick up the ball and keep it in her mouth for ten seconds, you may continue on to step 6.
Step 6: Train cats to bring the ball back to pet owners
Hide the ball farther away, maybe behind the cat. When your cat has turned, picked up the ball, and come near you, reward her. You should continue repeating this process with the ball placed a little farther from you this time.
Get used to the fetching behavior in a larger space now. Both of you pretty obviously had a good time cat playing fetch.
While it may take some time and effort, learning about how to teach a cat to fetch is a pleasant experience that may enhance your relationship with your furry pet. Keep training sessions short and optimize positive reinforcement to promote good behavior. You’ll be surprised by what your kitten can pick up with consistent and patient training. Therefore, repeat it and experience the fun of playing fetch with your cherished feline friend.